The Very Thought of You
Grade : A+

What are you doing sitting in front of the computer? Go – go now, and get this book! There is nothing to not like about this book. When you are holding it, be prepared to put the rest of life on hold for awhile, because you won’t be able to put it down. While still reeling from lack of sleep because of this book, I had to sit myself down and spread the word – this book is not to be missed.

The story begins with Alex Smith – the brother of Elizabeth Macleod, from A Dance Through Time. While visiting his sister in Scotland, Alex finds a map his brother-in-law Jamie has drawn. This is no ordinary map, for Jamie considers himself some sort of time-traveling hero – he likes to explore history personally with his wife in tow, and fix things. On the map, Alex finds the word “Barbados” written beside a certain X, and decides that some sunny weather would be good for him. So he heads for the Fairy Ring, which the map points to, and suddenly finds himself in Medieval England. Since he has done a bit of time-traveling in the past (in A Dance Through Time), he takes it in stride.

The first person he meets is Margaret, who he thinks is a boy due to her chain-mail and the way she has a sword at his throat. But, Margaret is a young woman who had to take on the responsibility of her father’s keep at the age of fifteen, and knows little else but weaponry. Her father’s death was recently discovered by the outside world, so Margaret is being forced by the king to wed in a month’s time. When he finds out he can’t return to his own time, and realizes Margaret is a female and is in distress, Alex can’t help but come to her aid.

Together, they devise a plan involving King Richard and a joust, so Margaret can keep her home but won’t have to marry her next-door neighbor. There is a bit more to this book of course, including some time-traveling, a baby in distress, and the not-too-intelligent brother of the next-door neighbor. Although Alex is a strong hero and manages to save Margaret on a few occasions – Alex is quite able to defend himself with a sword (thanks to his brother-in-law) – Margaret is equally skilled and ends up saving him a time or two.

Where do I begin? There were so many things I loved about this book, starting with Margaret. She is very secure in her abilities, and is used to being in charge. I loved her strength and her sense of humor. There is Alex, who is strong enough that Margaret’s strength is very attractive to him. He is tender, and he has a wonderful sense of humor. I loved the secondary characters. There is a partially-demented bard, a clumsy squire, a crusty captain of the guard, plus Alex’s family makes a short appearance as well.

The sexual tension in this book was perfect – and very effective for a PG-13. Also, there were so many memorable scenes:

  • A wedding night where the groom frisks the bride to make sure he doesn’t get skewered if she is surprised by the initial bit of discomfort caused by the “first time”.
  • Margaret and Alex’s first joust (I’m not explaining – you’ll have to read it for yourself).
  • The way Alex loves his food.
  • The way Alex could tell Margaret was getting comfortable with a situation by the lessening of weapons on her person.

I could go on and on. Obviously there was a lot of humor in this book. There were some touching moments as well – especially the times Alex shows Margaret how important she is to him, and treats her as an equal, which is something she is not used to. There is also a moment when Alex thinks he has lost Margaret, and comes unhinged – a moment in the book that moved me.

This book was touching, enchanting, and funny. Lynn Kurland, if you are reading this – what are you doing??? Get to work. Please!

Reviewed by Rebecca Ekmark

Grade: A+

Sensuality: Warm

Review Date : March 26, 1998

Publication Date: 1998

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