Christina Dodd has written quite a number of books on governesses and a couple on the royalty of small European principalities in the Pyrenees (Runaway Princess and Someday, My Prince are two such earlier novels). I’ve read and enjoyed most of her books, so when I heard of her new Lost Princesses series, I went on to read them.
This latest series focuses on he three princesses of Beaumontagne, Sorcha, Clarice and Amy, who were sent to the safety of England when a revolution in Europe swept through their kingdom and the neighbouring Richarte in the Pyrenees, during which their father, the king, was killed.
After six years of warfare, their grandmother wrested control back from the revolutionaries. She sent her most trusted emissary for her granddaughters, but the disloyal emissary told them assassins hunted them and urged them to flee. In fear for their lives, the princesses hid themselves while the traitor reported their disappearance to the dowager queen, who sent messengers far and wide, but alas could not find them.
Meanwhile, a cruel usurper threw the crown prince of Richarte into jail. There, the young heir languished for eight years before he managed to escape to Beaumontagne. He struck a deal with the old queen that when he had found all three of the Lost Princesses, he could choose one as his bride. Then, after the wedding, and only then, would he be allowed to take the armies of Beaumontagne to overthrow the usurper and assume the throne.
But while the prince searched for the princesses, Count duBelle sent men to hunt the prince, so his rescue went awry.
In Some Enchanted Evening,the first of the series, the reader is introduced to Princesses Clarice and Amy, the middle and youngest sisters, who have eked out a living selling royal cosmetics in rural England. They’ve arrived in Freya Crags escaping the unwanted attention and pursuit of a sheriff in another shire who’s after the mistreated horse that Clarice has freed from him.
While in Freya Crags, Clarice attracted the attention of its laird, Robert MacKenzie, the Earl of Hepburn, who invited her back to his castle on the pretext of being a congenial host, but really to enlist her help in his perilous plan for revenge and justice.
Even though they were both wary of the emotions and yearnings they stir in each other, yet they were reluctant to trust each other with their secrets at first. When they inevitably fell in love, the treachery surrounding them threatens to tear them apart. Of course there is a HEA – this is a romance after all, but I won’t give too much of the plot away here.
The epilogue of the first book leaves the reader knowing that Amy, the youngest Lost Princess, is in a scrape. The Barefoot Princess tells of how her impetuous kidnap of the haughty yet wickedly handsome Jermyn Edmondson, Marquess of Northcliff, and hold him for ransom went wrong. First up, Jermyn’s uncle refused to pay the ransom. Then, there were assassination attempts on the indolent lord and Amy certainly didn’t count on falling for the sensuous nobleman.
I love all four main characters in both books, and the brief encounters with Crown Prince Rainger have only made me extremely curious about the last and eldest Princess Sorcha’s story and very eager to get my hands on it. Dodd has given her heroines wit and sparkle, and they really delight with the comical situations they get into. The heroes both have unhappy pasts but in the end these were banished when they found their true love … yeah, I know, it’s sugary sweet but that’s Dodd. She writes sexy, delightful historical romances that are very easy on the brain and make great escapist fodder.
I’m definitely getting the last book, which is due out this month. So watch for that review.