Imagine a bookshelf stocked with historical romances, both paranormal and not, time travels, a family saga or two, full length novels, novellas, ghost stories, fantasies, and a dash of straight contemporary romance. That’s a lovely smorgasbord of romance right there, pleasing most every palate. One might reasonably suspect that such a shelf would also hold works by a variety of authors, but not in this case. This time, the entire shelf would be comprised of the works of only one multitalented author, the fabulous Lynn Kurland.
Her first published novel, Stardust of Yesterday, came out as part of Jove’s sadly defunct Haunting Hearts imprint of ghostly romance, and introduced readers to modern day heroine Genevieve Buchanan, who inherits not only a crumbling thirteenth century castle, but its original owner, ghostly knight Kendrick de Piaget, who can never rest until the castle is once again rightly his. Genevieve and Kendrick have a rocky road to happily ever after, complicated by the little matter of her being a flesh and blood female with some reservations about physical intimacy, while Kendrick, though in spirit form for most of the book, has the usual manly urges. Even when physical touch is possible for both Genevieve and Kendrick, it’s the emotions where the heart of the romance lie, and Kurland is a mistress of her craft.
Crafty of her as well, and very fitting, that her first published novel is also the eleventh entry in the (often) time traveling and sometimes ghostly de Piaget saga, which twines with the also (often) time traveling MacLeods. Readers first meet the MacLeods in A Dance Through Time, part of Jove’s Time Passages imprint of time travel romances. Modern day romance writer, Elizabeth Smith takes a nap on a park bench and wakes to the man of her literal dreams, fourteenth century Highlander, James MacLeod (and his equally intriguing brothers.) It’s soon apparent that Elizabeth isn’t dreaming, but has actually traveled to her favorite time and place for historical romance, but can she trust James as her very own hero? James reacts to this strange woman as would a man of his time, but the two soon find they have more in common than they think, and a strong bond of love grows between them.
From here, the MacLeods and de Piagets mix and mingle in the modern and historical worlds as well as the great beyond, providing something for lovers of contemporary, historical and paranormal romance. Kurland’s lyrical style shows the influence of her musical background (she plays multiple instruments and sings) and are a perfect choice to initiate young or conservative romance readers, as Kurland keeps the bedroom door artfully closed without missing a romantic beat. It is, in fact, one of those closed doors, that provides one of the most emotional moments of her body of work. In the first de Piaget book, Another Chance to Dream, when Rhys, a knight made man-at-arms to his soulmate, Gwennelyn, must stand outside the bridal chamber as his charge and her husband begin their marriage. It seems insurmountable for Rhys and Gwen to break free from the constraints life and honor have put upon them, but when they do, the promise of love that began in their childhood—when Rhys rescued Gwen from a pigsty—grows into full flower.
Fantasy fans may want to begin Kurland’s Nine Kingdoms series with Star of the Morning, where mercenary-turned-messenger heroine, Morgan, embarks on a quest to return a special sword to its rightful owner. Along with the rest of her companions, there’s the easygoing Miach, who makes the journey more pleasant. Though Morgan doesn’t trust magic, an area where Miach may know a thing or two, there’s something dark seeping into their world, and it’s going to take more than brains and brawn alone to set things right.
Be they set in the past, present, some other time, or all of the above, Lynn Kurland novels deliver lovely fairy tale romance and adventure with emotional depth, appropriate for teens and adults alike.
Anna C. Bowling considers writing historical romance the best way to travel through time and make the voices in her head pay rent. She welcomes visitors to her blog, Typing with Wet Nails and to follow her at Twitter.