Baby, Baby, Baby

Bandera's Bride

Bluer Than Velvet

Just One Look

The Marriage Knot

Moonglow, Texas

Storming Paradise

 
Sarah’s Knight by Mary McBride
(Silh. Int. Mom. #1178, $4.75, PG) ISBN 0-373-27248-0
***
By my count, this is the sixteenth book in Silhouette’s series involving the Sebastiani royal family of Montebello and the Kamal royal family of Tamir, leaders of two small island kingdoms somewhere in the Middle East. And yet, Mary McBride offers probably the most realistic descriptions of the fictional dynasty of Montebello in the entire series.

In using Sarah Hunter as the heroine the author seems to begin closing the circle on this epic, as Sarah is the fictional sister of Dr. Elliot Hunter who readers met in the initial book which kicked off the entire series.

The Hunter family patriarch is still calling the shots as he dispatches his daughter Sarah to Montebello in response to a request by the king to help the small son of the royal physician, Sir Dominic Chiara. Nick, for no apparent reason, ceased talking one day. All efforts within the prior month had failed to elicit a syllable or a hint as to what the problem was.

As a practicing psychotherapist, the problem is well within Sarah’s expertise. In heading toward Montebello Sarah leaves behind her wimpy fiancé Warren. She had carefully chosen Warren as a perfect candidate for a husband and father to her children. Since she had minimal emotional attachment to him it made her safe by never being able to be hurt by any of his actions. Sarah has an interesting and unusual array of emotional baggage.

On the other hand, Sir Dominic’s fear of abandonment had its origins in different fashions. First, his parents had sailed off to become lost at sea when he was very young, and then his wife carried his son to term knowing she was dying of cancer, but resisting treatment in order not to harm the unborn child.

Since this story is essentially about the relationship between Sarah and Dominic and occasionally Nick, the background is critical to a possible reader in assessing whether or not they wish to read the book. Lady Honoria as the aunt who raised Dominic is an entertaining and humorous counterpoint at times. The foreshadowing by the author, in setting forth the cause of Nick’s aphasia is heavy handed, but understandable in order for the book to stand alone from the series.

The story moves gently and predictably along. The few secondary characters are clearly present only to advance the plot and, therefore, foster little reader interest. McBride’s books usually have more complicated plots with creative twists and more dynamic characters. Perhaps she was constrained by an outline that fit the larger picture of the 18 novels.

McBride’s two main characters are well developed and the dialogue is always in voice; Sarah’s Knight is only one more facet in an unremarkable series by Silhouette.

--Thea Davis


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