REVIEW: Till There Was You by Lynn KurlandThursday, July 23, 2009 13:00
I’m one of those Lynn Kurland fans who doesn’t care what she writes. Her writing has a flow, a feeling, a fluidness to it that just calls to me. No matter what century she takes me to in her time travels, I feel like I’m there right in the middle of the story. And though we always get at least one new character to add to our time traveling family, part of the fun of reading these books is getting to see the previous characters being woven together in a fairly complex way, now that there are so many books in the series.
After all that, I do have to confess one small thing. The beginning of this book didn’t hook me like her others have. Looking back, however, I’m blaming that on my mood at the time, because after laying the book after one chapter, I picked it up again several days later and it hit the spot with me like all of Ms. Kurland’s books usually do.
This time around the story is about Zachary Smith, the youngest of the Smith siblings and the one who has century-hopped with Jamie for years since Jamie made his home permanently in the future. They know where a good portion of these time portals are, but when they find a new one, they’re off to investigate it. Zachary, though, is tired of all the time traveling. Tired of fighting for his life when a journey here and there doesn’t go as expected. On top of that, he’s also dissatisfied with his job, so he’s quit. Walked away wanting happily ever after with the right woman.
Having car trouble on his way to that better future, he stops in at Artane, home of the de Piaget family for generations. While there he stumbles into one of those heretofore unknown portals and finds himself still at Artane, only it’s now 1258.
Finding himself thrown into the castle dungeon after trying to rescue a servant girl from a number of bloodthirsty warriors, he’s surprised when the same girl tries to free him from his prison. What he doesn’t know yet is this is Mary de Piaget, only daughter of Robin of Artane, a man he comes to respect and admire while having to take advantage of his patience and hospitality during his sojourn in Robin’s time.
Mary, it seems, is running from her current suitor, one who doesn’t give up easily, much to Mary’s dismay. So she needs this new stranger to help her flee to a relative’s abode far enough away until said suitor leaves her home to try again another day to win her favor. Though she truly hopes not.
Thus begins the fight of Mary to keep her life independent from a money-hungry husband combined with the fight of Zachary to keep her alive without letting on who he is and where he’s from and without changing history. Tossed into the mix, besides Robin’s ever-increasing irritation with Zachary’s comings and goings in and out of his home, are Mary’s numerous cousins who love her dearly and will protect her no matter the cost. They even make it difficult for the couple after they’ve declared their love for one another; terrific comic relief at times.
Zachary hopes to keep Mary alive past the date of her death and still return home, leaving her behind because there really isn’t a future for them because of the time distance between them. He knows that will be difficult, but sometimes you have to make difficult decisions in life. But when fate proves to him you can’t change what was meant to be, his choices aren’t many to choose from. Leave her in his time to die or try to take her to his time where she may have a chance at life after all, even though there’s no guarantee he’ll get her there before it’s too late.
We also get a good look at the intricacies of all the different players who have time traveled and settled down in the 21st century, all very interesting and intriguing the way Ms. Kurland has woven everything together. There’s also hints of future travelers, which will give us fans many more books to come. I, for one, am very glad of that!
Zachary Smith is finished with high-maintenance women, impossible clients, and paranormal adventures. But when he walks through a doorway into a different century—and meets Mary de Piaget—he knows his life isn’t going to turn out quite the way he planned.
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Other books in Kurland’s Time Travel series – go here for the reading order for the de Piaget Family series: