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The Rogue's Princess by Eve Edwards
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The Rogue's Princess (2011)

by Eve Edwards

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Eve Edwards' Lacey Chronicles offer up historical romance for a young adult audience. I enjoyed both the previous two novels in the series, and was eager to break into this one. As with the rest of the series, The Rogue's Princess is a quick, light, romantic read, full to the brim with love, betrayal, drama, and sumptuous clothing. This series is perfect for fans of light historical romance. Though this is a series, each novel stands alone well. There is no need to read all of them or to read them in order unless that is your wont.

The Rogue's Princess features the illegitimate half-brother of the Laceys. Kit Turner works as a player on Burbage's stage, a peer of William Shakespeare. I love that in the first chapter, we get a glimpse of Kit's youth, when he tread the boards in women's weeds as a young boy. Now fully grown, though, he plays the romantic leads, the young heroes.

Kit lives a life of drinking and flirting until the day he attends the same party as young Puritan Mercy Hart. She captures his heart at first sight, and he sways her easily with his charms. Their instalove does bother me a bit, but it fits the time, as courtship was a much faster process in those days, since people needed to get married and breeding as soon as possible. The two have several cute moments, and, while they're not my favorite couple of the Lacey series, they are sweet.

Mercy runs more to the Fanny Price end of the heroine spectrum than the Elizabeth Bennet. What I mean by this, for those less familiar with Jane Austen, is that Mercy is shy, quiet, and endlessly determined to do right by God. She often doesn't stand up for herself when I think she should, and her constant reference to prayers and sins made me crazy. For other readers, perhaps those who enjoy Christian fiction, this could be an asset rather than a negative, however. On the plus side, Mercy does gain in spirit as the story goes along, all while retaining her values.

The attempt to add historical weightiness to The Rogue's Princess with Kit's imprisonment for treason does not succeed. He is imprisoned for such a stupid reason (drinking once with people who spoke of putting Mary on the throne) and there is no question that he shall be found innocent in this sort of novel. I appreciate the attempt to make it more historical and less a romance, but I do not think it played out particularly well, especially in how easily it is resolved in the end.

Easily readable as standalones, The Lacey Chronicles consists of romantic stories set during the reign of Elizabeth I. The Rogue's Princess will even have appeal for a Christian audience. ( )
  A_Reader_of_Fictions | Apr 1, 2013 |
I have not read the other books in the Lacey Chronicles and was pleased that each works well as a standalone. The Rogue’s Princess shares the tale of Mercy Hart and Kit Tuner. Set in 1586, this historical romance beautifully captures the tone of the times and the power of young love. While the tale was predictable the characters themselves were delightful.

Mercy Hart is the daughter of a deeply religious and wealthy cloth merchant. She strives to be pure in the eyes of the lord and to subdue her own true nature. While at a friend’s dinner party, she meets the charismatic young Kit Turner and they fall in love. She believes him to be a merchant dealing with music, but he is a player at the theater. He is shocked to learn she has never been to the theater and encourages her to form her own opinion. Before the evening is over, he asks to call upon her father so that he may court her. She agrees and the tale that unfolds is full of angst, romance, betrayal, danger and choices.

Poor Mercy, she grows up in a repressed, God fearing home and often thinks her wayward thoughts and feelings are a sin. She tries to be a good daughter and servant to the lord, but Kit awakens things in her and makes her question both her father and his religious views. Kit is the bastard son of an Earl and when his mother dies in childbirth he takes to acting at the age of fourteen. He is well respected in the theatrical community, but those in the upper class, and especially those that run in the Hart’s family circle, see the theater as the devils work. His youth and young love make him optimistic, and I really liked him. He is quite handsome, well spoken and quite determined. Other secondary characters added to the tale, and I found some of them refreshing.

Edwards weaves a delightfully accurate historical fiction. She captures the sentiments and political views of 1586 from the speech to religious views. While the romances itself was predictable, a few climatic twists placing main characters in peril had me completely enthralled as I searched for my happily-ever-after. I commend the author on how researched the period was. Her attention to details from the clothing to speech was impressive. Historical characters and events added to the tales authenticity. Even William Shakespeare was introduced. I enjoyed Edwards writing style and the flow of the tale.
I want to thank Random House for providing this ARC in exchange for my unbiased review.The Sunday Post ( )
  kimbacaffeinate | Mar 30, 2013 |
Third book in the Lacey Chronicles. Illegitimate brother to a duke, Kit Turner makes his living as an actor on the stage. Mercy Hart is the daughter of a wealthy Puritain cloth merchant. The two meet at a dinner party thrown by another weathly family, and the two fall in love. But political intrigue surrounds Kit, and Mercy's family forbids her to be courted by him, so the two starcrossed lovers must struggle to find a way to be together. ( )
  TheMadHatters | Mar 2, 2013 |
I'm not sure what it is about this series but I ate them up. Though mainly romances they threw in a dash of everything else which made them a real breeze to read. ( )
  CodeName5012 | Feb 28, 2013 |
I often read adult historical romance, but it wasn't until I read Eve Edwards' The Other Countess, the first in the Lacey Chronicles that I really liked YA historical romance. I quickly fell in love with Edwards' writing, which manages to stay surprisingly true to history while adding a contemporary undertone that seems to alleviate the dryness that can easily dissuade readers (like me) from picking up historically accurate novels.

This particular installment of the Lacey Chronicles focuses on Kit, the illegitimate brother of the three (legitimate) Lacey brothers: Will, Tobias, and James. The three brothers are introduced in the first book, but, not having read the second book, The Queen's Lady, this was my first real encounter with Kit.

Being illegitimate, Kit has lived a much different life than his brothers. He hasn't had the easiest life and, when the reader meets him, he's earning his living as an actor among the troupe that will eventually become the favorite of Queen Elizabeth I, Lord Chamberlain's Men. Though he does appear a bit flamboyant at the start, Kit definitely is more steadfast and serious than first appearances let on. though his love for the innocent Mercy might seem a bit improbable at first, he never wavers. My only issue with this is that the reader isn't really given a compelling reason for his devotion. The reader knows there's more to Mercy than prayers and minding her father, but Kit's love seems to be based solely on her pretty face and other... endowments.

Still, Kit does make some rather drastic changes to give Mercy what he believes she deserves. In ways, his transformation mirrors that of Orlando in As You Like It. At first, Kit only shows his love through flowery verses and complimentary words, but he eventually learns that real love takes means much more and takes steps to clean up his life and prove he's serious about Mercy. He doesn't give up things that are fundamental parts of his life that he loves (like the theater or his flashy fashion choices), but he give up rowdy nights at the tavern and stops squandering his money.

Mercy is an interesting character. Raised in a very strict Puritan household, she spends most of her days punishing herself for impure and rebellious thoughts. And she definitely has impure thoughts about the dashing Kit... She falls for him before she's aware he's an actor and, therefore, someone her father would never approve of and she's been raised to regard as un-Christian. Kit, his lifestyle, and her feelings challenge her upbringing and everything she's ever known. I was proud of Mercy for standing up to her father and following her heart to Kit, while still staying true to herself and her religion.

Though religion plays a big part in understanding Mercy and her actions, it isn't overbearing. Instead it just feels natural and true to the time period.

The Lacey Chronicles are set directly before Elizabeth I takes the throne and are pre-Shakespeare (though he does make an appearance or two in this book), I time time period I've always been fascinated with, and I find that Edwards does a phenomenal job at portraying this time period. The Rogue's Princess is a historical romance, but it also incorporates political and religious conflict in interesting ways, simultaneously entertaining and teaching. ( )
  thehidingspot | Jan 31, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0141337346, Paperback)

1586 - London, England. Sixteen-year-old Mercy Hart is the daughter of one of London's richest - and strictest - cloth merchants. Kit Turner is an actor and the illegitimate son of the late Earl of Dorset. A chance encounter finds Kit falling for the beautiful Mercy's charms, but their love is forbidden. A merchant's daughter and a vagabond - it simply cannot be. If Mercy chooses Kit she must renounce her family name and leave her home. Will she favour duty over true love, or will she give Kit his heart's desire?

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:48:37 -0400)

1586 - London, England. Sixteen-year-old Mercy Hart is the daughter of one of London's richest - and strictest - cloth merchants. Kit Turner is an actor and the illegitimate son of the late Earl of Dorset. A chance encounter finds Kit falling for the beautiful Mercy's charms, but their love is forbidden. A merchant's daughter and a vagabond - it simply cannot be. If Mercy chooses Kit she must renounce her family name and leave her home. Will she favour duty over true love, or will she give Kit his heart's desire? Ages 12+.… (more)

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