'The Knight of Castle Kildare' by Erin Moira O'Hara (Recommended Read)
*A copy of this book was supplied by Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review*
Modern woman Kate Manning has always been fascinated by Sir Caleb, a fifteenth century knight whose portrait hangs in the mysterious Castle of Kildare. Now the new owner of the castle, Kate finds herself even more drawn to him, until one day the unbelievable happens: Caleb steps out of the portrait.
Frozen in time since a gypsy cursed him hundreds of years ago, Caleb awakens at the touch of the most desirable woman he's ever seen. Yet to end the curse and free himself from the portrait forever, he must claim the heart of a woman with Romani blood – not this flirtatious blonde who tempts him beyond belief.
As Caleb fights against his growing feelings for Kate, he must also find a way to keep her safe from those obsessed with the castle's hidden treasure. There are some willing to do anything to unearth it, no matter who gets in their way…
I’ve always loved old films. One of my favourites is a classic from 1947, The Ghost and Mrs Muir, where the dashing house ghost (Rex Harrison) falls for the ravishingly beautiful resident (Gene Tierney). It’s been many years since I first watched that film but ever since, I’ve been a tragic for that kind of storyline. When I discovered Ms O’Hara’s novel was in the same vein I was immediately on board.
With a similar feel to my favourite old film, the main character, Kate Manning, a twenty-three year old children’s author from Australia, is the proud new owner of ‘Haunted Castle Kildare’ in England. Kate’s thoroughly likeable, if somewhat stubborn. She’s also a great foil for the out-of-place airs and graces of her unrequited love interest, sixteenth century landowner, Sir Caleb, caught between two worlds and in the grip of an ancient gypsy curse. Like Kate, Caleb is also a likeable character, particularly as the focus on him is not so much about swashbuckling but about his often bumbling efforts to cross the Rubicon and become a part of Kate’s modern-day life. I would have happily stuck around to soak up much more of this transition story around Caleb had the author decided to make this story a longer one.
The Knight of Castle Kildare has a lot of energy in its writing, leaving you with the feeling that as Ms O’Hara wrote it, she was as eager to find out what would happen next as her readers would be on reading it (my apologies to the author if she's not in fact a pantser but a plotter after all). The writing style is also very direct and fresh, so much so that it struck me that she would write beautifully for the young adult or teen romance market, if she hasn’t taken on that challenge already.
A fun read.
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