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A Royal Kiss & Tell (A Royal Wedding) de…
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A Royal Kiss & Tell (A Royal Wedding) (2020 original; edició 2020)

de Julia London (Autor)

Sèrie: A Royal Wedding (2)

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296644,573 (3.4)No n'hi ha cap
Títol:A Royal Kiss & Tell (A Royal Wedding)
Autors:Julia London (Autor)
Informació:HQN (2020), Edition: Original, 384 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

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A Royal Kiss & Tell de Julia London (2020)

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Es mostren 1-5 de 6 (següent | mostra-les totes)
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

A Royal Kiss & Tell, by Julia London, was available at booksellers in May of 2020. A Royal Wedding series book 2 gives us Caroline and Leopold as our hero and heroine. I really liked book 1, The Princess Plan, and had looked forward to Leo's story but I have to admit that I'm disappointed. I couldn't finish the entire book, I skipped around and finally went for the epilogue. I didn't like that either. I found Leo and Caro to be so vain, selfish, and annoying that I never took a shine to them. He's stuck-up and she can't shut up. He acts more like an entitled prince than she does a genteel lady. I never quite believed that anyone would ask Leo to help out in an espionage case, he's a useless fribble. Even with not caring for this book I'm still looking forward to book 3 in October. I have hope as the heroine is the writer & publisher of a ladies gazette that I found funny.

#JuliaLondon #ARoyalKiss&Tell #ARoyalWedding #Netgalley #HQNBooks #Romance ( )
  FDarlene491 | Jun 12, 2020 |
Enchanting and engrossing regal romance
5 Stars

I was very much looking forward to this book having read and adored the first in the series, The Princess Plan. This book follows a separate couple than the first book, and while it does stand alone, I think you will enjoy this much better if you read the first book before reading this one.

You will also more likely have a better opinion of Caroline at the beginning of the story if you’ve “met” her before. She is definitely not the usual type of shy, retiring, modest heroine that we find in a historical novel - this one being set in Victorian times. I liked her, and enjoyed her spirit and fire - but I have to admit, from seeing her first through Leopold’s eyes, she could be seen as quite brash, vain and possibly unlikeable.

Equally so, however, Leo isn’t exactly a paragon of virtue at the beginning of our story. He’s not the heir but the spare, and has led a dissolute and drunkenly rakish lifestyle that only a royal prince could probably lead. But he’s tall, handsome, cocky and arrogant so I obviously fell in love with him. As you do. More so as the book progressed and his character grew.

At the beginning, he has no real interest in Caroline - a fact I admit to finding as vexing as Caroline herself did. Caroline noticed him from the first moment she saw him and was slightly infatuated - and expected him to be the same of her. It may sound vain and arrogant on the part of Caroline but, as the book progresses, we begin to understand that while she does enjoy the attention, it’s also a sort of defence mechanism - or a test - as she’s become aware people only ever like her for her looks rather than her personality. Likewise with Leo, there’s a bit of an epiphany with regards to himself and his life. So we have equal growth and depth in our main couple which makes it all the more satisfying as they fall in love - and know that the other is falling in love with their true self.

It definitely was a satisfying love story. I enjoyed watching Leo and Caroline as they moved through a whole gamut of emotions and it was very clever the way Ms London managed to slowly and subtly change all the things that each of them disliked about the other into the things that they loved. It made me sigh. There were a couple of delicious sex scenes - actually maybe just two if I remember correctly - but they weren’t missing from the book as there was a lot of kissing. And when the secret smiles between our pair are as emotive as a full-on sex scene - you know you’re doing something right.

For those that have read the first story, we also get to see Eliza and Sebastian’s wedding which gave me so many feels that I need to go back and read their story again. I might even have done some cheek dabbing with a silk ‘kerchief during those parts!

As with our first book, we get a bit of intrigue to go alongside our romance. This time, it’s not as pivotal to the plot - apart from how the consequences of Leo’s actions with regards to that intrigue affect his relationship with Caroline. The romance is very much central to the book and as such, we don’t really get to see the ending of the intrigue in real time - just a ‘and this is what happened’. I didn’t mind this approach at all but I did think it was worth a mention.

This story really absorbs you into the Victorian era and into the lives of our characters - both the royals and the commoners. I’m no fan, and have no time for, the actual royals - so I’m happy to report that this definitely isn’t a book that rides on the coattails of recent modern royal marriages. So if you’re not a royal fan - don’t let that put you off this book. But equally, I’m sure if you like the royals, you’ll delight in this novel, too.

A few Americanisms are dotted throughout the text which always pull me out of the story (and annoy me greatly) Gotten, off of and sidewalk are those that stuck out in my mind although there were others more in the manner of speaking and sentence structure. I didn’t let them affect my rating, however, as overall the book was entertaining and I still loved getting lost in the story.

I’m hoping to hear that there will be stories for Beck and Hollis (and Donovan) - so we can catch up with these characters and those from The Princess Plan, and also so I can come back to this engaging and engrossing world that Ms London has created for us. A delightfully enchanting romance with a smidgen of intrigue - I highly recommend this story. 5 stars. ( )
  joreadsromance | May 26, 2020 |
Full review appeared at Reader's Edyn on 05/24/20

Caroline is a member of the ton. Orphaned at a young age and left in the care of her brother, he has indulged her in very nearly every whim. His only irritation the ridiculous amount of funds she spends on modistes. However, the dress obsession has turned into talent and Caroline is now high in demand for her beautiful creations inspired by both English fashion and Alucian fashion. Her brother is appalled at the idea of her working and decides its high time she gets married. Nearly on the shelf herself, she determined long ago to marry only for love. Her best friend Eliza may have found the kind of love with her handsome Prince that makes Caroline green with envy, but Caroline is sure love will not be in the cards for her. If it were to happen, she’d want it to be with Leo, Eliza’s brother-in-law. But alas, Leo has no recollection of their meeting in England and seems to be annoyed whenever in her presence, so she is left with little but her own whimsical fantasies to indulge in. Until everything changes. Suddenly she has an opportunity to make the sexy prince hers, if only for a small amount of time. Resigned to her life as a spinster and finding joy in her exquisite gown creations, she isn’t beyond taking every bit of pleasure she can with Leo for as long as she can have him, counting on the memories to get her through her lonely future. She’s no fool. She fully understands that he can never be hers in the way she truly desires, but a brief amount of time is better than no time at all. And before too long she and the Prince of her dreams are passionately intertwined in romance and intrigue as they fumble their way through a heinous plot stretching across the seas and involving both of their homelands. But an ill-timed rescue puts Caroline’s reputation in shambles and separates her from everything she holds dear.

Leo has only ever wanted to be embraced by his parents and thought of as useful. But he is merely the spare with all privilege going to his brother Sebastian; the heir. Once he realized he would never be anything more to them, he indulged in a life of excessive drink and debauchery, most often in England. He returns home for his brother’s wedding but is eager for the festivities to end so that he can return to his life of ease in England. To his horror, his parents have conspired an arranged marriage for him and expect him home permanently just as soon as he wraps up his affairs across the sea. How dare they now make use of him as it suits them. It doesn’t suit him at all. Still, he will concede to their wishes. It’s not as if he had anyone else he was planning to woo. But an odd encounter sets Leo on a mission he is initially loathed to accept. Even as the deeper he falls into the dastardly plot the worse his reputation suffers, still he continues on his quest. But with his lackluster status snatching away invitations, he finds himself in need of a confidante and who better than Caroline? She’s well connected and can get him into the homes he must search, so he confesses all, but just a bit at a time. And the more time he spends with her, the more he is drawn to her. It confounds him. He also isn’t willing to walk away from her until he is forced to by his ridiculous upcoming engagement. If he can only have her for a while, he will have to take what he can get and let the memories keep him going while suffering in a loveless marriage. His brother may have been able to marry the love of his life, but there is no way Leo will get that lucky.

To begin, I can’t say that I would describe this blurb as precisely accurate. I wouldn’t say every young man was after her hand initially. Perhaps some, but that changed once her brother let slip a bit of information that then had every young buck running after her. And I do not believe that she went after Leo in the gossip sheets maliciously for revenge. She just happens to have a very close friend who publishes one so when she confides in her, snippets of her confessions make it into the publication. I did find it odd that at times she didn’t swear Hollis to secrecy though. Friends or no, she shouldn’t have had to worry about everything she confided being printed. That was a bit low. Or enterprising. I suppose it depends on how you look at it. Overall, I struggled with both of these characters. The book is a slow burn with nearly half of it occurring before Caroline and Leo even engage one another again following the wedding in Alucia. And while Caroline is ridiculously attracted to Leo and vice versa, they both refuse to acknowledge such in the presence of one another for an ungodly amount of time. Once they do, it’s always a rush because they never know how much time they will have before tempting discovery – or if there will even be a next time. But what is most aggravating is the contradiction that both of these characters are. Leo morphs from what seems to be disgust at Caroline’s atrocious behavior to noting how beautiful she is, to observing what a nuisance she is, then becoming utterly besotted by her. His inconsistent emotions towards her gave me whiplash. And Caroline isn’t any better. A member of the ton from birth, she is fully aware of how she should behave, yet she refuses to. But she does so in a sorely off-putting and almost obnoxious manner. I believe she was meant to be charming in her confidence that had her continually breaching the rules of society, but instead, it took me forever to warm up to her and finally not be so annoyed by her mannerisms. Ironically, she wished for a man who would love her for who she is, yet she engages in a game with each of her potential suitors as to how long it will take to have them wrapped around her finger. When playing games, how does one discover love? I also did not at all like that she so quickly fell to the worst of explanations regarding Leo’s curious behaviors or preferences as the rumor mill told it. Granted he was a self-proclaimed rake, but for the feelings she claimed to have toward Leo, her quick acceptance of anything negative toward his character was disheartening.

I did appreciate the title. It was completely appropriate as each of them tends to confide just a bit more in one another after each interlude they share whether innocent or not. Additionally, each time she kisses the Prince, she confides to Hollis, and more information ends up in Honeycutt’s Gazette of Fashion and Domesticity for Ladies. Kiss and tell at its most literal I suppose. Now that gazette was a gem. Every chapter had an article to start it out that gave just a bit of information as to where the chapter could be heading. It also was quite entertaining in its advice for ladies both in fashion, life, and beauty. But again, as per the theme of this book – contradiction – Hollis longs to write real news articles that can make a difference and inspire change, yet she continues to push out the chin-wagging column. She could have made the leap far sooner then she discusses. I also don’t really understand why the prince and heir was allowed to marry a commoner but somehow Leo is forced to marry by arrangement. Granted, I did not read the previous book, which is the first in this series. Perhaps I missed some enlightening information. But neither was I inspired by Eliza or Sebastian enough to want to actually read the first book in series. There is also the fact that it is highly unbelievable that Leo would have carried out the actions that he did himself. With guards and others in his employ around him, it would stand to reason that he would have hired people to do the “dirty work” for him. Not to mention his list was never completed that I recall. And possibly most disheartening were the decisions handed down by the King regarding several of the corrupt individuals surrounding him following Leo’s return home with the information he has uncovered. I mean what kind of crooked bullshit is he tangled up in that he would fail so miserably in doling out punishment? I was completely miffed to say the least.

Admittedly, I do not have much experience with Ms. London’s books. Her name is familiar, so I may have read something at some point, but was unable to locate a previous review. I cannot speak to if this book is typical for her writing style. Unfortunately, for me, it was more miss than hit. I dislike having to say that about any book if I am being honest. But honest I am. Now there were some fun elements and fantastic scenes within this book. I did end up enjoying it despite aggravating flaws. I was able to finish reading it with little issue. But given so many glaring inconsistencies and a couple of main characters that fell short, I was less than moved. I will say that I recognized traits that I generally find enjoyable in a historical romance read though. For that reason and those few redeeming qualities that had me smiling and giggling within these pages, I would be willing to give Ms. London another go … just perhaps not within this particular series.

Kindle version provided by NetGalley/Harlequin in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  GzNKz4evr | May 25, 2020 |
Originally posted on Tales to Tide You Over

This is the second in A Royal Wedding, a series where royalty steps beyond the bounds of expectation to find true love. The series is more than only romance so far with this book also containing intrigue, though not a mystery. Instead, Prince Leopold is tasked with using his access to discover what treachery is afoot between those with the power to modernize Alucia and its sister country. As a story, A Royal Kiss & Tell offers everything that drew me in with A Princess Plan, something I found a little surprising to be honest.

Lady Caroline Hawke, or Caro to her friends, is not my kind of female lead. Eliza, from the first book, was much more someone I appreciated, and I shared Prince Leopold’s opinion of Caro as self-obsessed and shallow. Leopold didn’t start out all that strong either, being more often in his cups than doing anything of interest.

It didn’t take long for these two to revise my opinions, though. Both undergo a period of self-reflection in which we learn why they have become the frivolous people they are at the beginning. Even better, they are each working to amend that image of themselves, if in very different ways.

Caro has recently discovered her love of fashion carries with it a love of, and talent for, design. Over her brother’s objections, she has even gone beyond designing for herself, Eliza, and Hollis to taking requests from others. Her brother and guardian Beck worries for her future and the cost of all her expenditures, but he cannot see her vision. This is the heart of Caro’s fears. She worries there’s nothing inside her at all as none of the potential suitors, or even her brother, see something other than her shell. The very fact of her concerns tells me there’s more.

Leopold has always been the spare prince. He received little attention and no training for a role his brother Sebastian is destined to fill. Rather than let frustration swallow him whole, he drowns his lack of purpose, going from party to party until he doesn’t even remember the first time he met Caro. She does, however, and presumes a close friendship because of it he doesn’t share.

The book begins mostly with the aftermath of book one (including a recap of the murderous plot). While Eliza and Sebastian finish the last of their social obligations in a grand, formal, Alucian wedding, Leopold drips contempt on the pushy, yet beautiful, sister of his friend Beck. As with the first book, the descriptions, as seen through Caro’s eyes, run a little long for me, but it also does a good job of setting the reader up.

Not only are we put back into their world, but the grounds are laid for Leopold’s change and Caro’s unfortunate habit of catching sight of, and misunderstanding, odd circumstances with the prince. It’s no coincidence. Caro refuses to admit to her infatuation, especially after Leopold gives her a firm dressing down, but she cannot keep her eyes off him. She has a sixth sense of his location at any given moment.

Intrigue, open-door intimacy, and a firm dose of sharp dialogue mix with the costs and complexities of London society. This is a fitting continuation of the series, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Caro and Leopold. I’m looking forward to what the fates will bring Hollis’ way, as I’d guess she’s next to find love, a second love in her case.

The book will be available for purchase on May 19th, and I recommend it for fans of Victorian romance and Georgette Heyer.

P.S. I received this Advanced Reader Copy from the publisher through NetGalley. ( )
  MarFisk | May 18, 2020 |
I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley to read in exchange for a fair review. A Royal Kiss and Tell by Julia London is the second book in her delightful A Royal Wedding series. I do think you should read the first book in the series before reading this one. Lady Caroline Hawke is someone who knows her own worth, she’s funny and charming, has a talent for creating fabulous dresses and simply cannot comprehend why that annoying Prince Leopold wants to pretend they’ve never met. His Royal Highness Prince Leopold is a bit of a wastrel, a second son, he feels useless and unappreciated. His only value is to secure a treaty by marrying as his parents direct. When he discovers a plot to sell young girls into slavery in exchange for political favour, he determines to rescue the girls even at the risk of his own reputation. Along the way, his antagonism with Lady Caroline grows to friendship and then love. I found this story to be exciting and delightful, and highly recommend it. Medium Steam. Publishing Date May 19, 2020. #ARoyalKissAndTell #JuliaLondon #HistoricalRomance #HarlequinRomance #bookstagram #NetGalley ( )
  nmgski | May 16, 2020 |
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