Temporarily His Princess (Married by Royal Decree, #1) by Olivia Gates
Series: Married by Royal Decree #1
Also in this series: Conveniently His Princess (Married by Royal Decree, #2)
Published by Harlequin, Harlequin Desire
Publication Date: May 7th 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
"Get a wife. ASAP."
When his king says Prince Vincenzo D'Agostino must marry, the confirmed bachelor knows only one woman will do: Glory Monaghan, the lover who betrayed him six years ago. By forcing her hand, he'll appease his ruler—and get the woman he can't forget out of his system forever.
But Vincenzo's proposal is the last thing Glory expects. His long-ago rejection nearly destroyed her—how can she say yes now, even for show? Yet she has no choice. Becoming Vincenzo's temporary bride will save her family—even if giving in to the prince of Castaldini's passion will surely leave her yearning for more….
I had read other Olivia Gates stories in this series before this one, but it was fun to go back to book one in the series and enjoy another story that may really be just a aristocratic fantasy of “how the other half lives.” Yet it is that very quality that has most of us reading romance fiction in the first place–taking us into lives and situations that we could never hope to experience in real life. Ms Gates has a way about telling these almost fairy tale kinds of stories that catches the reader’s interest and holds that interest from start to finish.
Obviously most of us have never been in this kind of circumstance–one where marriage to a royal prince is the only hope for one’s family prosperity. Most of us have not been given the choice of poverty or marrying a royal personage. Yet that is the premise of this story and one that, curiously, Ms Gates makes work. I have to admit to expecting this and the other stories in this series to be a bit on the unbelievable side, but that is not how it all turned out. It is also a reminder that in the world’s social order, there are scads of minor royals floating around and some of them take their responsibilities very seriously, even though their kingdoms or fiefdoms are miniscule. In this case, Glory really doesn’t want to be caught between a “rock or a hard place.” But as so often the case in fiction, she is left little choice. Yet for all its somewhat fantastical aristocratic trappings, this romance and this story work. It’s enjoyable and another one of those novels that is just simply fun to read and proof positive that no matter how old we may be, we still love a good fairy tale.
Perhaps what gives this story its realistic bent is the fact that there is a lot of hurt here. Glory is a woman who has had to find a way to endure a woman’s greatest nightmare–rejection by the man she thought loved her. Now she is being forced back into his life for the sake of her family’s wellbeing, and she knows that when it is all over, she is going to have to find a way to endure once more. It is also a story that sort of proves to us that men with this kind of status, power, and wealth are basically cads and I know that I was not prepared to like the hero AT ALL. Yet the story does move forward in surprising ways and perhaps the lesson here is that all of us change–some of the better and some for the worst. In the same way that Glory had to grow past her pain and the old wounds to her life and her heart, so Vincenzo has the same opportunities to mature and look beyond his self-absorbed way of life toward something of greater value: a life-long relationship with a woman of grace and beauty and the fulfillment of his dream to be important to that special someone.
Ms Gates does not back away from the sexual tension and strong attraction that continues to exist between these star-crossed lovers. Readers who love very romantic stories will not be disappointed. It’s a very entertaining read and will be a good expenditure of time and effort. Good novels always are.
I give it a rating of 4 out of 5.
You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place