The third book in the De Piaget series, published in 2005.
Jake Kilchurn travels the world to unearth exquisite stones for this one-of-a-kind creations, but it is during an unexpected side trip to Seakirk castle that he meets a cadre of ghosts discussing a timeless beauty who lived centuries ago.
Amanda de Piaget is busy doing what she does best – fending off suitors – when she stumbles on a different kind of man. He is unconscious, dirty, and oddly clad. But unlike the other men who find themselves at Artane, Jake knows nothing about her – and Amanda finds herself strangely drawn to him.
Time has brought them together to the safety of its walls, but only time will tell if they’ll escape those who would try to tear them apart…
Jake Kilchurn is on the road for some business for his father, when his oldtimer Jaguar can’t take the bad weather anymore. He gets shelter in Seakirk Castle, where he is entertained by the butler, and a bunch of ghosts. He hears about the legend of Artane, the castle he is going to visit, and the beautiful women who once lived there.
The next day, he is off on his business, still not quite believing what happened at Seakirk, when his car gets in a spin, and a blinding light flings him out of his car .. and back in time. 800 years back in time, where he gets to meet the most beautiful woman ever, and her little brothers. He falls in love with Amanda instantly, but as a merchant, there is no way he will be allowed to wed her. So her brothers, who like him, start training him in the knightly skills. And so Jake spends his days in the lists, training with a sword, and horseback riding and such, and in the evenings among the few members of the family left behind, mostly playing chess.
The only one who can beat him is Amanda. First there are only the youngest two brothers, John and Montgomery, but soon Miles arrives, just in time to send of one of Amanda’s more persistent suitors. He too takes a liking to Jake. But then Nicholas comes home, and he hates his guts on sight. So Jake has a difficult hurdle to overcome. But he is determined to succeed, to go back to the future to sell his company, and come back bearing enough gold and the jewels he designed, to buy a title and a castle, so he can be an accepted suitor.
Even Amanda’s oldest brother, Robin, takes a liking to Jake, and helps him with his training.
But when Jake gets back home, he runs into a lot of trouble. His father (who dislikes him very much) has already declared him dead and taken over his possessions, his trust fund and his bank accounts. He even has him committed to a lunatic hospital and kept sedated. It takes Jake a month before he can escape, and find out who he can still trust.
The Lord of Seakirk and his bunch of ghosts are very helpful, and he has his own very intriguing story. Now Jake has to take his gold, and find his way back to the past, to Amanda. But is she still waiting for him? No telling how much time has passed since he left/came back.
I really loved this story. I believe it is the first book I have read in which the hero travels back in time, and decides to stay. Usually a knight comes forward, or a woman travels back to find her highlander. It was good the meet the whole Artane family again, get an update on Anne and Robin. But I did get to know Amanda a little better, she is not easy on herself, and Jake’s accomplishments makes her doubt her own self. Jake is a great hero. He cannot fight with a sword, but he does know martial arts, which come in very handy too. Together they are just great. A fine love story, no love scenes however.