Saturday, 24 November 2012

New Release Review: No Knight Needed (Ever After #1) by Stephanie Rowe

No Knight Needed is contemporary romance at its best.

Visualise that checklist; you know the imaginary one that we all have whilst reading. The one that you’re metaphorically ticking off to see if it meets your literary standards! The one that, by the end of the novel, you mull over to see whether or not the book that you’ve spent the last few hours, days, or even weeks reading, has been worth your while. Of course you know the list that I’m refering to. Well, throw the list away. You will not need it with No Knight Needed; it does everything it says on the tin and more!

Okay, enough of the clich├ęs, but surely you get the idea!

Immediately, Stephanie Rowe throws her readers into the thick of drama. We are greeted with fairly complex, yet deeply human and therefore ‘normal’ characters. Both of the characters, who are quickly established as the two protagonists, Griffin and Clare, clearly are individuals with ‘history’, and what we’re interested in, considering the genre, is the romantic history and baggage attached to both of them.

Both Griffin and Clare are extremely likeable individuals (you’ll soon be cheering for them and be swooning over Griffin) with deeply embedded morals, values, ambitions and even flaws. It is the development of these characters, the level of depth and detail that is used to tease out their characteristics, that makes this book so very enjoyable and powerful to read. Yes, this is a contemporary romance, but there’s a hell of a lot going on in this novel, by no means is it all fun, laughter and kisses, even though there’s plenty of that too!

The path that both Griffin and Clare find themselves on is unexpected for them both. In many ways, their lives are turned upside down, which inevitably creates amazing tension in the novel. We never fully know how things are going to turn out. I think this is a testament to Stephanie Rowe’s skill and talent, one that deserves applause; her ability to keep the reader second, third and even fourth guessing was pretty phenomenal. I was amazed by her adeptness to successfully fool me, yes frustrated too, but a little in awe of her ability to craft and shape her novel so very successfully.

Stephanie Rowe very effectively paints a realistic world for Griffin and Clare: a world where emotions, desires and ambitions are carefully considered and crafted; they drive the characters along in their journeys. There was not a moment that I wasn’t completely engrossed in the novel, the story, the characters. I very audibly cheered for them and did not shed just one tear, nope, rather bucket fulls. My heart at times broke for them. The narrative and dialogue surrounding these ‘tender’ moments in particular were so beautifully crafted, poetic even; it was this that had me blubbering. And of course on the flip side of the heart-wrenching events, was the amazing, witty humour.

There are numerous, superbly developed and highly likeable secondary characters in this novel, who really helped to raise the humour to the next level. Yes, there were a few quiet giggles, then the huge stomach hugging laughter, one unfortunately, at the most inopportune time, was when I was sipping my tea!

If it’s not obvious by now, then just to be clear, I love this book! I would most definitely and happily reread and give is a hot and romantic 5 fairies.


Goodreads Synopsis 
Broad shoulders silhouetted in the night. Strong arms anchoring her against a powerful chest. A modern-day knight in shining armor on a stormy mountainside… Who has time for that kind of fantasy? Not Clare Gray, that's for sure. The plucky single mom is a little too busy to dream about turbulent dark eyes brimming with intensity, and sensual kisses that ignite her soul. But when Boston business mogul Griffin Friese steps out of his black truck on the abandoned mountain road and helps Clare rescue her daughter from a deadly Maine storm, her well-ordered world implodes.

Suddenly, Clare finds herself having fantasies about tender loving and hot passion with the mysterious stranger with the rain-slicked jacket and the angel painted on the roof of his truck. The midnight encounter awakens yearnings in Clare that are far too dangerous to explore, but when she learns that her heroic knight is staying in town for a few days, he becomes a reality she can't deny. She's already barely surviving, so how can she risk her heart with a man who threatens everything she believes in?

NOTE: No Knight Needed was originally published under the title Dawn at Birch Crossing. Book Two of the Ever After series, Fairytale Not Required, is an entirely new release and will available December 2012.

BONUS MATERIAL: No Knight Needed contains bonus excerpts at the back of the book from other romance novels by the author.

Stalker Links: Facebook / Website / Goodreads / Amazon US Page
Purchase Links: Amazon US / Amazon UK / B&N

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