The Knight's Kiss
Let me say right from the start that it’s hard for me to work up a whole lot of sympathy for a pampered princess forced to endure endless Armani and Versace fittings and who suffers – oh, does she suffer – from the endless adoration of her subjects, the constant ministrations of her attendants, and foot pain from glittering evenings spent in her custom-made Manolo Blahniks. But, gosh darn it, Nicole Burnham is good – so good, in fact, that she actually managed to convince me that a couple who meet only a few times and exchange nothing more than a couple of guilt-ridden kisses can fall madly, passionately, in love.
Nick Black is a guy with a problem. The Knight from the fictional country of San Rimini was cursed by an angry witch in 1190, one the now immortal warrior can’t break until he learns to “sacrifice himself for the good of another.” After having lived in many lives in many places, he now finds himself residing in Boston as one of the world’s acknowledged experts on San Riminian art. His expertise is so great that Princess Isabella of the royal family featured in other stories by the author, thinks he is the ideal guy to catalog the royal family’s priceless art collection.
Nick, not surprisingly, makes it a habit to lay low and he’s not ecstatic at the idea of attaching himself to a princess who is daily tabloid fodder, but the opportunity is too great to resist. Especially since Nick also thinks access to the family’s private records could help him get closer to his ultimate goal of finding the witch who cursed him. Immortality, as any regular reader of vampire novels knows, isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Of course, it’s not hard to tell where the story goes from here, but in the hands of a skilled writer the predictable journey is a pleasant one. It’s hard to explain just why I think she’s so good, but there’s an effortless flow to the story, the dialog rings true, and both Nick and Isabella were real people. Okay, so maybe their problems aren’t yours and mine – I’ve never once been cursed and, sadly, I’m not plagued by constant fawning attention – but they were real problems, nonetheless. And, while the paranormal aspect of the story never really take center stage, it was a nice touch.
Readers of series romances who don’t know Nicole Burnham should definitely check her out. But as someone who enjoys meatier stories, I hope, though, that the author is given the opportunity to stretch her wings sometime in the future. She’s definitely got the goods.