by Christine Holden

Septemeber 1998
ISBN: 0-515-12375-7
Reviewer Graphic Button Jove Books
Mass Market Paperback

Middlesborough, England, 1413. Ailith deCotmer is the only child of astrologer Galen. But their cruel liege, Lord Preston Claybourne, is smitten with Ailith's young beauty, and Galen believes that time travel is the only way she can escape his unwanted attention….

New Orleans, 1998. Joshua Claybourne Kenley, president of a medievalist club, literally bumps onto a young woman dressed in medieval clothing, but he knows she isn't a member of the club. It is Ailith, who realises by her shockingly unfamiliar surroundings that she has been catapulted through time.

Joshua doesn't believe for a moment that this beautiful stranger has travelled through time. But despite his practical nature, he cannot resist Ailith, who is both bewildered and delighted by the modern gadgets and her new way of life. As he rescues her from several hilarious mishaps, he falls deeply in love and the two plan a wedding. But Ailith wants her parents to join her in the present world, so she plans a trip back in time. She only hopes she'll be able to return to the present that she loves as much as Joshua….

This is Christine Holden's debut novel and it is brilliant.

I loved the humour she brought to this novel and the characters are delightful. Joshua is supposedly the image of his ancestor, Ailith's liege. Ailith had been half in love with Lord Preston and wanted to be his wife but couldn't, as he was already married. She didn't want to be his leman, which is the term used then for mistress. This was not to Ailith's liking so it was small wonder that she fell for Joshua so quickly.

There are many wonderful secondary characters in this book. Joshua's domineering mother Frances is such a wonderful character you can't help liking her! But the one that causes Ailith the most problems is Joshua's girlfriend Melissa. She certainly isn't likeable and you can't help wondering what Joshua sees in her.

The passion and sexual scenes in this book are great. Joshua and Ailith are terrific when they get together. Ailith's wonder and delight at the modern inventions are a joy to read. But her reaction to the wonderful foods she finds in the 20th century is completely hilarious! And her delight at modern expressions is wonderful. The inclusion of Joshua's friend Stephen is excellent as it creates some wonderful dialogue between Joshua and Stephen.

Joshua is a down to earth hero. Not a perfect hero for he has a quick temper and is often grumpy but loveable nevertheless. Ailith is much more sunny natured; she is petite and thus, brings out the protective side to Joshua.

Ms. Holden handles the differences in present day English and medieval English so well. The story is very good because it is written with a humorous thread; the obvious flaws in the way they time travel and how they manage to find their way back to the exact same spot doesn't matter. The period of history has been well researched - the contrast to the two lives that Ailith experiences is amazing.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and have no hesitation in giving it 5 stars as I was entertained so much by the story.

Reviewed in September 2001 by Mary.

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