Reynold de Burgh: The Dark Knight by Deborah Simmons
My rating: 4.25 of 5 stars
It was great to finally read Reynold's story. I love him even more after seeing him find his way to his own happy ending. Reynold really made his leg more important than it was. He thought that it was all that anyone ever saw about him, and felt bad because it made him feel different from his brothers. He needed to strike out on his own and find himself. Fortunately, his pilgrimage brought him to a group of people badly in need of a hero. Sabine and her remaining people believe they are being preyed upon by a dragon. They entreat Reynold to protect them from the dragon. Reynold doesn't really believe in dragons, but his knight code requires him to protect those in need. Plus, Peregrine, the squire appointed by his kooky l'Estrange aunts by marriage, insists he needs to do this because it's preordained as his knight's quest. Reynold agrees to help them, and finds himself falling for the blonde beauty Sabine, even knowing she can't feel the same for him because of his infirmity.
I felt that Reynold was somewhat too mopey about his leg. It makes sense, to a certain extent. Being in a family of larger than life men, it must have been hard to be born different. This mission really gets Reynold to see himself and his 'lame' leg different. It doesn't have to be something that requires him to be alone and unloved by a good woman. It doesn't have to define him as a person. He begins to see himself through others' eyes for the strong, intelligent, capable man that he is.
Sabine adores him from the beginning, although she feels he's too good for a simple Sexton's daughter. Plus she's got her own secret cross to bear that she feel makes her unworthy of a man. Reynold is drawn to her, but thinks that she just wants his skills as a knight and not him. Reynold was somewhat frustrating in how he continued to push Sabine away because of his lack of self-worth. He was the only one who didn't see how wonderful he was. He had a habit of comparing himself to his brothers in a way that wasn't favorable for him--although having read the other de Burgh books, I could see that all the brothers have their weaknesses, no less than Reynold's. I was glad that he gets a wakeup call and comes to realize how much he's indulging in self-pity.
Although I thought this was a really good book, I was disappointed on how it was way too focused on the intrigue and mystery of the dragon. I wanted to see more about Reynold and Sabine's relationship. There are no love scenes. Okay, I admit that bothered me, because all the other de Burgh books did have some nice love scenes. I felt like Reynold should have gotten some good love scenes too. I think this book would have been five stars, if it had been a touch more steamy and if the romance was more of a focus. As it is, it's still a very good book, and I am so glad that I got to read Reynold story. I love this man!
Overall rating: 4.25/5.0 stars.
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