This historical fantasist has taken readers to the spirit world of Native Americans to Atlantis in the Bronze Age to Mesozoic dinosaurs (The Moon Maid: and Other Fantastic Adventures, 1998), and to witchcraft in 16th-century Scotland (The Spiral Dance, 1991). Now. . . .
Robyn Stafford, a young California studio executive, has been on a hiking trip along the Welsh border, largely to forget that Collin, the Englishman visiting Hollywood who became her lover from Sotheby’s, has turned out to be married—and his wife was giving the birthday party Robyn crashed. Alone on the border trail amid glorious scenery, she finds herself facing a knight in mud-spattered chain mail who calls himself Edward Plantagenet, Earl of March, and, falling in with this handsome prince, Robyn is whisked back into the War of the Roses in the year 1459. Seventeen-year-old Sir Handsome at first thinks Robyn, with her short hair and sweatpants, a boy and asks him/her to lead him to a priory where he’ll be safe from knaves who attacked his family home at Ludlow Castle. When he sees Robyn of Holy Wood talking into her hand (her cell phone), the amazed fellow looks unready for the electronic age—or even for the Renaissance. But the chocolate granola bar she splits with him really stuns Edward, as does her amazingly detailed map. He dispatches some armored knaves following them; then with a kiss, they part and she wends her way back to civilization. Back in the present, a seeress tells her that Edward is under a Displacing Spell and that magic will bring him back. Indeed, a rose he’s given her and a Duchess Weirdville help, and once back in the past she adopts an Eliza Doolittle/Audrey Hepburn court voice to see her through, later feasts magnificently with King Henry at Kenilworth, and learns that Collin is part of her time-switch. But will she stay?
Robyn winds up making history instead of movies, and RGyR’s time-travelers will be all the happier for it.