Nick Black is a recluse, a man who is seen only when he wants to be seen and spends countless hours and days researching a particular period in history. His reasons for being reclusive aren't your more "normal" reasons-Nick Black isn't really Nick Black at all. His name is Domenico of Bollazio, and he has spent over eight-hundred years searching for the cure to his ailment-immortality. While on a mission for the King of San Rimini in the year 1190, Domenico did not help a young man in trouble and was quickly cursed by the boy's mother-a reputed witch. She told Domenico that until he could sacrifice his own wants and desires truly for another, he would never know real happiness or the peace that death brings. Once Domenico realized that he had in fact been cursed, he tried to do everything he could think of to break the curse but nothing worked. So he started researching history to try to find out whatever became of the witch that had cursed him. It's only by pure luck that Princess Isabella diTalora gets in touch with Domenico--or Nick as he is now calling himself--about helping her inventory the items in the deepest recesses of the castle at San Rimini. Knowing that this could be his best chance of finding his cure, Nick agrees to work for Isabella. He'll help Isabella with the project and search for his own answers all the while. But Nick never counted on Isabella and the feelings he felt deep inside for her-feelings he hadn't ever felt before, in all his eight-hundred years.
For Isabella diTalora, finishing the project her mother began in the years before her death would mean so much-not only to Isabella but to her entire family as well. When Isabella hears that the reclusive Nick Black has extensive knowledge about San Rimini's history, she is determined to employ him. Once Isabella persuades Nick to take her up on her offer, the two return to the castle so Nick can begin work and Isabella can go on with her life-her tiring, busy, lonely life. Sure, Isabella has her family and she loves them dearly, but they all have their own lives. She helps them whenever possible, even though that leaves absolutely no time for herself. With the many duties she is expected to attend to, Isabella can't schedule in a much needed nap, let a lone a love life. But once she meets the mysterious Nick Black, Isabelle begins to want for more in her life-a life that seems only complete with him in it. But Isabella is also afraid of ruin and scandal-how can she hope to have a life with the most scandalous of men ever?
With every book, Nicole Burnham just gets better and better. Ms. Burnham creates magical stories that you find yourself getting completely lost in. The romance between Nick and Isabella is perfect-just the right amount of sensual tension to balance out the purely sweet, tender, romantic moments. Both Nick and Isabella are strong, intelligent and interesting characters and the storyline was so unique! Not only is it pretty unique for any singles titles romance (where the paranormal element is immortality without vampires etc.), but it's extremely rare for a category read-which made this story that much more enjoyable.
Without a doubt you will love THE KNIGHT'S KISS and anything else by Nicole Burnham! Ms. Burnham is a relatively new author, but she already has all the makings of a mega leader in the romance genre. Her stories are fresh and interesting and her characters are intense and engaging. I can't wait to meet more of the Royal diTalora family and I'm certain that Nicole Burnham's next story will be just as great as all the rest. This story is just further proof that you can't go wrong when you pick up anything by Nicole Burnham!
Carla Hosom, March 2003
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