All for You
Jove / $7.99 / Apr. 24, 2012
FALLING THROUGH TIME IS DANGEROUS…
Peaches Alexander is thrilled to receive an unexpected invitation to a weekend party given by the handsome, eligible Duke of Kenneworth. The only problem: Stephen de Piaget, a stuffy medieval studies scholar who seems determined to get in the way. Peaches has absolutely no desire to get involved with Stephen, until a quirk of Fate sends her hurtling through time…
UNLESS THERE’S SOMEONE TO CATCH YOU.
Stephen de Piaget has been leading a double life: respectable professor by day, knight-in-training during holidays and summer terms. When Peaches goes missing, Stephen knows he’s the only one who can rescue her from medieval peril. Little do they know that the greatest danger they’ll face won’t be the business end of a sword, but their own unruly hearts….
A fairytale, usually speaking, is all about finding one’s very own handsome prince. But it’s easy for people to hide secret bits of themselves behind a façade. Sometimes it’s the truest heart, sometimes it’s the hole where a heart should be. And it’s hard to tell the difference; society often does its best at setting up what it deems the handsome prince.
Facades. Secrets. Illusions. The handsome prince. And time travel. When an author such as Lynn Kurland creates a world where time travel is not only possible, but inevitable, the idea of setting façade against reality, of secrets against truths, of illusions against cold hard facts, takes on a whole different meaning.
Our hero and heroine of the story have met before, and are both related to a long list of family members who have, like Julia Quinn’s Bridgertons, experienced happily ever after. Our hero is shown as eminently practical, our heroine, practical also, but in her own way. Both of them, however, have impractical dreams of fairytales.
“And while she was wishing for the impossible, she decided she wanted the entire fairy tale.”
“(B)ut for the first time in seven years, she took her sensible mental shoes and chucked them out the window. She would wear dangerously high heels, blow some money on a decent dress, and indulge herself in the fairy tale for the weekend.”
“His parents thought, wrongly of course, that he’d put away those boyhood dreams of being a knight-errant. It was ridiculous, when one looked at it logically, for a man of his maturity and stature to be involved with sharp, pointy things.”
So we have a heroine wanting to be a fairy tale heroine, and a hero who’s greatest ambition is to be a knight. Amatch made in heaven! Except for one small problem.
“Because when he was in the same room with her, he found himself turned immediately into a gawky, tounge-tied sixteen year old who was so gobsmacked by the goddess within reach that he consistently and thoroughly made an idiot of himself at every turn.”
“And David was extremely good-looking, something she wasted no time in pointing out to herself. His blond hair had just the right number of highlights, his jacket stretched over just the right breadth of shoulders, his tall boots had just the right polish. Though he wasn’t exactly tall and muscular, he looked just the right amount of fabulous in his breeches. In fact, just about everything about him was just right.
Not like that dark brooding character standing over to the side, watching her from under his eyebrows and no doubt thinking critical thoughts about her.”
So, okay, two problems. We have a façade, or terror, to call it by a more accurate name, turning the hero into an idiot when he interacts with the heroine. And the heroine who is trying to make herself feel better about the situation by grabbing on to someone whose facade fits society’s version of the handsome prince. And then what?
Time travel. In this world, the inevitability of time travel makes for a situation where the contemporary characters find themselves drawn together in ways that the contemporary setting of the story doesn’t allow. Which means, quite bluntly, that the hero is able to play the chivalrous medieval knight he’s dreamed of being (and through circumstances created in Kurland’s earlier books trained for) and the heroine is able to see the hero as the ‘hero’ of her fairytale.
But this is only the beginning. Time travel is used to give the characters only a foundation of what’s to come. Our hero and heroine must unravel the secrets and facades that have separated them on their own.
Peaches almost wondered if he’d fallen asleep, but he looked at her at just the moment before she opened her mouth.
“You make me nervous.”
She blinked, wondering if she were dreaming. “What?”
“I have difficulties saying the right thing,” he said slowly. “To you.”
Our heroine doesn’t believe it, or more specifically, doesn’t understand what he means. That’s when she gets confirmation of this from her sister, an outside source, married to her very own medieval knight (the hero and heroine from One Magic Moment).
Peaches would have shoved her sister, but she’d given that up when she was five. She scowled at her instead. “Don’t push this where it doesn’t want to go. I’ve recently forgiven him for being a jerk—"
“He wasn’t a jerk, he was tongue tied.”
“Did he tell you that?”
“Peach, I’ve known Stephen dePiaget for almost eight years. The man is a verbal Niagara Falls. It’s almost impossible to shut the man up.”
“He hardly says anything to me.”
“That’s because you scare him.”
“Because he likes you.”
Now, the hero’s façade is gone, or, at least the heroine will look at the hero differently in the future…now she knows there is a façade involved. But there are still obstacles. Like the heroine’s preconceived notions. And after one real look at the man she’d set up as the handsome prince, they have no chance.
“David Preston? Are you kidding? The guy’s a total jerk. I never thought he was anything else.”…
“Are you in love with David Preston?”…
She hesitated , then sighed deeply. “I was initially flattered by the attention and thought that it might result in the whole fairy tale.” She shrugged, though he could tell she was feeling less than casual about the whole affair.”
When the impossible is an acknowledged reality, it’s harder to hide behind facades and illusions. Because, in the end, it’s easier to reach for the stars when you know they’re within your grasp. After all…
“And then you rescued me.”
“At least once,” he agreed. He bent his head and kissed her softly. “And I would do it again a thousand times.”
“Even to medieval England with all its trappings?”
“All its trappings,” he said seriously. “All of it, my love, all for you, as many times as required, and I would never count the cost.”
Because, when it all comes down to it, love is what matters in the end.
Stacey aka @nystacey