Knight of Love

by Catherine LaRoche

Reviewed by Margaret Donsbach Tomlinson

Knight of Love is a steamy historical romance with a far-fetched plot and a sparring pair who are, of course, irresistably attracted to each other despite all obstacles. An unusual aspect of this romance is its setting: Germany during the ill-fated 1848 Revolution. An underpinning of reasonably solid research provides information about the grievances of the German peasantry and a few liberal-minded aristocrats against the princes whose near-absolute rule of their territories went unchecked by Germany's weak central government. The doomed rebellion sought to reduce the princes' power by unifying the nation under a strong central government that protected the people's rights.

The novel opens with the heroine, Lenora, a plucky if immature young woman raised in England by her English father and German mother, receiving a brutal flogging on the orders of her sadistic fiancé, prince of the fictional German principality of Rotenburg-Gruselstadt. Grusel means "horror," and the horrors of Lenora's situation are vividly portrayed before she eventually escapes, only to fall into the clutches of an aristocratic rescuer she finds insufferable and insufferably attractive in the classic historical romance tradition. Although she has serious qualms about getting involved with another man, post-traumatic stress syndrome does not rear its ugly head. Some very explicit sex scenes will likely be exciting for readers who enjoy the idea of bondage role-playing with the woman in the dominant role, and who don't mind the implausibility of these leisurely, playfully seductive scenes taking place in a camp of men at war.

Although the 1848 Revolution failed, Knight of Love manages a happy ending for Lenora and her devoted, long-suffering swain - but only after a final obstacle on English soil, resolved in a highly dramatic, if credibility-challenging, manner. (2014, 386 pages)

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Other genre novels involving nineteenth-century Germany:

Weighed in the Balance by Anne Perry, a mystery in which a private investigator tries to find evidence for a countess's claim that the prince of a small German principality was murdered by his wife; #7 in the William Monk mystery series. More info

Oscar Wilde and the Vatican Murders by Gyles Brandreth (2011), a mystery featuring Sir Arthur Conan Doyle happening upon Oscar Wilde in Germany and teaming up with him to solve a mystery involving gruesome objects among the fan mail addressed to Doyle's creation Sherlock Holmes; #5 in the Oscar Wilde mystery series. More info

Nonfiction about the 1848 Revolution:

1848: Year of Revolution by Mike Rapport (2010). More info

The 1848 Revolutions by Peter Jones (1991). More info

The European Revolutions, 1848 by Jonathan Sperber (2nd ed., 2005). More info


The Revolutions of 1848 at the German Heritage website

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