The Lost Boy, the Doodlebug and the Mysterious Number 80
Romance develops between two contrasting characters, one a stiff-upper lipped, virginally repressed gentleman and the other the original good time had by all. The latter, Charlie, develops from an irritatingly self-obsessed drama queen into a more rounded and likeable character by the end. Whilst neither of the central characters is pagan, they do skirt round such issues as psychic powers, prophecy, spiritual evil and life after death. There is even a brief pagan ritual and a visit to Glastonbury.
Woven throughout this tale of passion and chronological displacement is also a murder mystery, which seemingly resolves only to lead to another interesting twist later. The story ends on an unusual note, and thankfully not the one that I had been expecting.
I don't know as I wish to rush out and read a dozen more romances (I'd much sooner have one than read about someone else's), however I rather enjoyed this time- and bed-hopping adventure, with its plethora of characters who appear and reappear in different decades, all playing their part in the jigsaw. If I had to make a negative criticism, then it would be that some of the dialogue is rather didactic, and I don't recall ever having heard anyone actually speak in that sort of way... though perhaps the author has, and that's why he places the speeches in his characters' mouths? Anyway, I shall be keeping an eye open for future novels by Stevie Henden ~ he is a pagan himself, so maybe the next one will be full-on mythical?