She’s on his turf, but she’s not giving up the reins that easily.
All her life, Princess Marina Palmera toed the family line—until she fell for Jonas Wilder. Their whirlwind affair broke her heart when he left without a word. Devastated, Marina defied convention to build her love of horses into a thriving international business. But now the bloodstock auction has brought her to New Zealand.The turf of the one man she doesn’t want to see.
Jonas was once under Marina’s exquisite spell, until a single phone call brought him back to brutal reality. While he dallied with the princess, a car crash killed his ex-wife and robbed his little daughter of her voice. Blaming himself, he has vowed that nothing will ever again distract him from caring for his child. But when a chance meeting and the child’s love of all things “princess” draws her from her silence, Jonas will make any sacrifice to keep her words flowing.
Question is, can he keep Marina in his life for his daughter’s sake—and keep his heart from tearing down the walls between them?
Warning: Contains a brassed-off princess, and a sexy Kiwi horse breeder. And a wild helicopter ride that leads to a hot night in the wilds of the New Zealand bush.
Source: ARC from Samhain Publishing via NetGalley
I’m not the biggest fan of royal romances, but this book offers more than that. Horses? New Zealand? Sign me up! Actually, I was a little sad at the level of horsiness in this book, it’s more of a lead in than an actual plot point, while the royalty issue definitely took up more space. If, however, you are a fan of royal romances then this should be right up your street as it is very much the sort of story I’d expect to read from this sub-genre.
After a life of royal duty, Marina wants to be more than a princess. After Jonas left her without a word four years ago, she reassessed her life and decided to go after things she wanted. Which is how she developed her racing stables and why she’s in New Zealand. I liked Marina, she’s not too whiny, nor too poor-little-rich girl. She knows she’s privileged and is willing to do duty to her name and family, she just wants a little time for herself. She’s also compassionate and kind, which is how she ends up helping out Jonas when really the best thing for her heart would be to get far away from him.
I didn’t like Jonas. At first he was okay, but as the book progressed I liked him less and less. First he blows hot and cold with Marina, flirting up a storm with her one minute, practically ignoring her the next. Worse than that, though, he doesn’t listen to her. He’s so dismissive of her achievements, doesn’t care when she worries about being followed by photographers, doesn’t listen when she tries to tell him things wouldn’t work between them. He knows what he wants and doesn’t care a fig for anyone or their emotional well-being. He’s selfish and rude and pushes his guilt and blame onto her when she doesn’t deserve it. Yes, it must have been awful when his wife died and his daughter wouldn’t speak, but that was four years ago – this time he doesn’t have anything like that good an excuse.
He’s a jerk, basically, and Marina could do so much better.
I also wasn’t entirely convinced by the storyline involving little Suzie. I wasn’t sure how old she was for a long time, and when it was revealed she was six I was surprised at how rapidly her verbal skills improve. I know kids are highly adaptable, but one of my nephews had speech issues (thanks to ear issues as a toddler) and it took him a while, even with the help of a speech therapist, to get back on par with his peers. It’s a cute plot with Suzie being “cured” by a real life princess, but I didn’t find it particularly believable.
Other than that this is an okay romance in a familiar style that makes the most of the gorgeous New Zealand countryside. It’s a little far-fetched in places and the romance is perhaps a bit rushed, but if you don’t mind a jerkish hero and you like a hint of royalty, then you might just enjoy this quick read.
The Royal Affair is out July 14th!
Visit Jane Beckenham for more details.