I have been sporadically reading Kurland's books for a while now, and have been getting them all out of order. I just now finally got to Robin and Anne's tale, although I've already read all of the subsequent books - and overall, it was delightful to finally hear how the two found each other.
Kurland writes some of the sweetest romance stories I have ever read, and "If I Had You" is no exception. Her characters are sublimely human, flawed with self-doubts and lots of angst, which should be hard to read but never really is. I was completely caught up in the story here, wondering when Robin was finally going to accept his feelings for Anne and sort out his relationships with his family. The plot synopsis written above the editorials really does sum up the storyline, which is a little sparse for the 433 pages it takes to tell it, which seems to be a Kurland signature. Her books are incredibly character-driven and intricate, with the actual plot of the story coming in third, behind the characters and the historical details.
The tale is very engrossing and sweet, which you don't normally find in most of the historical romance books published these days. It wasn't until after I finished the book that I thought about what I didn't like. I agree wholeheartedly with the reviewer that gave the romance a "G" rating - there literally is no sex in this book. It is alluded to, but the characters go from having one kiss and determining that they are going to consummate their relationship, to waking up the next morning and looking back fondly on the events of the night before. It's a little strange, and after finishing the book, I think Kurland did her readers a disservice by not giving us at least a small glimpse into Robin and Anne's bedroom. However beautifully written, this is a sanitized love story and leaving out that aspect of their relationship makes the characters seem a little untouchable. While other romance books are full of highs and lows between the characters, this story really is full of middles.
Overall, this was an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon, and I don't regret buying the book. I probably won't read it again, simply because I never really made an attachment with the characters beyond what was written, but I definitely recommend this book for anyone looking for romance that is sweet, tender and not particularly involving.