⇒ Sometimes having too much rum punch at the party can turn out to be very advantageous – especially when you’re in the presence of a prince. ⇐
**Many thanks to NetGalley, HQN Books, and the author for the opportunity to read a free ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Author: Julia London
(3.83 stars – Goodreads rating)
Genre: Fiction / Romance
Publication Date: November 19, 2019, by HQN Books
Pages: 400 (Kindle version)
#ThePrincessPlan #JuliaLondon #HQNBooks
Wealth and influence and titles had a way of turning otherwise honest people into liars and actors.
Am I the only one who never harbored fantasies of becoming a princess when she grew up? I mean, of course I wanted to meet the handsome wealthy man who swept me off my feet and just conveniently had a big beautiful house (and maybe a few gorgeous horses too), but a prince and a castle? That just wasn’t my thing. I guess I always thought that being a princess or even (gasp!) a queen would be awfully dull and hard. So much responsibility and scrutiny. Pass!
This is what makes Eliza Tricklebank so relatable. Even as a 28-year old spinster, she doesn’t have designs to make either the prince or the throne her own – she’s just enjoying a fun night out and several helpings of delicious rum punch. What happens at masquerade balls is supposed to stay at masquerade balls, right? Well, apparently not when Prince Sebastian Chartier of Alucia is in attendance and your sister just happens to run the town’s only ladies gossip gazette. But what does any of that have to do with The Princess Plan?- let’s read the blurb:
Nothing gets the tongues of London’s high society wagging like a good scandal. And when the personal secretary of the visiting Prince Sebastian of Alucia is found murdered, it’s all anyone can talk about, including Eliza Tricklebank. Her unapologetic gossip gazette has benefited from an anonymous tip about the crime, prompting Sebastian to take an interest in playing detective—and an even greater interest in Eliza. With a trade deal on the line and mounting pressure to secure a noble bride, there’s nothing more salacious than a prince dallying with a commoner. Sebastian finds Eliza’s contrary manner as frustrating as it is seductive, but they’ll have to work together if they’re going to catch the culprit. And when things heat up behind closed doors, it’s the prince who’ll have to decide what comes first—his country or his heart.
…by all accounts he is very handsome, … And rich. That is a powerful broom if one is inclined to be swept.
There are so many things I like about this book: The picture-perfect ambiance of a masquerade ball, the heated contest by all the single ladies to meet the royal bachelors, and the inclusion of nearly every class of person in the story. But I most appreciate how perfectly imperfect Eliza Tricklebank is. She isn’t the perfectly coiffed and proper protagonist that one might expect in literature. Instead, she is irreverent, a little clumsy, and more often than not inappropriately attired for the occasion. I can totally relate to her. Plus, she really, really enjoys a good rum punch!
Eliza has a very realistic outlook on her position in life. She has no grand airs, and she is bound to her duties as the spinster daughter charged with looking after her blind father. But as luck and love both seek her out, she finds that wanting more for her life is a double-edged sword.
Great wealth and responsibility must come at the expense of something else.
Highlights of The Princess Plan include Eliza’s sister’s gossip paper, Honeycutt’s Gazette – every issue is packed with tantalizing rumors and speculations about aliased citizens, tempered with a dash of practical advice at the end. Every excerpt from Hollis’ paper was clever and, many times, hilarious!
Another key highlight is that this is not just a romance novel. If you are a fan of mysteries – as I am – London has included a taut murder mystery among all the ballgowns and clandestine meet-ups. There’s enough going on in this book to keep demanding readers happy, guessing, and wanting more.
That last part bodes well for The Princess Plan as it is book one in the A Royal Wedding series (kind of a spoiler alert, dontcha think?) Anyhoo, read this one first (releases Nov 19, 2019), and then look for a release date for A Royal Kiss and Tell sometime in 2020. And if Eliza’s antics are as off-beat as a princess as they were when she was a commoner, we’re all in for a treat!
The Princess Plan is available November 19th at any of the following retail stores:
Julia London is the New York Times and USA Today best selling author of more than two dozen romantic fiction novels. Julia is the recipient of the RT Bookclub Award for Best Historical Romance and a six-time finalist for the prestigious RITA award for excellence in romantic fiction. -Bio adapted from Goodreads