Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace


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Friday, November 16, 2012

Historical Romance Review: One True Knight by Dana D’Angelo

This book has been reviewed by History Undressed reviewer, Morgan Wyatt...


When the beautiful yet feisty Rowena de Belleville discovers her father’s plan to remarry, she fears the worst and flees her home — only to be thrust into the arms of a stranger.

Desperate to hide her identity from her pursuers, she embraces the dark stranger. But her reckless act backfires as it awakens a passion buried deep within her soul, while igniting the fuse of her mysterious benefactor.

Unable to escape destiny, their paths cross yet again. This time she learns the handsome man is Jonathan d’Abelard - the Iron Hawk, a legendary knight feared by all save one faceless killer bent on making his life a living hell…

Will her chance encounter draw them together, or ensnare her in a dangerous game of seduction, feverish desire and vengeance?


One True Knight by Dana D’Angelo is a medieval romance that highlights the differences in the freedoms enjoyed by men and women of the period. Rowena’s ability to be her own woman, and manage the castle grind to an unexpected halt when her father, Sir Phillip’s announcement that he will marry. Ten years ago, when his beloved wife died he swore to never remarry. He also chose to ignore Rowena because he blamed her for the plague her mother contacted from nursing her. Her impulsive nature forces her into action.

Jonathan is more than a wandering knight he is a man on a mission. His first mission is vengeance against the Grey Knight. The nefarious knight is so bold to send him messages and taunts causing Jonathan to scurry across the country in search of the knight. His cousin has asked him to vet Sit Phillip before she marries. His cousin a widow finds herself forced to choose between her two neighbors to be able to afford some type of protection for her people.

Rowena escapes the castle disguises as a simple servant. She isn’t quite sure of her plans, but she realizes a new mistress will change her role in the house, and maybe even push her out of it. Jonathan disguises himself as a peasant too in an effort to find out more about Sir Phillip. In an effort to escape her father’s guards, she chooses to kiss Jonathan as a distraction, sparking an attraction between the two of them. She flees refusing even to leave a name with the besotted knight.

One True Knight has a great deal going on, besides romance including intrigue and betrayal. There is also the double disguise of Jonathan and Rowena pretending to be other people, always a handy plot device. The chemistry between the two works well. The characterization of the cousin being a pawn in the games of men is accurate for the period. This is a good debut novel, but there are areas where it could be stronger.

More detail would give me a sense of being there. Historical references were rather vague, specific ones as a tie-in could help in getting a feel for the period, and the people.  In the beginning, Rowena acts more like a spoiled brat caring more about herself, than anyone else. She doesn’t care about her father’s happiness; she’s just upset because his marriage might mess her life up. She sets up her own nursemaid to get in trouble so she can run the country in disguise. Rowena improves as the book goes on maturing with the chapters.
One True Knight is a good bet for medieval romance fans. Its short length makes it a quick read too.

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