Safe & Sound in the Arms of an Elite Knight, Vol. 3

By Fuyu Aoki and Minori Aritani. Released in Japan as “Doinaka no Hakugai Reijо̄ wa О̄to Elite Kishi ni Dekiai Sareru” by DRE Novels. Released in North America by J-Novel Heart. Translated by Dawson Chen.

Yes, as you can see from the cover art showing a wedding, this is the final volume in the series. (The imprint has yet to let a light novel series go beyond Book 3, so that’s also not a surprise.) Actually, lack of surprise is a feature of this entire book. Every single plot point in this book can be seen coming from at least ten pages away. That said, this is perfectly fine. You really don’t want big surprises from this series. You want adorable romantic moments between two very pure people, getting past horribly abusive and traumatic pasts with the help of good communication, and yes, OK, you want our heroine to knock her evil mother unconscious and tie her up. You don’t read this for plot, you read it for emotional grandeur, and it has this in spades. When the long-lost one good maid from Chloe’s past shows up, I did not roll my eyes, I said “oh good, they can apologize to each other for pages on end.” Which they do.

Last time we saw Chloe and Lloyd confess to each other, but as you can imagine, that hardly solves anything. In fact, it actually makes their lives worse for a week or two – neither one have much experience with this feeling, and so they’re on eggshells around each other, and getting distracted. It takes several heartfelt talks to get it through their heads that repressing everything is a bad thing, particularly with Chloe, who has the self-confidence of an asthmatic whelk. After doing so, marriage seems an obvious step – even though they only confessed a week earlier, they’ve basically been behaving like an old married couple for a while. That said, there is the small matter of Lloyd’s tragic past he still hasn’t talked about, and, oh yes, Chloe’s mother, who is coming to visit, and she’s brought her knife.

As with the previous book, Chloe’s family is beyond evil. Her mother is horrified to find out that Lily’s action might have consequences for her, appalled to hear that this is actually going to a trial with a judge who will (gasp!) follow the law, and quickly decides that the best solution is to kill every single witness, starting with Chloe. (I feel bad for the terrorized household help back home, but honestly, they may feel relief to be out of a job.) The great thing is that the attack comes at a time when Lloyd can’t come to her rescue, so Chloe has to overcome her mother on her own, and has the realization that she’s younger, stronger, and smarter, so why is she so terrified? It’s a great empowering moment. As for Lloyd’s tragic past, we don’t see it, he just relates it to Chloe has guilt, so there’s not as much impact. But he gets to cry in her arms, which is also nice.

As with the previous two volumes, if you like to see abused young women recover and thrive after escaping from their situation, this is a great little romance series.

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