You might have noticed by now that I’m not a huge fan of contemporary romance – I read far more historical romance, paranormal romance, and straight-up fantasy – but after reading an interview with author Sophie Page at Word Wenches, the notion of her alternative British history certainly piqued my interest. And with an Amazon gift card balance still to spend, it didn’t take too much deliberation before this was added to my basket.
This was definitely a cute story, and the ridiculously dramatic beginning captured my attention immediately. I actually started reading it on my commute to work, and couldn’t wait to pick it up again on my lunch break. And on the trip home… I finished it later that evening, but it’s taken me a few days (and the reading of a few more books to review) to ultimately decide what kind of review I would give.
The narrative style of this book reminds me strongly of Kiss Chase by Fiona Walker, which I read and adored so long ago that I’d forgotten both the title and author and had to consult The Google. The whole thing has a fantastically English tone that was wonderfully familiar and delightful to read after the many North American-written or -styled books that populate the romance genre – I have no idea if Ms. Page is actually British or not, but if not she certainly convinced this Brit otherwise.
There were a few moments that managed to throw me out of the story, such as how on Earth terminally-clumsy Bella managed even a single night as a waitress, let alone in silver service, which requires a lot of precision and dexterity. Neither of which our heroine seemed to possess. Prince Richard often seemed to be too good to be true, and his one instance of less-than-princely behaviour struck me as rather ridiculous and out of character.
The sub-plot with ‘loyalsubjek101’ was a half-hearted attempt at the traditional ‘this romance story needs some kind of villain’ trope, and I would have been happier if it had been left out entirely and the relationship had faced other challenges, of which there were pretty much none.
And I’m immensely disappointed that I didn’t get to see Granny Georgia meet Queen Jane.
Overall, this was a delightfully sweet feel-good story with a dashing prince, a whirlwind romance, and a lovely happily-ever-after. Recommended, but beware of possible sugar overdose.