Paperback, 192 pages
Published December 18th 2012
She might not be suitable for the throne… Matchmaker extraordinaire Jessica Carter arranges marriages that work. And that is exactly what Prince Drakos is looking for. The last thing he needs is someone as unsuitable as her…but none of the beautiful socialites paraded before him excite Stavros as Jessica does. But she can share his bed! Usually unchallenged, Stavros welcomes Jessica’s defiance – his fingers itch to lower her prickly façade and discover what lies beneath. Will Jessica agree to his final request? One month to exorcise their smouldering passion, before he marries someone fit to be his Queen…
Starvos: This man has spent his entire adult life not feeling. Performing his duties, setting his country and people above all else, he's been unselfish and shut down all emotion because he felt it would make a weak king. His father and brother have already let down their people, and Stavros won't do the same. He's intent on marrying the perfect queen, but not really interested in finding a love match. But he can't stop himself from being attracted to Jessica. And he can't help wanting more from her. He wants to know about her, make love to her, keep her at his side because she brings him calm and peace. She makes him feel again, even when feeling is something he considers dangerous in his position. I have to say, despite some of his obvious flaws in thinking, I found Starvos charming. Not in the Prince Charming kind of way, but because once he's let down the walls and accepted that he loves Jessica, he doesn't waste any time telling her. Or letting that feeling really bleed into his soul. He knows he can't be the same hollow, unfeeling man he'd been before her and chooses her despite the damning consequences to his country.
Jessica: It took me a while to warm up to her. She was something of a bitch for more than half the book. And I got that she was hurting horribly, and that she had sworn off men and even her dreams. She was trying to keep Starvos at arm's length, and I didn't blame her for that. I just didn't much like her. She was too sarcastic, too blunt and she grated on me. But, by the end I did warm up to her. Jessica had been hurt badly enough that she didn't want to be anyone's dream. She was afraid of all the things she couldn't do as queen, afraid that Starvos would end up hating her, but her fears were all centered around her last marriage and her own guilt that was imposed on her by her ex-husband. She has big gaping holes inside of her just like Starvos does. And he heals those wounds just as much as she healed his, which is why this romance so worked for in the end. Here were two characters who were hollow and somehow took those empty places from one another and made them whole again.
I have more Maisey Yates to read. And I look forward to it. Her novels have proved winners for me. Romantic, filled with living, vibrant characters and with plots that unfold neatly, she's really a treat to read. Especially with the wonderful way in which she uses words--like the ebb and flow of the ocean. They make for truly romantic reading.
5 glittering stars