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A Knight in Shining Armor: 10/23/09
I didn't grow up reading romances. The few I read were during camping trips when I had run out of my own stash of books and was desperate to read anything. I'm still not much of a romance reader but I picked up 0671678574A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux because all the other women in my local BookCrossing group had read and loved the book.
The set up is fairly standard 1980s "strong female" type plot: young woman on holiday with her fiancé ends up for the shock of her life and finds herself alone in an unfamiliar place (in this case England). This time, the heroine is Dougless Montgomery. She's put upon but equally as whiney and childish as her would-be fiancé and step daughter. I hated her from the very first page – not a good start for a book.
Once abandoned, the heroine must fend for herself. Thankfully an ornery but dashing man materializes to help her on her way to being a stronger and independent person. In this case, he's transported from the 16th century for reasons unknown. He's the late Nicholas Stafford, Earl of Thornwyck. Dougless had been weeping at his tomb but he is no ghost!
The novel goes onto to tell the same story twice, once with Nicholas adapting to the 20th century and once for Dougless adapting to the early 16th century. Both times are distressing and challenging but they muddle through it and both characters end up better people for the process.
Although the book didn't hold my attention and I didn't connect with either of the main characters, I did like a few things. First of all, the minutiae of the 16th century is correct as far as I can tell. Deveraux also worked through the possibilities of paradoxes and changes to the timeline so it stands up as a time travel story as long as you accept that they go from era to era just because the plot requires it.