I’m in shock. There hasn’t been a Lynn Kurland book to date that I haven’t totally loved. Until now. I just like this one. It’s still a good book, wonderful characters, great time traveling, and a good storyline. But this time there was a little silliness included and that just didn’t work for me, especially because it took away from the beautiful writing that Ms. Kurland is known for in her books.
Pippa Alexander’s passion is fashion design. She’s just shy of getting her huge break in the business, something she’s waited and worked so long and hard for. A bigwig in England is interested in her designs, so she’s headed to her sister’s castle to meet the man and make the deal of a lifetime.
Karma is having its way her with first, however. The apartment building where she lives burns to the ground and she makes it out with only what she’ll need in England. Then her parents, who are flower children still going strong, show up, along with another sister, Cinderella. (I kid you not, mom and dad kept tokin’ it up over the years. There’s Peaches and Moonbeam too, and Pippa’s true name is Persephone. Tess and Valerie got lucky.) I did laugh a few times when these characters were introduced.
Cindi has decided she’s going into the design business also, so she’s hitching a ride with Pippa to talk to Mr. Megabucks. This sister is a real piece of work. Self-centered and self-absorbed, Cindi is the princess of them all. So when they do reach sister Tess’ castle, Cindi makes sure she’s in the right places at the right times, shoving and pushing to be in the limelight. It’s that shoving and pushing that land them both in Medieval England, the year of our lord 1241.
That’s the year Montgomery de Piaget’s father gives him Sedgwick Castle, a ruin with holes aplenty, hardly any walls, muck everywhere, and relatives who would rather see him dead. The next thing he knows, the Faery Queen and her handmaiden have dropped out of thin air to grace his home with their presence. And this is where the story gets silly in spots.
Cindi doesn’t fare well after time traveling. She takes her princess complex to a new level and becomes the queen Montgomery and his people think she is. She demands constantly and Pippa delivers. Cindi has gone completely off her rocker, the stress of her circumstances getting to her. This part of the book just doesn’t have the Kurland flare, the beautifully strung-together words that make reading her a pleasure.
After half the book, Cindi is flung back home and Pippa is left in 1241. Just like that. And my thought was, “Why was Cindi even part of the story?” It just seemed unnecessary, all the antics and whatnot, and it didn’t nothing for the storyline.
The second half of the book is so much better, back to the Lynn Kurland I know and love. More and more Montgomery and Pippa’s feelings for each grow, but they know they can’t be together because she has to return to her own time. Montgomery has to figure out which of his vengeful relatives is trying to kill him, all the while endeavoring to put his home in order and assemble a guard to protect it.
Pippa is learning to live in Medieval England, and as she finally admits her feelings for Montgomery, just before he’s ready to ask for her hand, she’s thrown back to Sedgwick in present day. Not willing to live with questions of what might have been, Montgomery takes time into his own hands and goes after his love.
I enjoyed Montgomery’s reactions to 2010’s marvels. He acclimates quite well, only because he’s always known his family has had paranormal oddities over the years, and he has other family in modern England who help him out. But finding Pippa and spending time with her in her world only gives them more questions about their future, and just when they sit down to talk about it, time intervenes once again.
We also get to catch up with past characters from previous books, which is a lot of fun, especially through Montgomery’s eyes. So that made this part of the book more of a pleasure to read too. And I’m glad. I had too many doubts while reading early on that I was going to like the entire thing. But change came and I’ve never been so glad to see it.
Montgomery de Piaget attracts responsibilities like blossoms lure bees. Where other knights have bonny brides, laughing children, and noble quests, he has the task of rebuilding the most dilapidated castle in all of England. A bit of magic might aid him—if only he still believed in that sort of thing.
When Pippa Alexander is invited to England to provide costumes for an upscale party, she jumps at the chance to showcase her own line of fairy-tale inspired designs. Not even her older sister’s decision to act as Fairy Queen crushes Pippa’s hope that this time, she’ll wind up wearing the glass slippers. Not that she believes in fairy tales, or magic that whispers along the hallways of an honest-to-goodness medieval castle…
But the castle is full of more than cobwebs, and danger lurks in unexpected places. And only time will tell if Montgomery and Pippa can overcome both to find their own happily every after . . .
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