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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Jennifer Ashley - Penelope & Prince Charming

Genre: Historical Romance / Fantasy
Book 1 in the Nvengaria series
ISBN: 9780843956061
Releasedate: June 30, 2006
Publisher: Dorchester Publishing
Format owned: MPB
For sale at: The Book Depository Store

His blue eyes beguiled. His muscular form could have satisfied any fantasy. He had a delicious foreign accent—and to top it off, he was royalty! What woman would dare refuse the most sought-after lover in Europe?

Miss Twice-a-Jilt Penelope Trask, that’s who. And, unfortunately for Damien, marrying Penelope is the only way to inherit his kingdom. Good thing this enchantingly infuriating woman doesn't seem completely immune to his many charms. The passionate way she returns his kisses tells Damien he isn’t the only one head over heels. But wooing is difficult amid assassination attempts, wild magic, and desire so strong it threatens to overwhelm him every time they touch. Why had no one mentioned the road to happily-ever-after could be so difficult?

According to a Folklore of his country Nvengaria he was bound to find the long lost Princess of Nvengaria. They would fall in love instantly and she would save his country. When his father died and the ring was enherited by him, this folklore also was brought back to live.

He travelled to Little Marching, England where he would be destined to meet the woman to save his country, he never in his wildest dreams figured she would save him as well!

Where to start off. This book has two sides for me. Jennifer Ashley writes a story that reads with such ease that no matter which mood you’re in, if you either have a stressful time or a busy life it’s still enjoyable and easy to follow. She weaves words into sentences which complete indeed a fairytale- like story as the title would imply. Though that being said, it is a fairytale spiced up with romance and moreso a lot of HOT love-making courtship.

Damien is a loveable hearththrob outcast by a father who didn’t want him to rule Nvengaria. He made his way through Europe in beds of lushious ladies, and captured the liking of many rulers of various countries. With them, he built up a good relationship with a solid foundation, which would come in hand now that his father died, leaving him as only heir to the throne and to rule Nvengaria.

Penelope is the old-spinster of Little Marching who said “no” to two previous marriage proposals making her an outcast in society. She’s frownend upon by the ton and not in line for a bethrothal soon. She has her own values and standards that she wants to live by. And has such a kind caring heart for those she holds close. She has a toughness in her but not too much and knows what is right and what is wrong. She is able to know when to say no and when to fight for what she believes is right. When she loses her control it mostly turns her into a passionate woman who comes across things she never in her wildest dreams would know she would accept or do.

This story, has a solid baseline with the prophesy/folklore that has to be fulfilled. Most of this book is focussed on the courtship between Damien and Penelope, the people directly involved with that, and introduces a nice list of secundary characters, some in favor and some in dislike of Damien, but nonetheless all very likable and I’m pleased to know Alexander and Egan are the main hero’s in the follow-up stories. The suspense factor that I thought would come to closure in the end was a bit disappointing and I was left with a slight feeling of missing something throughout it all, like something was not completed for some reason.

The storyline of whether Penelope is or isn’t the true Princess is not really clear but left more open to interpretation as there are more ways to look at things in the end.

Eventhough I loved the thrill and passion of lovemaking between Damien and Penelope, I felt in the end I had read one too many love making-scenes for a none-erotica and I noticed myself skipping the last two or three of these scenes with the feeling of been there done that. In my opinion it took a bit away from the quality of the story.

Nonetheless it was a great read overall, I enjoyed the time I spend reading it and was highly entertained. It had me interested enough to read on in this series but 3/4th through, it didn’t baffle me as it did in the beginning of the story. It didn’t make it to a 4+ star rating. I had hoped for the story to be more deepened and worked out, despite the fact it’s quality writing. It kept a bit too much to the surface for me.

3,5 Stars

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With everything new, I ofcourse, had to get used to the idea of making, owning and maintaining a blog but I have to say, now that I’ve got the hang of it, it’s quite fun to do. Let me introduce myself, I’m Natascha, in my early 30’s and from a little place called Winschoten in the Netherlands, I’ll be your host on this blog.

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