Princess in Love
St. Martin's Press / October 30, 2012 / $7.99 print & digital
Leopold Hunt, Marquess of Cavanaugh, is a secret Royalist with a distant hereditary claim to the throne. He has been groomed to one day overthrow the king and rebuild his family’s dynasty. Only one thing stands in his way: the king’s daughter, Rose.
Princess Rose has loved the marquess her entire life, but she is about to enter a political marriage—one that promises to help keep her father in power. There is virtually no way for Rose to escape her fate…yet she cannot resist the unstoppable passion she feels in the arms of the handsome and charming marquess. When a dangerous plot unfolds and puts their love to the ultimate test—Leopold must make a desperate choice: To honor his family or follow his heart.
This is the second book in Julianne Maclean’s Royal Trilogy, which features the youngest royal, Princess Rose. In this story, Leopold Hunt, Marquess of Cavanaugh, shows us that an omission is as good as a lie and it can cost you everything you hold dear.
Rose’s father, a great soldier, was put on the throne after a revolution overthrew the prior King. He has ruled for over twenty years and has raised his son, Randolph, to succeed him. Leopold’s father is a firm royalist and has been waiting these 20 years to dethrone the King, and put his own son, Leopold, a distant but true royal descendent, on the throne.
When Rose met Leopold two years ago, she was certain their mutual admiration would lead to a proposal of marriage. She all but had her wedding dress picked out, when she was pushed aside by Leo and she learned a painful lesson about love.
What Leopold had neglected to mention during their time together was that he has been secretly engaged to the last living child of the former king, Princess Alexandra Tremaine, and their marriage would further support Leo’s claim to the throne. The same Princess Alexandra who was now going to marry Rose’s own brother, Randolph.
Leopold has spent some time away from his father, and after returning from the Napoleonic wars as a hero, Leo has begun to realize that not only does he not share his father’s ambitions to rule the country, he truly admires the King and Prince Randolph. A chance meeting throws Rose and Leopold together again and with his betrothal broken, he wants to pursue a love with Rose. But Leopold has forgotten to mention his royalist father and his secret plot to dethrone Rose’s father.
“Something has happened,” his father said. “Why are you suddenly doubting your purpose?”
The floor shifted beneath Leo’s feet. He couldn’t say it. He couldn’t possibly admit that since he had faced death on the battlefield, he wanted only to live, and live simply. He couldn’t confess his unquenchable desire for Rose Sebastian, or admit that he had come to respect her brother, the future Sebastian king.
“It was never my purpose,” Leo replied. “It has always been yours, and yours alone.”
God help him, Leo had given up everything for the royalist cause—everything—but he just couldn’t go on believing in it. Nothing seemed clear to him lately, and his encounter with Rose last night had left him further confounded.
But even the darkest secrets manage to find their way into the light and when a plot is discovered to kill the King and fingers point to the royalists, Leopold’s past and secret plots start to crumble the foundations of his new love affair with Rose. It is too late to confess his change to heart so now the truth sounds like a lie.
He stepped forward, but she held up a hand. “Stay where you are, sir. I know everything. My brother told me of your plot to replace him on the throne. I know how you came to the palace to win the queen’s affections. I know that your father has been planning your marriage to her since the day you were born so that you would one day rule this country at her side. You have been deceiving us all.”
The chill seeped into her bones, and she rubbed her arms. “I will never forgive you,” she said.
He stared at her. “Yes, you will, Rose, because you know I am innocent.”
Can love survive when lies, ambition and power come into play? Can you sift out the truth from the lies when there is a crown to be won? Leopold believed he could just walk away cleanly from a lifetime of plotting but will the mark of betrayal be too much for new love to survive? Princess in Love pits romantic love against familial love in a high-stakes romance.
For more, check out H&H's excerpt of Chapters 1-2 from Princess in Love!
Lucy Dosch writes book reviews for her blog http://ebookobsessed.com. Her e-reader has turned her love of reading into an obsession. When she is not reading, she likes to spend time with her husband and two daughters.