Sunday, November 17, 2019
✱✱Book Review✱✱ Blog Tour: The Princess Plan by Julia London
The Princess Plan
Mass Market | HQN Books | A Royal Wedding
On Sale: 11/19/2019
Princes have pomp and glory—not murdered secretaries and crushes on commoners
Nothing gets London's high society's tongues wagging like a good scandal. And when the personal secretary of the visiting Prince Sebastian of Alucia is found murdered, it's all anyone can talk about, including Eliza Tricklebank. Her unapologetic gossip gazette has benefitted from an anonymous tip about the crime, prompting Sebastian to take an interest in playing detective—and an even greater one in Eliza.
With a trade deal on the line and mounting pressure to secure a noble bride, there's nothing more salacious than a prince dallying with a commoner. Sebastian finds Eliza's contrary manner as frustrating as it is seductive, but they'll have to work together if they're going to catch the culprit. And when things heat up behind closed doors, it's the prince who'll have to decide what comes first—his country or his heart.
Momma Says: 3 stars⭐⭐⭐
I think The Princess Plan is going to be one of those books that is either a complete hit or a complete miss for most people with few riding the fence. However, I ended up riding that fence almost from the beginning. The story is well-written, and it certainly had promise. I was expecting a kind of Cinderella story, and I suppose in some ways it is. The characters are interesting enough, particularly Eliza. I really liked this quirky character. She's full of life and her acceptance of spinsterhood has given her a snark most women of the time wouldn't have had. I did have a little trouble with Sebastian. In fact, I didn't care much for him at all in the beginning, but that's not necessarily a deal-breaker. In fact, a flawed character with redeeming qualities can be quite fun. I did enjoy Eliza putting the prince in his place, not that I believe such behavior would've been acceptable in historical England.
As far as setting, the important thing for me with historical fiction is whether or not it feels genuine. Well, sometimes yes, and sometimes no. But the story is fantastical, so that's to be expected. I was a bit disappointed that the prince is from a fictional land rather than a place England would've negotiated with in the time period. That said, Sebastian's home country wasn't really the focus here. The focus was on the romance between the prince and the spinster. Which brings us to what brought them together in the first place. They do have a couple of initial meetings, but the author uses the murder of Sebastian's personal secretary to give this pair some common ground. So, we have murder, political intrigue, and romance being the primary goal. I do think solving a murder was a pretty clever idea for a plot device to bring these two together, which is why the predictability of the murderer didn't bother me. It wasn't really about that, it was all about Sebastian doing some much needed growing up as he came to terms with who and what he wanted, and what he may have to give up to get it.
In the end, there were things I liked about this one and things I didn't. The story does have some lags, and I didn't care for the lengthy descriptions for each new character. I prefer to get to know a character as the story progresses, more organically throughout the book I suppose. Some parts went on a bit more than I felt necessary, and there were others that I wanted more of. Nevertheless, the romance is fun, and I did like this pair together. So, did I love it? Not really. But I did like it, and it was worth the read.
❃❃ARC provided by NetGalley and Harlequin
Julia London is a NYT, USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of historical and contemporary romance. She is a six-time finalist for the RITA Award of excellence in romantic fiction, and the recipient of RT Bookclub's Best Historical Novel.
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