Book Review: Lynn Kurland’s Roses in Moonlight

Posted July 10, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Lynn Kurland’s Roses in Moonlight

Roses in Moonlight


Lynn Kurland

It is part of the MacLeod #13, series and is a paranormal romance, time travel that was published by Penguin on April 30, 2013 and has 368 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Love Came Just in Time, Tapestry, Stardust of Yesterday, One Enchanted Evening, One Magic Moment, From This Moment On, Spellweaver, Gift of Magic, All For You, Dreams of Lilacs, Ever My Love

Thirteenth in the MacLeod Family romantic paranormal time-travel series. The couple focus is on Samantha Drummond and Derrick Cameron.

My Take

WTF?? Can Samantha be any more of a dipwad? She’s twenty-six-years-old and works for room-and-board from her mother. That’s right. No salary. And intense pressure from her tyrant of a mother to remain at home. Her mother still monitors what she reads, for god’s sake. Uh-huh. Supposedly Sam is an intelligent person. Her father ignores her, and her brother takes advantage of her. I couldn’t believe he actually charged her a fee for exchanging some dollars for pounds! Maybe it was a fee for his not telling mommy her baby girl has some extra dollars. Kurland keeps mentioning, here and there, that Gavin likes his sister. You couldn’t prove it be his actions in this story.

Her parents actually email her and order her home when her brother splits on her and tells them that (at 26) she’s without supervision…

Definitely do NOT read this one without having read some of the earlier stories so you’ll at least remember the matchmaking ghosts as Kurland isn’t fashed about informing you about this or Ambrose MacLeod’s plans.

For all the fuss that Kurland makes of the disgusting Dory, there’s nothing at the end. No comeuppance, no upraised finger, and it was very disappointing.

Derrick’s basic profession isn’t explained very well either. In fact, I got the impression that Kurland was in a rush to crank this out and get it to the publisher. It’s just too full of a rush-rush-rush feel with a hurry-up-and-write-the-next-chapter. Eventually we do learn quite a bit about the recovery side of the biz with all the high tech toys and the skills his men have. Hmmm, maybe that’s why I gave it a “3”…’cause I’m so gadget-happy…

Thank god, Samantha finally starts to find some backbone; she also finds that her theatre background (acquired from catering to her father) comes in handy as well.

How does Derrick discover the Cookes’ involvement in the first place? Why does Samantha jettison the booty the way she does? The whole routine where Derrick kidnaps her, accuses her, and then hauls her off to the Ritz is unbelievable and contributes to the the feeling that this was a rush job.

Samantha backing off simply because Derrick was mad about some “damn Yank” didn’t wash with me.

Oh, too funny! I loved that Kurland includes the clothing realities of Elizabethan England. And planning a SEALS-type rescue in the same time period…oh, boy, LOL. I do love how Derrick is gonna have to finish off this renaissance rescue!

Romantic time-travel requires a certain suspension of belief, and for the most part, Kurland achieves this with her earlier stories. Her lack of attention in Roses in Moonlight leaves me empty and annoyed. It’s a cute rough draft that Kurland needed to take some time to finesse. Too bad she didn’t.

The Story

Samantha’s finally escaped her parents! A summer spent house-sitting for friends of her brother’s. In England, no less. But it gets snarled up when Mrs. Cooke asks Samantha to deliver a bit of embroidery for her.

It’s chases galore and trips to Elizabethan England to escape, hide, recover, and rescue stolen goods and falsely accused actors. After all, the Drummond family line needs to go on…at least long enough for Samantha to be born!

It’s also an opportunity for Samantha to become her own person, to pursue what she wants in her life. Derrick Cameron is just the man to help her find that freedom.

The Characters

Samantha Drummond is a wimp with a degree in late-sixteenth and early-seventeenth century handwork and still lives at home with mummy and daddy. It’s so bad that when they go on a trip, she gets a cot in their hotel room, and her mother picks out her clothes. Gavin is the brother who left home as quickly as possible and moved to England, getting hired on with a gallery. Louise McKinnon Drummond, her mother, specializes in Victoriana and absolute control of everyone; her father, Richard Drummond, is an actor “who thinks he’s the second coming of Sir Laurence Olivier”. Granny Mary is Samantha’s great-aunt and has been encouraging Samantha to make a break for it for years; seems she has been engaging in all sorts of travel.

Derrick Cameron seems to be a second cousin or so (he’s the grandson of Alistair Cameron’s valet and cousin, yeah, right…) to Lord Robert for whom he’s been working the last eight years and a year ago was given Cameron Antiquities, Ltd., a firm which searches for rare items. His brother, Connor, is more of a prick than Gavin and less of an actor.

The men who work for Derrick include Oliver Phillips, who can pick any lock; Rufus can drive anything; Peter Wright is brilliant on a computer; and, Ewan Cameron, a cousin, is charming. Emily is a distant cousin (she’s Madame Gies’, the Cameron cook’s, granddaughter) and works for Derrick, I think, as an assistant, who takes up Sam’s cause. Why she does, I have no idea.

Lord Robert Cameron of the clan Cameron is married to Sunshine, who is a healer (see With Every Breath, 11), and they have an infant son, Breac. Derrick goes off on time jaunts with James MacLeod (A Dance Through Time, 1).

Lord Epworth is missing a valuable piece of Elizabethan lace. Again. Edmund and Lydia Cooke have hired Samantha to house-sit their home based on Gavin’s recommendation while they perform onstage in Stratford. Edmund was the director who dropped Derrick. Theodore “Dory” Alexander Mollineux IV is the son of a wealthy family who doles out an allowance to him. He’s cheap, self-centered, and incredibly clueless. He’s also been set to spy on Samantha.

The 1602 Elizabethan contingent
Thomas Mauntell has a home in London where the time-travelers can stay. Lord Walter Cooke is on edge; his son, Francis, is a putz.

The ghosts
Ambrose MacLeod is the laird of the sixteenth century clan MacLeod, and he keeps a firm hold on the reigns with his co-conspirators: Hugh McKinnon, laird of the clan McKinnon; Fulbert, who’s currently helping the latest Earl of Artane, Stephen; and, Sir Richard Drummond, a sixteenth-century Shakespearean actor, who is in the Tower.

The Cover and Title

The cover is very romantic with a stone arch covered in pink roses and view further into a lovely English garden at twilight.

The title is a remembrance of Roses in Moonlight when Sam and Derrick took a walk in Sunny’s garden.