Courtesy of CK2S Kwips and Kritiques
Nick Black has been around for centuries. He had been a knight during medieval times, in the small country of San Rimini. He had been cursed by a witch when he refused to help a young boy in need because he thought his mission for the King far more important then a peasant child's life. His curse left him to wander the Earth, never aging until he learned the importance of sacrificing for the benefit of another.
Princess Isabella of San Rimini has a pet project she needs help with. Her mother's dream, before her death, had been to have a museum display of San Rimini historical artifacts. Isabella intends to see her mother's dream realized and needs Nick's help. For he is the expert on San Rimini history, though none know the real reason for that... that he had lived it all. She comes to the US where he lives the life of a recluse, except for a couple close associates, to hopefully hire Nick to work on her project.
Nick refuses at first, fearing the attention and publicity from the media. He can't let anyone discover his secret and turn him into a scientific experiment. When Isabella agrees to all of his conditions, and agrees to give him full access to all artifacts, he can't refuse. He had spent the past 800 years collecting documents and artifacts, hoping to find something... anything... that will lead him to the witch who cursed him, and a way to break it.
What Nick never counted on was falling in love with Isabella and she with him. Now he has even more to fear - how would she react to finding out about his curse? Does he stay with her and risk her hatred bound to develop once she realizes the full impact of his curse? Or does he leave San Rimini and Isabella to protect his secret? Will his curse ever be broken so he can finally find peace?
Ms. Burnham continues her San Rimini Royal Family miniseries with this pleasant tale. She shows her talent for spinning a sweet story, full of love and joy that many people live to experience. She expands a little more on the family in this book, and the reader gets the chance to visit with characters from past books, and some who likely will be getting their own story before too long.
Nick and Isabella are a good couple and Nick's turmoil is believable. He may have started out as a man committed to one thing, his King, but that changes as through time he learns he must learn to care more about other things, and people, if he ever hopes to break the curse and live a normal life. In a way, Isabella is like him - dedicated to her country, family, and causes, above all else, even herself. She had forgotten how to just live, experiencing life for the sheer joy it brings. Together, they learn to live again, experiencing happiness, as they had never really known it before.
This book has everything lovers of romance novels want. There is a fine story fully realized, plenty of charming and endearing characters, a little bit of adventure, a touch of fantasy, and of course the key elements - love and romance. This book was this reviewer's first read by Nicole Burnham, but it intrigued her enough to want to seek out the rest of the series as well.
© Kelley A. Hartsell, June 2003. All rights reserved.