REVIEW: One Magic Moment by Lynn Kurland

Thursday, July 7, 2011 1:00
Posted in category Review

Book Cover C2’s review of One Magic Moment (de Piaget, Book 14) by Lynn Kurland
Time travel romance published by Jove 3 May 11

Everyone has comfort reads – those books that you always enjoy and pull off the Keeper Shelf when you’re in the mood to read something you know is going to be good – and some of us have comfort authors, too.  For me, Lynn Kurland is a comfort author – lots of authors write romance novels but Ms. Kurland writes romantic novels.   So if she has a new book, I know odds are practically 100% that I will enjoy it.  I mean, how can you go wrong with knights, castles, sword fights, and cell phones?

Now, if you’ve never read one of Ms. Kurland’s books, you may be saying “Hold up!  Cell phones??  One of these things is not like the others, C.”  Calm yourself, faithful reader.  Most of Ms. Kurland’s books have a time travel element so those things do go together, I swear.  And she doesn’t just drop time travel into her books to get her characters where they need to be for the story – the time travel and fall out connected to moving through centuries not their own and how the characters deal with it all are an important part of the story too.  So there isn’t a lot of “Oh look!  Here I am in a century with no indoor plumbing, no real medical care and no chocolate – wheeeeeeeeeee!  I fit in perfectly!  I think I’ll stay forever and be blissfully happy!” Because, for crying out loud, that so would not be the reaction most people have.  Jeez.

Onward!

John de Piaget recently purchased a garage in a small village.  He enjoys working on his own cars and has someone else to work on everyone else’s.   It’s a good investment and should allow him to live quietly, as is his preference.  The last thing John expects is to meet (and be instantly attracted to) a lovely woman who, apparently, is struck dumb at the sight of him.  Still, he has no interest in starting up a relationship with anyone…he has too many secrets.

Tess Alexander is a scholar – her specialty is medieval political thought – and has recently been given a castle.  The former owner decided to retire to France and wanted to leave it in good, appreciative hands. Tess has events there – dinners, re-enactments and whatnot – and still gives the occasional lecture at Cambridge.  At the beginning of One Magic Moment, Tess is in a bad place.  She is dealing with the loss of her sister Pippa – whose story you can read in One Enchanted Evening – and struggling to wrap her brain around the idea that her sister is now living in the medieval version of the very same castle Tess now runs in the 21st century.  So imagine her reaction when she takes her car to the local garage and comes face to face with a man who looks exactly like her 13th century brother-in-law.  And certainly, no matter how attracted she is, Tess already knows how it feels to lose a loved one to another century, so she isn’t interested in a relationship with John either.

Fate, however, has other plans.  Tess and John are thrown together again and again.  And you can’t fight Fate, right?  But both have secrets and neither wants to start the discussion that would reveal those secrets…so Fate (with a little help) gives them a push.  Literally. And Tess and John find themselves in the 13th century, being stalked by an unseen enemy.  Of course, John knows people and knows how things work in the 1200s, so they are able to find their way to the castle of his brother Nicholas (love him!) and the awkward Secrets Discussion happens, finally.

Seeing John in his own time and surrounded by family, Tess cannot imagine that he would ever want to return with her to the 21st century. Even though he says he wants to.  But John sets out to convince her his feelings are real and watching a medieval lord start up the determined woo-age is nothing but fun.  He is so sweet and clueless.  And Nicholas is such a determined chaperon – and annoyance to his younger brother, which is the main goal.

Eventually most of the family gathers together because John’s grandmother is ill.  It is always a joy to see previous couples pop up – so much love and so many children!  But Fate isn’t finished with them yet and their enemy finally makes his move.  Will they get their happy ending?  Oh, faithful reader, would I even be talking about it if they didn’t?

Admittedly, the villain of the piece doesn’t get a lot of page time. And really that part of the plot is mostly manufactured to get them back in time.  It is resolved quickly with a little swordplay.  And it does explain some things that happen earlier in the book.  Tess is often sad, but it is understandable to the reader why so it isn’t too annoying.

So, does this book stand alone?  No.  But you don’t have to read all of the series to be up to speed.  I would suggest reading Nicholas and Jennifer’s book and Montgomery and Pippa’s book first – especially Montgomery and Pippa’s.  Also, if you are looking for a book with sexytimes on every third page, this is not the book for you. However, if you are looking for a sweet, romantic read with medieval folks who know a bit more about the future than they strictly should (and with a lot of sword fights), this series is definitely for you.

Lynn Kurland has a distinctive voice.  Her books are filled with whimsy and gentle humor and have their own touch of stardust.  Her books don’t work for everyone, but if you are at all on the fence, I definitely recommend trying one.  She might become a comfort read for you too.

CSquareds C2 Icon Grade: A-

Summary:

THERE’S NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT…

Tess Alexander has it all: family within reach, work she loves, and the chance to live in a perfectly restored medieval castle.  But then a trip to the village brings her face-to-face with the owner of the local garage, who looks a great deal like the man who married her sister…eight hundred years in the past.  She’s determined to remain objective about magic and destiny, yet she can’t help but wonder about that mysterious, sword-wielding mechanic…

IF YOU’RE RUNNING FROM THE PAST.

As far as John de Piaget is concerned, he has no past; it’s safer that way.  The last thing he needs is the nosy medieval studies scholar from the nearby castle dredging up ancient history – his ancient history.  But from the moment he lays eyes on Tess, John can’t help but wonder how he ever took a decent breath without her…or how he’s going to protect her from the treachery that threatens both their futures.

Sadly there is no excerpt available. O_o

Closely connected books:
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Other directly connected books:
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Other loosely connected books:
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The rest of the series:
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For reading order info, click here.

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