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I Belong


Review: The Princess and the Peer by Tracy Anne Warren

Title: The Princess and the Peer

Author: Tracy Anne Warren

Genre: Historical Romance

Series: Princess Brides Trilogy (Book 1)

Publication Date: April 3, 2012

Format: Paperback, 352 Pages

ISBN-10: 0451236343 (Penguin/Signet)

ISBN-13: 978-0451236340 (Penguin/Signet)

Reviewed by: Kiwi

Synopsis:

When a royal summons from her brother arrives, Emma knows it’s time to embrace her duties as the princess of a small European kingdom, and marry the man her brother has chosen for her…a stranger she has never met.  Instead she does what any self-respecting princess would do—she runs away.  All she wants is one week in London.  One week to experience everything life has to offer, before she is locked away in a loveless marriage forever…

Former naval captain Nick Gregory has inherited a title he never wanted. As the new Earl of Lyndhurst, he chafes against his landlocked existence—until fate brings a mysterious young beauty across his path. Believing she’s an unemployed governess, Nick offers shelter and protection to the captivating girl, never guessing her true identity.

Emma falls hard for Nick, but knowing they have no future, she flees once more—this time back to her royal responsibilities. But when she and Nick unexpectedly meet again, she learns that against all odds, he’s determined to make this princess his bride…

Quick & Dirty: A story of love and royalty.

Opening Sentence Her Royal Highness Princess Emma of Rosewald stared at the letter held within her eighteen-year-old grasp, her fingers grown icy against the cream-colored vellum.

ExcerptYes

The Review:

In this story, taking place in the times of kings and queens, dukes and duchesses, there lives the Princess of a small country I don’t remember ever hearing of and the man who would be her husband, the Earl of Lyndhurst.

Emma is a princess, on the run from her duty, looking for a bit of adventure before submitting to a life as a royal, in a loveless marriage to a man almost twice her age. But on her way to the home of a previous teacher, she is robbed of all of her money. She is saved by a handsome man, who gallantly offers to bring her to her destination. Upon her arrival, they are informed that the former teacher is out of town, thus leaving Emma not only penniless but without a place to go.

As a peer of the realm, and former captain in her majesty’s navy, Dominic Gregory feels the need to help out this poor young lady. When he realizes the full extent of her misfortune, Dominic offers her a place to stay in his own home for the time being, and also brings in his aging aunt to observe all the necessary proprieties. For even he can tell this young woman is an innocent that was raised to be a lady, even if she is telling him otherwise.

What neither of these two planned on was their mutual attraction and affection, taking them from their roles of savior and damsel in distress to the roles of two lovers, and the toll it will take on their hearts when the two must separate. For they must separate, Emma being a princess and all, and her upcoming betrothal to a king soon to be announced. One thing though, she has refrained from letting Dominic in on this little bitty secret, allowing him to believe she is an out of work governess. And after a night of passion, which involves giving up her innocence, instead of sharing her burden, she runs out on him, leaving behind only a note.

Dominic spends some time and money trying to find his penniless governess, but to no avail. Not hard to figure out when she actually isn’t a governess. But, when the two are reunited at a ball held by the King of England, and the whole sordid mess is revealed, our Earl is one mad gentleman. But as time passes, he realizes the anger cannot eclipse the love that had developed in her time under his roof. With the help of Emma’s friends, also princesses, Dominic is able to see Emma again, to be with her again. And he decides that no matter what, even if it involves a trip to Scotland, he and Emma will be man and wife.

In the end, these two find a way, with a little unexpected help from Emma’s sister.

A nice love story, true to the regency romance genre, well written and organized.

Notable Scene:

“All alone?” he drawled darkly before sauntering into the room. “I presumed you would have company.”

Her brows drew close. “No, I needed some time to myself. The ballroom had become—“

Oppressive.

Overwhelming.

An opulent, unendurable hell.

“—too warm,” she finished. “I decided to come here to cool off.”

Wherever here might be, she thought. She wasn’t entirely sure at this point exactly how far into the house she had wandered.

“Oh, of course,” he said sarcastically, strolling closer. “It’s only natural to withdraw to an interior room hundreds of yards from the festivities in order to cool off. Have you managed yet?” Pausing, he cast a pointed look at the fire that burned robustly in the room’s overlarge grate.

Emma knew he was angry with her—understandably so—but what was wrong with him? And why was he looking around as if he expected to catch someone hiding behind the curtains or under one of the chairs?

“I am much improved,” she said. “In my estimation, however, your prince has invited far too many people, even for such a large edifice. I suspect all the guests would be far more comfortable if the windows were opened to let in some fresh air in spite of the season.”

He stared at her for a long moment. “My prince? What an interesting way to refer to the prince regent. But I suppose you are right that he is my prince. I guess your brother is yours, is he not, Princess Emmaline?”

She flinched at the nasty way he said her name, as if it were a curse or a taunt. But Princess Emmaline was who she was—the truth at long last laid bare between them.

“Yes. Rupert is regent in my country, so I feel the distinction needs to be made.”

He bowed, the act mocking rather than respectful. “As you say, Your Highness.” Straightening again, he surveyed the room. “You really are alone, aren’t you?”

Her frown deepened, puzzling at the remark. “Yes.”

“Stood you up, did he?”

Now she truly was perplexed. “He who?”

Nick turned a pair of stony eyes upon her. “Whoever it is you were planning to meet here. Which one of your admirers is it? Not that royal duke who took you into supper, I hope. The man looked oily enough to leave grease stains behind.”

She drew a steadying breath, finally understanding his line of questioning. Could it be that he was jealous? Was it possible he had been even a fraction as wounded by their parting as she?

“There is no one,” she said, her voice softening. “How could there be after…”

Her words trailed off as memories of their night together raced through her mind.

“After? After what? Us, do you mean?” He gave a mirthless laugh. “Oh, I already know how deeply affected you were by our interlude, seeing that you ran off without so much as a word.”

“I left you a note,” she defended.

The Princess Brides Trilogy:

1. The Princess and the Peer

2. Her Highness and the Highlander

FTC Advisory: Penguin/Signet provided me with a copy of The Princess and the Peer. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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