- File Size: 1616 KB
- Print Length: 331 pages
- Publisher: Nixon House (February 8, 2018)
- Publication Date: February 8, 2018
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B079K8MFJD
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,812 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
The Princess Trap: A BWWM Romance (Dirty British Romance Book 1) Kindle Edition
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First, there’s what initially drew me to Talia’s writing: the diversity in her character casts! As far as I’m aware, almost every single title she has written features a plus-size black woman, and the men are often unique in their own way as well; in this case, Ruben is bisexual and this is actually a very important facet of his character arc, which I positively loved seeing. (Hello, bi rep, all day long, please!)
Of course, at this point, I’m under the impression that a Talia Hibbert title wouldn’t be complete without a healthy dose of angst (and I am such a freaking sucker for it!), and this one does not disappoint. I haven’t read the fake dating trope much in my life, but I love how it’s executed in this one, and the gradual buildup between the two leads is absolutely precious and pays off so well.
More than anything, though, I loved Ruben’s character. He’s been through so much trauma in his life, and all he wants is to protect others from experiencing the same things he’s suffered, but he keeps finding himself in circumstances he couldn’t have predicted or prevented. He is selfless to a fault, and just so sweet that you can’t help but want to squeeze him.
Of course, the romance isn’t just angsty and sweet. It’s full of adorable banter, loads of mutual respect and care, and (of course) steamy scenes, which are always written well and never come off as cheesy or over-the-top. There’s a slight d/s dynamic going on and there are brief moments of conversation where they establish comfort levels and so forth, and as I’ve come to expect from Talia’s books, consent is not just sexy, but it’s a bare-minimum requirement at all times.
More specifically, with this book I very much fell for Ruben. THE POOR DUDE. Honestly I could do with another entire novel-length tome of just good things happening to Ruben and him moving on from his past because his family completely sucks (except Lydia and Agathe, who are pretty good). He also happens to be bi, although this never becomes particularly plot relevant, it's just a fact. Every time a bad thing happens in his relationship with Cherry he blames himself for it and beats himself up and angsts and I just want him to be happy and know that not everything is his fault! He didn't make reporters stalk him, and it's not his fault he has a panic attack at the thought of having kids. (It's kind of his fault that he strong-arms Cherry into a fake engagement but there were circumstances.) I want my boy to be happy!
Cherry's also a doll. I love seeing her put her terrible fashion expert in her place ("you think my fake fiance won't take my side? THINK AGAIN") and everything about her social grace and ability to make everyone love her/do what she wants. From page one I'm like, yes, go get it. (Specifically go get Ruben, but also other things, like delicious cake and elevators.)
My only caveat with this book is that I didn't completely buy the romance. I bought the attraction, certainly--who wouldn't be attracted to either one/both of these two?--which was certainly sizzling, but the emotional connection at times seemed a little contrived. Ah well. I love them both enough to accept that they can love each other just because they're both so eminently loveable.
As the author states in her notes to this book, all that glitters is not gold. Amidst the glamour and glitz of this royal family, a deep rooted poison infected every facet of Ruben's life. Having Cherry by his side helps him to confront his deepest terrors and find his HEA.
I loved this story. Talia Hibbert is a gifted storyteller whose characters leap from the page and grab the reader's interest. I cannot wait to read her next offering.