My rating: Beach vacation (3/5)
In The Prince Who Love Me, Hawkins gives readers a historical romance Cinderella story. This lighthearted romantic tale is full of humour as it follows what happens when an outrageous and self-indulgent prince meets his practical Cinderella. Sparks fly between Prince Alexsey Romanovin and Miss Bronwyn Murdoch when they first meet, but meddling relatives are there to fan the flames.
Bronwyn Murdoch is a practical girl, concerned more with books and assisting her father with his inventions than catching a husband. At the advanced age of twenty-four, she considers herself on the shelf and is more than happy to help her step-mother find husbands for her step-sisters; thankfully taking the focus off herself. At least Bronwyn was content until she encountered Alexsey Romanovin, a man who seems to have stepped off the pages of the romances she loves so much. Just what exactly has she been missing?
Prince Alexsey is a carefree young man, taking advantage of life’s pleasures where he can. His priority is getting his grandmother to finally agree to support his leadership of the Gypsy people of Oxenburg; a position he inherited from his grandfather. But grandma insists that Alexsey wed before he gains the responsibility. When Alexsey meets Bronwyn he is charmed and thinks it a perfect opportunity for a dalliance, but when his grandmother starts applying pressure to marry, Alexsey decides Bronwyn is the perfect foil for his grandmother’s ambitions. It turns out grandma is not a fan of Brownyn and her unassuming manner, and perhaps Alexsey can use this dislike to his advantage.
Of course Alexsey’s plan might just be disrupted when Bronwyn learns that Alexsey plans to use her. Bronwyn refuses to be used and abandon, and vows to teach this arrogant prince a lesson. If only she wasn’t so intrigued by his kisses…
The Prince Who Loved Me is a sweet read and I enjoyed it, but I didn’t love it. For me, the story lacked depth and the hero, well, he just didn’t do it for me. The romance here moved quickly; however, I don’t think it progressed authentically. When Bronwyn and Alexsey first meet, it’s instant attraction, but I felt the deepening of this attraction into mutual respect and more complicated emotions was never conveyed. This is partly why I didn’t love the hero. Alexsey seemed too self-indulgent to really connect with the serious-minded Bronwyn. And what’s more, I never felt that he truly respected Bronwyn’s position in society and how an affair had the potential to absolutely ruin her. It was all about him rather than them as a couple, and for me, this decreased my enjoyment of the book.
What I did like about The Prince Who Loved Me, was the lighthearted tone Hawkins used throughout, in fact, it’s what draws me to Hawkins as an author to begin with. The moments of humour and the sweetness that is simply nice. And as much as I like these elements, it was not enough to redeem a character that I just didn’t like.
Ultimately, The Prince Who Loved Me was cute, but not a romance with a lot of depth of character. This romance is founded on attraction and not much else. I would of loved to have seen Bronwyn and Alexesy interact more with one another and actually create a relationship; it would have went a long way to making this a stronger romance, at least for this reader.
*Review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
If you liked the matchmaking grandmother of The Prince Who Loved Me, you will LOVE Sabrina Jeffries’ series Hellions of Halstead Hall in which one determined grandmother schemes to marry her grandchildren, or cut off their funds. It is a great series. Start with The Truth about Lord Stoneville.
Personally, I found Prince Alexsey to be a little over the top, but I can see why this type of hero appeals. For another similar hero, try The Reluctant Governess. The characterization of the romance between Eliza and Nicholas is very similar to The Prince Who Loved Me, although I loved the Edwardian setting in Robinson’s novel. For my full thoughts, see my review.
Like the gypsy element to The Prince Who Loved Me? Try Lisa Kelypas’ Mine Till Midnight, where we have another gypsy hero, follow up with the second book in this series, Seduce me at Sunrise, to find out what happens to the other gypsy hero that’s part of the Hathaway family. Another excellent series, and a quirky family to boot.