Sins of a Wicked Princess
Do you like a bit of adventure with your romance? I tend to enjoy Anna Randol’s writing because of the adventure plots she mixes into her stories, and Sins of a Wicked Princess definitely does not disappoint. With likable characters and a page-turning narrative, this book easily won me over.
Those who have read the other Sinner’s Trio books will no doubt remember Ian Maddox, known as the Wraith, and easily the most mysterious member of the Trio. Well, he finally gets his book, and for once a book about a long-awaited hero does not disappoint. Ian is on a mission to discover who is trying to have his friends killed, and at least in the beginning, the trail leads him to a princess living in exile.
That princess, Juliana of Lenoria, lives in London with her brother and aunts. Normally royalty from fake countries are a major turnoff for me in romance, but Randol does a good job with Juliana and her country. For starters, Lenoria is not some fairytale-ish sort of land. Instead the author uses the political upheavals of the Napoleonic Wars to create a country and political turmoil that actually sound believable, just as she gives the escaped princess a backstory that works. Juliana may live in exile, but we get ample opportunity to see her thinking like a ruler and it makes her both a stronger and more likable character.
As it turns out, Juliana has problems of her own. Not only do Spain and France wish to divide her country between them but someone is blackmailing her brother in an attempt to mount a challenge to Juliana. So, when she is confronted by Ian, it quickly becomes clear that each has something the other wants. Ian wants access to Juliana’s circle and Juliana wants training so that she can defeat the blackmail plot.
That bargain between Ian and Juliana and some of the encounters that ensue are magical at times. I wouldn’t call them particularly realistic, but these scenes are the sort of illusion one doesn’t want to put down. As I read, I got the same feeling that one gets when watching a ridiculous movie. In my head, I might know it’s a bit silly, but it’s just so good that I don’t care and I don’t want it to end.
I only had one quibble with this book, and it ended up being fairly minor for me. The various intrigues in which Juliana and Ian find themselves embroiled end up being quite absorbing, but they do overshadow the romance a bit. Juliana and Ian’s development of feelings for one another feels believable and some of the scenes, particularly as they learn more about each other’s pasts, have great emotional impact. I just wanted more of them. The rest of the plot didn’t need to be cut; the book just could have used a slightly longer page count in order to best tell the story.
If you enjoy books full of action, adventure, and romance, definitely give Sins of a Wicked Princess a try. In fact, the entire Sinners Trio trilogy is worth a read.