Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “More whiskey. You’ll need it.”
In search of a fresh start, Emma Barton has traveled to Scotland to try to forget her rocky love life. Luckily, the gorgeous Highlander who owns the house up the path from her rental cottage might be exactly the kind of distraction she needs. But there’s more to his intriguing qualities than she can explain—and she certainly isn’t buying into the local legends of Highland magic.
Nathaniel MacLeod is a man adrift, all thanks to the unwanted gift that forces him to continually jump between centuries. He never knows if he’ll wind up in the present day or the fourteenth century, but when Emma follows him back through time, he suddenly has more to worry about than keeping his separate lives straight…
Someone has started to notice Nathaniel’s travels and now, no time period is safe, for him or for Emma. (Goodreads)
I have been a fan of Lynn Kurland for years. I picked her A Dance In Time on a whim and was instantly hooked. To this day it remains one of my favorite time travel romances and I often reread it. Kurland’s wonderful voice has created a fascinating and convoluted world drenched in medieval charm with delightful narrative, witty characters, and delightful storylines. She is perfect for those who enjoy adventurous romances with hints of mystery and suspense. Another bonus feature of the stories is the air of innocence in them. Even though I do enjoy an explicit love scene as much as the next reader, the love affairs Kurland’s characters embark upon are fun and fit the general theme of this series with plenty of courting and wooing tailored to fit the personality of the woo-ie. And frankly, who doesn’t enjoy a good wooing on occasion? The physical love scenes are almost non-existence yet I don’t feel the reader or story suffers due to those blackouts.
Ever My Love opens in the past to give us a hint of the adventure we are about to embark on. We then flash forward to the present to lay the foundation and from there proceed to travel back and forth between the 21st and the 14th century for the rest of the story. This particular story deals with two modern-day characters who are new to the series-Emma Barton and Nathaniel MacLeod. Kurland uses this couple to explain some peculiarities in the MacLeod family tree and to also close a couple of open-ended storylines from previous books. Remember ‘Father John’ from My Heart Stood Still? Well, he has a connection to the hero and we learn exactly how he ended up in the 14th century and why he’s never left.
Ever My Love is more definitely more energetic than the last few books though the sense of anticipation and wonderment that first drew me to this series remains missing. The same smooth pacing and steady hand is apparent but there was a time when Kurland took more chances. She made her couples work for their happily ever after and they suffered their fair share of bumps and bruises along the way. The heavy inclusion of the previous heroes/heroines now guarantees our couple will get all the answers and help they need with no real sacrifices being made.
Nathaniel (Nat) and Emmaline (Emma) are well developed characters and fun to follow behind on their journeys. Both are intelligent, witty, likable, unfailing optimists whose ability to handle the unknown is admirable. Especially poor Nat who has learned the hard way of his family’s pensity for time travel when he finds himself randomly tossed back into the 14th century anytime a certain number pops up. A number he soon learns has a very interesting history. Both of them have secrets that they are protective and cautious about revealing. I found it amusing but slow going as they each circle around the same subject, trying to determine what the other knows and how to broach it. The middle section of this book drags at times with its chatty narrative and repetitive thoughts and deeds.
The romance is slow burning with a soft but tangible chemistry. This couple doesn’t jump into love or even lust. There is a lot happening to them with Nat’s family and his time hopping issues. Emma has her own problems with her family and an irritating ex-boyfriend. I will admit the whole ex-boyfriend plotline reminded me of A Garden in the Rain. Lucky or maybe not this story isn’t as dark as that one was When Emma gets dragged into his mess, Nat finds himself at a loss on how to protect Emma. Emma does eventually surprise him with her own ninja skills though only after she has a realistic and well-earned meltdown.
Jamie, Patrick, Ian, Maddie MacLeod and various other relatives all come out of the woodwork to offer advice, a helping hand, some weaponry training, and a clue or few. They add to the overall personality and humor of the story. As any fan of this series knows, Jamie is a terrible busybody and his brother Patrick proves to be no better.
The main conflict is pretty standard fare for this series as Nat and Emma hop through time, following and rescuing one another while trying to figure out what their connection to one another is and the reasons for the time loop. The ending is enjoyable with a bit of action and suspense as the story comes full circle and all our questions are answered.
Ever My Love is an entertaining read that shows a spark of the ambition this series has been missing, giving readers a humorous and lightweight romance with plenty of supernatural adventure.