A Love Through Time
Those of you who complain that your medieval romances are not real enough, this book is for you. Terri Brisbin’s first novel is a time travel that takes the reader to medieval Scotland.
As part of a tour group on a vacation to Scotland, Maggie Hobbs ends up in the village of Dunnedin where the MacKendimen clan is having a reunion. She runs into Alex, the “true” laird of the MacKendimens, near the ruins of an ancient arch. As they’re talking, an old woman named Mairi, who had told Maggie’s fortune earlier, shows up. In the midst of conversation, the old woman pushes the pair through the arch, which, you see, is a doorway into time.
When Maggie and Alex end up in medieval Scotland – conveniently dressed in authentic garb from the festival, and Alex is blessed with an instant brogue – Alex is assumed to be the laird’s son. Maggie and Alex play along. Of course, Maggie gets the raw end of the deal – she is assumed to be Alex’s leman, or whore.
Once they arrive at the keep, they must contend with Alex’s “father” and 15-year-old fiancée. It is at this point Brisbin introduces historical reality, as she focuses on the physical harshness and social customs of the times and shows how her characters must deal with them. Maggie and Alex actually discuss this at one point. Concentrated physical activity is very new to Alex, an accountant in his real time, who must deal with the physical aspects of the times every day now in his sword practice.
Alex and Maggie also must deal with it in the way problems are resolved – with violence. This is where Brisbin shows the beginnings of Alex’s character growth. While he likes order, this is all new to him, and he finds he likes being so physical. He’s loosening up.
Another honest reaction that Alex has is in the way he responds to Anice, his 15-year-old fiancée. His mind tells him she is young, but his body reacts anyway. Other little touches, such as talking about the rushes on the floor, and the bugs in them, and how Maggie deals with not being able to bathe every day, add to the story and the portrayal of medieval life.
There is always something happening. The action doesn’t stop, whether it is of an emotional or physical nature, and it’s this action that keeps you reading. Maggie often seems to be the voice of knowledge, but Alex has to be the voice of reason. He keeps Maggie going when it gets rough for her (and sometimes it can be very rough). While there are sparks between Maggie and Alex, there is so much else going on, nothing happens between them at first. Alex is attracted to Maggie from the moment they meet, but they work slowly toward their consummation.
The complications in this story are in the circumstances. I think readers will enjoy watching Maggie and Alex figure out how they got thrown back and why, how they feel about each other, and how they get home. There are still some surprises that I won’t reveal. Add the main action to a cast of interesting secondary characters, and this is an enjoyable book. A word of warning – you may feel a little tired by the time you finish it.