Expected Release Date: June 18, 2013
Imprint: Harlequin Presents
Author’s Website: http://lucymonroe.com/
My Source for This Book: Netgalley
Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, By His Royal Decree
Series Best Read In Order: N/A
Steam Level: Steamy
Pet Peeves: Fast ILY’s
Favorite Tropes: Hero In Pursuit
Only a royal wedding…
Bitter life lessons have taught Crown Prince Maksim Yurkovich that duty must come before desire. His country needs an heir, so when he discovers his lover can’t have children, he must sever their ties. Only Maks can’t resist spending one last night in her bed.
…can avert this royal scandal!
Now he faces the biggest diplomatic crisis of his life. Against all odds, Gillian Harris has become pregnant. Maks’s royal reserve masks the heart of a fierce Cossack warrior — one who is not above using their mutual passion to convince a hurt, wary Gillian that she must be his queen!
What Worked For Me:
- I don’t know why, but I adore infertility in my romances, especially when it causes issues between princely heroes and commoner heroines. The angst that resulted from Maks’ abandonment of Gillian on the day that she assumed he was going to propose was so deliciously angsty that I knew I was hooked for the rest of the book.
- Speaking of which, the angst was scrumptious. The heartbreak of finding out that your lover is leaving you on the night you were expecting a marriage proposal, and then finding out he wants you back only once he’s found out you’ve conceived a child, was palpable, and is really what made this book shine
- The chemistry between Maks and Gillian was undeniably hot, and I loved that their emotional turmoil added just the right sharp edge to their lovemaking.
- Even though I wish Maks had been forced to grovel more, I did enjoy how obvious it was that he’d actually loved Gillian all along, and how gentle and considerate he was with her once he found out she was pregnant.
What Didn’t Work For Me:
- While I knew that Maks felt horrible about having hurt Gillian, and had probably loved her for far longer than he’d allowed himself to admit, I was a bit disappointed that he didn’t have to grovel more for her forgiveness. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do love a forceful hero who refuses to allow the heroine’s protestations to get in the way of matrimony, but even so, I wish Gillian had made him fight a little bit harder.
Any time I pick up a Harlequin Presents title, I expect an alpha hero who thinks he has to choose duty over love, plenty of chemistry, and lots of heartache, and this book met all of those expectations and more.
My biggest issue was that while I knew that Maks and Gillian were in a fairly long relationship before the beginning of the story, the I Love You’s felt a little quick in coming from Maks’ side. I’m not sure if this was an issue with the page limitations that Presents novels are stuck with, or if it was merely a pacing issue, but I think I would’ve preferred one extreme or the other — either him being madly in love with her from the beginning and having her fertility (and therefore his loyalty to his country) come between them, or have him not realize until far too late that he was in love with her and force him to do some more groveling.
Even so, this was very light, easy reading with some lovely angst and steam, perfect for a summer read.