I write book reviews, I also write books, and occasionally I write about myself!

Thursday, 15 November 2012

The Santina Crown... Playing the Royal Game - Carol Marinelli

Playing the Royal Game - Carol Marinelli
Mills & Boon Modern Special Releases
Harlequin UK, 2012
ISBN: 9780263897708

My rating

From the back cover:

"The Santina-Jackson Royal Fairytale: Fact or Fiction? 
Falling in love with a prince might be every girl’s dream, but is Allegra Jackson’s royal fairy-tale really all it seems? Allegra’s headline-grabbing family have hardly prepared her for a life of public duty and sinfully delicious Prince Alessandro of Santina has always seemed virtually allergic to the idea of settling down – changing women so fast the paparazzi can barely keep up! 
So why, out of all the beautiful socialites his name’s been linked with, did the heir to the throne pick ordinary Allegra? The royal rumour-mill is in overdrive, asking if this shock engagement really is a love-match…or a desperate arrangement with scandalous consequences."

A couple of the previous books in this continuity series hinted at something that is not as it seems about the engagement between the Allegra and Alex (the event that started it all!) and that really whetted my appetite, I was very much looking forward to reading their story.

But, I also have a nagging feeling that this might be an accidental pregnancy story, there is nothing wrong with that of course but I knew that the series deserved something 'more'. I'm so glad I was wrong, in fact the plot of this book completely surprised me. 

Carol Marinelli has written such a deep and provoking story that had me hooked all the way through. The emotion and almost desperation that saturates the pages when the hero and heroine first meet really set the tone of the whole story. The hero and heroine got themselves into something rather misguided only realising what a mistake it had been once they had become deeper and deeper involved. The story had a snowballing effect that is rather compelling to read. 

The relationship that grows out of this comedy of errors is fraught with pain and restraint and is very moving. These characters belong together, you can see this right from the start, but everything is so difficult for them. The execution is flawless. My only complaint is that I wasn't too keen on the inclusion of POV from other characters, it felt almost jarring when it switched away from what was a deeply absorbing love-story and the inclusion of this didn't further the story at all, if anything it actually ruined the pace in my opinion.

When focused on the hero and heroine the writing is evocative and emotional with prose that feels as though it is floating.

Wonderful, and an enjoyable end to this continuity that if I'm honest had a rather shaky start!


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