Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Book Review: A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars, Special Shelf
I tend to shy away from a lot of adult romance novels because I like my stories with a lot of plot and characterization and a touch of romance. I definitely want that romance there, but I don't want the point of the story to be the romance with a sex scene every third page. I just don't find that super engaging.
So I was kind of hesitant to pick up A Knight in Shining Armor because, well, 1) that title, and 2) everything screams ROMANCE NOVEL (though, albeit, a tamer romance novel...and it is, much tamer). But I kept hearing about how this one was different and worth it and it did have that whole time travel historical thing and so I decided to bite the bullet and just try it already.
And now I have a new Special Shelf book, so that just goes to show that I shouldn't be such a weenie about trying books (I mean, what's the worst thing that will happen? I'll DNF it? Oh the horror!).
Anyway, outside of just saying "If you like the books I like, then give this one a try!" here are a few thoughts on why I liked this book so much:
Dougless. Ok, let's be real, I hate this name. I almost didn't read the book because I hate the main character's name so much. It's the type of name that just pulls me out of the story and I have to actively work at focusing on the plot and not the little voice in my head piping up with "Dougless? SERIOUSLY??" every time I read that name. So, if you're doing the same thing, trust me, I get it. But, by the third chapter I was so hooked that I barely noticed it anymore.
The first chapter. It's AWFUL. I had serious doubts that this book and I were going to be able to get along and I was putting a lot of thought into DNF-ing. I even did put the book down for a month or so because the first chapter was so bad. The thing is though, the first chapter is supposed to be bad. You're supposed to hate it. You're supposed to loathe the characters and what they're doing and how Dougless is responding to it all. Push through it. Trust me.
And a note on how Dougless responds, look, she goes through huge character growth throughout the story. She starts off with awful self-esteem and a warped idea of what she "should" be like. This leads to some cringe-worthy moments because this is a journey for Dougless, and that journey has a lot of bumps in the road. Dougless does things that I wanted to smack her upside the head over. She thinks things that I just want to shake my head and say "Oh, honey" because she's just so, so wrong. But, because Dougless is awesome and relatable and BFF sleepover party worthy, I totally get where she's coming from and I feel for her and root for her.
The mystery. Ok, the blurb doesn't really hint at this at all beyond a vague "grand adventure that lay before them" and, frankly, given the rest of the blurb I mostly expected this to be the heaving bosoms kind of "grand adventure." I wasn't expecting an engaging murder mystery with sleuthing for clues in both time periods and a bunch of time-travel humorous hijinks. I was totally into the mystery and couldn't flip the pages fast enough.
Which is to say nothing of the other mysteries of will Dougless stay in the past? Will Nicholas stay in the present? Do they have a choice? How does the time travel work? All very engaging.
And, yeah, there is romance. And it's swoony. Nicholas is a worthy hero and a likable character in his own right. I won't say too much about him because, spoilers, but suffice it to say, I liked him.
Plus, they also eat a lot of good food, cruise around to neat historical travel spots, stay in romantic hotels, and go shopping. Because they're rich. Very, very rich. It felt like I was on a posh vacation, and that was just plain fun.
I thought I was going to write a tiny review because I read this book months ago at this point and I didn't think I had much to say by now except LOVE! READ IT! YAY! And all that is very true, but apparently I did have more to say. And could continue talk about A Knight in Shining Armor. But I'll stop here and leave it at this: If you like my other Special Shelf books, then pick this one up, too.
Oh, and I know this book is described as book 15 in a series,but it can totally be read as a standalone. I haven't read any of the other books and I had no trouble whatsoever. I think this is the kind of "series" that follows a family, but each member gets their own unique, standalone story.