Bride by Royal Decree by Caitlin Crews

Bride by Royal Decree by Caitlin Crews
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (219 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

His lost princess bride!

King Reza abandoned the search for his childhood betrothed, Princess Magdalena, years ago. Until the shocking appearance of a photograph of the elusive princess reignites the legend that gripped his nation. Now Reza must return to the hunt and claim his queen!

Waitress Maggy’s family history is a mystery, and even though she often dreamed of Prince Charming, he was never as devastatingly handsome as Reza! Fiercely independent, she won’t accept her birthright on any terms but her own, so if Reza can’t use legal bindings, he’ll use sensual ones that Maggy will be helpless to resist!

There’s nothing like a sweet romance that feeds my addiction for brain candy.

As a fan of Harlequin romances, there’s a certain kind of hero, premise and journey that never fails to entertain, engage and lure me in. I’m happy to report that Bride by Royal Decree met my expectations and I was a happy clam all nestled in my comfy chair while I enjoyed this wonderful story.

I’m dating myself here but for those readers who remember Shirley Temple’s 1939 movie The Little Princess about a little girl forced into servitude due to a reversal of fortune, as well as the classic Cinderella, they’ll recognize that this novel combines elements of both, and Ms. Crews’ wonderful writing captures the intense feelings of stubbornness, hope, despair and eventually, love.

Maggie is a foster child who, through sheer grit and determination, has survived a horrible upbringing. She’s feisty and mouthy but she has a good work ethic and still dreams of a better life. Enter the hero, King Reza, and things get really interesting. He’s infuriatingly arrogant, powerful and rich and … unprepared for the force that is Maggie. I loved it when she talked back to him. Those scenes made me giggle.

Maggie’s prince has come, but in actual fact is already a king. She was lost for years and years and as soon as she’s rediscovered, the plot kicks in high gear because Reza is determined that she WILL be his, she WILL act like a future queen and expects her to toe the line, except, when she does, he’s still not happy. Why is that you wonder? You have to read the book to find out what’s going on in the king’s head.

The novel is told mostly in Maggie’s point of view because she’s the star and the one that most of the change happens to, but Reza has a few enlightened moments to share with readers too. Of course he’s not without internal conflicts and past hurts which of course stymy their budding relationship; that’s a given for these types of stories. It’s how those issues get resolved; it’s how Maggie and Reza finally reach the point where they realize that they really do love each other that the story races to their happy ever after.

How it comes about cracked me up. Not that it’s overtly funny – it’s because Maggie basically tore a page out of Reza’s “how to be royalty” book and figuratively whapped him over the head with hit. I really liked Maggie.

If a reader is in need of a quick and easy bit of romantic escapism, Bride by Royal Decree should do very nicely indeed. It was a quiet afternoon’s read for me and I enjoyed every moment.

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