Sunday, December 8, 2013

Holiday Royale - Christine Rimmer (HSE #2300 - Dec 2013)

Series: Bravo Royales (Book 5)

A playboy prince is roped into giving love lessons to a young, innocent woman -- only to find himself falling for his eager pupil...

Up till now, Lucy Cordell has led a pretty sheltered life -- but she's ready to burst out of her shell. Still, she has absolutely zero experience with men -- so she needs help. Someone to help her shed the cloak that seems to scream "Virgin!" every time she gets within five miles of an eligible guy. Who better than the dashing Player Prince, Damien of Montedoro? He's always come to her rescue before….

True -- but Dami only agrees to school Lucy in the fine art of seduction because he's afraid of who she'll ask if he says no! Besides, she needs protection from all the wolves out there. Still, when it comes to Lucy's sweet lit-from-within beauty, Damien has to wonder…who is going to protect him?

This was a really fun book. We met Lucy in the previous book How to Marry a Princess.  She is Noah's little sister.  Thanks to her own efforts and help from Alice and Damien, Lucy has finally broken free of her brother's overprotective shield and she wants to start to live her life.  Unfortunately her sheltered life has put her at a disadvantage with men.  She decides that she needs a teacher, so she goes to her friend Damien and asks him to instruct her.  Dami is floored because he's never thought of her that way, but he can't stand the idea of her being hurt by someone else.  And suddenly that sweet little girl he knew is looking all woman to him.

I loved both Lucy and Damien.  Lucy has spent most of her life very sheltered because of health problems.  Now that those problems have been fixed she really wants to start living her life.  She has moved to New York City and is set to start fashion school.  But she's having a hard time with the dating scene because her inexperience seems to be chasing away the more interesting men.  She decides that her best option is to get some experience.  I loved the way that she decided Dami was the perfect person.  She knows he has the experience to do it right, plus he's a good friend so she would be comfortable with him.  I loved the scene where she put her proposition to him.  She was so nervous but so determined that she just kept talking right over him, not wanting him to say no.  She knew that his request that they "date" first was his way of trying to get out of it but she was willing to take a chance.  I loved her openness and honesty and her caring heart.  She saw Dami in a way that he did not see himself and it only added to her feelings for him.  I also loved her determined bid for her independence.  She loved her brother but she had no trouble telling him to butt out.  The scene where she woke him up to tell him off was hilarious.  I really liked seeing the way that her crush on Dami turned into real love.  She accepted and loved him just the way he was, not judging him on anything he had done in the past.  She had enough confidence and pride in herself to be able to tell him how she felt then walk away with dignity when she knew she couldn't get what she needed from him. 

Dami is known as the Player Prince.  He never settles on one woman for long.  He and Lucy's brother Noah have been friends for a long time and he has known Lucy for just as long.  He's always considered her a friend and was there to help her when she wanted to move to New York.  When she came to him with her proposition he was stunned.  He had never looked at her that way.  I loved the way he tried to put her off by saying that they would have to "date" first, figuring he could talk her out of it.  He didn't expect that he would actually start seeing her as a woman and it freaked it him out a bit at the beginning.  He tries to fight it but can't.  The scene where they are together the first time was incredible.  It was hard to let her go back to New York.  I loved the way he wasn't able to stay away and showed up in New York to be with her again.  There was something about her that made him feel things that he hadn't felt in a long time and he wanted it for as long as it would last.  I loved seeing the way it wasn't just the physical side of things but also just being with her and talking and doing stuff with her.  Dami sees himself as pretty shallow and keeps reminding her that he is the one member of his family who doesn't fit the mold of finding a woman to love and commit to.  He doesn't agree with the way she sees him and tries to convince her that he's not the man she thinks he is.  He freaks out when she confesses her feelings and really works to convince her that there is no way for them to have a future together.  His misery afterwards and the way he misses her are a just reward for his idiocy.  I loved his phone conversation with Noah and then his epiphany when he got cornered by his ex-girlfriend.  It was great seeing him realize that he hadn't been able to commit to anyone else because he'd been in love with Lucy all along.

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