Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Princess Charming by Nicole Jordan

Reading Romances June Challenge:
1) Read a book that has a reference to a fairytale, either title, character or plot.
2) Read a book that has an athlete as a character or has a sports-themed plot
3) Read a Stand-Alone book.
4) Read a book that has Wedding, Marriage, Proposal, Bride, Groom or Engagement in the title or has a Wedding theme cover.
5) Read an m/m romance book or a book that has at least one prominent gay or lesbian character.
6) Royalty theme: Read a book that has the words King, Queen, Lord, Earl, Duke, or any other royal title. <-- I picked this one
7) Repeat Day (June3) Read a book where the first letter repeats for both an author’s first and last name. (Ex. Lora Leigh, Amanda Ashley, Beverly Barton, etc)

* * *

Ashton Wilde, Marquess of Beaufort is the eldest of the Wildes and the de facto* head of the family.

*There is Uncle Cornelius Wilde who serves as guardian to the Wildes but he is often sleeping or too deeply engrossed in his studies.

He glimpses an acquaintance, Maura Collyer, sneaking off at the ball and decides to follow her -- he discovers that Maura is trying to negotiate the return of her beloved horse from Lord Deering and decides to step in to try to level the playing field.

Maura is the daughter of a disgraced horse breeder who died before he could clear his name -- their family's one claim to fame is their horse, Emperor -- a highly sought-after stud that Maura's stepmother rashly sold to Lord Deering in order to advance her two daughter's positions in society.

Now Ashton has included himself in Maura's troubles and his sister, Katharine, decides it might be time for Ashton to find his one true love -- and she believes it is Maura. As Ashton helps Maura regain her horse, he realizes that what his sister claims might be true.

This is the first book in Nicole Jordan's new series: Legendary Lovers and features the Wildes, siblings and cousins who are as wild and as passionate as their name implies.

When I found out the premise of this series, I was excited -- taking legendary lovers in history and reworking their stories into historical romances sounded interesting. I was greatly disappointed when the premise was introduced in the first book. It is my impression that Nicole Jordan intends for her characters to playact the roles of the legendary lovers.

"According to family legend, we Wildes never lose our hearts readily, but when we find our one true mate, we love passionately and for life. Quite a number of our ancestors were celebrated lovers, including all of our parents. But none of us has found true love yet.


And why haven't we fallen in love? ... Because we have not met our true mates yet. The things is, I think I have hit upon a way to solve our problem.


We have only to look to legendary lovers in history ... Literature is filled with classic, timeless tales of love that can lead us to find our own matches. In short, I am proposing that we attempt to follow un the footsteps of the world's greatest lovers.


I have researched very carefully ... and have spent countless hours quizzing Uncle Cornelius about various possibilities to fit our needs. His vast store of knowledge has proved invaluable."
- p. 51-52

* * *

Skye spoke again, giving Ash a reprieve. "You said you have you have tales in mind for the rest of us, Katharine. What is your legend to be?"

... "I expect I will have to settle for Shakespeare's comedy, The Taming of the Shrew. You know my temperament. And my name is even spelled like the Bard's Katharine."

- p. 55

And Katharine goes on to identify the stories for the rest of her siblings and cousins: Jack's story is Romeo and Juliet, Quinn's story is Pygmalion, and Katharine hasn't found a story for Skye yet.

I wish the author didn't do a too literal interpretation of the premise and I really wanted to believe in the story. I wanted to believe that a man can instantly decide to embody Prince Charming and point to someone to be Cinderella and then fall in love.

But even that seemed too difficult for this particular Prince Charming, Ash, because his Cinderella, Maura, seemed to love her horse more than anything and anyone.

I did not feel any chemistry between the two -- Maura makes a bad decision because she is very passionate about saving her horse and Ash steps in to fix everything.

Example #1: At the ball when Maura first approaches Lord Deering. (Chapter 1)

Example #2: When Maura and Ash meet Deering while riding and Deering whips Emperor in front of Maura -- and Maura retaliates by hitting Deering with his whip. (Chapter 4)

Example #3: When Ash points to the darkening skies and suggests they head for shelter and Maura insists on continuing. Rain pours down and Emperor loses a shoe. (Chapter 10)

This was a story with promising characters (the Wildes) but a disappointing plot. Will I be reading the next book? Yes, I am curious enough about Jack and how he intends to be Romeo. (Upon checking the author's website, there is no release date for the second book.)

To find out more about Nicole Jordan and her books, visit her website. She's also on Facebook.



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