Her Dark Knight by Sharon Cullen
Read from November 26 to 28, 2011
A girl walks into a bar, she's groped, and she's saved by the owner. That owner just happens to be a seven hundred year old immortal Knight of the Templar who just happens to be mourning a dead woman from centuries ago. And the lemon twist in this cocktail is the girl being the reincarnated love of his life.
So far, this is a solid setup for a paranormal romance with a sprinkling of angel and demon lore thrown into the mix. Salty.
I should have asked for the Tequila instead.
The story certainly starts out better than the word solid would indicate. It begins in 1309 when Christien (which I kept reading as Christian throughout the book) Chevalier is dying, but receives a holy task and the curse of immortality instead.
Then, abruptly, we're thrown back into the modern time and into Lainie Alexander's aching shoes. She goes by the name Lainie, but of course he insists on calling her Madelaine, just like his dead love. Oozing romance, isn't he?
It turns out that there are darker forces at work and that they've organized this happy reunion. Christien, the ever aware, is of course on top of things and suspects Lainie for working against him with the evil side. Somehow though he can't keep away and they keep bumping into each other, more or less literally. Lainie doesn't quite catch on until she starts dreaming of her past life in the early 14th century.
I couldn't tell you exactly what or how it happens, this modern romance of an immortal dark knight and his reincarnated love, because the book literally put me to sleep. Twice. What I can tell you is that Lainie's dreams are the reader's gate to the past timeline and flashbacks to what happened the first time around between Madelaine, Countess of Flanders, and her Templar Knight.
These sparse flashbacks are the real treat of this book, and it's thanks to them that I actually finished reading it. I'm not a history buff and I couldn't tell you how accurate or inaccurate the scenes are, but I do know that there was a magnificent, believable and bewitching story there. Or it was that up to the point the Countess died. This brings me to the reason why I ended up hating this book.
Despite my drowsiness, I came to believe that the point of Madelaine's reincarnation was for her to learn new things. Small things like self-defense. Here, you open the vodka and pour it down my throat straight up. It's either that or a mallet to beat some sense into my thick skull.
Of course, the point wasn't for Madelaine to reemerge as a strong, capable woman who just happens to love an immortal thug from the Middle Ages. Of course, she's not supposed to be anything other than a burden to him, and of course, her whole existence screams for self-sacrifice in the name of God and his treasure. The sad thing is, I really liked this book up until the last 15% or so. I was actually sad that I didn't think I could give it the fourth star, that how much I loved the medieval romance.
Oh, no. This is a book about the man. This is a romance novel about HIS suffering and HIS pain. This is about HIS reward.
To think I managed to write this review without lambasting the sex scenes or mentioning the ridiculousness of a man telling an Archangel what to do.
I received an Advance Readers Copy from the publisher through Net Galley.