Customer Review

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely story but a bit disappointing, May 12, 2009
This review is from: Till There Was You (Mass Market Paperback)
I love Lynn Kurland's writing style- the humor, the local color, drama, and of course, the romance. I have not found an author even near her in terms of being a quality, entertaining closed door romance author. She writes with such color and flavor that the scenery and characters easily come alive. I love how she is able to keep things straight in her mind- that she can reintroduce old characters into new stories (because they'd be around in that time). And she definitely creates swoon-worthy heroes... *sigh* For a single gal, these are great stories to live vicariously through- though it does set pretty high standards for any prospects...

But Til There Was You didn't have all the magic and spark that I've come to expect from her books. The story was formulaic. Zachary is an architect who is tired of getting beaten down (or pushed down stairs) for things that aren't his fault or are out of his control. He's decided to work for Gideon and Cameron restoring castles for their historical trust. He goes to visit Gideon at modern-day Artane, goes through the solar door and into medieval England. There he meets many prior LK characters. But his eye is on Mary de Piaget. Mary is trying to avoid betrothal to a knight who appears to be a perfect speciman but really isn't. Zachary knows the rules of time-travel, not to meddle with the fabric of past events and effect the future. But he falls helplessly for Mary, can he really leave her behind? For those who have read Stardust of Yesterday (for the brief mention of Mary), you should have a pretty good idea of what's to come.

The beginning of the story and even the characters of Mary and Zachary are too reminiscent of Jake and Amanda and their story. So the plot feels too predictable. There was no real climax. The villains were too easily dismissed. I never felt the surge or frantic anticipation for a happy conclusion. I just knew from the beginning how things were going to go and nothing was really a surprise. And I'm feeling bored with the whole time-travel bit. It just feels too routine now. I have the formula down pat, about how things work and I know ahead of time who's going to have to live where. It takes away too much of the enjoyment of reading when I know what's going to happen. I want to be thrown for a loop!! With Every Breath was almost too formulaic but then there was a twist so I got my surprise. But here there wasn't anything that upped the suspense. It was too much of an even-keeled ride. (I'm hoping LK's next book is strictly a historical or more modern-day romance than involving any time-travel...)

Now don't get me wrong. It's still a lovely story. I enjoyed the characters, especially the supporting cast. I loved having old friends re-enter the story (Kendrick, Robin, Patrick and Jamie). And I liked seeing the next generation, in their children. (It shows that LK has plenty of more characters to write about...) But even that is a bit much. There's a lot of people roaming about in this story and this is definitely not the book to jump into if you've never read LK before. (Plus it's not one of her best stories so I would definitely recommend beginning with Robin's or Kendrick's books before tackling this one.)

I guess I've just come to expect such great things from this wonderful author that this offering is a bit below par for her. But even with the disappointment, Ms. Kurland has achieved a worthy goal. I want to go back and re-read some of the other stories. And even with re-readings, the stories are still delightful. This one will be too... eventually. It's hard especially since we only get a book a year. There's too much waiting and time to imagine the possibilities.

For more on:
Robin- If I Had You
Kendrick- Stardust of Yesterday
Jake and Amanda- Dreams of Stardust
Sunny and Cam- With Every Breath
Madelyn and Patrick- Garden in the Rain
Isabelle's story is to come!
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