Tuesday, April 11, 2017

ARC Review: Ever My Love by Lynn Kurland

Series:     Macleod #10
Pub. Date:Apr. 4, 2017
Publisher:Berkley Jove
Length:336 pages

As a fan of time travel stories, particularly Scottish historicals, I have been wanting to try Lynn Kurland for quite a while. I have actually been stockpiling her MacLeod/De Piaget books, but just haven't found time to fit them onto my reading calendar.  When I saw this new release available, I decided that I would jump in here - even though its the 10th book in the series - and hope that it worked okay as a standalone.

If you have not read the earlier Macleod/De Piaget books (like me), I would recommend that you go back and read those first before starting Ever My Love. There is a lot of character crossover and I felt a bit lost as I was reading this one, and often had the sense that I was missing something. While this story didn't work as a standalone for me... the Scottish setting did make me want to go back and read the earlier books. Kurland's love of Scotland comes across in her writing and really make me want to visit (and find a Highlander of my own). 

Emma Barton has escaped to Scotland following a failed business and personal relationship. She seems to want to be lost for a while, and have time to herself to lick her wounds and decide where her life will go next. It doesn't seem that she chose Scotland or the village of Benmore at random, as she has some connection to one of the MacLeod wives, which wasn't fully explained. I suspect readers of the prior books would know the answer, but I was feeling left out. Emma doesn't quite know what of her handsome, reclusive and rich neighbor... particularly when she suspects she caught him in medieval garb in the midst of a battle. She can't quite decide if she is losing her mind or if the rumors of Highland magic are true.

Nathaniel MacLeod has been struggling with a double life for the past 5 years... trying to balance his present world reality with his inexplicable pull to Medieval Scotland. His odd and unpredictable life don't leave much room for romance, but he isn't interested in the swarms of fortune hunting women who come searching in his woods. Fate seems to have other ideas with Benmore's newest visitor from Seattle, and Nathaniel seems to be encountering her at every turn. I really liked Nathaniel... and had more of an emotional connection to him than Emma. The turmoil he felt over the past and present came across clearly, and I liked his self-deprecating humor and humility.

This was a clean romance without any steam or sexual tension. I don't mind the lack of heat, but I was missing the chemistry between Emma and Nat. I didn't feel a great pull or grand passion between them, and they seemed more friends or acquaintances than romantic interests. Their dialogue was stilted sometimes, and I felt like I was missing innuendo or other aspects of the conversation that were vital to the story. 

While this is a time travel story, the majority of events take place in modern day Scotland. The majestic setting and Highland magic aspect were my favorite part of the story. I also enjoyed Nat and Emma standing up to his grandfather and her father... and dealing with Emma's annoying ex, Sheldon. I definitely want to know the story of so many of the secondary characters we met, so I need to get to the other Kurland books before long. 

I recommend this book to fans of Scotland and time travel romance in general. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received from the publisher, Berkley.