Setting: Europe, 1815
Lovely Charity Beaufort is content to let her beautiful older sister take the brunt of their countess mother's societal ambitions while Charity indulges her love of books, horses, and the company of her father, the earl of Beaufort. At seventeen, she's considered too young to be wed, a fact which pleases her immensely. Charity has no inkling that her life is about to be dramatically changed when Bonaparte is defeated and a childhood idol, Prince Augustus of the tiny European nation of Jura, is betrothed to her older sister. While believing they are about to share a family connection as brother and sister-in-law, the prince and Charity discover they have a mutual passion for horses, books, and politics, and become close friends.
Unbeknownst to him, the prince has powerful political enemies who are plotting to upset his plans for his kingdom. When their nefarious schemes create a scandal that reaches into his private life and threatens to damage his country, Charity agrees to aid him in a plan that changes the direction of both their lives. That direction doesn't please the prince's enemies, however, and before they can be discovered and arrested, both the prince and Charity will find themselves running for their very lives.
Royal Bride is the tale of a heroine who grows from a girl into a young woman while coping with the demands of a world of court intrigue and learning about love. Interesting secondary characters enrich the story while the view of the world from a small nation struggling to survive in post-Bonaparte Europe is intriguing. Fans and new readers alike will thoroughly enjoy this latest novel from author Joan Wolf.--Lois Faye Dyer
From Publishers Weekly
Balancing sympathetic insight with captivating political suspense, Wolf's latest Regency (following Someday Soon) is a rich tale of two strong-willed characters who must unite to strengthen the small canton of Jura against its imposing neighbor, Austria. To secure an essential trade agreement with Britain, Jura's prince Augustus decides to take an English wife. Disaster looms, however, when the bride-to-be elopes with Augustus's cousin shortly before the wedding. The substitution of Lydia's 17-year-old sister, Charity, solves the problem, and a satisfying romance ensues between the war-hardened prince and his charming new princess. While Augustus fends off treasonous attempts to undermine Jura's independence, Charity strives to be both a "philosopher-princess" and a loving wife, hampered only by her husband's promise not to consummate their marriage until she's older. Although Wolf initially relies on shorthand descriptions to establish her characters (Prince Augustus is a handsome freedom fighter; Charity likes horses and reads newspapers), her story offers a delicious, intelligent glimpse of a royal household that must integrate matters of the state and the heart. (Mar.)Forecast: Wolf is fast becoming a household name among Regency fans, and her latest is no exception to the high standard she has set with her previous titles (The Guardian, etc.). A generous cover quote by Nora Roberts will help broaden the appeal of this winning romance.
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