From NY Times Bestselling author, CD Reiss, what happens when Catherine's long-lost love is found?
Catherine Barrington is a rich girl. Chris Cartwright is a poor boy.
He left her to make something of himself. A man she could be proud of. A man she could bring home to her parents. A man she could marry.
On the trading floor he became the man he knew he could be. Now, it’s time to return.
She didn’t care about his money, but he didn’t believe her. Soon after he left, all the money was gone.
Her life is hell.
Now he’s back, and he’s different. Pristine. Gorgeous. Rich.
Money was never the barrier, until now.
White Knight is a standalone in the same world as King of Code, with its own beginning, middle, and end. You don't need to read anything else to read White Knight.
Second chance romance at its finest!
Catherine Barrington is the beloved daughter of the town of Barrington. Living there her whole life, she was raised as an heiress to the Bottling factory her father owned that employed most of the townspeople. That was never what she wanted to be though, she just wanted to be Catherine and figure out what her purpose in life was supposed to be.
Chris Carmichael comes from humble beginnings, living on the wrong side of the fence. But to young Catherine, he is everything she could ever want or need. Society (her mother) will do everything to keep them apart, though, because he has no money and isn't good enough for her.
I first met Catherine in King of Code, which is about her sister, Harper. If you haven't read that yet, no worries, C.D. blends those scenes seamlessly into this book and gives the reader Catherine's view of those interactions. Having read that book, the scenes we get in White Knight between Catherine and Harper are made all the more personal and special, I think.
Told in alternating points of view of Catherine and Chris, C.D. takes us by the hand and leads us down a path into their past and how they met, fell in love, and were separated. Chris being convinced that he needed to leave Barrington and go make something of himself, make enough money to be worthy of Catherine. Now it's 13 years later, both have forged ahead in life but never found their way back to each other. Until Chris' dog passes away and he decides to take him back to Barrington to bury him with his siblings. Is this really just an excuse to go back and find Catherine again?
C.D. does prose like no other author I've read. She nails the angst of young love, of teenagers who know what they want and how they feel, but those older and wiser are convinced them being together would be disastrous. In current time, she intricately describes the struggles that Catherine and Chris feel. Did they live the past 13 years the way they were supposed to? How different would their lives have turned out if they had just made the effort to find their way back to each other?
A lot has happened in the 13 years apart. Catherine has become the backbone of Barrington, being there for everyone in the town, and they have been there for her as well. But is that what she was supposed to be doing? She loves helping everyone, but something has been missing from her life all these years. Chris succeeded in what he set out to do, earn enough money to be worthy of Catherine, but what has it cost him in the end?
This story is a beautifully crafted second chance romance. It begs the question of how their lives would have turned out if even one choice had been made differently. I so enjoyed experiencing the reconnection, the journey Catherine and Chris make to get to where they should have been 13 years ago. I wish we had seen more of that though. I felt like once Catherine decides she is willing to try with Chris, we just got glimpses of that journey together before the epilogue suddenly popped up. I am greedy in this respect, and to be honest, I as the reader needed more of the reasoning as to why Chris stayed away even after he had achieved his goal and made some of the life choices he did, even if Catherine didn't need them. I guess it's a good thing I have never been in a second chance situation in my life, because the poor guy would suffer miserably for a long time before I finally relented.
I have really loved reading all of the books in the American Royalty universe. I hope everyone picks them up, I think you will really love them too!
What a romance! This is true love…young love blossoming and then ended. However they were able to reconnect. There were misunderstandings and miscommunication. Most of which were from Rin’s parents, keeping them apart. Over time, 13 years, these two were able to find and rediscover each other. Good comfy love story!
The Perfect Romance
C.D. Reiss’ highly anticipated White Knight is everything her fans could have hoped for in this fourth and final book of her American Royalty Universe series of standalone contemporary romances.
Ms. Reiss’ story flows like a lazy river between 13 years in the past when her characters were 16 years old to the present. Both the main characters, Chris Cartwright and Catherine Barrington tell their tale. It is a classic story of loving and being worthy of love. I am in awe of Ms. Reiss’ effortless transition from describing young, naïve, and inexperienced lust between Chris and Catherine at age sixteen to the hungry wanting of two adults who need each other like they need oxygen.
Catherine grew up privileged. Chris grew up on the wrong side of the tracks. Through no fault of her own, Catherine and the town named after her family fell far from grace. Chris rode a shooting star to financial success on Wall Street. Catherine became the uncanonized Saint of Barrington. Chris became divorced, less rich, and lonely after the loss of his beloved dog, Lancelot.
The story of Chris and Catherine’s young love is touching and quintessential young adult fiction. Ms. Reiss’ quietly displays the breadth of her talent by incorporating a YA romance within an adult contemporary romance and making the YA romance feel like it is a genre that she has been writing for years.
“Back then, you gave me reason to be my own woman, and when you left, I became that woman.”
Back in the present, Catherine struggles with lost love, personal fulfillment, needs, desires, and obligations. I spent a restless night in Catherine’s head as she tosses and turns with the ebb and flow of her thoughts, choices, fears and desires now that the boy she thought she lost has returned. After some deep thought and turmoil, Catherine eventually understands that she is happy with who she became, and she realizes it wouldn’t have happened if she had followed Chris. However, she struggles with the hurt of him leaving, of her perception of being dumped. As the sun rises, Catherine still feels tentative, but she at least knows that she will pursue what she wants, needs and dreams for, and she will be open to Chris joining her in this journey.
While Catherine has spent years crying over the loss—both hers and the townsfolk—she is a supremely strong woman. I love that when Chris returns home to bury his dog along with hoping to rekindle something with Catherine, and Catherine chooses to put herself first. I loved that Chris returned humble. I loved that Chris completely understood that Catherine would not have liked who he was in New York once he became successful. I loved that at the start of the book, Chris realizes that what he needs to be happy is not the wealth that he chased after, but the love of a good woman, in other words, his “Catherine of the Roses”. His only hope is to prove to her that he is now worthy of her.
“The man I am now wants the woman you are now”.
In this enchanting, swoony book, Ms. Reiss has intersected lines and shown her readers the tangential plot points of the prior books in this series. The heart wrenching beginning of White Knight parallels the timeline in King of Code. The beautiful culmination of the story is filled with love, friendship, and 749 roses, give or take a few.
“I’d done much without her, and I’d done much for her. But I hadn’t achieved anything until I turned her sadness into joy”.
Sweet, tender, and filled with yearning, broken hearts and unfulfilled wishes, White Knight is a #MustRead of 2018.