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How to School Your Scoundrel (A Princess in Hiding Romance) Mass Market Paperback – June 3, 2014
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*Starred Review* Princess Luisa of Holstein-Schweinwald-Huhnof has no problem understanding why Philip, Earl of Somerton, can’t keep a personal secretary for more than a month. Less than five minutes after meeting the nobleman, Luisa, disguised as Lewis Markham, can tell Philip is an arrogant, condescending, tightly wound tyrant. Unfortunately, Luisa has no choice but to apply for the job. After the brutal assassination of her father and her husband, Luisa and her two sisters fled to England, where their only hope of reclaiming the throne of Holstein-Schweinwald-Huhnof rests on the sisters remaining disguised as men. Once Luisa secures the position, however, she isn’t sure which is worse, trying to escape from a cadre of blood-thirsty revolutionaries bent on eliminating every last branch of the Holstein-Schweinwald-Huhnof royal family or working for the always maddening and infuriatingly sexy Philip. Gray wraps up her A Princess in Hiding trilogy (How to Tame Your Duke, 2013; How to Master Your Marquis, 2014) on a high note with a perfectly plotted and completely enthralling romance that not only delivers the addictive mix of wit and sensuality her readers expect but also showcases this author’s flair for exquisitely nuanced characterization. --John Charles
Praise for the Princess in Hiding romances
“Crackles with chemistry and romantic tension…Emotionally electric scenes between strong characters make this one a winner.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Gray’s witty writing, flawless characterization, and fanciful plotting make this Victorian-set historical romance an absolute treasure.”—Booklist (starred review)
“Fun, engaging, sensual, and touching…A delightful romance treat.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Featuring astute writing and charm, this work from Gray…sets off a new series with some serious heat.”—Library Journal
“An interesting, funny, and engaging read.”—Fresh Fiction
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I liked the relationship between Somerton and Luisa aka Markham - the interaction between them before her disguise is uncovered is very entertaining.
The book has a little of everything in it - maybe it has a little too much of everything - we have jealousy, a brooding/wounded quasi hero, a princess in hiding, a love triangle, obsession, lust, adventure, betrayal and finally true love.
Having read A Gentleman Never Tells, I was already concerned about Somerton as a hero and I was hoping to see him in a totally different light in this book - and I did - to an extent - I found his obsession with Elizabeth disturbing and made believing that he could love Luisa very difficult. Halfway though the book and he still hasn't let her go - even after he knew Luisa was a woman. Then we find out not only does he have a bastard child with the first wife of Luisa's sister's husband (whom they are raising as their own child) but he also had an affair with the stepmother of her other sister's husband - it made me cringe.
I honestly didn't feel his love for Luisa until almost the very end of the book - he was remote with her and considering his past relationships - I guess I can understand that - but the way he obsessed about his first wife, made me feel sorry for Luisa. I don't think he really loved Elizabeth - but his actions towards her seemed much more intense and passionate than his actions towards Luisa.
The story ends well and I did finally believe that he truly loved her - but it was touch and go there for awhile
And the Epilogue aka babylogue was sweet - but it had a bit of an ick factor for me as well - it just doesn't seem possible to me that they could all just come together (the ex-wife with her new husband, the cuckolded husband and bastard child).
In the end, I am glad I read the book, but I don't think I would consider it a keeper.
I did not like the Scoundrel at all. I liked Luisa of course and especially her father, Rudolf. Ok, ok, he is hardly a key character but for obvious reasons I liked him. Luisa definetely needed to grow as a leader. Always taken care of and letting others do the work. Well that changes and for the good.
It is my firm belief that if you want to free a country from tyranny, it needs to be done by those under its rule. Outside help is essential, but the real work needs to be done by those whose lives are effected the most. As so finally Luisa leads.
And the traitor in their midst, was a little hard to believe. I won't spoil it here, but that one was hard to wrap my suspension of disbelief around . . . as it were.
I thought there was too much here though. Somerton's story consumes most of the book. And let me say, I'm not sympathetic to Lady Somerton or her lover. As for the Duke, he is kind of a creep at times. Keeping his neice in the dark. Manipulating Somerton, Lady Somerton and Ronald as well as a host of "agents" around the world.
But like I said before, it is a good read. The scene where the dad and son connect was very good. As a father, I really feel badly for Somerton, especially the way he was raised. Deep scares and so he needs to grow too. Still he is a tough character to like, at least for me.
Most recent customer reviews
Great to see how the princesses stories have turned out and Luisa's fight for her...Read more
Worth every penny.