My Fair Princess
Book 1 in the Improper Princesses series
Author Vanessa Kelly
Narrated by Beverley A. Crick
Published by Tantor Media
Publication date Aug 30, 2016
Running time 12 hrs
I voluntarily reviewed a publisher-provided, review copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
Despite being the illegitimate daughter of a prince, Gillian Dryden is happily ignorant of all social graces. After growing up wild in Italy, Gillian has been ordered home to England to find a suitable husband. And Charles Valentine Penley, the excessively proper, distractingly handsome Duke of Leverton, has agreed to help transform her from a willful tomboy to a blushing debutante.
Powerful and sophisticated, Charles can make or break reputations with a well-placed word. But his new protégée, with her habit of hunting bandits and punching earls, is a walking scandal. The ton is aghast . . . but Charles is thoroughly intrigued. Tasked with taking the hoyden in hand, he longs to take her in his arms instead. Can such an outrageous attraction possibly lead to a fairy tale ending?
When you read as many romance novels as I do it’s always interesting to find something with a plot twist and the beginning of this one with it’s Italian (sort of) accented-illegitimate-daughter-of-a-British Royal cum vigilante did offer a soupçon of divergence from the usual romance plot.
But, then in a novel where there is change is that change too much? Is the Sicilian bandit threat too far removed from the rest of the plot other than providing a reason Gillian cannot go back to Sicily? I felt it was. It does play to her general bombastic personality and rejection of standard illogical norms.
Also, I have read many stories where a young woman is sponsored and or assisted by a woman to become acceptable to society so the additional layer of asking a highly-ranked, somewhat distant, male relative to play professor turns this into a Pygmalion story.
This is not the current vogue in Regency Romance but I have read PYGMALION and MY FAIR LADY and haven’t further felt the need to read it again. Perhaps I just don’t like stories where a man “remakes” a woman into an acceptable version of herself even if, as here, the man is also remade.
With the narration of Gillian’s character with a questionable Italian accent (it often sounded like she was a movie Transylvanian) and these other points I had a tough time getting through this one.
TANTOR MEDIA: https://tantor.com/my-fair-princess-vanessa-kelly.html