Prince of Dreams by Lisa Kleypas
Readers of Romance Summer 2012 Challenge "Prince/Princess"
A wealthy and bitter exile, he most dangerous and desirable man in all of England, he burns to possess a proud, headstrong beauty who is promised to another. But winning Emma Stokehurst's exquisite hand through threats and determination does nothing to fill the empty spaces in Nikola's heart--until passion's magic carries the handsome, tormented prince back to a bygone era of splendor and romantic dreams. For there his destiny awaits him in a distant life. And in one remarkable woman's tender touch--achingly familiar but gloriously new--he must seek the elusive promise of ecstasy . . .and learn, at last, to love.
Here is what is soooo interesting, the "back cover" that I posted above is not what I saw when I got the book. This blurb actually kinda describes the book, while the one I saw was soooo vague. Irritate me! Anyway, so I start reading the book expecting the awesomeness that I know is Ms. Kleypas. The opening chapter looks promising. I get about 1/3 of the way through the book and find myself waiting for LK to do her magic. Then about 2/3 of the way through, I'm starting to wonder what is going on. I mean, I've read several books by this author and have liked if not loved everyone of them. This one is killing me. I find myself more curious as to how the author is going to resolve this mess of a relationship that she has written. I keep reading though, because I am NOT a quitter.
The author used a plot device that I hate. Does it work with the story? yeees. Does it fit the character? yeees. Do I like it? noooo. Ok, so that's my pet peeve, but I still don't like it. I will say, that..ok...Spoiler Alert!!!!! the plot device I hate is when a hero or heroine cheats. In this case the hero decides to cheat on his wife with another because he doesn't want to get too close to her. (Hate That!) Yes, his need to keep distant is part of his tortured past. I get it, but I don't have to like . Now, she did do this with some discretion. He gets up and gets dressed and decides to find a willing woman....We don't see him again until he comes home smelling of tobacco, alcohol, and sex. Eww!
The heroine, to me, was just not much of a sympathetic character. I mean, I felt like I never really connected with her. She spent so much time, being mad at someone. Ugh! Instead of finding out what kind of demons your husband has and why he is the way he is, she just gets mad. It's not like there aren't several people who know about him who could give her that insight. Her step-mother being the main one. We meet some of the staff, but never do those characters get fleshed out. It would have been endearing to see the heroine trying to use some russian words (and failing a little here and there) while she was learning from her staff. I think small things like that would have gone a long way towards making her more sympathetic. She is supposed to have a soft heart as she rescues animals etc.
Anyway, the Hero was a jerk who had to "Time Travel" back 170 years in order to decide to love. The heroine, was so 2 dimensional that I couldn't muster up much care for her even though she'd been cheated on. (and we all know how much I hate that!)
I will not give up on Lisa Kleypas, but will not be looking for the other book in this series. Nope.