In the summer of 1814, St James’s Palace is host to His Royal Highness Prince Randolph of Petersbourg, and it is no secret that at the end of his stay the prince intends to take his future queen home with him. Deeply romantic, he wants to marry for love and not for duty. Lady Alexandra Monroe attends the royal introductory reception with the aim of winning the heart of Prince Randolph, but she is not alone:
Honestly. This whole evening was nothing short of a bloodthirsty cutthroat competition. All the ladies were trussed up in their best gowns and jewels, eyeing each other with icy rancor. If only we had swords and muskets, then the portrait would be complete.
It is not Randolph who captures Alexandra’s heart that night, however; rather, it is his younger brother, Prince Nicholas. He is also enchanted by her, even in the face of her honesty that she wants to marry his brother. Nicholas manipulates the situation to court Alexandra, and she cannot help herself from falling for him, leaving her torn between love and her duty to her family.
She turned and made a solemn vow not to spend another moment dreaming about Prince Nicholas, for he was the most dangerous of men. He had the power to divert her from her goal, and she could not allow him to do that. No matter that he fired her blood and made her body yearn to be touched. His brother made her feel no such things, and yet it was he whose children she must bear.
But this book is about deception, and whilst Alexandra believes she is hiding the biggest secret – the fact that she is actually the true blood heir to the throne of Petersbourg – Randolph has his own secrets too. When the truths are revealed, can Alexandra ride out the path to true love and return her bloodline to the throne?
The main characters in this book are really strong individuals; all stubborn, and ready to do whatever it takes to get what they want. It is written from several characters’ points of view, explaining all of their competing desires, so you truly understand why each person has behaved the way he or she has – in fact, at times it is difficult to decide whose side you are on!
What I really enjoyed about this book is the way it is written – the realism that mixes humour and serious emotion means that you really connect with the way character feels:
Yet she was a woman who had suffered a broken heart that very morning, and unfortunately, rationality had very little to do with anything. She simply needed to boil over and boil very hard.
Obviously the festival of pleasures–and all the dancing he’d done in Vienna–had agreed with him. He had never looked better. She wished she could hate him for it, but all she felt was a mad desire to dash into his arms, rip that coat off his body, and make love to him right there on the floor. Thankfully, however, more sensible thoughts took over, and she wondered what would happen if she threw a brandy decanter at his head.
It is also refreshing that the book does not end when Alexandra finds her true love. The fact that we follow that relationship past the heady climax of finally finding each other, and each getting what they most desired, was exciting; I was intrigued – there’s still almost half the book left beyond where another might have stopped. What followed was a captivating story of the after-effects of the secrets and lies and misunderstandings that had brought them together, when the lovers struggle to forgive and trust again. It wasn’t clear if they would re-surface together, or if their relationship would simply self-combust. The suspense left me quickly turning the pages and willing them on, because despite everything I wanted both Alexandra and Prince Randolph to have their happy endings.
This book is the first in the royal trilogy, and it cleverly introduces the characters that will be the focus of the next two books without taking away from this current story at all. In fact, I am most intrigued to read the next two – the first of which was released just last week (Princess in Love) – to see what happens next.
Be My Prince is available now from Amazon; click on the book cover below to visit the store.