Bride by Royal Decree

Bride by Royal Decree

Paperback - 2017
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His lost princess bride!

King Reza abandoned the search for his childhood betrothed, Princess Magdalena, years ago. Until the shocking appearance of a photograph of the elusive princess reignites the legend that gripped his nation. Now Reza must return to the hunt and claim his queen!

Waitress Maggy's family history is a mystery, and even though she often dreamed of Prince Charming, he was never as devastatingly handsome as Reza! Fiercely independent, she won't accept her birthright on any terms but her own, so if Reza can't use legal bindings, he'll use sensual ones that Maggy will be helpless to resist!
Publisher: Don Mills, Ontario : Harlequin Enterprises Limited, c2017
ISBN: 9780373060412
0373060416
Branch Call Number: PAPERBACK
Characteristics: 219 pages ; 17 cm

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FindingJane May 13, 2017

Leopoldo Maximillian Otto, King of the Constantines (but you may call him Reza) is a giant, irredeemable douche. That’s the heroine’s words for him not mine. He swans into her coffee shop (in spite of the closed sign) bearing a cadre of gun-toting armed security detail. Maggy Strafford is down on her knees scrubbing the floor when he enters. So the stage is set for your usual Cinderella romance. Kill me now.

Reza is your average over-privileged, haughty, egotistical, wealthy potentate who’s used to getting his own way. His clothes are tailored, immaculate and expensive. His presence is overpowering, heavily sexual (the heroine’s insides are all fluttery and tense just from the way he looks at her) and charged with authority. His manner is dictatorial and brooks no argument. He makes no requests only measured demands. He’s polite (to a point) but steely. He’s used to being obeyed and insults, denials or disdain make no difference. He tells you to jump; you say, “How high?”

I wasn’t excited by him. I disliked him like poison and all this within a few pages of reading about him. This didn’t bode well for the rest of the novel.

On the other hand, Maggy captivated me. Oh, yes, she’s a sharp-tongued hellion who has trouble managing to keep her quips to herself. But she’s had a harsh upbringing. Abandoned by the side of the road with no memory of her previous life and little better than a feral animal, it’s a wonder she’s adjusted as well as she has. She manages to keep her cool around Reza (barely) and doesn’t respond with the dewy-eyed wonder or glee he expects after he tells her she might be a princess. She’s not immediately bowled over by his princely-thug boy attitude.

But…she does meet him for dinner, as he requested. She does allow a blood test, which he also requested. Why not go to the cops, missy? Why not test his assertion that he can do whatever he pleases on American soil? (This is a democracy, right? Since when do we let royals step all over us?)

Then she turns herself inside out to be the perfect princess he’s always wanted because she suddenly wants him, too. She’s grown up poor, miserable and ragged so she’s secretly thrilled to be a princess. Well, why shouldn’t she? It’s everything a poor girl like her could want. She’d be a fool to turn it down because she’s less than thrilled by the fact that she’s been fated to marry him.

That’s right! Their fathers arranged for them to be married when they were barely kids. She’s wildly attracted to him so she doesn’t exactly fight that either. The only thing—and I mean the ONLY thing—that made this gut-churning mess is that Maggy decides to seduce Reza rather than the usual reversal of the man taming the wild woman. So she makes the first move sexually by getting down on her knees and…

You know what? You don’t want to know the rest. I was barely able to read the rest. She’s his scruffy Eliza Doolittle and he’s her steely Professor Henry Higgins done up king of the hill. Seeing as their relationship has nothing going for it except sexual magnetism and an arranged marriage, these royal fools deserve each other.

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