Pros: Fun characters; plenty of devious goings-on; enjoyable romance
Cons: Too much crying; stretches suspension of disbelief
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Seeing as I’m up at 3 am with a cold, I’ll allow myself a shortcut and, instead of relating the premise of Lynn Kurland’s With Every Breath in my own words, I’ll quote the text from her website:
Sunshine Phillips’ heart lies in Scotland, a land of rain, legend, and dangerously handsome Highland lords. She longs to call the magical place home, but after a day which includes such delights as blackening the eye of her lecherous boss and changing a flat tire in a chilly spring deluge, she’ll settle for an evening spent curled up in front of a fire with a cup of tea. But what Sunny wants is not what Sunny gets…
When Robert Cameron pounds on Sunny’s door, he isn’t paying a social call. With one brother killed in battle and another fighting for his life, the medieval laird has braved a trip onto enemy soil to fetch the MacLeod witch, a crone rumored to have healing powers. But the woman who opens her door to him is enchanting and young—and not from his century.
Now, it seems that they’ve both found just what they need—if only time will let them keep it.
It became immediately obvious as I read With Every Breath that I’d stepped into the middle of a series of books all set in the same world. This one does stand alone, but I have a feeling it’s a tad easier to suspend disbelief on all the goings-on, not to mention keep track of all the related people, if you’ve followed things one book at a time. It seems that there are quite a number of ‘time gates’ in a certain area of the Scottish Highlands, and that it’s common for folk there to slip through and find themselves in another time. It seems it’s also common for those folk to end up happily married back in the modern world when all is said and done.
Having read both this and Veronica Wolff’s Sword of the Highlands, I have to say that I had no idea that combining time travel, romance, and the Scottish Highlands was such a popular mini-genre. But hey, suspension of disbelief is fun, so that’s good. The only problem I had with it in this case was that so many related people seem to have ended up time traveling around or near each other that it beggared any idea of coincidence or happenstance, and yet there was no real hint at anything else being behind the sweeping immigration of studly Highland lords (and at least one lady) into the present. The proximity of the gates alone didn’t seem to adequately account for it.
That said, it’s still a fun plot and definitely provides plenty of enjoyable situations to play with, both of the modern day person in history variety and vice versa. And thanks to some of that time-mixing wild variety, the plot certainly kept up an entertaining pace. I’ll avoid spoiling anything for you, but there are plenty of dangers and hijinks beyond the initial old Scottish battles Sunny finds herself drawn into.
The characters are enjoyable and have fun chemistry. My one complaint is that for a woman who declares herself not to be of the weepy sort, Sunny spends a lot of time crying. While it’s true she has a fair amount of reason to do so, it got to be a bit much. I also had trouble buying into the idea that Sunny was in her 30s and as sexually inexperienced as she was, particularly given how beautiful she was described as being; the reasons given didn’t seem adequate.
FYI, while this is a romance and it does allude to or skirt around a couple of sex scenes, it’s very… discreet about them. There’s no graphic sex in here.
In all this was definitely a fun book and I’d enjoy reading about more of this lot’s adventures, but I wouldn’t put it on my ‘best of 2008’ list.