Her Dark Knight by Sharon Cullen
ORDER A COPY: Her Dark Knight
Publisher: Carina Press
Publishing Date: November 28, 2011
e-book only: 239 pages
Rating: 3.5 stars
Madelaine Alexander is on a mission. When her boss sends her to the hottest nightclub in town to meet with the owner, she won’t be deterred, even if that means standing in line for fifty-eight minutes in torturous heels while she’d rather be home in her pj’s with a bowl of popcorn.
A Knight of the Templar, Christien Chevalier was given immortality along with the responsibility of protecting the treasure of the Templars. He’s been unwavering in his task for centuries until his one true love—who died seven hundred years ago—shows up in his club, demanding his attention.
Christien couldn’t protect Madelaine when they first fell in love. She was married to a lord and he was simply a knight. Now, through some unknown miracle, she stands before him again and they have a second chance. But Christien fears that Madelaine is being used as a pawn in a dangerous game, a game of good versus evil that could affect all of mankind…
Let me first state that this was a well written story and I couldn’t put it down.
That being said, I have to admit that it was as depressing as it was enjoyable. We know simply from reading the jacket that Christien and Madelaine cannot be together when they first met since she is married to the lord of the castle and he is a knight. We also know that Madelaine was killed young. BUT in addition to this, Madelaine’s husband is a vicious sadist who takes pleasure in humiliating and raping her. And, in addition to that, Lucian, her husband’s trusted advisor and castle priest, lusts for Madelaine and when her husband isn’t torturing her, Lucian is constantly trying to scare and molest her.
Understanding that their first meeting in 1309 was not a happy time, what makes it most depressing is that instead of just learning all this horror of Madelaine’s first life in the beginning of the story and then moving onto the current day situation, the chapters dedicated to her prior life are interspersed throughout the book, and after spending a chapter in the present day with Christien and Madelaine trying to work through the issues of her reincarnation and the current dangers to her life, we get thrown back into the past to learn some new horror of her past life.
The way the story is merged, definitely heightens the suspense which continuously builds with the separate present day and past life stories, but reading of the horror that would be the life that a woman would have to endure in 1309, makes me happy to be living in the 21st Century, annoying cell phones or not.
I gave it 3.5 stars as a compromise for the 4 stars I would give to the gripping storyline, and the 3 stars I wanted to give since the story depressed me so much.
His gaze slid to her hand still resting above her pounding heart. “I frightened you.”
“No.” She lowered her hand. “Well, maybe a little.”
“There is no need to be frightened of me.”
She wasn’t sure she was frightened of him. It was more like she was frightened of her reaction to him. Which made no sense.
“You break my heart with your fear, Madelaine.”
He spoke as if they knew each other. But they didn’t. She swore they’d never met and yet…She sensed they did know each other. More than their brief encounter the night before. It was as if she knew him in ways she shouldn’t.
Suddenly he as right there, so close his suit coat brushed against her blouse. She stared into those light gray eyes that seemed so familiar.
“Have we met before?” she asked.
He pulled back as if startled. “Excuse me?”
“I’m sorry.” She looked away, her cheeks heating in embarrassment. “It’s just…You look familiar.”
He touched her cheek, his thumb feathering across her jaw, causing goose bumps to race up her arm and her breath to catch. His gaze fell to her lips while his thumb continued its lazy exploration of her cheek and jaw. Lainie swallowed, her legs suddenly weak. If she didn’t have too much pride, she would have leaned against him for support.
Suddenly his hand was gone and he stepped back. His jaw muscle clenched and his eyes narrowed. “Perhaps I too thought you looked familiar.”
“You remind me of someone I knew a long time ago. Someone I met in France.” He watched her closely. His tone was accusing as if he didn’t much like the person he’d known in France.
“I’ve never been to France.”
He studied her for such a long time she became uneasy. “Not you then, eh?”
She attempted a laugh to soothe the tension coming off him, but feared she failed miserably. “I wish. I’d love to visit France.”