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Book review: Time traveling 'Outshine' highlights the role of a 19th century female mathematician

"OUTSHINE: House of Oak, Book 5," by Nichole Van, Fiorenza Publishing, $11.99, 329 pages (f)

When it comes to love, time knows no boundaries in the novel "Outshine."

Daniel Ashton learned of the mathematical equations of Fourier's Nemesis in a modern-day college. This knowledge helped him navigate the hidden time portal in Duir's Cottage. But when a tragic event ignites the extraordinary England earthquake of 1826, disrupting his ability to return to modern time, Daniel must seek out the man behind the theorems.

His encounter with the 19th century genius leads to the ultimate surprise: Foster Lovejoy is a woman. Raised under the oppressive eye of her widowed father, the Rev. Josiah Lovejoy, she hid her genius from the late-century English community. But when Daniel, who is Lord Whitmoor in the same century, offers Fossi, as she's known in her family, a chance to bring her skills forward and experience a new, progressive, and meaningful life, it's an opportunity she can't refuse.

Fossi's mathematical knowledge is what Daniel needs to reconnect his two worlds. But he learns that to correct an accident whose outcome may ultimately affect his modern existence 200 years later, he will surrender the greatest love of his life.

"Outshine" is the fifth book in the House of Oak series and illustrates how women add courage, intelligence, beauty, faith, compromise, adaptability and strength to a strong desire to love and be loved by people who respect and embrace those qualities.

Though forward-thinking, Fossi's brush with the modern world uncovers an unchanged dilemma between pursuing what she desires and what is acceptable. Daniel loves her. She loves him. But whether divided by timelines both literal or figurative, love doesn't always equate to personal happiness.

Van's writing style masterfully illustrates a woman's struggle to partner authenticity with the pressures of an evolving society that remains timelessly vague on defining what is permissible.

Although part of a series, this book can stand alone. "Outside" doesn't have any swearing or described violence. Any described romance is limited to kissing. The complexity of the theory of time travel may be confusing for younger readers.

"Outshine" is a 2017 Whitney Awards finalist in the romance category. The Whitney Awards recognize novels by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

J'Nel Wright is a freelance writer who could use a little extra time herself.