by Lynette Marie

August 2002
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Amanda Darcy and her five-year-old son Matthew are running from an abusive past. Cruel lawman Avery Higgins, the man Amanda once thought was her loving husband, turned out to be a vicious monster. Moving from town to town, it has been a long time since they have known peace and security. Amanda has found a new job as a governess in St. Louis. All she has to do is get there without running into Avery or one of his hired goons.

U.S. Marshal Sebastian Knight has no idea why attractive Amanda Darcy’s eyes are so filled with fear. She has nothing to fear from him. His only plans are to hand in his badge and return to Alton to reclaim his young daughter, Marissa, from the orphanage.

The peace officer in Sebastian can’t help but be curious about the skittish Miss Darcy. He sits next to her on the train, and despite her own fears, Amanda begins to feel safe for the first time in her life. Sebastian may be a lawman, but she can look in his eyes and tell he is a kind man.

When the train arrives in St. Louis and Amanda discovers she no longer has a position, Sebastian offers her his home and protection in exchange for her pretending to be his wife for one year. The orphanage will not release Marissa to a single father. Marissa’s grandmother, her guardian, is dead, and Marissa’s mother, Misty, is pursuing her theatrical dreams in New York.

Amanda accepts the offer, and she and Sebastian begin a marriage of convenience, which rapidly develops into an affair of hearts. But in the end, the light must always come face to face with the darkness, and when Avery finally finds Amanda, will Sebastian be able to protect her?

My Guardian Knight is a well-suited title for this novel being that Amanda’s hero’s name was Sebastian Knight.

Though Amanda and Sebastian were both appealing figures with intriguing histories, I would have enjoyed more character insight and development. The narrative surrounding them was interesting, but the characters lacked vitality. Instead of leaping off the pages and into my heart, they seemed to sleep their way through most of the story, inciting little emotion from me.

I liked the general plot of the story because Sebastian and Amanda were both lost souls who happened to find each other. Though Amanda had her problems, Sebastian had his too, but by opening up their hearts, they helped each other. It was a great concept for a novel, and the twists that were tossed in like Avery being a lawman and Sebastian’s surprising revelation about his time in the Civil War only made the tale more entertaining.

Still, My Guardian Knight did not captivate me despite the fact the story flowed with considerable ease from scene to scene. At times, the writing style tended to be dull, and the story dragged along at a snail like pace. It made this one a long read for me.

Reviewed in March 2003 by Natasha.

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