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The Princess Plan

by Julia London

Series: A Royal Wedding (1)

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446434,696 (4.3)2
"Nothing gets the tongues of London's high society wagging like a good scandal. And when the personal secretary of the visiting Prince Sebastian of Alucia is found murdered, it's all anyone can talk about, including Eliza Tricklebank. Her unapologetic gossip gazette has benefited from an anonymous tip about the crime, prompting Sebastian to take an interest in playing detective--and an even greater interest in Eliza. With a trade deal on the line and mounting pressure to secure a noble bride, there's nothing more salacious than a prince dallying with a commoner. Sebastian finds Eliza's contrary manner as frustrating as it is seductive, but they'll have to work together if they're going to catch the culprit. And when things heat up behind closed doors, it's the prince who'll have to decide what comes first--his country or his heart."--Page 4 of cover.… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
A quirky, smart, independent spinster attends a ball and meets the prince of a small European country who is in London to negotiate trade deals and find a suitable bride. What can go wrong? Getting a little tipsy on rum punch, Eliza accidentally meets the prince in a hallway and starts a conversation. Later, she joins a line of women who are waiting for an introduction (even though she hadn't been invited to join the line).
That night, the prince's assistant was murdered and somehow, Eliza accidentally finds herself helping to solve the murder. When she officially meets the prince he is absolutely confused - having never met someone so lacking in proper royal etiquette who would speak to him as an equal and not as someone royal. The more they meet and talk to more he is intrigued and begins to have feeling for her.
There is no way that he could ever marry a commoner but the more they meet the more he wants to abandon royal protocol and marry for love. Together they find their way to a Happily Ever After. ( )
  ddeluna1 | Mar 19, 2020 |
Originally posted on Tales to Tide You Over

This is a lovely historical romance with all the wonder of Cinderella alongside the firm independence of a Victorian woman who thought herself safely beyond the troubles of marriage. Her independence is not that of a modern woman but rather true to the Victorian Era in which she devotes herself to her father’s care and assistance. She also helps him with his work as a justice on the Queen’s Bench without getting the credit she’s due from the other legal authorities, because she’s female, evidence of her clever mind for all she is not recognized as such by any but her father.

Toss in a wish to have some adventures in her otherwise quiet life, an Alucian prince forced to seek an English bride with ties to Parliament, and the murder of a trusted secretary to get a wild romp with both tender and painful moments. Miss Eliza Tricklebank, along with her sister and their best friend, becomes an intrepid investigator who has no business looking into something as horrible as a murder. But she’s observant and clever. Even drunk on her first taste of rum punch and dazed by an unexpected royal encounter, she sees more than she should have, including the moment of Sebastian’s greatest regret. He turned aside his secretary in favor of quenching carnal urges with a random widow, never to know what the man would have told him.

Sebastian has no idea how to deal with this woman who draws him with her upfront nature and her gift for seeing what others ignore. He should be offended. He’s been raised to the deference of everyone around him, but Eliza will have none of it, even going so far as to toss him out to the street when he attempts to impose his royal demands. Instead, he returns as much for her company as the insights she might hold, and that’s before he kisses her. Together and apart, they struggle with pieces and explore educated guesses to uncover what led to the death of the only one Sebastian’s been able to trust…until meeting Eliza.

In case you can’t tell, I very much enjoyed coming to know Crown Prince Sebastian and Eliza, a self-proclaimed spinster, along with the larger cast of interested parties. There is a touch of culture clash between Sebastian’s expectations and Eliza’s behavior, but also with Eliza’s position as her father’s assistant. Add in both amusing foibles and endearing moments to round off this Victorian tale.

The dry wit and commentary rather than a more active tone throughout is a perfect blend of Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen despite a more modern presentation of open-door sex scenes. Even there, though, the narrative voice maintains a period feel while the content and wording are well within the lines of historical accuracy. The same is true for the squealing eagerness with which Eliza’s sister and best friend receive the hints Eliza shares about her early encounters with the prince, going far beyond the single meeting she’d sought to round out her quiet existence.

There’s a bit more clothing description than I prefer, but I found much of it amusing in how the clothes revealed the character of those wearing such and skimmed when not. Nor is the mystery given short shrift. There’s good seeding for the observant reader, and a few red herrings to lead you astray, while it serves to bring the main characters together until they have other reasons to drive them.

Sebastian might need to shed layers of arrogance, but Eliza has as many preconceptions before the romance comes together in a clever resolution that lives up to the idea of no obstacle too great with true love on the line. This treatment, with its focus on the people and their relationships rather than the horrid aspects of betrayal and murder, is exactly the tonic I was looking for when I selected this book. Julia London delivers it in spades.

P.S. I received this ARC from the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review. ( )
  MarFisk | Jan 17, 2020 |
The Princess Plan, by Julia London, is available at booksellers on 11-19-19. As the start of a new series it sets the tone for others to come. I will expect witty, adventurous, and romantic, just as with book one. I'm so use to reading about a duke or earl that a prince was unusual and fresh. That said, I hope the next book is about a certain intriguing brother who is not a duke. Actually there are two intriguing brothers so give me either one. Historical romance fans, suspend your belief in our accepted view of the ton. Our couple, and those around them, are very modern in their thinking and actions. Made it fun for me to read.

Miss Eliza Tricklebank is a 28 year old spinster who lives with her blind father. Not an unusual plot theme but she's very bold, opiniated, accepting of her lot in life. She also isn't nagged constantly about marrying to save herself when dad dies. No one is threatening to ship her off to take care of a distant aunt. I liked this about the story but it's also unbelievable. That she meets a prince is unbelievable but she surely does. It's not a bad life but, she's stopped thinking about what might have been. Until a certain prince sparks a burning desire. Ms London has made her brave & bold enough to reach for the brass ring.

Crown Prince Sebastian of Alucia is also resigned to his fate. I automatically like a hero named Sebastian, it's my favorite name. Being next in line for the thrown is not what you'd expect. He's drawn to Eliza, she doesn't give a hoot that he's a prince. Way out of his experience, everyone else bows & scrapes. He's entitled, rude, lonely, and bored out of his mind. He changes direction about halfway through the book and things really start to move toward a HEA. His solution is a bit wrong but hey, we've suspended our belief. An English daughter of a baron is not a "lady", it's The Honorable" We serious fans tend to be judgmental about such things, but please let it go. The story works, they get a HEA, everyone is happy. Including me. Happy reading

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

#ThePrincessPlan #ARoyalWedding #JuliaLondon #Netgalley #Harlequin #Historicalromance ( )
  FDarlene491 | Nov 22, 2019 |
No planned princess here!

I really enjoyed the Tricklebank household. The maid who sits and has tea with her mistress. The mistress who mends clocks, the father who knits, the houseman Ben who is definately not the butler--much to the shock of both the Princes when he refuses to take their hats. No wonder the Prince Sebastian is confused, what with the daughter of the house, Eliza, who is a somewhat outspoken spinster (I could just imagine the scene when she discovered years early at a dinner party that the rogue who'd been paying his addresses to her had become engaged to someone else), the widowed daughter Hollis, who has turned her husband's political paper into a gossip and advice rag, and Judge Tricklebank who's blind and obviously supports his daughters independence, mostly!
So we have the very precious Prince Sebastian seeking trade alliances (and casting around for an English wife to sweeten the pot), a possible looming war, his murdered secretary and really a host of other happenings. Sebastian is a Prince of Consequence who is initially shocked by the outspoken Eliza.
I must admit that sometimes the various tropes seem to crowd each other out. Is this a part Cinderella story combined with a murder mystery, along with a political thriller?
Occasionally my thoughts flashed onto The Mouse that Roared when I thought of the Kingdom of Alucia surrounded by powerful nations. Although given the times and what is going on politically for the tiny Kingdom, I'm way off the mark and Alucia might be more akin to The Mouse that Sqeaked.
One might have to suspend belief over various background details. Let's face it, this is romantic fiction with an emphasis on 'fiction', that puts together Victorian times, political maneuvering, murder and romance, with a generous dash of humor. Do all that and you have an enjoyable read.

A Harlequin ARC via NetGalley ( )
  eyes.2c | Nov 18, 2019 |
I received an ARC of this book to read through NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. The Princess Plan by Julia London is the first book in her exciting new series A Royal Wedding.
Eliza Tricklebank is fairly settled in her life as a spinster she cares for her father and enjoys the company of her sister and her friends along with the small freedoms that come with being a spinster such as the ability to go for a walk on ones own and to be able to say what one thinks. She is excited to attend a Masquerade Ball and perhaps meeting a prince might be a fine thing and once she meets the prince perhaps a kiss would be something to savor in her old age, but then she kisses him, and somehow that’s not enough. Prince Sebastian Charles Iver Chartier, Crown Prince of Alucia and Duke of Sansonleon has come to England to forge a trade agreement for his troubled small country and as well to find a suitable bride to help cement relations between Alucia and England. He’s never before met someone who sees him a just a man, and an annoying one at that and when his secretary is murdered he feels that Eliza is one of the few people he can trust to tell him the truth. This is a lovely friends to lovers story and I enjoyed it very much. Medium Steam. Publishing Date November 19, 2019. #NetGalley #JuliaLondon #ThePrincessPlan #HarlequinBooks #HistoricalRomance #Bookstagram ( )
  nmgski | Oct 27, 2019 |
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"Nothing gets the tongues of London's high society wagging like a good scandal. And when the personal secretary of the visiting Prince Sebastian of Alucia is found murdered, it's all anyone can talk about, including Eliza Tricklebank. Her unapologetic gossip gazette has benefited from an anonymous tip about the crime, prompting Sebastian to take an interest in playing detective--and an even greater interest in Eliza. With a trade deal on the line and mounting pressure to secure a noble bride, there's nothing more salacious than a prince dallying with a commoner. Sebastian finds Eliza's contrary manner as frustrating as it is seductive, but they'll have to work together if they're going to catch the culprit. And when things heat up behind closed doors, it's the prince who'll have to decide what comes first--his country or his heart."--Page 4 of cover.

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