Almost a Princess Mass Market Paperback – Jul 27 2004
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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.
“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
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
I liked Case's character. As one other reviewer pointed out, he enjoys his life, his position, his friends but below the surface you know that he recognizes that there is more to life. He doesn't wear his heart on his sleeve in the least and the affect of his war experience is subtle and kept to himself. He is involved in a murder investigation that links back to his activities during the war in Spain and knows that a final cat and mouse game to the death is now afoot between himself and his nemesis, Gideon Piers.
He needs to speak to Piers' sister but to find her he must go through a Miss Jane Mayberry, a bluestocking crusader for women's rights who seems inordinately worried about protecting not only the privacy of her friend, but also herself. She exudes distrust and dislike for men and he wonders why. And in a 24 hour period, he sees her as bluestocking, then as lovely debutante at the opera with friends, and then she disappears! His interest is definitely piqued and when they meet again, they become entangled in a romance that reveals her past and the endgame for Case and our villain.
For me, the romance was almost secondary, subdued but I did not really mind too much. The rest of the story was very well developed and even the bad guy had some interesting motivations and characteristics. Sure, he uses the heroine to taunt our hero, but not in the usual hero-saves-her-life-in-the-last-ten-pages fashion. Almost the opposite. Sure things are tidied-up conveniently at the end, but not in an altogether unbelievable way.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
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... Read morePublished on July 12 2004 by Kenzie L. Jardina
The story is well-written, but I quickly lost interest when it turned out that the romance is almost secondary, and not very believable. Read morePublished on June 17 2003 by a romance reader
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! Read morePublished on Feb. 24 2003
In Elizabeth Thornton's much-anticipated release after her acclaimed Princess Charming, Almost a Princess strives to be on par with a delectable smorgasbord of romance and intrigue... Read morePublished on Jan. 11 2003 by Desmond Chan
I guess I had gotten spoiled as the first two novels of Thornton's Princess series were so very good- in plot, in character and character development, in resolution and in humor... Read morePublished on Jan. 9 2003
In ET's newsletter she says a reviewer likened this book to Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase. Go figure. LC's classic was a comedy. Read morePublished on Jan. 6 2003