PRINCESS CHARMING Nicole Jordan
A Legendary Lovers Novel
, Book 1
Ballantine Books
ISBN-13: 978-0-345-52527-7
February 2012
Historical Romance

London, England - 1816

After a boating accident killed all their parents, the Wilde cousins Ashton, Skye, Jack, Katharine, and Quinn have banded together.  As the eldest, Ash came home from college to deal with the aftermath of the tragedy that took their parents' lives.  Now years later, Ash's sister Katharine informs him she needs a ball so she can start looking for a husband.  During the ball Ash, sees Katharine's friend Maura Collyer leave the ball for a possible tryst with Viscount Deering.  Ash suddenly loses his boredom and follows them outside to find out why his sister's closest friend has perhaps taken a lover.  Although the Wilde clan is known for flouting impropriety, he never expected it from Maura.  What he sees and overhears convinces him that Maura has gotten herself in way over her head challenging the man who bought her horse, Emperor, from her stepmother.  The same man who accused her father of cheating at cards and ruined his reputation, breaking his heart and killing him.

Maura is so mad her stepmother sold her prize stallion to Viscount Deering that she can barely contain her fury.  But when he suggests an exchange of her body for the stallion, then the real trouble starts.  When Ash breaks up their fight outside the ball, Maura is embarrassed and still angry.  Over the coming days, Ash's suggestion that he help her get back Emperor is fine, until he reveals he doesn't have a plan on how to do that just yet.  Maura's plan is to steal Emperor and hide him in Scotland .  Eventually Maura ends up living with Ash and Katharine and attempting a bold plan to get Emperor back and also get Viscount Deering to admit he lied about Maura's father cheating at cards.

Maura is strong willed and too impetuous, and Ash has just the reputation and title so that the ton lets him get away with things she cannot.  Ash's sister Katharine has studied and researched, and believes she has a fairly tale for each member of the family guaranteed to help them find their one true mate.  Katharine has decided Ash will find his true mate like the fairy tale of Cinderella.   Ash naturally scoffs at his sister's idea, but wonders if he will ever meet his true mate, and whether it is possible Maura could be that person; he certainly is attracted to her.  When Maura finds out about the fairy tale matchmaking, she, too, is doubtful, and determined that no man needs to save her from anything.  This strong-willed pair are both determined not to let the others see what is in their hearts.

Nicole Jordan has presented us with two wildly different, and yet similar characters.  Ashton is the leader of the Wilde family, and takes his responsibilities seriously.  Ash has much charm, and hopes to avoid marriage for as long as possible by living up to the vaunted Wilde reputation for scandalous exploits.  Maura is twenty four and almost off the marriage mart; she prefers the horse breeding farm inherited from her father.  Strong-minded and determined, Maura doesn't believe she'll ever marry, and yet she yearns for her own family.  Told from each of their points of view, Ash and Maura treat his sister Katherine's fairy tale of them being Cinderella and Prince Charming as foolish.  Yet Ash feels Maura is exceptional, and Maura feels safe with Ash, even though he aggravates her to no end.

Secondary characters are the whole Wilde family:  sister Katharine, and cousins Skye, Quinn and Jack all band together to make Maura feel as one with them.  Maura hates her stepmother Priscilla for selling her horse, but she cares for her stepsisters, Lucy and Hannah, and wishes only the best for them.

PRINCESS CHARMING introduces us to a slightly different Cinderella and Prince Charming story, just tweaking some of the details.  Entertaining and fun, you will enjoy the road to true love with Maura and Ash.  PRINCESS CHARMING is the first book in Ms. Jordan 's Legendary Lovers Series .  Katherine has plenty of relatives to choose from for her next fairy tale matchmaking, and I look forward to who her next victim, I mean lucky relative, will be.

Carolyn Crisher