Every prince has his secrets. And she’s determined to unravel his…
Every dashing young man in London’s ton is vying for Lady Caroline Hawke’s hand—except one. The handsome, delectable, rogue, Prince Leopold of Alucia can’t quite remember who Caroline is and the insult is not to be tolerated. So Caroline does what any clever, resourceful lady of means would do to make sure a prince remembers her: sees that amusingly risqué morsels about Leo’s reputation are printed in a ladies’ gossip gazette…all the while secretly setting her cap for the rakish royal.
Someone has been painting Leo as a blackguard, but who? Socially, it could ruin him. More important, it jeopardises his investigation into a contemptible scheme that reaches the highest levels of government in London. Now Leo needs Lady Caroline’s help to regain access to society. But this charming prince is about to discover that enlisting the deceptively sweet and sexy Lady Caroline might just cost him his heart, his soul and both their reputations… (Goodreads)
As we all well know, we are living in strange times and as such I am finding myself turning more towards the genres and authors that are more my comfort reads. So when the opportunity rose for me to read the sequel to The Princess Plan (which I really enjoyed), I jumped at the chance.
As I had hoped, the second book is about Caroline, Eliza from The Princess Plan’s best friend. The book opens with the happy nuptials of Eliza and Sebastian. However, we find ourselves following Caroline’s mission to have Sebastians brother, Leopold, notice her after a fleeting meeting in the first book. Being the cad that he is, Leo (as he is nicknamed) does not remember her and this only enrages Caroline even more. Thus the backbone of the book is set, where through the course of the book, Leo slowly but surely begins to realise how special and enrapturing Caroline really is.
This is all done in the background of another mystery that this time Leo finds himself roped into, by being tasked to find a number of Westerian woman who have been sold into slavery in London. Leo doesn’t have much time as he is expected to wrap up his affairs and return home to wed the daughter of a prominent Westerian minister, thus cementing an attempted peace between the two countries.
Although this plot is interesting and I did want to know where these women ended up, unlike in the first book, this wasn’t what captured me. Leo and Caroline were the main attraction, both in their own scenes and together.
Caroline was one of my favourite supporting characters in the first book. So, to see that she was the focus in this one was brilliant. On the surface, she appeared to be the stereotypical Society young woman, focused on the latest fashion. Her, fixation on Leo did appear to tie in with this notion of snagging a royal Prince for herself.
However, as we got to know her, there was much more to Caroline than appeared. Caroline was a much smarter woman, as she understood that when she married, her husband would control her finances and curtail her blossoming career in fashion designing. Caroline has aspirations in opening her own little shop on Saville road and catering to Socialites demands to stand out in the crowds at these high society gatherings.
When her brother, Becks, decides that he has let her get away with her “fanciful” notions, he advertises her dowry to those eligible bachelors. Caroline, rather than have her potential suitors vie for her attention, seems to fob them off. This is partially due to her interest in Leo but also due to the fact that she knows they are only wanting to marry her for her looks and her money. She has seen what these marriages can do to a woman and she doesn’t want this for herself.
If you can’t tell, I really loved Caroline. She had this spirit about her that you just knew that you would want to befriend her because one you earned her friendship, she would do anything for you. Cross her and that is another story altogether.
As for Leo, yes he does start off as your Rakish Cad the genre is known about, but I felt for him because all his life he has been seen as less than his brother by his father and society, due to the fact that he is spare to Sebastians heir. He has had no real purpose or goal in life up till this point and has more than meeting the role as the roguish Prince. With this task set before him, in unrooting this human trafficking ring, we see him beginning to grow and find himself. With his previous reputation, it is a help at first, but becomes a hindrance later on in the book, especially when he helps the women he finds, escape. These measures are about as subtle as brick through a window at times and I could only shake my head in despair.
It is through these rescue attempts that Caroline ruins all chances at a suitable marriage, Leo is summoned back home and they both fall so deeply in love. As is to be expected Love conquers all and you are left with a warm feeling inside.
While in The Princess Plan, I wanted to read more of the mystery solving sleuths of Eliza and Sebastian, with A Royal Kiss and Tell, I wanted to see how Caroline and Sebastian settle into a rural life. Once again, I still want to see who will snag Becks attention for even after two books he is still as much a mystery and I want to see who will tame him into domestic bliss.
A Royal Kiss and Tell really was that bit of escapism I need and I am fast becoming a fan of Julia London. She has once again brought something refreshing to the genre with characters that do no stray to far from the society of the time, but also that little bit of rebellion that must have run through the women of the time.