‘ “If you know who I am, then you surely must know you cannot refuse me.”
‘ “This is a free country Your Highness. And while you may be someone’s
prince somewhere, you are not mine….” ‘
London’s high society loves nothing more than a 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 benefited from an anonymous tip off about the crime, forcing Sebastian to ask for her help in his quest to find his friend’s killer.
With a trade deal on the line and mounting pressure to secure a noble bride, there’s nothing more dangerous than a prince socialising 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 soon, as temptation becomes harder to ignore, it’s the prince who’ll have to decide what comes first―his country or his heart.
Hi everyone, I’m delighted to welcome you to my stop on the Princess Plan blog tour. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did……
Eliza Tricklebank, her sister Mrs Hollis Honeycutt, and their friend Lady Caroline Hawke have been invited to the Duke of Marlborough’s masquerade ball. Separated from her companions, Eliza inadvertently meets Prince Sebastian of Alucia in a series of ‘comedy of errors’ moments. While he leaves a lasting impression upon her, (and her foot), he apparently later dismisses her from his mind. The next day, although Eliza’s thoughts keep turning to a pair of moss green eyes, she is under no illusions she’ll ever move in such high circles again. However, reminiscing about the Ball soon gives way to talking about the murder of Prince Sebastian’s personal secretary. And then someone sends an anonymous tip about the murder to Eliza’s blind father, which she gets printed in her sister’s newspaper, ‘Honeycutt’s Gazette of Fashion and Domesticity for Ladies’. It’s a shock when the Prince appears on her doorstep because of it, demanding to see her father….
This moment is pure comedy gold! The scene is one of the best I’ve read in a long while – Sebastian’s bewilderment, his pomposity, and sense of entitlement are extremely well drawn, while Eliza’s anger, and her entirely reasonable and justified behaviour made me cheer. And from this moment on, you know they really are made for each other. She’s intelligent, independent, very opinionated, and a real delight; he’s old fashioned, and privileged, but very endearing, and oh so easy to tease and fall in love with. The way he emerges from the cocoon of privilege, to turn into his true self is sympathetically done; and the ending is realistic, satisfying, and quite simply breathtaking.
It really is an enjoyable read. It’s got romance, intrigue, and a murder. I loved the interplay between friends as well as the main characters, and I especially loved the snippets from ‘Honeycutt’s Gazette of Fashion and Domesticity for Ladies‘ at the start of each chapter. I felt they really added to the flavour and charm of the period. For me though, the best part of the book is the deft and humorous banter between Eliza and Sebastian which elevates them into real people you can genuinely care about.
It’s fun, it’s refreshing, and it’s quirky. True escapism at its best!
One final word: Eliza is very much a modern, contemporary heroine, rather than a woman of the time, and while I enjoyed this, I am aware that others may not.