Mon
Dec 15 2014 10:30am

First Look: Diane Alberts’s Seducing the Princess (December 15, 2014)

Seducing the Princess by Diane AlbertsDiane Alberts
Seducing the Princess (Shillings Agency #3)
Entangled / December 15, 2014 / $0.99 digital

Protecting a princess is not what former marine Gordon Waybrook signed up for when he joined the Shillings Agency. But instead of the spoiled, regal little creature he expects, Isabelle VanGuard is a fiery, sexy-as hell woman who's been denied what she needs for too long. And he's just the man to break through her frozen public facade and give it to her.

When she's with Gordon, all Isabelle can think about is pleasure. Their blistering chemistry is immediate and intense, but volatile. In fact, the only thing they agree on is that their one night together is just that—one night. Even after it becomes more. But tempers and temptation can't disguise reality. Isabelle is a princess, and a hot, hard, and tattooed bodyguard isn't the Prince Charming her country expects...even if he's exactly what she needs. 

Seducing the Princess lets us revel in that modern day fairytale love affair between royalty and a commoner with some fun twists. I've read countless books that utilize this trope where our stately royal is male, used to being in control, and can sweep an unassuming ordinary girl off her feet with his riches and status. But with this installment of the Shillings Agency, it's our heroine who is the royal. Moreover, the balance of power illustrated between our hero and heroine is not stereotypically dominated by the male. Rather, Gordon and Isabelle have more of a mutual give and take as their relationship develops. Diane Alberts doesn't stray too far from our beloved trope as we see the theme of forbidden love woven through the text. This forces both the characters and us readers to work for our HEA. Alberts weaves a narrative that offers up an exchange of fun banter and introspection with our equally headstrong lovers.

For example, Gordon finds himself in the uncomfortable position of actually wanting more than a one-night stand:

He lay back down, cradling her in his arms. He'd never felt so at peace in another person's arms before...He'd tried to deny that the other night, when they'd first had sex. Had tried to talk himself out of the odd feeling. But there was no denying it anymore. She made him happy...

And he was going to lose her.

Equally, Isabelle battles with the realization that love with Gordon makes her feel complete while knowing sovereign expectations placed on her make it next to impossible to be with him permanently.

After they settled into the bed together, she rested her hand on his heart. It pounded under her touch. Lying here like this, with him, felt right. Like it was meant to be. She'd never really believed in soul mates or love at first sight. She couldn't even say she loved him. Love grew over time. It took days. Months. Years, even. But this much she could easily say...She could see herself falling impossibly in love with him. It would be so easy to love him. To need him.

Too bad she wasn't allowed.

Which brings me to the next fun twist: The sprinkling of BDSM elements into the story as we quickly learn about Gordon's propensity towards kink. Though Princess Isabelle is being groomed to give orders and eventually rule her country, she is learning to put her trust in Gordon as his submissive in the bedroom. Isabelle tells Gordon,

“People don't tell me what to do. I tell them.”

Yet later that night, it's Gordon who is in control:

He was actually going to lay hands on her? Spank her like a dom or something? She'd heard about men like him, but in but in her life? They didn't exist. They were characters in books that she snuck into her bedroom at night. But now he was here, with her, and he wanted to do these things to her? Take her? Make her quiver? Part of her was scared, but the other, louder, part wanted to do this with him. This and so much more.

“Gordon...”

He ran his fingers over her butt. “I won't actually hurt you, Isabelle. Nothing that happens here will cross the line. And if you want me to stop, I will. Right away. All you have to do is ask.” He caught her chin, his gaze latching with hers.

“Trust me on this.”

She nodded once, shrugged out of his robe, took a deep breath...And rolled over.

Still, Isabelle isn't the only one learning to trust in the bedroom, illustrating how our lead characters mutually support one another. A decorated marine who served time in the Middle East, Gordon learns to let himself be cared for by Isabelle as he grapples with PTSD. Since returning from the war, Isabelle is the first person whom Gordon feels comfortable sharing that he has recurring nightmares.

“I don't really sleep.” He hesitated. “Like, at all. And when I do...I wake up and cry out. I have nightmares, Belle. Lots of them. If I stayed, I'd probably disturb you, and I don't want to do that.”

Overall, Seducing the Princess is a fun read that will appeal to those readers that like a little spice added into their modern day fairy tale romance.

 

Learn more about or order a copy of Seducing the Princess by Diane Alberts, available now:

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Tanya is a fanatic about romance and teaches sociology part time. You can follow her on twitter @tamushamu

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