Center Stage is a monthly feature hosted by Ginger-Read Reviews, in which we highlight a character from the books we've read in the past month.
June 2013 Center Stage Character:
Nick Falcott from The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway
Whereas last month I had some trouble finding a character to feature, this month I had the opposite problem: I really liked two characters from the same book, Bee Ridgway's The River of No Return. The competition came down to Nick Falcott, one of the protagonists, and Arkady Altukhov, one of the secondary characters. The pair travel back in time from 2013 to Regency England, where Nick is originally from, and I just loved the banter between the two. Nick won out in the end, though, because of my weakness for Regency heroes.
Lord Nicholas Falcott, Marquess of Blackdown, is fighting for the English against Napoleon's troops when he finds himself on the wrong end of a Frenchman's weapon. Just as he's about to die, he's sent forward in time to the 21st century and learns about the existence of the Guild, a secret organization that watches over travelers like himself. Nick attends a kind of orientation for others who have suddenly found themselves displaced from their own eras and is then comfortably set up by the Guild to live in this new world.
Nick's had quite a while to adjust when the Guild summons him for a mission that requires him to become the Marquess of Blackdown again. Nick is quite happy with the life he has now, thank you very much, but he eventually accepts the task. Being the keen observer that he is, he doesn't blindly put his trust in the Guild, especially since they're being rather cagey about what exactly he's supposed to do once he's back in the 19th century.
Watching Nick readjust to another time period again is pretty humorous sometimes. There are lapses when he uses modern slang or curses like it's 2013, and then he has to cover up his gaffes. On a more serious note, though, he's not the young man who chose to ride off to war rather than face his responsibilities as a marquess after the sudden death of his father. Knowing what he does about the future, particularly what will become of landed nobility like himself, he tries not to act like an entitled, pompous ass.
But where Nick sent my heart a-swoon was with his love for the young girl, now a grown woman, he's never forgotten. Being able to see Julia Percy again makes Nick all too happy to be back in the past. She is unknowingly an important figure in his mission, and when Nick finds out, he's prepared to protect her from everyone, even the Guild.
Nick was a fantastic character in a novel with no shortage of them, and I highly recommend The River of No Return.