Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Prince of Scandal - Annie West

For Raul, the fate of his nation was at risk. He had devoted his life to his kingdom and he was soon to be crowned King. However, now there was a problem with the laws of inheritance and they could not be overturned.  To become the King of Maritz he would have to marry a twenty-four year old woman, named Luisa Katarin Alexandra Hardwicke, the heir of Ardissia.  The Prince of Ardissia had died and she was the next in line, heir to Ardissia's throne..

Luisa had heard all of this royal babble at the age of sixteen when her grandfather had promised to groom her for royalty.   The very same grandfather who had thrown out her mother because of the man she married. Now standing before her was this handsome prince who had an agenda.  He wanted her to return home with him because he could not be crowned King due to old laws in place.  Luisa along with her aunt and uncle ran a co-op farm and was in serious debt. They had been her loving family and now Raul had paid off their debt forcing her to return with him to Martiz. Blackmail? You bet and then he dropped the bomb, he was taking her home to be his bride and that was the only way he would inherit the crown.   Two marriage proposals in her life, both from men who wanted something from her. She felt cheap and dirty. Thinking back to their couple of meetings, their chemistry, and his promise to make their marriage a pleasurable one, had me smiling. Luisa wasn't a push over, so I began to think Raul had a tigress  to tame not a kitten.

Raul immediately took over by taking her to Paris,  ordered a complete makeover, new fashions and she balked the entire time.  Damn the man  for trying to take over her life. She missed the farm, her family, and friends and wondered what she had gotten herself into with all of this royal mess. Because he now had the upper hand, he owned the farm.  However, he did promise her after their wedding the debut would be cancelled.  She fought their attraction and then blurted out the most unaccepted thing, "you can't give me anything I truly desire.  I want to marry a man who makes my blood race and my heart sing".  Well they both got that and more when he kissed her; it was off the charts!  For Raul the kiss with Luisa was full of fire, determination and he desired her. The force of his desire an attraction for her disturbed him.  I realized were the tables being turned on him by this lovely young woman? She was so different from the women he had known and she was down to earth.

Their wedding day came and for Luisa she hurt due to the circumstances of their wedding agreement which would enable her husband to become King. On top of that, his stepmother showed up on the castle doorstep and started to create speculation  amongst the wedding guests by getting in her new husband's personal space.  It caused Luisa to wonder about Ana and her relationship with Raul. However, nothing got pass Luisa and like the tigress she was she approached her husband, asking all sorts of questions, definitely giving off her vibes of desire, making him want her even more. Let the wedding night begin!  It was emotional, stormy, and filled with sexual tension.  Definitely a marriage without love.  Luisa realized she would never have a relationship like her parents. She so wanted love and children.  Could this man, her Prince Charming ever love her?   It was obvious that they had enjoyed their wedding night and that she was a virgin. How long would this marriage last without love even though they both desired each other? Luisa was scared because he scrambled her thoughts, he raised passions she'd never known, and everything felt so much more intense because of him.

I wondered if Raul had a heart at all because duty for him and his country came first. However, he did feel a little guilty because Luisa had given up a lot, had left her family, the farm to come to Martiz, giving him the opportunity to become King and it had cost her. He realized they had shared something very special on their wedding night and it somewhat surprised him. As for Luisa, she knew very little about her husband, his relationship with his father, what sort of a childhood  did he experience and did he have friends?  There was one thing for sure, he had been groomed to be a leader of his country. He worked so hard to distance himself and then everything came tumbling out, his past relationship with Ana, the woman who had married his father and it scared Luisa. As if, this royal couple couldn't face any more roadblocks. Luisa loved Raul and realized he was just too closed off to ever share himself with her or to love her.

Dramatic is the only way to describe the ending chapters and what they had to experience before they could find their happiness. Would Raul realize how much Luisa had given up for him, her family, and the farm everything back in Sydney? Then there was the marriage of convenience, which turned into hot nights of sensual passion, leaving them both breathless and Luisa frustrated.   All of the duties she was expected to perform, learning the language, trying not to make a fool of herself in public. The strain of possibly expecting their first child and not knowing what kind of a father Raul would be; would he be like his father? In the end, the love of a good woman won out! Raul for most of his adult life had lived to shut out his emotions. He realized he had done that with his wife and that she had given up so much for him.  However, Luisa had made him feel so much and yes, it was love,  When the light bulb came on and he realized  how much he loved her it gave this royal couple their happy ending.

Book Description:

Ruling prince…

Raul, Prince of Maritz, is furious that an archaic law is forcing him to wed. But scandal and unrest has dogged this prince for years, and a marriage to recently discovered princess Luisa Hardwicke will help bring stability to the monarchy.

…reluctant princess

Only, Luisa is an outspoken, mud–splattered farm girl, who isn't going to come quietly! Even as she's reluctantly transformed into polished perfection, Luisa challenges Raul at every turn— and he finds himself anticipating their wedding night with an excitement he never imagined he'd feel…

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