rating: 5 of 5 stars
Patricia Grasso does it again. There is just something about her books and her writing that I find irresistible. She has a way with humor that I love. Her books are filled with family, sexy heroes, and spunky, adorable heroines. There are plenty of laugh out loud moments because of snarky comments made by someone in the book. There is usually a pet who is a prominent, treasured member of the family. I love the motifs that she uses in each book, such as the majordomo (butler) who always has an unusual name, such as Tinker, who is very outspoken but in a wry sort of fashion. One very amusing aspect of Grasso's regencies is there is always at least one scene where the hero and heroine, and anyone with them almost gets run over by a carriage because someone is trying to murder them (I guess London assassins aren't very creative), and there is usually a pregnancy in each book. The large family of Russian princes, either brothers or cousins, certainly helps the appeal.
This is a favorite of mine by this author, because Prince Drako is just a really good guy. He's not a rake, he's not distrustful of women, he's not domineering or obnoxious toward his heroine. He's a sweetheart. Yes, he does deliberately get Katerina pregnant so she'll have to marry him, but he has a really good reason for it. She's bound and determine to avenge the deaths of her sister, brother, and father, and he can't have her jeopardize herself like that. Plus, he falls head over heels for her very early in this book.
Katerina is strong and independent, but not in an annoying way. She has taken care of her family and has a thriving jewelry design business heavily patronized by the 'ice'-loving Duchess of Inverary. She is immediately attracted to Prince Drako, although she thinks he is her enemy she has vowed to revenge her family against. The great thing is that she doesn't hold onto her beliefs that Drako is the villain as she gets to know him and what a good guy he is.
I love all the nuances of this story, the funny conversations, and the poignant moments. The tea parties that the little girls have are hilarious, where they trade gossip about the imaginary Lord Rotten and such characters as that. I love how the Princes eagerly attend the Tea Parties and participate, spending time with the little girls. It's just adorable. You really have to read these books to see what I mean. This is not regency noir, nor is it fluffy per se. It's light, but substantial for a reader who wants to enjoy a book that's not overburdened with angst. Don't get me wrong, I love angst, but it's nice to have a little relief from it.
If you are the type to read books in order, it's best to start with the related series, which is about the Duchess of Inverary's (a prominent recurring character full of sage advice about relationships between men and women) nieces, which begins with To Tempt An Angel. This runs over into the Kazanov series because one of the sisters marries Rudolf, the first Russian Prince. The Kazanov series intersects with the seven Flambeau sisters series (they are the illegitimate daughters of the Duke of Inverary), as they intermarry with the Kazanov Princes. It's a little complicated, but oh so worth reading.
Highly recommended for a Regency romance fan who wants to laugh and really enjoy a fun book.
View all my reviews.