The Princess
Grade : B+

If you want to hearken back to a time of knights and damsels, of chivalry and bards and tales of true love, The Princess is the book to take you there. Ms. Delacroix spins a lyrical, whimsical story worthy of a bard's tale. It's a wonderfully fun read and it simply made me smile.

When Princess Brianna's home, Tullymullagh, is conquered, the king demands that the princess marry one of the conquering knight's sons. Brianna is adamant that she won't; she insists upon marrying only for love. In order to stall for time she demands that all three sons must go on a bride quest. They must find a gift that will make her laugh. Brianna hopes that somehow she can win the castle back for her father while the sons are gone. There's just one problem - Luc. Luc is the eldest son who has cast off his knight's armor to be a farmer.

Luc is determined not to go in Brianna's quest. Instead he stays to tend the castle's neglected gardens. (This alone really endeared him to me!) From the moment he and Brianna meet, there are definite sparks. She means to upbraid him for not going on the quest and ends up receiving a kiss from him. Their conversations are lively but they also learn a lot about the other, and it's easy to see the relationship blossoming. This is something I particularly liked about the book - that they open to each other and actually talk. Well-written dialogue like this doesn't come along every day! As the characters get to know each other, we learn that Brianna may be willful but she is also extremely generous and a romantic. We also learn about Luc's past as a knight and why he chose to give up that life.

Unfortunately, there are obstacles for the couple to face. Someone is plotting to steal the Rose of Tullymullagh, a treasure that Brianna's father brought back from his time fighting the Crusades. Someone is willing to kill for it, and that means Brianna's life is in danger. There is also the smaller problem of Brianna's quest. She has promised to marry the son who makes her laugh, but soon her heart is pledged to Luc - what's a girl to do? You'll have to read the book to find out how that bit turns out.

What I especially liked about this book was that the hero and heroine were not only lovers, they were friends. They took the time to get to know each other and they built a relationship not only on love, but on a mutual respect for the other. Sure they have a few misunderstandings, but that is common in any relationship. I also liked the fact that Ms. Delacroix didn't belabor the misunderstandings the couple had. I absolutely hate it when a misunderstanding goes on too long in a romance - this book kept the time length to a minimum. The secondary characters were well written too. Whether you loved them or hated them, they made the story richer through their appearance. I especially loved the character Uther, the steward.

My complaints about the book are minor. One important character was killed off, and I didn't think it was necessary to do this. And I found it really easy to figure out who the villain was. Other than that, The Princess is a great way to spend an evening and I am very much looking forward to Luc's brother's stories. If Ms. Delacroix stays on the same track, then the next two books should also produce a lot of smiles as well.

Reviewed by Lori-Anne Cohen
Grade : B+

Sensuality: Warm

Review Date : December 7, 1998

Publication Date: 08/1998

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Lori-Anne Cohen

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