Her Knight in Black Leather by J.M. Stewart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Stewart's best book to date. It has the usual elements of romance the back and forth, drawing in closer, pulling away, the pain of parting and the realization that they can't live without one another. Love conquers all.
There were a couple of themes that Stewart dipped her toes into that I would like to see her develop more fully in future novels. One is the spirituality of sexual union, the meeting of Souls. It was very brief, a casual mention in a few sentences on the first time the couple made love, but it got my attention because I fully parallels my experience in life. Making love to my wife has elements of Sacred spirituality. It is something well beyond simple sex. I hope she explores this in deeper detail.
The other aspect that she hinted at ever so slightly but again paralleled my experience with my wife and grabbed my attention is the idea that marriages are really made in bed not at weddings. I consider my real wedding with my wife was the first time we made love. It was then that I committed to that woman for the rest of my life. It was also a ceremony that was attended only by those who genuinely loved us. Can't say that about the church wedding 2 years later. Stewart's love scenes are erotic and sexy yet not vulgar or over-flowerly. They mix the perfect blend of eroticism with love and allow the idea that this is not simply a hookup. There is a wholesome quality to Stewart's love scenes that puts one far more in mind of a wedding than sweaty lust. This is another theme I hope she will expand on in the future.
The other thing I liked about this novel was that there were no silly overblown fights based on dubious misunderstandings between the protagonists. They both seemed destined to face their destiny apart with stoic sadness, not petty anger. It seemed to me more of a reflection of an adult love and respect for each other than some romances where the main characters act like they are in junior high school.
This book had great character development. The characters had believable problems in their past and an interesting shared family history. I really enjoyed this book.
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