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Princess by Gaelen Foley
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I read this story a number of years ago and I had forgotten how heart wrenching the last third of the story is. Darius Santiago is one of the most tortured heroes I have read about. He is so full of hate and anger which is mostly directed at him. He has been told most of his young life that he is worthless and he has come to believe that. He has work tirelessly to build himself into a better person. Someone others would be able to love and care about. While there are a number of people that do love him for himself he never really sees them. He is so sure that if he cares about anyone they will leave him. Darius is a caring, compassionate and honorable man. He is also ruthless and determined and madly in love the Serafina de Fiore. The struggle to come to terms with that love and the realization that things might actually workout for these two is the basis for this story.

Serafina is in many ways a spoiled princess. She has been raised to be a royal, but that is not what she really wants to be. She would be happier with a home, children and Darius in a villa that was far from court. She is interested in medicine and botany. She loves animals and has quite a collection at the palace. As with so many daughters she has her father wrapped around her little finger. Serafina is also strong, brave, compassionate and very loving. She knows that she can save Darius if he will only stay still longer enough for her to do so. She is stubborn to a fault and intelligent. She is a likable heroine which is a surprise in this day and age. So many heroines have become bitchy tyrants that you just want to shake until their teeth rattle.

This is a quick read filled with lots of tense suspenseful moments that make to unable to put down the book until you have found out what the outcome will be. We see Lazar and Allegra many years after THE PIRATE PRINCE. They have built their kingdom and have two grown children, Serafina and Rafael with a child on the way. They are as much in love now as they were in the earlier book. I love Ms. Foley’s writing and always look forward to reading one of her stories. She does the historical romance genre proud with her many contributions. ( )
  LadyIsis | Jun 5, 2014 |
Overall Rating: 4.35 // Action: 3.5 / Emotion: 4 / Romance: 3.5 / Sensuous: 2.5 / Suspense: 4 // Historical Flavor: 2 / Humor: 1 / Tears: 3½

Overall: 4.35: *Princess* immediately drew interest by introducing Darius Santiago and Princess Serafina di Fiore in the exciting opening rescue scene that featured the lovelorn thoughts of each character regarding the other. Foley did a great job of keeping that interest as she wove a fascinating story around their unrequited love. A Historical Romance reader will enjoy this entertaining book.

Action: 3.5: Darius was King Lazar's (*The Pirate Prince*) best intelligence-gathering man (and assassin), so the book was peppered with Darius performing the military deeds needed to save his princess.

Emotion: 4.0: Foley drew readers deep into the emotional angst that Darius suffered as the half-Gypsy bastard who felt unworthy of having the Princess Royal. Serafina's anguish at losing her love and dutifully marrying another to save Ascencion resulted in tears.

Romance: 3.5: Serafina's determination to save Darius from his self-imposed loneliness and force him to accept that they were soul mates pervaded the entire storyline. Darius's performance of his security duties were hampered by his forbidden desire for Serafina.

Sensuous: 2.5: The heat between Darius and Serafina was blazing. Foley entertained with detailed lovemaking scenes that brought heat to the cheeks (and, in the first case, astonishment).

Suspense: 4.0: The plot was intricate (involving several key secondary characters) and kept one wondering how Foley was going to extricate Darius and Serafina from the corners into which they were being painted.

Historical Flavor: 2.0: Even though the language didn't sound early 1800s, Foley did weave in relevant historical details about the warring Napoleon Bonaparte into the fabric of the story.

See Wolf Bear Does Books (http://goo.gl/CU7c6) for a more in-depth, detailed review of *Princess*. ( )
  Vonda_M_Reid | Oct 21, 2012 |
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She is a pearl
whose price hath launched above
a thousand ships,
And turned crowned kings
to merchants.

He after honor hunts; I after love.
This book is dedicated to my lifelong and most loyal friends, my sisters, Shana, Elizabeth, and Janeen.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0449002462, Mass Market Paperback)

Setting: Europe, 1805
Sensuality: 8

Imperious and beautiful, Princess Serafina has loved Darius Santiago, the king's most trusted warrior, since she was a child. But Darius was plucked from the gutter by the king to be trained as a spy, and although he loves Serafina beyond reason, he conceals his heart for he believes his background forbids a union between them. When Serafina is betrothed to a ruthless Russian aristocrat in a bargain that gains her tiny island kingdom protection from Bonaparte's armies, Darius intervenes to save her. His actions set in motion a sequence of events that will challenge the strength of their love and threaten their lives as well as the survival of the kingdom.

This energetic plot has the hero and heroine poised on the razor's edge of physical danger at the same time they're struggling to trust each other with the deepest secrets of their hearts. The supporting cast of secondary characters is excellent, especially the members of the heroine's family. Their normalcy provides a stark contrast to the hero, whose childhood of neglect and abuse has left scars and built emotional walls that only the heroine's love may heal. The delightful tales of Ascencion's royal family, first begun with The Pirate Prince, will continue with Foley's next novel, Prince Charming, the story of Serafina's brother, Prince Rafael di Fiore. --Lois Faye Dyer

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:20 -0400)

In the sequel to The Pirate Prince, the king's most accomplished and intrepid spy, Darius Santiago, is on the verge of attaining his one true desire, Princess Serafina, when a deadly enemy threatens to separate them forever.

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