The briefest of kisses, the deepest of messages. You always have choices. Remember.
OH LUCIEN…. LUCIEN….WHAT YOU DO TO ME!
“So what if fucking makes you feel better?” He shifted further down and laid his head against her inner thigh. “Let me be your medicine. In fact, it makes me practically a doctor.”
ALL THAT GLORIOUS MALE BEAUTY!
“I don’t snog. I kiss, Sophie. I’ve practiced kissing for a long time. I’m good at it.”
Yes, needless to say, I FREAKIN’ LOVED this book! Kitty French did not disappoint in delivering the conclusion to Lucien and Sophie’s story. The tale was raw. It was emotional. It was beautiful. And, it was HOT AS ALL HELL. This is Lucien we are discussing..... right????
On first glance she was quiet and unassuming, but scratch the surface and she was spectacular.
Knight & Stay begins right where the first book ended. Sophie is left not only confronting her douche of a cheating husband, but Lucien has shown up at her door. Sophie is overwhelmed now that she is face to face with her cheating husband and her lover that has touched her body and made her feel things that she had never even contemplated. The choice is now between the man she intended to love forever or the man who with just one touch arouses her and calls to a deep inner longing within her.
The plain fact was that this thing between them wasn’t basic chemistry. It was lethal, combustible dynamite, and it was only going to be made ten times more difficult by denial.
However, the choice for Sophie is not an easy one, nor does it come quickly. Her husband’s betrayal has cut her deeply. She needs to learn how to move on with her life. A life that does not include her husband. Whether that life includes Lucien is not something that she is ready to deal with, nor is it something that Lucien is offering. Lucien is adamant that he does not do forever, that relationships for him are all about lust and fulfilling his desires. Is there more for Lucien as well?
He didn’t say it, but the idea of not having Sophie around him and not touching her made his balls ache.
Letting his guard down wasn’t something Lucien did, but wow, the intensity of stealing behind those barriers with him for a little while had burned itself on her heart.
“Theirs was a closeness that went way beyond physical proximity. She was under his skin. Moving closer to his heart. He just didn’t know it yet, because no one else had ever found the pathway before.”
“I don’t want to feel this Sophie. Like I’ve led you on, or like I can’t be with anyone else. “
“Lucien, you said yourself that you don’t want to be with anyone else!”
“Yes, and you have no idea how much that fucks me off. Don’t you get it, Sophie? I don’t want these feelings, or these cravings.” He splayed his hand on his chest. “It’s not who I am.”
“I don’t love you,” he ground out, biting her lip.
Sophie wound her arms around his neck, her fingers in his hair as she kissed him gently. “I don’t love you either,” she whispered, holding him close and rocking the last ebbs of pleasure out of him. “I don’t love you either.”
The angst and drama of Lucien and Sophie’s relationship is truly the heart of this story. Lucien continues with his stance that he is not a man that loves or does happily ever afters. He is determined to try and keep a distance between him and Sophie. He feels that he has helped her realize who she truly is and she is stronger for it now and will be able to move on from her life with her cheating husband. The problem is that seeing Sophie on a daily basis, having her around makes the powerful urge to reach out and touch her too much for Lucien to ignore. He knows that he needs to change his rules that have become the mantra of his life. He needs to touch Sophie, kiss her and possess her. Will she allow it?
“A million years turned out to be too long,” Sophie said, clicking the door shut behind her.
He’d done it again. Blindsided her with his contradictions: one minute the lustful Viking and next her romantic here.
She might not be able to fix his past, but she was willing to spend a lifetime showing him what love could be: beautiful not ugly, uplifting not destructive, and more precious than diamonds.
His words said I want you now, but every now and then his body said I’ll adore you always.
“Don’t want me, Sophie.”
She slid up onto his lap. “I can’t stop.”
“I don’t want to break you,” he whispered.
“Love is a temporary insanity curable by marriage, as they say. It fucks people up.”
“You want me. And I’m here, now, saying I want you too, saying I love you, and I don’t know where the hell it’ll end up, but I’m brave enough to say that right now you’re my everything. You’ve opened my eyes, and my body, and my heart so much more than I knew existed, and you make me feel beautiful, and protected, and adored, and I don’t think you could do all of those things if you didn’t love me back.”
In Knight & Stay we see Sophie truly emerge with a beautiful confidence. It’s this self-assurance that allows Sophie to move forward and discover her feelings for Lucien are more than one has for a lover. She slowly surfaces from her shell and with purpose and resolve she pursues what she now realizes she wants – Lucien. Lucien broke my heart. His struggle not to give in to the need he has for her, the fight to not love Sophie when everything inside him is making him gravitate towards her was simply crushing. I felt so much heart-ache for him in those moments and truly wanted to take away his hurt. The flip side of the coin was that I also wanted to smack him upside the head and scream at him to stop running from the one thing in his life he needs. Lucien was truly broken and it took Sophie’s unconditional love and her determination to not give up on him for him to see the light.
“Sophie Black. You fucking amaze me.”
“I’ve got you, princess. I’ve got you.”
“You asked me in Paris how many women I’d loved. I said one. I should have said two.” He cupped her cheek, his thumb rubbing over her bottom lip. “As a child I loved my mother, and as a man I love you.”
“I love every beautiful fucking inch of you, Sophie Black.”
“I love you too, Lucien. Very, very much.”
“Mine.” The ragged word left his mouth unplanned and uncensored by rational thought as he buried his face in her neck. “Mine.”
They were different people now. They’d changed each other.
"I don't want to wake up and find you're not really here," he whispered, not yet opening his eyes.
"I'm really here."
Harsh circumstances that Lucien finds himself facing and the fact that Sophie comes to be by his side finally punch a hole in the tough armour that is holding Lucien back. Sophie’s courage floors him. With no more secrets and having everything out in the open between them, Lucien realizes that he cannot live without the woman who constantly surprises him. She has found her way into his heart despite his unwavering attempt to keep her out. The journey that both Lucien and Sophie take in this book is truly breath-taking. Sophie has found someone that calls to the woman who she accurately is. She is free to bask in her true self and explore without any judgment. Lucien has found someone that grounds him. Perhaps he sees that his life prior to Sophie was meaningless and empty or maybe he finds that his whirlwind of a life is more fulfilling with her by his side. They have found love. They have found forever.
My only criticism of Knight & Stay, and the only reason that is book is a 4.5 star read for me and not a 5, is that I wish the entire situation with Dan was concluded in a more detailed and satisfying manner. Seriously, what happened to him? He has a handful of confrontations with Sophie, makes a weak attempt at getting back with her and then nothing. It was so anti-climactic when I expected a much more dramatic end to the marriage. After all, this is a man who cheated on his wife not once, but for three long years. I guess I wanted his balls cut off and served on a platter. Yes, I can be vengeful. While I understand that this story was not really about him per say, I would have liked to see how he ended up. Hopefully it is sad and alone.
All in all, I truly loved Knight & Stay. Both books in the series were incredible. It is a series that had me all hot and bothered, it had me swooning and it had me longing for a happily ever after. Lucien and Sophie had to come a long way in order to reach for their chance at happiness, but they get there and they will forever hold a happy place in my heart.
“That’s how people are. They love, and they get hurt. But sometimes, just sometimes, they don’t get hurt. They don’t cheat, or leave…they stay and they love you forever.” Her voice broke. “I want to love you forever.”
“Let’s do this forever, princess,” he murmured, kissing her ear.
It was sex, it was fucking, and it was making love. It was life in glorious technicolour, full of promise and joy. The best of all worlds, with the best of all men.