The More I See You
One of my favorite books of all time is Lynn Kurland’s This is All I Ask. One of my least favorite books ever is Kurland’s Another Chance to Dream. While The More I See You doesn’t match the poignancy and feeling of the former, it (thankfully) doesn’t drown the reader in bleakness like the latter, and I found it an enjoyable read, with lots of wit and tender moments.
Jessica Blakely is a successful composer and musician who yearns for the magic of love. At the moment, unfortunately, she is stuck in England, wearing medieval clothes for a party at a castle, and accompanied by a dull suitor who wants to be her knight in shining armor. Literally. Wishing upon a star to find her a man who loves her, Jessica’s walk around the castle lands her in the 13th century, startling both her and the party of men who want the “fairie” dead on the spot.
One of the men is Richard de Galtres, a dark and brooding knight who saves Jessica from the rest of the group. Despite Jessica’s strange accent and speech, the men end up believing that she is related to the King. They think she is babbling incoherently because she hit her head when she fainted, so they take her back to Burwyck-on-the-Sea, Richard’s ancestral home. Once there, Jessica and Richard begin to get on each other’s nerves, and much to their respective dismay, a mutual attraction begins to grow.
While Jessica adjusts to life without 20th-century comforts, she begins to appreciate the man hidden underneath Richard’s gruff exterior; the discoveries she makes about his past help put some of the pieces of the puzzle together, and she finds herself yearning for a mere smile from him. For Richard, the endlessly annoying woman who claims to be from another time becomes a necessity to him, which he realizes when he nearly loses her to a traitor’s blade. As he tries desperately to close her wound with a red-hot knife, the only way to take Jessica’s mind off the pain is to distract her with the betrothal ceremony. Although this results in the couple’s being bound by law, they are nonetheless unsure of the other’s feelings.
There is a lot of humor in this book. Jessica starts off unwilling to compromise on her notions of modern behavior and can get a little too cutesy with her American slang, but she means well, and in the end, she gets exactly what she deserves: A man who adores her, even though he might not understand everything about her.
Richard, could have been your typical, brooding, tortured hero. Instead he is a likeable wounded soul – Kurland can write those like few authors can – and he very slowly and very carefully begins to accept that this is the woman who has conquered his heart.
Characters from other Kurland books make their appearance here, one even meets his demise, but if you’ve read Stardust of Yesterday, you know that everything turns out well in the end – I only wish Richard and Jessica had known as well. If you’re in the mood for a (mostly) light read with lots of humor, you might want to try The More I See You.