A Dance Through Time
I am always happy to tell anyone that This is All I Ask by Lynn Kurland is my favorite book of 97. Since that particular book, Kurland has become a favorite author of mine. Although A Dance Through Time is not as good, glimpses of the writer she is becoming are readily apparent.
The premise is an interesting one, even for those of us who don’t generally enjoy time-travel romances. Elizabeth, the contemporary heroine, ends up in fourteenth century Scotland, in the clutches of the hero. Jamie is at first convinced she is a witch, but eventually lets his heart guide him. I found Jamie to be very appealing, and well written as a Scottish Laird – egotistical, stubborn, lordly, and strong-handed, but with a soft streak. Elizabeth is a more problematical character – she was very easily dominated for a woman from the present. Admittedly, she does her share of kicking butt, but mostly lets the hero fight her battles, and says “yes, Laird” one too many times for my liking. She would have been better as an historical heroine.
I also had some reservations about some of the secondary characters. In particular, Megan, who in medieval times would have been considered a marriageable adult, was treated like someone much younger. Overall, none of the secondary characters were developed enough, and some ends were left hanging. Not to give too much of the plot away, there was some time jumping that left me confused. I might add that, although I am a big fan of “mushy stuff” when written right, I found this book tended toward soppy sentiment before I was comfortable with it.
What did work for me, and worked very well, was the hero. And, the author’s control of the language was skillful. It flowed wonderfully and naturally, making fourteenth century people sound like they were supposed to. Jamie’s reactions to landing in the 20th century were well-written too, as was his gradual realization of his love for Elizabeth. Those hammer-blow-to-the-head realizations of love are so often over-done; I’m glad she let Jamie take his time. And, although I might not have been fond of Elizabeth, I like how she tried to fit in to the era, but occasionally let slip a few 20th century-isms that caught on through the whole clan.
Kurland has a gift for description that brings a time period to life. Medieval Scotland was not a comfortable time, and I think she portrayed it accurately. Although A Dance Through Time didn’t overly impress me, This is All I Ask certainly did. I look forward to her next release.