1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
`CAN DUTY AND LOVE LIVE AS ONE?`,
This review is from: His Chosen Bride (Kindle Edition)
This story is almost the complete antithesis of its predecessor. `From Now Until Forever', had the King and Queen attempting and failing to reign in their headstrong and rebellious youngest son, Prince Liam and finally having to reconcile themselves to accepting him for the individual personality he had developed and the independent young man that he had become, recognising that their unconditional love for him still overshadowed whatever regal dictates they were expected to conform to.
In this story `His Chosen Bride', the focus is on the Royal Family's eldest son and heir, Henri. Having suffered and survived the trauma with his brother Liam, Henri's parents have learned their lessons well and are determined that he should be encouraged to live freely and love a little, before settling down to his Royal duties in earnest, and even then, that he should finally take a bride of his choosing, trusting explicitly in their son's judgement in reconciling matters of his heart, with the expectations of his duty.
In Henri, Sherry has created a fiercely loyal character, who accepts his future role with great dignity and pride, who is quite prepared to accept an arranged marriage of his parents choice, if it means that there is someone eminently suitable to take her place beside him as the future Queen of his country.
He is therefore totally unprepared for the scheming which his family has been doing without his knowledge and for his overwhelming feelings for Liam and Melanie's friend Monica, for whom there is an instant, mutual attraction, which has a devastating effect on them both.
Henri tries, with difficulty to maintain his position of detachment and indifference, which only serves to confuse and frustrate him and send mixed messages to Monica, who fears that Henri will eventually come to see her as the `stranger' she is and therefore totally unsuitable as a Royal bride, whilst completely misinterpreting his shyness and aloofness for arrogance. When he is placed in a situation which he cannot control, we see Henri's stoic facade disintegrate, rendering him powerless to control his feelings and having to decide whether he can accept Monica for who she is, or whether their relationship is purely a `fatal attraction'.
Added to this, is the small matter of Monica's `special gift', which she hopes to hide from Henri, but which cannot be denied when it is most needed and he is in danger. Whilst Monica is quite an insecure and complex character, she is also quite single-minded in her quest to determine whether Henri's feelings for her are genuine, or simply his token act of rebellion, before returning home and settling down to a `marriage of convenience'.
The plot is quite an `open-book' and not overly complicated, with the main emphasis being centred on the development of the characters and their burgeoning relationship, although there are a couple of unexpected twists and turns along the way. The story is definitely character centric, as feelings, emotions and personalities evolve with each passing page, bringing a maturity of mind and spirit, together with a sensitivity and sense of caring which will stand the couple in great stead for the pressures and intrusive focus, which will undoubtedly follow them as they pursue their Royal duties.
As an experienced and accomplished author Sherry has seamlessly combined the two individual stories about the eldest and youngest of the Gasquet princes, whilst managing to keep the separate identities of both books. She has also carefully crafted the two middle princes into this story, thereby leaving the door open for further episodes in the series, at the same time giving herself the option to leave the series at just the two books and move on to pastures new.