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Almost a Princess [Mass Market Paperback]

Elizabeth Thornton
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Mass Market Paperback, July 27 2004 --  

Book Description

July 27 2004
From nationally bestselling author Elizabeth Thornton comes a sensuous new tale of true love and fiery romance—under the most intriguing of circumstances.

Case Devere, the steely-eyed earl of Castleton, has agreed to help Special Branch track down a notorious killer—one who just happens to be his archenemy. But he finds more than he bargained for when his search leads him to Jane Mayberry, a beautiful bluestocking passionately devoted to the cause of women’s rights—and to protecting her privacy. As irresistible as she is uncooperative, the spirited Jane arouses Case’s interest—as well as his worst suspicions—when she quietly disappears. Determined to find the one woman who may hold the key to his investigation—and to his heart—Case goes after her.

Though their sparring belies an attraction too powerful to deny, Jane knows there can never be anything between herself and the strong-willed earl. For she bears a dark and terrifying secret that must remain hidden—even at the cost of a broken heart. As Case fights for the love of the one woman who has ever mattered to him, they are swept into a deadly game by a killer who won’t stop until he has punished them both.

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Product Description

From Booklist

The killer left a calling card, but only Caspar "Case" Devere, Lord Castleton, a member of Britain's elite Special Branch, knows that the pebble means the murderer is none other than the sadistic, elusive "La Roca." Case meets Jane Mayberry, die-hard bluestocking, confirmed spinster, and dedicated member of the Ladies' Library, during his search for his old nemesis, and is instantly attracted to her. But things aren't at all what they seem. The Ladies' Library is a cover for a clandestine organization that fights for women's rights and provides shelter for victims of abuse. Jane herself has some dark secrets, one of which could get her killed. Well written on many levels as a murder mystery, a historical romance, and a chronicle of women's rights--or lack thereof--this book will appeal to fans of Amanda Quick, Candace Camp, and Lisa Kleypas. The second in a trilogy, this Regency historical follows Thornton's The Perfect Princess [BKL S 15 01], and its cliffhanger ending will make readers anxious for the next installment. Shelley Mosley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.

Review

“I buy her books on the basis of her name alone because she always delivers.”—Linda Howard

“I consider Elizabeth Thornton a major find.”—Mary Balogh

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars the second half could have been better July 12 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I really do appreciate her work, but Thornton has a habit of having her protagonists declare their love mid-way through the novel, leaving the reader with the ultimate romance question answered but still having to wade through a quagmire of roadblocks thrown into the lovers' path.
This makes the last half of her novels difficult for me to read. I find myself skipping large chunks of copy dealing with the hero and heroine to get back to the unresolved portion of the story - the mystery (or, in this case, the hunt for the villain).
I would prefer for all of these issues to be resolved in close proximity to keep both plot lines equally interesting.
However Thornton does weave an interesting tale for her villain as well as the hero and heroine (although the hero's past is left largely untouched). She also manages to inject the story with a good deal of social commentary on the issues surrounding the era (and domestic violence, which sadly continues to this day).
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2.0 out of 5 stars Many Many Flaws Aug. 1 2003
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I do like this author, but here are my gripes about this book.
The title didn't fit the story at all.
The story was original and interesting, but there was too much of it and not enough of Case and Jane, especially in the beginning.
The pebble was quite unimaginative and dull. Couldn't the author have used a black rose or something?
Much ado is made about Jane's ability to handle a gun, which she carries with her mostly all the time. But good grief, no wonder men (in those days and probably today) laughed at a woman with a gun. The author led us to believe Jane was practically expert, yet the opposite seemed true. For instance, Jane is accosted in the street, she mentions to herself that her gun is in her reticule, but within seconds the reticule is on the ground and she's off and running.
Another time she's in the company of a few men who give her the creeps. One man asks her to hand over her reticule with the gun inside before she enters a room to speak to their boss. Jane does so without hesitating, then of course, regrets doing so. On another occasion, when she finally does shoot the thing, she misses her target. And her timing was off. Someone else had also fired a shot. Fittingly, Jane is then tackled to the floor.
This might seem trivial, but I don't like it when a heroine is supposed to be good at something normally reserved for men, then it isn't followed through.
It throws the whole story off balance.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected from Elizabeth Thornton June 17 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The story is well-written, but I quickly lost interest when it turned out that the romance is almost secondary, and not very believable. Also, sensuality wise I would rate it 4 (on a scale of 1 to 10!).
I liked books like Dangerous to Kiss far far better...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Feb. 24 2003
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I don't ususally like books set in this time period, but I picked it up because of all of the good reviews and I wanted something different. I definitely got what I wanted! I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The heroine was smart and not an empty headed idiot that most heroines are and Case! He was what made the book a keeper. I'm already on my third book by this author and can't wait for her newest book coming in April. Highly recommended!
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5.0 out of 5 stars delightful regency romantic mystery Feb. 4 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In 1816 England, Special Branch enlists the help of Lord Caspar "Case" Devere to capture a clever killer. The clues lead Case to the Ladies' Library women's rights group whose objectives is to change the marriage and property laws. Case asks member Jane Mayberry to take him to see her friend Letitia Gray better known among this circle as Letty Piers.
Jane is as uncooperative as she is intelligent, which means Case has quite an obstacle to overcome. Case persuades Jane to help him. Working together, they begin to fall in love. However, she harbors a secret that she knows will destroy their relationship even as he realizes the murderer is someone he loathes from the war in the Peninsular.
ALMOST A PRINCESS is as much a historical mystery as it is a Regency romance. The investigation is cleverly designed so that the audience follows Case and his sidekick as they begin to solve the homicides until the plot twists into a cat and mouse game with the lead male protagonist as the rodent and his beloved partner as the cheese. The romance is a delight also especially as the women's movement appears to be an intriguing obstacle. Perhaps the only default is Elizabeth Thornton's penchant to use princess in her titles when this novel is obviously higher ranked.
Harriet Klausner
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5.0 out of 5 stars Suspenseful Regency Romance Jan. 27 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Historical romance author Elizabeth Thornton never fails to shine as she fills her novels with passionate romance amidst a compelling mystery. This latest regency romance reacquaints readers with the Devere family, specifically the Earl of Castleton, Case Devere. Having served England in the Spanish campaign, Case is presently aiding the Special Branch in investigating a murder similar to those committed by Gideon Piers, a renegade army officer who supposedly died years ago.
The search for links to Piers leads Case to the Ladies Library in London where he questions Miss Jane Mayberry about her friendship with Letty Gray, Piers' sister. Unwittingly, the earl is drawn to the bookish Miss Mayberry, whose independent nature both confuses and attracts him. Pulling the reader into the storyline, this author follows the unorthodox courtship of Case and Jane, as suspense mounts and secrets are revealed.
When crimes are committed against those close to the earl, it becomes clear to him that Jane could become the next victim. Will his skill, honed on the battlegrounds of Spain, save Jane and himself before it is too late? An admirable heroine and suspense around every corner make this novel one of the best from an author whose books should be purchased based on her name alone.
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