Just when I think that Lynn Kurland cannot possibly find another fresh story for her time-travel series, she surprises me. While I admit that it has been a while since I read the first book, Stardust of Yesterday, the last few books have really seemed to pack a more emotional punch. Her newest book, With Every Breath, is no exception. I was brought to tears at several points, and the lump in my throat did not vanish until the final page had been read.
Sunshine Phillips has always been a bit different. She went to medical school, but prefers to be an herbalist. She had a comfortable home in San Francisco, but has pulled up stakes to live in a small cottage in Scotland. She fell in love with the Highlands when her sister Madelyn married Patrick MacLeod and now she never wants to leave. She has spent some time learning local healing with Moraig MacLeod, and upon her death accepted the position of MacLeod “witch” to appease the local laird. This insures a free meal at the keep once a week, escorted by a handsome young man dressed in medieval garb to add a note of authenticity. The fact that her brother-in-law and his family actually are medieval highlanders is something else entirely. Sunny has seen enough evidence to be convinced that time-travel is possible, and keeps her own map of the portals handy whenever she ventures outside.
The laird of Clan Cameron is desperate. Ambushed by the Fergussons, he has already lost one brother, and the second lay gravely wounded. Without a healer of his own, his only hope is to implore the MacLeod witch to lend him aid. When he knocks upon her door expecting to see an old crone, he is stunned to find a beautiful woman instead. Her clothes are odd but he has no time to care. He needs her to accompany him to the Cameron stronghold or Breac will die.
The knock of her door was not Joshua as she expected, but a handsome warrior with a horse. Thinking that he is one of Jamie MacLeod’s retainers, she starts to leave with him. But something is not right. He is not headed in the right direction, and seems a bit too authentic. Refusing to go with him until he answers her questions, Sunny discovers that her handsome warrior was born in 1346 and that he is now taking her to 1375 Scotland. A dying man needs her aid, and she cannot turn away.
Some things in this world are absolute. Danger, treachery, and betrayal know no time. As Cam and Sunny discover, they exist in any century. Cameron’s clan has been sabotaged from within and he must use all of his wits and fighting skill to keep Sunny safe. He will even try to believe her tale of the future if going there will keep them both alive. Neither one expects what happens next.
With Every Breath will leave readers breathless. These characters burst from the pages to wring emotion from us as we are swept away by the exceptional plot. Familiar faces abound as characters from other books appear to lend aid to Sunny and Cam. I honestly could not put this book down until I reached Chapter 11, and then left it only grudgingly. Counting the hours until I could resume reading, I kept the world at bay until the final page had been turned, dried my streaming eyes and sat back, savoring the book I had just finished. Bravo Ms. Kurland!