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Saturday, June 3, 2006

A Knight In Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux


Hero: Nicholas Stafford
Heroine: Dougless Montgomery
Grade: Story: B+ Ending: F

Abandoned by a cruel fate, lovely, thoroughly modern Dougless Montgomery lay weeping upon a cold tombstone in an English church. Suddenly, as if in answer to her prayers, the most extraordinary man appeared.

He was Nicholas Stafford, Earl of Thornwyck...and according to his tombstone he had died in1564. Tall, broad of shoulder, attired in gleaming silver and gold, he was magnificent. Drawn to his side by a bond so sudden and compelling it overshadowed reason, Dougless knew that Nicholas was nothing less than a miracle: a man who would not seek to change her, who found her perfect, fascinating, just as she was.

Yet she could not imagine how strong were the chains that tied them to the past...or the grand adventure that lay before them....



Dylan says:

Jude Deveraux did such a wonderful job sucking me in with Dougless Montgomery and Nicholas Stafford. I mean, Dougless wanted nothing more than a man, a good man to love and care for her enough to marry her, she strived to have a family of her own with a man who wouldn't make her look like the insipid younger sister to her family, she didn't want to be the laughingstock of her family which is understandable and I thought it was so sweet that she asked for a Knight in Shining Armor and got it...in the form of Elizabethan Knight, Nicholas Stafford.

Nicholas Stafford was a rascal of a hero who died long ago and WAS the laughingstock of not only his family but of England. He wanted so much to be remembered for his learning and for his architecture, but instead was remembered as a traitor to his Queen and a sexual exploit of his youth on a table. What a way to be remembered and back in the day, well in Nicholas' day, all you had to live for was your honor.

Honor made men out of boys and Nicholas' wanted to be remembered by his mind. He wasn't perfect by any means (I mean come on now, you slept with a married woman for goodness sakes but still) but he did work hard to supply for his family and he did have a heart, a very big one.

I really loved Nicholas Stafford and I loved the whole story between him and Dougless, they were perfect for eachother, so bloody perfect. The ice cream scene in the kitchen? YUM! I mean, there wasn't much to love about Dougless and Nicholas because they were both just so loveable. You wanted someone like Dougless as your friend because she cared a whole lot about those around her and she was loyal and just an all around good hearted young woman. Nicholas on the other hand, you wanted Nicholas in your bed, he was hot, he was funny and he was caring. He really was though, just a regular guy with the same goofiness as all of those guys that you can't help but love.

I can't tell you guys how great Jude Deveraux did with the telling of this story. The entire time you were rootin' these two on because you wanted them to have their happy ending. Dougless was a good strong heroine who was soft hearted but worked hard for those around her and then Nicholas, you couldn't help but fall in love with him, he was just too cute. He too, worked so hard to right the wrongs that were done to him and you really wanted him to find his happy ending.....with Dougless.

Now, JD did a wonderful job with the secondary characters too, you either loved them or you hated them. I mean, with Kit and Lady Margaret, you fell in absolute love with their characters because there was a wealth of love between these two and Nicholas. It was more than aparent that Kit had Nicholas' back and that he loved his brother with everything, same thing with Lady Margaret, she was a great mother to the two men and she showed that love by fighting for the truth about Nicholas to save him, she was a smart cookie and the bad guys seriously underestimated her abilities to dig out the truth, she was an amazing mother and she was gracious to Dougless for saving both of her sons, I thought that was great.

Now on the flip side of the coin, we have characters like Arabella Sydney who I hated just because she was a little slut that cheated on her husband with Nicholas, stupid chit needed to keep her damn legs closed and work on her marriage to her husband, since that man was one evil ass man. Then you have Robert and Gloria, Dougless' insufferable boyfriend and his evil spawn of a daughter. Never in my life have I wanted to hurt people more than I wanted to hurt these two, I'm serious because I wanted to stab Robert and keep stabbing him until he had more holes in him than a piece of Swiss Cheese and then I wanted to hang him by his balls and let him bleed out, ever so slowly. You don't want to know what I wanted to do to his good for nothing little shit of a daughter.

Grrr...

So as you can see, JD did a great job with this book because she got this kind of reaction out of me, always looking on the bright side Dylan, that's me. If a book is bad, I'll overlook it if I enjoyed the story as a whole, oh but not this time around. Not with this book, this book infuriated me so much that I am going to burn this shit in the Burn Book pile, oh wait...I already did that, but this time I'm goign to keep it in the burn pile.

You see, as much as I loved the story, I hated the ending, the ending is what burned the book, ruined it for me, but aside from that horrendous ending, the book was FABULOUS!

Holly says:

I couldn't agree with Dylan more. When we first meet Douglass she's on her way to England for a vacation with her stupid cad boyfriend and his stupid, spoiled daughter, and as a reader, you want so much for her to find true love and happiness, because she's the type that deserves it.

As a member of the overachieving Montgomery clan, Douglass has always felt inferior to the rest of her family and she truly just wants to be loved and accepted for who she is, and not reminded of the mistakes she's made. As a woman, a sister and a mother, I totally identified with her.

When she was weeping on the steps of the church because her jerkass boyfriend had abandoned her in a foreign country, I wept with her. And when Nicholas Stafford was brought forward through time as her Knight in Shining Armor, I cried harder and wanted so much for them to be together. I cried again when Nicholas was sent back home and I prayed Douglass would find a way to be with him again.

I cheered when Douglass went back to Nicholas' time and I was on the edge of my seat with anticipation, waiting to see how the story would unfold. Would Nicholas remember Douglass from when he was in the future? Would his family come to accuse her of being a witch? Would Nicholas fall in love with the Douglass in his time, or remember he loved her in her time? Would he still marry the psycho that got him into trouble before?

The scenes Dylan mentioned, like the ice cream scene, were amazingly told. I was completely wrapped up in this story, breathless with anticipation and almost sick to my stomach wondering how JD was going to keep these two amazing characters together. I just wanted them to have their HEA....together.

Conclusion: With Spoilers...you were warned!

You see, this is where I'm totally stuck between wanting to scream in rage and wanting to shake some sense into JD. How in the world can you consider marrying Dougless off to another person, who ISN'T Nicholas as a happy ending? I'm totally not seeing it. I sat and read a 400+ page book about NICHOLAS and Dougless, I fell in love with NICHOLAS STAFFORD, I was rootin' NICHOLAS STAFFORD on throughout the entire book and she ends the book with Nicholas staying back in his time and never marrying, dying by himself while Dougless comes back to her time and marries the man who has Nicholas' soul?

What the fuck is that about?

I didn't fall in love with Nicholas' soul, I could give two shits about that...I fell in love with Nicholas' strength, his love for Dougless and the man that he was. I FELL IN LOVE WITH NICHOLAS.

Now in any romance, when you read about two people I expect those two damn people that I spent all this time getting to know, end up together at the end because that's what a romance novel is about dammit. The journey the couple takes to get to their happy ending. How in the world did JD think her ending for Dougless and Nicholas was going to work? The thing that pisses me off about it is Nicholas died without marrying because his heart and soul belonged to Dougless, but because she was born in the future he was never able to live out his life with her...oh no, Nicholas had to suffer the long lonely nights with memories of Dougless because she was off in another time, while Dougless got to be happily married to Reed Stanford, the man who has Nicholas' soul?

There were so many possibilites with Douglass and Nicholas, so many other ways she could have taken this book. She could have written half the book about Nicholas and half about Reed and made it work. She could have figured out a way for Douglass and Nicholas to stay together, like KMM did for her Highlanders. She could have devoted the entire story to Douglass and Reed, with flashbacks for the both of them with Nicholas. But instead, she devoted an entire story to making us fall in love with the H/H, Douglas and Nicholas, to give us three sorry ass pages in the end where Reed shows up, says he found a picture of Douglass when he was a kid and knew it was fate that he had it and...that's it. He sits down and BAM, he's got Nicholas' soul and Douglass lives Happily Ever After with a COMPLETE STRANGER while Nicholas died alone in his time.

JD even could have made it so that Reed REMEMBERED Douglass from when he was Nicholas or SOMETHING, but NOOOOOOO, he sees a picture of her and from that she assumes he's her soul mate. And Nicholas had no one thoughout his very long life. NO. ONE.

Where's the fairness in that? Where's the happiness in THAT for Nicholas? How the hell can that be considered a happy ending?

It aint! And that's why this book sucks donkey dick. So don't bother reading it if you love a happy ending because there isn't a happy ending in this book, not by a long shot. Dammit. And Double Dammit. There's no redeeming this book at all. No matter how I look at it, it sucked ass, plain and simple.

Stupid ass book!

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