by Lynn Kurland, Madeline Hunter, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Karen Marie Moning

September 2002
ISBN: 0-515-13362-0
Reviewer Graphic Button Jove Books
Mass Market Paperback

I must confess to a decided lack in my romance novel collection – I don’t have a large number of medievals. Some I have read have treated me to history lessons more than romances, and if faced with a choice I would probably select a contemporary over a medieval in the bookstore. That is, until I read this book.

Four delightful tales, four talented writers... four chances for me to learn that medievals can be fun!! “To Kiss In the Shadows” by Lynn Kurland starts off this quartet, and in a very unusual plot twist, the heroine is not your run-of-the-mill medieval beauty. Her loveliness lies within, and it takes an unusual hero to discover it. Jason of Artane is such a man, but he has to use all the skills at his disposal to make sure that this mysterious woman hiding behind her tapestry work becomes his.

Madeline Hunter offers two people who are separated by circumstances yet joined by passion. Giselle is on the verge of ruin, brought low by her brother’s foolhardy stupidity. Andreas is a trader whose fortunes are on the rise, and he is within striking distance of his goals. All he has to do is wed the daughter of another trader to unite their companies into the largest around. But what should he do when his heart belongs to Giselle, and she’s offering him everything she has for his help? Even her favorite tapestry...

Sherrilyn Kenyon, whose stories I have always enjoyed, adds a dash of paranormal to the mix when she introduces us to a present-day medieval scholar who is doing her best to puzzle out the secrets behind an ancient tapestry. Obsessively, she studies it, yet its secrets elude her until the arrival of a devastatingly handsome stranger who seems to know a lot more about it than he should. Sensual and passionate, their love affair is truly “timeless”.

Rounding out this anthology is Karen Marie Moning’s “Into the Dreaming”. Fantastic in content, yet so seductively written, we are swept into the tale of a long ago Scot and how his bargain with a Faerie King results in a lifetime of passionate dreams for a present day woman. Linked by fantasy, bound by love, theirs is a wonderful tale of two hearts reunited in spite of the harsh dictates of the Faerie realm.

These tales were sweet, loving, amusing, exciting and passionate – all the things I love in romances! They did not lecture me about long-ago politics nor insist that I know each and every detail about the settings in which the characters lived. They simply asked that I extend my imagination to a long ago time and to the people who lived and loved there. This is a super book, and another recommendation for the anthology format. A chance to dip one’s reading toes into the puddle of a new genre and find out how refreshing it can be.

Reviewed in October 2002 by Celia.