Sunday, October 27, 2013

How to Marry a Princess - Christine Rimmer (HSE #2294 - Nov 2013)

Series: Bravo Royales (Book 5)


Alice Bravo-Calabretti was expected to conduct herself like a proper princess. No more impulsive jaunts to neighboring countries. No more tabloid escapades. But the hot new stable-hand was a scandal waiting to happen. His bold blue eyes and come-hither smile could tempt a Bravo Royale to misbehave. Until Alice discovered her "penniless groom" was an American tycoon looking for a princess bride.

Alice was everything Noah Cordell wanted in a wife. But his royal heartthrob refused to say "I do" until he gave up his most carefully guarded secret. And she wouldn't settle for anything less than everything he had to give. Only then could they share a true meeting of minds and hearts -- Bravo-Cordell style.

Very good book. Both Alice and Noah have fears that they must overcome in order to have the love that they need.  Alice has decided that it's time to stop being the wild child of the family, so she is trying to curb her impulsive behavior.  Being attracted to a good looking stable hand is not the way to do it.  And then she discovered that he's no stable hand but an American tycoon looking for a wife.  Noah decided it was time to marry and that he wanted a princess.  After deciding what he was looking for he settled on Alice and nothing was going to stop him from getting what he wanted, least of all her desire to have it all.

I really liked both Noah and Alice, though Noah was certainly frustrating.  Alice had made the decision to change after her latest escapade earned her mother's disappointment. She is afraid of giving in to her impulsive side again. She is trying very hard to be good, to the point where even her family members are worried about her not being herself.  When she first sees Noah she is so tempted to indulge herself but talks herself out of it.  When she discovers that he was just playing a part she is furious with him for the deception.  She accepts his apology but is not inclined to have anything else to do with him.  When she finally gives in to seeing him again he makes it clear that he's interested in getting to know her better as he invites her to visit him in California.  Once she's there she is stunned to find him proposing marriage, but without any mention of love.  The more time she spends with him, the more she comes to care about him, but she is bothered by his excessive control.  I really liked the way that, as much as she came to love him, she refused to settle for less than she felt she deserved.  I loved the way that she tried so hard to get him to see what she needed while showing him how she felt.  I also liked her friendship with Noah's sister Lucy and how she tried to get Noah to see how wrong he was in his overprotectiveness.  It was this problem that was the straw that sent her home, wondering if Noah would ever be able to give her what she needed most from him.

Noah is very upfront with Alice about what he wants.  He wants her to be his wife.  They have a lot in common and their attraction to each other is hot.  He admits to her that he made a mistake at the beginning by hiding who he was, but he had done it because his research had indicated that type of thing would appeal to her.  He didn't know about her resolve to change her ways.  Once he did, he set about trying to win her.  When he invited her to California his intent was to propose right away and get married as soon as possible.  He was stunned when she turned him down, claiming that until she had all of him there would be no engagement.  Noah has never intended love to be part of the equation.  When he was a boy he saw his mother give up after his father's death, no longer having the heart to go on without him.  After his mother's death his sister had to go to foster care until he was able to care for her.  Lucy had heart problems and Noah was the one who made sure that everything was done to get her healthy.  Now he still fears losing her and can't let go of his control over her.  Even Alice can't make him see that he is driving Lucy to do something desperate.  Noah finds that things are changing with Alice and he doesn't know how to deal with those changes.  It takes his housekeeper/friend reading him the riot act for him to finally admit his feelings, overcome his fears and go after Alice.  I really loved what he did at the end.

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