A Knight in Shining Armor
Published By: Simon & Schuster
Published: Apr 23, 2002
ISBN # 9780743439725
Available in: Secure Adobe Epub eBook
Once upon a time...
...as a fair maiden lay weeping upon a cold tombstone, her heartfelt desire was suddenly made real before her: tall, broad of shoulder, attired in gleaming silver and gold, her knight in shining armor had come to rescue his damsel in distress....
A Knight in Shining Armor
Jude Deveraux's beloved bestseller has captivated readers the world over; now in a special edition featuring new material, this timeless love story greets a new generation. Abandoned by her lover, thoroughly modern Dougless Montgomery finds herself alone and brokenhearted in an old English church. She never dreamed that a love more powerful than time awaited her there...until Nicholas Stafford, Earl of Thornwyck, a sixteenth-century knight, appeared. Drawn to him by a bond so sudden and compelling that it defied reason, Dougless knew that Nicholas was nothing less than a miracle: a man who would not seek to change her, who found her perfect just as she was. But she could not know how strong were the chains that tied them to the past -- or the grand adventure that lay before them.
Dougless Montgomery sat in the backseat of the rental car, Robert and his pudgy thirteen-year-old daughter, Gloria, in the front. As usual, Gloria was eating. Dougless shifted her slim legs to try to make herself more comfortable around Gloria's luggage. There were six large pieces of matched leather luggage to hold Gloria's belongings, and since they wouldn't fit in the trunk of the little car, they were piled in the back with Dougless. There was a makeup case under her feet and a big wardrobe on the seat beside her. Every time she moved, she scraped against a buckle, a welt, or a handle. Right now, she had an itch under her left knee, but she couldn't reach it.
"Daddy," Gloria whined, sounding like an invalid four-year-old, "she's scratching the pretty suitcases you bought me."
Dougless clenched her fists, closed her eyes, and counted to ten. She. Gloria never said Dougless's name, but just called her She.
Robert glanced over his shoulder at Dougless. "Dougless, could you please be a bit more careful? That luggage is quite expensive."
"I am aware of that," Dougless said, trying to keep the anger out of her voice. "It's just that I'm having a difficult time sitting back here. There isn't much room."
Robert gave a great sigh of weariness. "Dougless, do you have to complain about everything? Can't you even allow a vacation to be pleasant? All I asked was that you make an effort."
Dougless opened her mouth to reply but closed it. She didn't want to start another argument. Besides, she knew that it would do no good. So, instead of replying, she swallowed her anger -- then rubbed her stomach. It was hurting again. She wanted to ask Robert to stop to get something to drink so she could take one of the tranquilizers the doctor had prescribed for her nervous stomach. "Keep this up and you'll give yourself an ulcer," the doctor had warned her. But Dougless wouldn't give Gloria the satisfaction of knowing that she'd yet again managed to upset Dougless and to, yet again, drive a wedge between Dougless and Robert.
But when Dougless glanced up, she saw Gloria smirking at her in the makeup mirror on the sun visor. With determination, Dougless looked away and tried to concentrate on the beauty of the English countryside.
Outside the car window she saw green fields, old stone fences, cows and more cows, picturesque little houses, magnificent mansions, and...and Gloria, she thought. Dougless seemed to see Gloria everywhere. Robert kept saying, "She's just a child and her daddy has left her. It's only natural that she's going to have some hostility toward you. But please try to show some sympathy for her, will you? She's really a sweet kid when you get to know her."
A sweet kid, Dougless thought as she looked out the window. At thirteen, Gloria wore more makeup than Dougless did at twenty-six -- and Gloria spent hours in the hotel bathroom applying it. Gloria sat in the front of the car. "She's just a kid and it's her first trip to England," Robert said. "And you've been to England before, so why not be generous?" That Dougless was supposed to read the road map when she could hardly see around Gloria's head didn't seem to count for much.
Dougless tried to concentrate on the scenery. Robert said Dougless was jealous of his daughter. He said that she didn't want to share him with anyone else, but that if she'd just relax, they'd be a very happy threesome. "We could be a second family for a little girl who has lost so much," he said.
Dougless had tried to like Gloria. She'd tried hard to be an adult and ignore, and even understand, Gloria's hostility, but it was more than Dougless could do. In the year she and Robert...