Iolanthe MacLeod has waited centuries to be rescued from her half-life existence. She has been trapped in an abandoned castle on the English moors since her untimely death back in 1382 and she is sure she will be there forever. Thomas McKinnon is a modern-day American business tycoon who is jaded by the lack of love in his life. When he buys Iolanthe’s abandoned castle and travels to England to restore it, he is totally unprepared to find Iolanthe in residence. But he was even more unprepared to fall in love. Now Thomas is willing to go anywhere and do anything if it means he and Iolanthe might somehow be together.
Bubby: I have no fewer than 12 Lynn Kurland books on my shelves at this very moment. That should tell you something right off the bat. I’m not sure what it is about these books – the settings of lonely castles on Scottish or English coasts or moors, the spunky women who usually do not wait around to be rescued or the hunky renaissance-era, broadsword toting, chivalrous men. Perhaps it’s the overriding air of delicious romance. Who knows? At any rate, My Heart Stood Still embodies the best of Lynn Kurland. We’ve got ghosts. Time travel. True love. Castles and hunky men. I’m happy.
Sissy: I, being the lucky sister who has access to Bubby’s bookshelves, have also read a lot of these time-travel, paranormal romances by Lynn Kurland. They fit a specific reading mood for me, and I can always count on them to give me action, laughs, and a delicious love story. This one in particular has a fun twist with the time travel going in a different direction than usual. Also the hero is not a sweaty, foul-breathed dude from the 14th century who has to learn to wash himself regularly–always a plus for me.
Bubby: Nope. The hero, Thomas, is a thoroughly modern businessman with a broken heart. Irresistible! A recurring theme in Kurland’s books is a little bed and breakfast in England called the Boar’s Head Inn. It happens to be owned by Thomas’ sister, Megan. It also happens to be heavily populated with ghosts from Thomas and Megan’s ancestry. Some of them are English, some Scottish, there’s a random French guy in there and they don’t exactly get along. My favorite scenes are the interaction between the ghosts – duels in the kitchen, song and ale fests and so forth. They are just hilarious. These ghosts have decided to take the fate of their descendants into their own hands – matchmaking is their favorite activity (just after sword fighting).
Sissy: Love the tavern ghosts! They remind me of all my male relatives. I know why you love these books, Bubby, when you usually turn up your nose at historical romance. Our ancestry is English, Welsh, Scottish, and French, and you are having genetic remembrance–your very DNA is pulling you with longing to those damp and cloudy surroundings and begging you to have a cuppa. I would like to address this series as a whole, however. Actually there are two time-travel romance series’ by Kurland – the McLeod series and the de Piaget series. They often intersect. Lots of romance, time travel, broadsword slinging and throwing into dungeon pits. Most all of these are clean, but a very few push the line. I can’t say which ones as my brain is too moldery to remember. But mostly the whole collection is great. Bubby says I’m writing a novel here so I have to stop before she chokes on a hairball.
Bubby: A hairball? Really? Heavens. I would agree that the settings do appeal to me but what appeals even more, especially in My Heart Stood Still, is the willingness of these characters to go to any length for true love. Travel through time with no guarantee that you’ll end up in the right time? Fighting to the death with unfamiliar weapons? Leaving all that you know behind to live in the time of your beloved? Sure, no problem. True love conquers all. Now I do love my husband with every fiber of my being but if he wanted me to go live in 1385 with no running water or toilet facilities and no chocolate and no books and music on demand I might have an issue. Thankfully I don’t see that kind of test of our love happening anytime soon!
Sissy: Oh pshaw, Bubby, you’d jump right into the past to get your hubby, I just know it! Your teeth would all rot out and you’d get a communicable disease or two, but still! Toothless and scabby are worth it for true love, right? Nobody seems to be as in love with our ghostly heroine Iolanthe as they are with Thomas, but after so many centuries in a damp and decrepit semi-final resting place, she probably has developed a borderline personality disorder. She just needs some therapy and a few Xanax. I liked her. I liked the whole book.
Bubby: Great books for when you need a little romantic escape. It’s been a bit since I read one – methinks I might indulge a little this evening! I give My Heart Stood Still 3 ½ light and fluffy medieval bubbles. Did they even have bubble bath? Ah, who cares!
Sissy:I have a better idea for you, Bubby. Why don’t you buy Lynn Kurland’s latest book and then lend it to me? 3 ½ bubbles from me too.
Click HERE to buy My Heart Stood Still by Lynn Kurland
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