Every prince has his secrets. And she’s determined to unravel his…
Every dashing young man in London’s ton is vying for Lady Caroline Hawke’s hand—except one. Handsome, delectable roué Prince Leopold of Alucia can’t quite remember who Caroline is, and the insult is not to be tolerated. So, Caroline does what any clever, resourceful lady of means would do to make sure a prince remembers her: sees that amusingly risqué morsels about Leo’s reputation are printed in a ladies’ gossip gazette…all the while secretly setting her cap for the rakish royal.
Someone has been painting Leo as a blackguard, but who? Socially, it could ruin him. More important, it jeopardizes his investigation into a contemptible scheme that reaches the highest levels of government in London. Now, Leo needs Lady Caroline’s help to regain access to society. But this charming prince is about to discover that enlisting the deceptively sweet and sexy Lady Caroline might just cost him his heart, his soul and both their reputations…
|Title:||A Royal Kiss and Tell|
|Series:||Royal Wedding Series (Book 2)|
Mills & Boon
Enemies to Lovers
|Point of View:|
|Location:||England and Alucia (Fictional European Country)|
|Release Date:||28th May, 2020|
Engrossing and enchanting regal romance
I was very much looking forward to this book having read and adored the first in the series, The Princess Plan. This book follows a separate couple than the first book, and while it does stand alone, I think you will enjoy this much better if you read the first book before reading this one.
You will also more likely have a better opinion of Caroline at the beginning of the story if you’ve “met” her before. She is definitely not the usual type of shy, retiring, modest heroine that we find in a historical novel – this one being set in Victorian times. I liked her, and enjoyed her spirit and fire – but I have to admit, from seeing her first through Leopold’s eyes, she could be seen as quite brash, vain and possibly unlikeable.
Equally so, however, Leo isn’t exactly a paragon of virtue at the beginning of our story. He’s not the heir but the spare, and has led a dissolute and drunkenly rakish lifestyle that only a royal prince could probably lead. But he’s tall, handsome, cocky and arrogant so I obviously fell in love with him. As you do. More so as the book progressed and his character grew.
At the beginning, he has no real interest in Caroline – a fact I admit to finding as vexing as Caroline herself did. Caroline noticed him from the first moment she saw him and was slightly infatuated – and expected him to be the same of her. It may sound vain and arrogant on the part of Caroline but, as the book progresses, we begin to understand that while she does enjoy the attention, it’s also a sort of defence mechanism – or a test – as she’s become aware people only ever like her for her looks rather than her personality. Likewise with Leo, there’s a bit of an epiphany with regards to himself and his life. So we have equal growth and depth in our main couple which makes it all the more satisfying as they fall in love – and know that the other is falling in love with their true self.
It definitely was a satisfying love story. I enjoyed watching Leo and Caroline as they moved through a whole gamut of emotions and it was very clever the way Ms London managed to slowly and subtly change all the things that each of them disliked about the other into the things that they loved. It made me sigh. There were a couple of delicious sex scenes – actually maybe just two if I remember correctly – but they weren’t missing from the book as there was a lot of kissing. And when the secret smiles between our pair are as emotive as a full-on sex scene – you know you’re doing something right.
For those that have read the first story, we also get to see Eliza and Sebastian’s wedding which gave me so many feels that I need to go back and read their story again. I might even have done some cheek dabbing with a silk ‘kerchief during those parts!
As with our first book, we get a bit of intrigue to go alongside our romance. This time, it’s not as pivotal to the plot – apart from how the consequences of Leo’s actions with regards to that intrigue affect his relationship with Caroline. The romance is very much central to the book and as such, we don’t really get to see the ending of the intrigue in real time – just a ‘and this is what happened’. I didn’t mind this approach at all but I did think it was worth a mention.
This story really absorbs you into the Victorian era and into the lives of our characters – both the royals and the commoners. I’m no fan, and have no time for, the actual royals – so I’m happy to report that this definitely isn’t a book that rides on the coattails of recent modern royal marriages. So if you’re not a royal fan – don’t let that put you off this book. But equally, I’m sure if you like the royals, you’ll delight in this novel, too.
A few Americanisms are dotted throughout the text which always pull me out of the story (and annoy me greatly) Gotten, off of and sidewalk are those that stuck out in my mind although there were others more in the manner of speaking and sentence structure. I didn’t let them affect my rating, however, as overall the book was entertaining and I still loved getting lost in the story.
I’m hoping to hear that there will be stories for Beck and Hollis (and Donovan) – so we can catch up with these characters and those from The Princess Plan, and also so I can come back to this engaging and engrossing world that Ms London has created for us. A delightfully enchanting romance with a smidgen of intrigue – I highly recommend this story. 5 stars.
Julia London is the New York Times and USA Today best selling author of more than two dozen romantic fiction novels. She is the author of the popular historical romance series, the Cabot Sisters, including The Trouble with Honor, The Devil Takes a Bride, and The Scoundrel and the Debutante. She is also the author of several contemporary romances, including Homecoming Ranch, Return to Homecoming Ranch, and The Perfect Homecoming.
Julia is the recipient of the RT Bookclub Award for Best Historical Romance and a six-time finalist for the prestigious RITA award for excellence in romantic fiction.