My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it
Southern belle Meg Burton is her parents’ last hope of avoiding financial ruin, and a distant cousin’s kind gesture seems an ideal solution: he will sponsor Meg for a London Season. The pursuit of a wealthy husband was not exactly how the bookish young woman had envisioned her first trip abroad—after all, what does a girl from Charleston, South Carolina, know about being a lady? Amidst the stunning gowns and extravagant balls of the ton, Meg feels like an imposter. Thankfully, she has one friend who knows her true self—Carlo, a handsome stable hand. Despite their difference in station, love blossoms between the unlikely pair, and Meg is sure of one thing: she wants nothing to do with the insufferable European aristocracy.
Prince Rodrigo de Talavera has lost everything to Napoleon. Jaded by war, he has become bitter and miserable—until he meets Meg, an American woman whose eccentric schemes and passion for life remind him what it is to laugh and to love. If only she knew him for himself and not as Carlo the stable hand. With the shadow of deception looming over their happy acquaintance and the dangers of war drawing ever more near, can Meg and Rodrigo find the courage to put aside their pretenses and discover if they can be loved as they truly are?
This is a sweet young adult Regency romance, with a feisty heroine trying to make her way through a season in London- conflicted by her family's expectations of an advantageous marriage to save their failing business and her own dreams for her life. Her friendship with "Carlo" provides relief from the judgements and pretensions of some of the other guests in the duke's home. While I didn't think it was well-done of the prince to willfully deceive Meg, his intentions are understandable. The book reads like a storytelling, which makes it a little more difficult to experience the emotions of the characters. The intrigues of war add tension to the plot as the prince is caught between a desire to find the abducted members of his royal family and remaining safe for the future of Spain. Recommend for young adults and adults who enjoy clean historical romance.
(Thank you to Covenant Communications for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)
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