The More I See You
by Lynn Kurland, historical/time-travel (1999)
Berkley, $6.99, ISBN 0-425-17107-8


Jessica Blakely is a lady after my own heart. No one interrupts her during a session of divine Bruckner and heaven have mercy on the lout who steals her yummy snacks. Her blind date, smarmy, barney Archibald Stafford III, who has invited her along to a fancy-dress party in England, does just that, and with the grace of a pregnant yak to boot. Poor Jessica. She wishes upon a star that just for once, let there be a man who loves her as much as he loves himself. One in touch with his gentle - dare I say feminine? - side and loves little kiddies.

Nah, that's probably a little too much to ask, Jess decides, and turns away from the medieval castle she is exploring. Only to be captured by this callous, nasty, ill-mannered idiot in a knight costume, and be accused as a horse thief! When this idiot's brother tries to rape her and the idiot (whose name is Richard of Burwyck-on-the-Sea by the way) saves her, Jess realizes that this is not exactly a grand reenactment scene at the party. Somehow she's transported to 1260 England.

Well, obviously the poor woman isn't ecstatic. She misses music, she wants chocolates, and she definitely doesn't want Richard. Right?

Richard kicks his rapist, no-good brother off the place and takes to rebuilding his holdings. Jess, who knows some decent architectural stuff, offers to help him plan his place. Richard isn't so sure - she's a woman, after all - but she's out to prove him wrong. A 13th century male chauvinist pig is no match for a 21st century enlightened woman!

Actually Richard is a match for Jess, and soon they are both sharing hot, hot, hot kisses in between trying to adjust to each other's presence.

One of the best thing about this romance is the wonderful relationship between Richard and Jess. Richard is a poor man with a horrible childhood, but he is not too dim to accept love and return it. How many heroes do you know actually weep in joy when his wife safely gives birth to his firstborn? Or a man sobbing when he realized Jess has returned to the future and hence out of his life probably permanently? Richard is a little bit on the thick side at times, but hey, he's a 13th century man. We enlightened women sometimes have to make allowances and give them time to conform to our ways. Ahem.

Likewise, the book bounces with fun, fun, fun. The humor is simply delightful - I have a grand time laughing my way as well as giving a sigh or two at some very well-done emotional scenes. And I must say this book has a realistic heroine who just doesn't give up everything for her lover and stay in a land without modern plumbing. No, Jess isn't above cheating a little, but I'm not telling how! This book also deals with the reactions of loved ones Jess leaves behind - in this case, her mother - an aspect conveniently ignored in many time travels.

And there are many fun characters besides Richard and Jess. I'm aghast when dear Kendrick dies out of the blue, then I realized Kendrick has his own story in Stardust Of Yesterday. Excuse me while I dash off to the bookstore.

This book is grand fun, and it leaves me with a great, light, warm feeling. If this book sets out to entertain me, it does just that, and marvelously well too.

Rating: 87


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