When I Fall in Love / Lynn Kurland. 2007
Back when I first rediscovered romance novels, I stumbled across Lynn Kurland's books and it wasn't long before I read most, if not all of them. I wasn't aware of terms like "wallpaper history" and her "lite" approach to medieval life didn't bother me. And it still doesn't. Because I sure do like the way she tells a story. I'd probably embrace these common criticisms of her work if I didn't find myself enjoying her characters. And I especially enjoy putting myself in her characters' shoes as they make such improbable, logic-defying journeys through time. What the hey, call me shallow. Over the last few years as I've hung out on review sites and blogs I've learned that the book many of her readers consider their least favorite, is one of my top favorites--The More I See You. So there. This fact alone probably invalidates anything I have to say
When I Fall in Love is the story of the 4th and final McKinnon sibling, Jennifer, as she meets up with one of the de Piaget brothers, Nicholas, when she accidentally falls through one of those infamous gates and lands in 1229. This book is pretty much a straight character-driven romance. There is a little conflict when the bad guy from Jake & Amanda's story (Dreams of Stardust) tries to burn Jennifer at the stake for witchcraft. Nicholas and his younger brothers rescue her. They immediately recognize her as someone from the future, but choose to pretend that she's just "lost" rather than reveal that they know all about the time traveling. This is putting it a little too simply, but essentially this is the main conflict that drives the novel. Nicholas is instantly smitten, but hesitates to get to know someone who will want to go back to her own time. Of course, he eventually lets himself get close and the rest of the de Piagets show up to help everything move along. All in all, I think this is a simple, uncomplicated book that is still simply delightful. Why do I think so? Well, the characters strike me as normal--they act the way I think real people would act. When we read about Jennifer and Nicholas, we know that there's strong physical attraction, but we're not derailed by pages and pages of lustful thinking. It's rather refreshing. There is lots of gentle humor, especially from Nicholas' brothers. I now have to go back and dig up Miles and Abigail's story. Since that one was written over 10 years ago, it will probably come off as rather disconnected from this one. Nonetheless, I always liked Miles in that story. He's lots of fun in this book.
Anyhow, this rates a B+ from me for being a relaxing, enjoyable book. Lynn Kurland doesn't appeal to everyone, but she rarely disappoints me.