My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2
Title: The Princess Plan
Author: Julia London
Format: eBook (NetGalley/Harlequin)
Publication Date: November 19, 2019
Categories: Historical Romance, Adult Fiction
Disclaimer: **I received this book free from HQN Books and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**
Nothing gets the tongues of London’s high society wagging like a good scandal. And when the personal secretary of the visiting Prince Sebastian of Alucia is found murdered, it’s all anyone can talk about, including Eliza Tricklebank. Her unapologetic gossip gazette has benefited from an anonymous tip about the crime, prompting Sebastian to take an interest in playing detective—and an even greater interest in Eliza.
With a trade deal on the line and mounting pressure to secure a noble bride, there’s nothing more salacious than a prince dallying with a commoner. Sebastian finds Eliza’s contrary manner as frustrating as it is seductive, but they’ll have to work together if they’re going to catch the culprit. And when things heat up behind closed doors, it’s the prince who’ll have to decide what comes first—his country or his heart.
Thank you to NetGalley and to HQN Books for giving me a chance to read this eARC and inviting me to join this blog tour!
The Princess Plan is not quite the Cinderella story. A spinster named Eliza Tricklebank meets Prince Sebastian of Alucia and things happen. And when I say things, I mean…murder and well, falling in love while investigating the murder.
Eliza is a fun character who says what’s on her mind. She’s smart, capable and wishes society didn’t put her on the shelf just because of a scandal (barely a scandal) a long time ago. There is no future of a husband for her now, but she’s come to accept her fate as her father’s caretaker.
Prince Sebastian of Alucia is a typical royal who is used to people doing his bidding, women falling into bed with him and is under the constant pressures of being a future king. He is in England to arrange a trade agreement and find a wife but someone murders one of the people he trust the most, his personal secretary. Sebastian intends to find out who has done it, and enlists the help of Eliza, which is very unconventional.
What I love most about this story is the female friendships between Eliza, her sister Hollis, their best friend Caro and even the maid, Poppy. The girls have a grand time finding content (gossip) for Holli’s women’s gazette. Eliza, Hollis and Caro are the best of friends, and the warmth between them comes through in this story. I also adored the eccentric life of Judge Trickleback’s home. He is blind and Eliza is his main caretaker but I loved the descriptions of the home they live it with the book piles, rope tied from room to room, the scratched table – everything is lived in and cozy, much like their family.
The murder mystery in the story did sometimes make me lose interest because it was a bit predictable. Also I felt like the trade agreement didn’t seem very important to Prince Sebastian because of the murder mystery and him falling for Eliza. Sebastian seems like a man who is strictly bound to duty and the way he chooses Eliza to be his wife seemed a bit easy and a little far-fetched, but by then I was just ready to ready the happily ever after.
The banter between Eliza and Sebastian was fun mostly because Eliza is so quirky and doesn’t fawn over the Prince like everyone else. Sebastian is practiced at controlling his emotions and giving practiced answers. I don’t know that I felt the urgency of their love like I hoped I would and at one point I thought, okay, he’s definitely going to marry a high ranking debutant instead of Eliza because he’d never break the rules. Maybe I wanted him to say to hell with everything and break the rules for her. At least the two of them do share a few steamy scenes together!
Overall, I mostly enjoyed Eliza and her friendship bonds, and seeing her and the Prince fall for one another.
Julia London is a NYT, USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of historical and contemporary romance. She is a six-time finalist for the RITA Award of excellence in romantic fiction, and the recipient of RT Bookclub’s Best Historical Novel.