Title: Tempting the Prince
Author: Christi Barth
Series: Sexy Misadventures of Royals #3
Publisher: Entangled: Amara
Price: $3.99 (e-book)
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I first discovered the Sexy Misadventures of Royals series just before the pandemic hit and devoured the first two books, The Princess Problem and Ruling the Princess, and was anxiously awaiting this book as the chemistry between Christian and Mallory jumped off the page in The Princess Problem. I just knew that their book was going to be so good. For the most part, I was right.

What happens when you mix an average American woman with a decidedly not average future King?

I can tell you from experience—a whole lot of complications.

You see, four months ago, my all-American sister, Kelsey, found out that she’s not actually my sister—she’s a princess of a country we’d never heard of. She begged me to come along when she was whisked off to her new palace, so here I am. An outsider who doesn’t fit in anywhere.

Now that she’s settled, I should go back to my exciting new career in New York. I absolutely should not stay in a country where I got shot (long story), where I suck so badly at the national sport that I accidentally murdered the symbol of the monarchy in front of half the country, and—oh yeah—where I can’t stop ogling Kelsey’s actual brother.

The Crown Prince.
The man who has to marry a very important princess. (not me)
The man who must create the next heir to the throne. (without me)
The man I absolutely can never be with. (remember that long story?)
The man who just gave me the best sex of my life…

Did I mention that it’s complicated?

From the cover copy, you’d probably think that this book and the other books in the series are written in First Person POV, but in fact it is actually written in Third Person, so if you’re like me and really don’t like First Person, please do not let the cover copy stop you from reading this series as each book is so good.

One of the things I loved about this book was the chemistry between Christian and Mallory. From their first interaction to the very last page, they just sizzled. The fact that their first sex scene is on approximately page 30 doesn’t hurt either, although there isn’t as much sex as I expected considering that aspect of their relationship started so early in the book. I really wish there was more sex on the page–we know that sex is happening, but we’re not seeing it as much as I would like.

This, however, does serve a purpose. The point of this book isn’t their sex life, but their romance, which is swoon worthy. They are both people who are very much alone. For Mallory she’s a fish out of water. She’s not a royal, but she’s living in the royal palace. She’s not from Moncriano, but she’s chosen to live there for her sister, who is increasingly busy with her princess duties. Christian, however, IS Moncriano. He has been raised to lead the country and even though Genny was there for all that too, she was somewhat insulated by not being first in line to the throne. He could be in a room full of people and still be all alone because of his royal status. To make matters worse, he never expected to come to the throne at 30–his father is still alive and could live for decades more, but for spoilery reasons, he is unable to continue to rule. Christian has all these people looking at him to rule and he just wants someone to understand him, someone he could talk to about things who won’t just tell him what they think he wants to hear. Mallory does this for him. She is the only person who can do this for him, which makes the fact that he can’t be with her the way he wants (because she’s American and not born of nobility) even harder.

For the first half of the book, their relationship is mostly private–the only people who know they even have a relationship are their bodyguards, and obviously they’re not telling anyone. The second half of the book suffers a bit because they can no longer be private. Once they step out in the public, once the rest of the royal family knows about the relationship, everything changes. It felt that this section wasn’t as much fun as the first half, mostly because the change in relationship status signals a beginning of the end. They’re both very much aware that Christian cannot marry Mallory and with each public appearance it underscores the fact that eventually Christian will have to choose someone else to be his Queen.

Even though I knew there would be an HEA, I was honestly worried about how one was possible for these characters, and I was happy with how it was eventually achieved. It is both logical and satisfying, and I will not spoil it for you.

I do want to point out that each book is supposed to be a standalone (and yes, this does work as one), but I believe that to get the same emotional punch that I did, you need to read the other two books in the series first. Part of what makes this ending so satisfying is seeing where both of these characters started in The Princess Problem and how they’ve changed in the intervening months.

Elizabeth

Romance novels have been a part of my life since I was 14 years old and one of my neighbors dropped off a laundry basket full of Harlequins. From that day on, my nose was always in a book. I started my first review site in 2013, but took some time off for personal issues in 2018.

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