In this saucy romance, an English lady turns the damsel-in-distress tale on its head as she escapes her malicious fiancé and fights for both her life and that of the lustful rebel that has become her protector.
Lady Lenora Trevelyan, a naïve yet stubborn young lady born to the highest noble houses of England and Germany, finds herself betrothed to the brutal Prince Kurt von Rotenburg-Gruselstadtcruelly. But after she is cruelly bruised and flogged by her fiancé, she decides to take the reins of her fate. In the midst of a German revolution, Lenora escapes Kurt’s iron fist and embarks home to England. She quickly finds herself in the hands of a rebel group and their robust, gentle, and handsome leader, Wolfram von Wolfsbach und Ravensworth, the English Earl of Ravensworth.
Lenora struggles to deny the passion she feels towards the frustratingly chivalrous Earl but her desire for him continues to bloom. Wolfram hungers nothing other than to fight for democracy and civil rights in uniting Germany and to protect what he assumes is his damsel in distress. Through nights of immeasurable pleasure, Lenora and Wolfram learn that their passion is no match for the revolutionary chaos that ensues. And when Lenora discovers that her protector’s life is threatened, she must risk everything to save her Knight of Love.
The hero is supposed to be huge – twice the heroine’s size. The cover is – as always – incorrect.
Much has been said recently about how unimaginative the historical romance genre has become, with its obsession with the upper echelons of Regency England. Readers have been encouraged to support books that dare to venture beyond that narrow time period and same old, same old dukes and feisty ladies trope.
So Knight of Love seemed exciting from the outset, with its Victorian era setting and a story that takes place mostly in Germany.
I didn’t want to be negative about this book, as some early reviews have been that way, but honestly, I don’t know what to make of this.
There’s too much sex, some of it kinky in a half-hearted sort of way, all of it unrealistic. There’s lots of adventure, which I enjoyed, but it jarred with the society nonsense (even sword-fighting revolutionary warriors in Germany are English earls nowadays?!). There are scenes of questionable consent and even outright sexual assault. The heroine seems completely oblivious to things she would – in reality – have known all about. The villain is a dim-witted moustache-twirler.
Basically, I loved some things and hated others.
Here was my reading experience:
- Oh, cool opening. But this villain is too over the top.
- Oh, cool how the hero will be tortured now because he had to stand back and watch the heroine get hurt.
- They have to get married? This will cause some nice angst-filled scenes!
- This heroine is a bloody idiot. A high-ranking woman of 1848 would know virginity or lack thereof was all that mattered in marriages like this. She wouldn’t need to have it explained to her.
- This hero is a better feminist than any man in 2014 – this is totally unrealistic.
- Masturbating while giving a hand job to an injured, unconscious man is sexual assault. And totally bizarre.
- When there’re legions of men scouring the countryside to return you to your rapist, woman-beating fiancé, running away on your own is a pretty stupid idea.
- I can’t believe the villain believed her flimsy lies!
- Pretty sure I draw the line at an aristocratic heroine who can kill people by throwing knives fifty feet with perfect accuracy!
- Why are they still fighting? They’re married and love each other. This makes no sense, unless there was a word count that had to be reached.
- This is what women’s fashion in 1848 looked like:
A quickie against a prison wall would have literally been impossible. And when did the heroine become an expert sexual dominatrix?!
- I swear, any book that finishes with random anal sex as a declaration of perfect love…
There was so much potential with this storyline, but the sex was just awful (and there was far too much of it), the heroine had too many TSTL moments, and there was a strong tendency to info-dump to get us up to date with 19th century German politics.
I’m sort of annoyed that so much potential was wasted.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.