Knight in Black Leather


ISBN: 978-1-940730-00-4 (Kindle)

A chance meeting on the dark winter streets of Pittsburgh brings widow Marilyn Ballard face to face with streetwise young biker Eli Court when he scares off a trio of wannabe gangsters. Later, she returns the favor, rescuing him from a beating, and their encounter becomes a chance to grow and heal from the pain scarring both their lives.

Marilyn’s family disapproves of the relationship because of Eli’s disreputable past, as well as their age difference. That past life–years spent in the deepest cesspools of the city–reaches out to pull Eli back into its depths, and he fears dragging Marilyn down with him. But she refuses to let him face his past enemies alone, even when his vow to protect a young boy exposes the still-open wounds of her heart, and puts them all in danger. Can they build a new life together, or will those long-denied secrets pull them under?

Knight in Black Leather was published in e-book formats in 2011. It is a contemporary romance with a mystery and is about 110,000 words. It retails in e-book formats for $4.99. It has received good reviews. We’re working toward paper publication in the near future, with a new cover coming soon.

Review by Christine Klocek-Lim

When reading a romance novel, one jumps into the thing with a single, solid certainty: the book will always have a happy ending. This book doesn’t disappoint with that, of course, but the journey toward that ending is so freaking awesome that I stopped thinking about it halfway through the first chapter. Another staple of the romance genre is the role of hero and heroine. My biggest pet peeve with romances is when these characters are stupid and fight all through the book about dumb things. A great many writers do this to create tension but it’s really just lazy writing, in my opinion. This novel does not fall prey to that problem. Eli, the hero, is one of the most likable characters I’ve read. He always keeps his promises. The heroine, Marilyn, is also incredibly decent. Neither of them fight over stupid things. Instead of fake tension created by fake problems, every single one of the plot points in this book arises out of who these two people are, how they got to be where they are in their lives, and how those experiences (both painful and joyful) cause them to react to each other in the midst of the larger plot. The sheer brilliance of the writing of these two characters makes me utterly grateful that Gail Dayton is alive and can type and apparently plans to continue for the forceable future at those tasks.

Eli and Marilyn felt real to me as I read their story. Neither was perfect yet neither was so completely a caricature of brokenness that I grew exasperated. I adored the way they met and how they grew to know each other. I would’ve been perfectly content reading about their love story, except the book managed to introduce supporting characters that were just as real as Eli and Marilyn. Marilyn’s family, and the characters close to Eli were just as well put together. And then, as I settled into the book, thinking “oh, I know where this is going,” the plot intensified. Things happened that I just did NOT expect. And the characters STILL didn’t panic and do dumb things that made no sense. I don’t want to give anything away, so I’ve left the particulars rather vague in this review. Suffice to say, I laughed out loud during the first chapter. I sighed in happiness by the seventh and bit my lip in dismay by the twenty-third (I also might have cried a little, but I refuse to get into that).

The novel, “Knight in Black Leather,” is now at the top of my list of books I adore and will read again over and over.

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