ORDER A COPY: Princess in Love
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperback
Publishing Date: October 30, 2012
Paperback: 352 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Leopold Hunt, Marquess of Cavanaugh, is a secret Royalist with a distant hereditary claim to the throne. He has been groomed to one day overthrow the king and rebuild his family’s dynasty. Only one thing stands in his way: the king’s daughter, Rose.
Princess Rose has loved the marquess her entire life, but she is about to enter a political marriage—one that promises to help keep her father in power. There is virtually no way for Rose to escape her fate…yet she cannot resist the unstoppable passion she feels in the arms of the handsome and charming marquess. When a dangerous plot unfolds and puts their love to the ultimate test—Leopold must make a desperate choice: To honor his family or follow his heart.
This is the second book in Julianne Maclean’s Royal Trilogy, which features the youngest royal, Princess Rose. In this story, Leopold Hunt, Marquess of Cavanaugh, shows us that an omission is as good as a lie and it can cost you everything you hold dear.
Rose’s father, a great soldier, was put on the throne after a revolution overthrew the prior King. He has ruled for over twenty years and has raised his son, Randolph, to succeed him. Leopold’s father is a firm royalist and has been waiting these 20 years to dethrone the King, and put his own son, Leopold, a distant but true royal descendent, on the throne.
When Rose met Leopold two years ago, she was certain their mutual admiration would lead to a proposal of marriage. She all but had her wedding dress picked out, when she was pushed aside by Leo and she learned a painful lesson about love. What Leopold had neglected to mention during their time together was that he has been secretly engaged to the last living child of the former king, Princess Alexandra Tremaine, and their marriage would further support Leo’s claim to the throne. The same Princess Alexandra who was now going to marry Rose’s own brother, Randolph.
Leopold has spent some time away from his father, and after returning from the Napoleonic wars as a hero, Leo has begun to realize that not only does he not share his father’s ambitions to rule the country, he truly admires the King and Prince Randolph. A chance meeting throws Rose and Leopold together again and with his betrothal broken, he wants to pursue a love with Rose. But Leopold has forgotten to mention his royalist father and his secret plot to dethrone Rose’s father.
But even the darkest secrets manage to find their way into the light and when a plot is discovered to kill the King and fingers point to the royalists, Leopold’s past and secret plots start to crumble the foundations of his new love affair with Rose. It is too late to confess his change to heart so now the truth sounds like a lie.
Can love survive when lies, ambition and power come into play? Can you sift out the truth from the lies when there is a crown to be won? Leopold believed he could just walk away cleanly from a lifetime of plotting but will the mark of betrayal be too much for new love to survive?
I really liked this book, Julianne Maclean has a nice writing style, but I didn’t absolutely love this story plot. Pathetic that I am, some stories stress me out especially when you can see the lies that are going to bite the character in the butt. The bigger the lies, the bigger the bite, the more stressed I get. (I am so sad.)
I knew that the happier Leo and Rose became the worse the betrayal was going to be. Instead of enjoying the romance, I was cringing waiting for it all to go wrong.
The first thing I would recommend to you is to skip the Prologue. When the premise of the book includes two people both with an interest in a same crown, you know that they are going to face big issues. I thought the prologue gave too much of what was going to happen so I spent my time waiting for the book to catch up to the prologue and it cast a shadow over the whole story. Start with Chapter 1, the prologue is repeated in the story.
It was a wonderful story. The storyline was more creative than the usual regency fare. Just skip that prologue.
Received ARC from the author. Thank you.
In the very next instant, he sat back. “You never fail to astonish me.”
He frowned. “I’ve never met a woman who speaks as candidly as you. You don’t mince words. You say what you think.”
She scoffed. “No, I assure you, Leopold, I do not. If I said what I really thought, you would be a great deal more than astonished.”
His eyes smiled with admiration, and he leaned forward again. “I am sure you are quite right about that, but let us travel back a bit. I certainly don’t think you adore me. Quite to the contrary, I believe you are very unhappy with me, and I cannot blame you. What happened between us two years ago was…it was…”
He paused, and she clenched her teeth in anger. For the love of God, she couldn’t stomach any more of this unnecessary degradation.
Raising a hand and shaking her head, she said, “Please, Leopold. There is no need for us to discuss it. It was a long time ago, and I’m completely over it. I am very happy now. I no longer wish that you would become the man I once wished you to be.”
He regarded her with shrewd eyes “Now there is an artful insult if I ever heard one.”
“Not at all,” she helpfully replied. “You are who you are, and two years ago, I was simply mistaken in my impression of you.” She waived a dismissing hand through the air. “I was very young.”
He chuckled. “You were twenty. And what was your impression of me, exactly?”
He appeared quite genuinely curious.
Rose paused. If she were being honest, she would tell him she believed him to be the most handsome, fascinating, and intelligent man she’d ever imagined could exist, and that they were destined to be together, and that she wanted him to father her children—at least a half-dozen of them.
But that romantic first impression had died a swift death when she showed her true feelings and he blatantly rejected her. For that reason, he did not deserve to hear such praise.
“I thought you were very charming.” She simply said.
“There’s that word again.” He shook his head and waved a finger, as if he knew she was holding back and would have none of it.
She let out a frustrated breath. “What do you want me to say? That I fancied myself in love with you? That I thought you might feel the same way, and I was heartbroken when I realized it meant nothing to you? Or that I still dream of a proposal from you?”
His lips parted, and he was about to answer the question when the dowager snorted and startled awake.
“Oh, I do beg your pardon,” she said, sitting up. “Was I sleeping? Are we almost there?”
Leopold inclined his head at Rose, as if to say, We are not done here.