Well, Better Late Than Never. That's what I always say (probably because I'm always late). I apologize that it has taken me a few days to get back on here to post a review, I've been busy taking The Hubs to the urologist for his kidney stones and then Miss Beautiful has gotten an Acute Respiratory Infection, with fevers higher than I am comfortable with (hit 105 last night but quickly got back down to 103.7), she still has the fever, just not as high, and will probably have it for a few more days, but she isn't wanting me as close today, so I am taking the opportunity to post a review. Since I'm so late in posting the winner from this post and I'm reviewing the same author today, I'm throwing in this book, too. So, Alissa, if you could please e-mail me your snail mail, I'll get these books in the mail to you. I'll get on with it now, so without further ado...
The Prince Kidnaps A Bride by Christina Dodd
Once Upon a time...
three princesses were forced to flee their kingdom in the Pyrenees - vanishing without a trace - until the day a prince can bring each princess home.
Betrothed in the cradle, Princess Sorcha and Prince Rangier were destined to rule their countries together. Then revolution sent Sorcha to a remote Scottish convent - and Rangier into a dungeon so deep rumor claimed he was dead.
Now danger threatens, and Sorcha must travel home with a simple fisherman as her companion - Prince Rangier in disguise. Changed by his imprisonment from a careless lad to a dangerous man, he's determined to win back his kingdom - and the woman he wants more than life itself. But can he protect a woman who believes every person she meets is her friend, every tavern is an opportunity to sing bawdy songs, and each turn in the road hides new adventure? To keep his princess safe, he must resort to his most treacherous weapon: seduction.
As far as the BCC goes, I give it a rating of 3.5 coffee mugs (out of 5). I know, I have never rated my BCC's before, but if I can't really find much fault with them, I think it will be simpler. So, if the BCC is over 3 know it was good. If it was below, I'll rip it apart ;).
When revolutionaries killed her father, her grandmother, Queen Claudia separated Sorcha and her sisters so they would be safe. Crown Princess of Beaumontagne, Sorcha has been living in exile, in a convent far from her homeland, knowing one day it would be time to return to her homeland and reclaim her crown. Missing her sisters and her home, Sorcha is getting eager, if not a bit scared, for when that time comes.
Rainger, Prince of Richarte, ruled by his pride and hormones, foolishly falls for a trap set by the evil Count duBelle, and at the age of seventeen is captured and sent to live in a dungeon, where he is beaten mercilessly, and prays for death. Eventually, Ringer escapes, and finds Queen Claudia and asks for her help in defeating Count duBelle so that he may regain control of his country. Wanting her granddaughters home, Claudia tells Rainger, find the lost princesses, bring them home, and he may choose one to marry. Once he accomplishes that, she will give him full use of Beaumontagne's army, so that he may reclaim his country.
Sorcha is Rainger's last hope at marrying one of the lost princesses. After finding Amy and Clarice and learning of their marriages, he must find Sorcha so that he can wed her and take back his country. Pretending to be a dimwitted shipwrecked fisherman, Arnou, he lands on the island where Sorcha is living at a convent.
But, though Sorcha is fooled by his act, the nuns are not. When fire is set to Sorcha's room, the nuns fear for her safety and believe it is Arnou who is trying to harm her. To keep Sorcha safe, the nuns disguise her as a young man and send her on her way back to Beaumontagne.
When Rainger finds out what the nuns have done, he immediately tries to go after Sorcha. There are assassins that want her dead, and he must protect her, and his future. Escaping the nuns trap, Rainger sets off to find Sorcha and make sure she makes it safely home. Fighting the rain, cold, hunger, and assassins, Sorcha and Rainger slowly make their way to the ship that will take them home. Only, Sorcha doesn't know that Arnou is really Rainger, and she falls in love with him. And much to Rainger's dismay, he finds that he has also fallen in love with Sorcha. But when Sorcha finds the truth, will she ever be able to forgive Rainger?
I've never been much of a historical reader. No particular reason, because really, every historical I have read, I've enjoyed. But, after reading a historical anthology the other day (review to come) I decided it was time to start reading more of the genre. And since I had just read one of Dodd's contemps, I decided to start with this one. I'm glad I did.
Sorcha was a great character. Because she had lived so long with nuns, the outside world was an adventure to her. Even knowing she was in deep danger, she took time to enjoy herself. She finds herself enjoying a night out in a tavern, where she soon has the fellow patrons singing songs. She ends up in a house of ill repute, where the madam is a palm reader and the girls are eager to explain the finer points of men and women to her. Her stint with the women made for some great comic relief. For instance, they tell her all about "blowing the hornpipe," and how to call a man's private part a cock (Chapter 15 had me laughing out loud when this conversation came up). I also liked Sorcha sass, mainly because she didn't even know she was being sassy. She was simply being Sorcha. She would have made a great character no matter the time period.
I even liked Rainger. The man had some serious issues to work out and he generally went about things with Sorcha all wrong, but I really enjoyed seeing his growth. I enjoyed getting to see him go from a man wanting only one thing - his kingdom back at any cost, to a man in love with a woman.
I do have to say, though, there were a couple of things that really bothered me. For one, when Rainger is still pretending to be Arnou, he pleasures Sorcha, sans intercourse, and while the scene is hothothot, it almost seemed like he was raping her. I know, that sounds so silly, because she definitely enjoyed herself, and didn't regret it, but several times she had told him to stop and he kept right at it anyway. I also didn't like that Rainger used the sex to manipulate Sorcha. Don't get me wrong, the scenes are very, very, steamy, but the underlining tone bothered me.
There were also a lot of flashbacks, and while they do lend a certain amount to the story, they confused me a bit at times, too. And while the HEA is splendid, there is an element of otherworldliness to it, that just doesn't fit the theme of the book.
All in all, TPKAB is a good read. It really did have it all, danger, comedy, and a great love story with an even better HEA. And although I won't be getting the first two books in this series (after all, I know how the end) I will be looking for more of Dodd's historicals as well as her contemps. Any suggestions of where I should start?