Monday, December 29, 2008

"The Princess" by Jude Deveraux

Synopsis From B&

Her name was Aria...a beautiful, arrogant princess from a small European kingdom. Stranded in a storm of intrigue near the Florida Keys, she is swept ashore and into the arms of dashing J.T. Montgomery, an officer of the American Navy. Disdainful at first, Aria is secretly tantalized by the handsome Lieutenant's brash independence...and beneath her proud reserve, J.T. discovers a woman of sensuous fire. To escape her enemies, they return to her royal domain -- with Aria posing as an American bride. But if their daring charade succeeds, Aria must choose -- between the kingdom she was born to rule, and the man she was destined to love!
I picked up The Princess spur of the moment earlier this year, when the library was discarding a lot of the older books for mere pennies. I had heard of the author before and I thought 'What the heck, I'll give her a try'. The worst that could happen would be I hated it, and there went a day or reading and 25 cents, right? But on the other hand, I could end up loving it, and then I have not only a new book to add to my favorite's list, but also a whole new author to check out. Not bad outcomes, either way. But I'm very glad that I took the 'chance' and grabbed this book, along with a few others by Deveraux!
I will admit that at the beginning of the book, I was kind of hesitant and feared that I wouldn't end up liking the characters. The story line was interesting enough, even from page one, and the plot flowed at a nice, brisk speed. But the characters' actions and personalities seemed annoying, weak, and rude, and in my opinion, no matter how amazing the rest of the book is, it won't float my boat if I can't relate to the main characters.
At first, Jarl and Aria were constantly bickering, and Aria was dead set on keeping her cold 'I'm-the-Princess-and-I'm-too-good-for-anything-but-the-absolute-best' attitude, which annoyed me to no end! Now, I'm okay with the hero and heroine having their arguments, I think it's needed at times, and no one is perfect, especially not a working relationship, even in a fiction novel. Heck, it can even be highly entertaining at times! But their fights were almost boring, and I was tempted to just skip over the pages until they got past their problems. Luckily, I stuck it out, and I found that as the story moved on and the plot thickened, the characters also changed, growing more dynamic and 3-D, becoming someone that I could stand and actually wanted to learn more about. I was happy, and I settled back in for the ride, which I assure you was riddled with twists and turns and ups and downs!
For the most part, the beginning character flaws were the only problems I had with this book at all. The rest of it was enjoyable, humorous, sexy, and sweet, all in all, a great romance, even if it was written 21 years ago! As they say, a good book, a good classic, can be enjoyed by others years later.
Watching how Jarel slowly falls in love with Aria, and how he changes her attitude from snobby and cold to passionate and kind was wonderful. More than once I found myself sighing in pleasure after reading one of their conversations or giggling *Giggling, can you imagine it?!* after watching her stubbornness and innocence for the American way of life flare up yet again. And in between all of that, along with the mystery of who is trying to kill her, the love scenes were pretty warm, not boiling, but not written by a nun either! And what they lacked in steaminess they made up for in romance and tender moments.
4.5/5 STARS! A glorious love story that shows you that sometimes choosing between the two things you love is not the easiest thing to do. Touching romance, decent sex scenes, plenty of wit and charm, and yes, even a bit of mystery. In other words, a perfect read! I can't wait to find more books by this captivating author!

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