Seducing the Princess written by Mary Hart Perry
Publisher Diversion Books
Publication Date: March 5th 2013
Series: Queen Victoria's Daughters #2
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Mary Hart Perry’s acclaimed series of romantic Victorian thrillers continues with Seducing the Princess, inspired by the life of Queen Victoria’s youngest daughter Beatrice.
Painfully shy and lonely, convinced she is unattractive and unloved, the dutiful Princess Beatrice finally accepts that she will never marry and vows to devote herself to the queen in Victoria's waning years. In fact, her mother has secretly discouraged suitors for Beatrice’s hand. Just when she has all but given up on love and happiness, she meets Henry Battenberg, a dashing nobleman from the Continent who matches wits with the aging Victoria and risks his life and liberty to woo Bea.
But Henry isn't the only man interested in being welcomed into Beatrice's bed. The timid princess has become the target of a cruel plot hatched by her nephew, the madman destined to become the last Emperor of Germany. Wilhelm II sends a ruthless agent, a charming Scot, to seduce the naive princess and spy on the queen. How can the sheltered princess hope to fend off a man capable of murder, and perhaps worse, to get what he wants? But Beatrice is not without her own allies--her older sister Louise and Louise's American soldier-of-fortune and lover, Stephen Byrne.
Will Beatrice discover which of the two men pursuing her she can trust, before it's too late? Drama, romance and peril chase the royal family from Buckingham Palace to a storm besieged castle on the Isle of Wight.
The story was well written and I empathized with Princess Beatrice. Queen Victoria really seemed like the villain of the story. I can just imagine how hard it was for Beatrice growing up as her mother’s shadow. The way the Queen treated Beatrice struck a chord in me and I could not help but hate the Queen for doing this to her youngest daughter. Beatrice comes off as an obedient and meek daughter, only following what the Queen commands her to do but deep inside, she cannot wait to leave and have a life of her own. This happens when she meets and falls in love with Henry.
Henry and Beatrice’s love story was really sweet, I thought. I love the way that he went out of his way to get to know the Princess and helping her overcome her shyness and become a strong woman. I have to point out that all the characters are well developed and I find that this help drive the whole plot of the story. I felt that I knew them and that I was one of the Queen’s daughters.
I also loved that there was another villain in the story in the form of Prince Gregory, another cousin. I like to think that a good story has to have a good villain and Gregory really fit the bill to a T. Although there is a minor villain in the form of Queen Victoria, I cannot see her as the ultimate villain even if she plays a part preventing a romance between Beatrice and Henry.
I recommend this book to readers who love Philippa Gregory.