Sunday, June 5

Taken by the Prince by Christina Dodd

Book 9 in the Governess Brides Series

First, let me just say I have never wanted to cry for a little boy more than I wanted to cry for little Saber-Raul Lawrence. Even Dain in Loretta Chase’s Lord of Scoundrels didn’t evoke such sadness and pity in me. I wanted to sweep up the child and hold him in my arms and shelter him from his evil, cruel father and those terrible letters he read in that emotionless voice. I loved that Dodd could write so well as too evoke such powerful emotion in me in the first two chapters - I knew that would bode well for the rest of the book. She did not disappoint. What I also loved was that it did affect Saber-Raul, but not so much that he became forever embittered like so many of our dark, angsty heroes.

Saber, also known as Raul Lawrence, is the rightful heir to the Moricadian throne and he intends to leave his English home (where he’s resided for years under the cruel influence of his English father) and start a rebellion in his home country to reclaim his title. He meets our heroine, Victoria Cardiff, at the last ball he attends before leaving for Moricadia and shares a passionate kiss with her. The story really takes off, however, three years later. The rebellion is about to take place after much careful planning, when Victoria arrives (as a governess to English tourists) in Moricadia and, unwittingly, threatens to ruin everything Saber has worked so hard for these past three years. Women. Can't be trusted with any secret. *shakes head* Consequently he does what any sane person would do in this situation. He kidnaps her. Which is really amusing.

What follows is a fight between Victoria’s English sensibilities and her growing passion (and love) for the delicious, decadent Saber as she meets his people, participates in his customs (again, unwittingly) and learns his language. I loved Victoria because she was logical, sensible, and very, very strong (which leads to some excellent stand offs). I loved Saber because he was understanding, tender, compassionate, decisive and a fierce warrior. He loved his people with the same passion he loved Victoria, even if it was hard for him to admit at times. Altogether their love-and-seduction story was one of my favorites, especially because the plot was excellent, exciting, and somehow not overwhelming. I could not for the life of me figure out how Dodd balanced the romantic and strategic elements of her story so well – but the plot and romance were as perfectly matched as our hero and heroine. This was my first Dodd novel – and I am definitely looking forward to more. 

Favorite quotes:

“Lord Meredith was window-shopping in your store.” (Saber-Raul)
“I’m too smart for both of you, which is not a large enough accomplishment of which to boast.” (Victoria) 

 “Sexy”ness rating: Smoldering.
Overall Rating: A

Bottom Line: Excellent plot, strong heroine and smolderingly sexy hero, a prime read for any historical lover.

Pages: 400 pages (but for its length, this book flew)
Published: February 23, 2011
Genre: Historical

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