Enticing the Prince
Zebra, Nov 2008, $6.99
In 1821 London, Contessa Katerina Garibaldi informs her younger teenage brother Hektor that she plans to soon kill Russian Prince Drako Kazenov who she believes murdered her half-sister Alina and half-brother Ilya leading to the death of their father. Hektor tries to reason with her, but fails.
Two months earlier renowned jeweler Katerina provides a special brooch gift to her best patron Duchess Roxanne Campbell to celebrate the weddings of two of her step-daughters to Russian princes. Roxanne thanks Katrina by inviting her to attend the Beltane Ball she is hosting; the jeweler accepts as she can meet new clients so that her younger sisters, Hektor and her daughter Viveka can continue to live a quality life.
At a ball she meets Drako who she wants dead, but is attracted to him; he desires her too. Russian prince Yuri also wants Katerina although she puts him off. Drako hates Yuri whose seduction of his fiancé Raisa led to her suicide. Roxanne’s husband the Duke warns Drako to beware of the Blond Brigade as the snobbish trio wants royalty as their spouse. Yuri warns Katerina to avoid Drako whose fiancé took her life; Drako warns Katerina to avoid Yuri who ruins women. Roxanne names Katerina queen of the ball and she names Drako her king. They dance and he kisses her; she slaps him and leaves. Thus the players are in place for Katerina to follow her heart battling between the new love and a hate she has carried for five years.
The latest “Prince” Regency romance is an excellent entry due to the strong characterizations. The support cast is solid and includes returning lead characters from the well written previous novels to include the Flambeau sisters while the romance is fun to follow as the heroine is confused about her feelings unlike Drako. The mysteries enhance a fine tale although some might quibble about Katerina’s reactions to Drako.