A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux
A Knight in Shining Armor (The Montgomery/Taggert Family Book 15)
Once upon a time...
...as a fair maiden lay weeping upon a cold tombstone, her heartfelt desire was suddenly made real before her: tall, broad of shoulder, attired in gleaming silver and gold, her knight in shining armor had come to rescue his damsel in distress....
A Knight in Shining Armor
Jude Deveraux's beloved bestseller has captivated readers the world over; now in a special edition featuring new material, this timeless love story greets a new generation. Abandoned by her lover, thoroughly modern Dougless Montgomery finds herself alone and brokenhearted in an old English church. She never dreamed that a love more powerful than time awaited her there...until Nicholas Stafford, Earl of Thornwyck, a sixteenth-century knight, appeared. Drawn to him by a bond so sudden and compelling that it defied reason, Dougless knew that Nicholas was nothing less than a miracle: a man who would not seek to change her, who found her perfect just as she was. But she could not know how strong were the chains that tied them to the past -- or the grand adventure that lay before them.
A Knight in Shining Armor is my first Jude Deveraux book. I knew the name, but never read anything by her until this book was picked for my book club this month. It was an interesting story, but the time travel elements didn't make sense for time travel for me so that got in the way of the story (and is why I normally don't read time travel stories). There will be some spoilers ahead for the second half of the book.
This book started off interestingly enough. Dougless was a bit of a doormat and I have no idea why she stayed with Robert for so long (and made so many excuses for him). I was glad to see him go and hoped that now Dougless would gain some self confidence (really that is why she stayed. She did not have much self confidence and didn't want to be seen as a failure yet again by her family). Shortly after Robert leaves her stranded Nicholas appears. Nicholas from the sixteenth century. Dougless is not sure what to think of him. She thinks he is an actor or something who is really really into his role. For his part he thinks Dougless is a witch who brought him to her time for some reason. It was fun watching Nicholas try to familiarize himself with the twentieth century and see how Dougless slowly starts to believe he is from the past. They work well together and they both start falling for the other, but Nicholas doesn't want to leave her hurt and alone when he must go back to his time so he tries not to encourage her. He still needs her help to try and figure out what he needs to know to go back and clear his name (he was accused of treason and is awaiting execution), but he tries to keep Dougless at arms length.
The whole first half of the book is the two of them researching things and falling in love. Once they consummate that love though Nicholas gets taken back to his time leaving Dougless sad and alone. She tries to see what happened to him, how history changed, but finds nothing really changed! Well that just cannot be. History cannot keep thinking of Nicholas as a womanizer! No way. And he especially cannot be executed once he returned to his time because...well I am not sure. Yeah it is great to think of him living a long, healthy life, but at the same time he is going to be dead now no matter what so....anyways. So then Dougless is somehow able to get back to his time, but four years before he traveled to her time (so plenty of time to stop bad things from happening).
Once she traveled back in time the story went downhill for me. Nicholas did not remember Douglas since he hadn't met her yet, but then somehow he starts remembering their time together even though it didn't happen yet...not sure how that works. Then she starts changing everything, helping everyone, saving his brothers life and his son's and so on. She stops the sex that leads to him being known as a womanizer from happening and eventually makes him fall in love with her again and stops the wedding to the lovely Lettice. That part was a bit much for me. Dougless doesn't want Nicholas to marry as she knows Lettice will try and kill his entire family, but he has to and she cannot understand that. She keeps trying to keep her twentieth century values and ways back in the sixteenth century. It annoyed me a bit. What also annoyed me? Apparently having sex is what makes you travel back to your own time. So if you go back in time but never have sex you could stay forever! Have sex? Tavel back the next day. I just found that odd.
Then she changed everything so history was different and she saved the family and their good name! Yey...but what about everything else that would have changed? And how did Nicholas come back to her to find out who framed him, fall in love with her, then have Dougless travel back in time if everything was changed? If he was never accused of treason, never in jail awaiting execution then he never travel forward in time so he never met her so she never traveled back in time so things didn't change? This is why I don't like time travel things in general. They make no sense to me! Then one last thing that bugged me about the time travel aspect - Robert and Gloria. So when Dougless gets back from the past Robert shows up the next day and he and his daughter both really seem like they have changed. They want her back and Gloria is even being nice to her! She asks him why? What happened to make him change his ways? His reply? He was always really angry with her for having a rich family while he has always had to work for everything, but then yesterday (when Dougless comes back from the past apparently) suddenly he just wasn't angry anymore. Um what? So she changes the past, and the past for the person who looks just like Robert in the past, and this doesn't change Robert's entire life until the moment that Dougless gets back to the present? So are these two times like parallel instead of past and present? It made no sense. It was like the author didn't want to deal with him actually having his life be different so then maybe things would have worked out differently for Robert and Dougless so then maybe she wouldn't have been left at the church and so on and so on (or maybe they never even meet in this new reality). Argh! These things annoy me with time travel as they just don't make sense to me, but this in particular bugged me.
Then the very end was kind of sad. I mean Nicholas has to live his life alone and Dougless gets to meet his soul again right away? How is that fair? Lame. Also if you are messing everything up with this time travel business and just doing whatever why not make it so he could actually come forward to her time and be with her again? It would make more sense to me and be a happier ending than the one we got. So the first half of the book I enjoyed, the second half the time travel aspects kept me from being able to enjoy the story and the ending was really not that good.
Rating: ★ ★