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Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Amethyst Amulets by Cillian Burns

The Amethyst Amulets by Cillian Burns
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical, Paranormal (Time Travel)
Length: Full (387 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Camellia

Julie Summers, a teacher of medieval history, acquires a knight in shining armor, but not in her own time. When a magical amulet whisks her to thirteenth century England, she finds herself the pretend wife of a handsome baron. At first, she demands to be returned to her own century, but as time passes, she begins to fall deeply in love with him. Will she give up her twenty-first century life to remain in the past with Nicholas?

Baron Nicholas de Montclair thinks he needs help protecting his son from his evil brother-in-law. But when he brings Julie back to his time, he finds it’s a year earlier than he left and there’s no child to protect. He and Julie are forced to overcome sieges, abductions and pregnancy with the aid of the amethyst amulets. Then Julie is forced to return to the future. Has he lost forever the woman he’s come to love?

Julie Summers finds out that amethyst mounted in silver is magically powerful in the hands of the right individual. Julie wants a man she can look up to and respect. She wants her knight in shining armor, but in her sedate world of teaching, keeping books, and helping a friend with the Medieval Society, there is little hope of his appearing—that is until the amethyst amulet works its magic.

Julie and Lord Nicholas de Monclair, with a little help from Lily and her white magic, make The Amethyst Amulets bubble with intense emotions, suspense, and intrigues. However, the not-to-be-denied love of soul mates is the ingredient that grabs the attention as it involves two people whose “real” lives are 700 years apart.

Cillian Burns slips us from the 21st century to the 13th century with Julie and Nicholas. There we vicariously experience Julie’s culture shock as she copes with no plumbing, no electricity, and no supermarkets, etc. and more importantly the restrictive status of women. Even though she is a 13th century scholar, she struggles to stay true to herself and stay out of trouble.

Unsure of the capriciousness of the supernatural force that brought them together, Julie and Nicholas, even though they feel they are soul mates, deny themselves the joy of making love for a time. However, their need for each other overrides all else and they become lovers. With his “finest efforts”, Nicholas makes love with Julie—vows to his dead wife evaporate. But fear and guilt drive Nicolas to a vow of celibacy leaving Julie in despair.

Crushed, Julie immerses herself into Barstow Castle life, using as much of her 21st century knowledge as she can to teach the women self-defense, to help modernize housekeeping methods, and to improve hygiene habits.

The secondary characters create an undercurrent of danger as Nicholas’ brother-in-law and one-time friend, Miles, plots to kill Nicholas and take control of all Nicholas’ holdings. Hate and greed fuel Miles’ innate streak of cruelty. He proves to be a powerful adversary that tests the mettle of both Nicholas and Julie.

Cillian Burns makes The Amethyst Amulets truly believable as she weaves the subtle threads of Lily’s magic into this historical, time-travel love story. This magic proves strong and true in the chaotic climax that leads to deliciously satisfying solutions for Nicholas and Julie’s need to bridge a 700-year wrinkle in time.