Cordina’s Crown Jewel

[openbook booknumber=”0373244487″]


Her Royal Highness, Camilla de Cordina, also known as Cordina’s Crown Jewel, had been pushed to the breaking point. The eldest princess of her generation, and an incredible beauty just like her mother, she is hounded by the press, talked about, speculated about, and splashed across magazine covers and television screens with scandalizing lies and untrue tid bits about her life, both in and out of the bedroom. She is sick of all of it. She also feels that she has no passions, no drive or purpose in life aside from the duties and work she does as a princess, leaving her feeling empty inside.

So, to get away for a few weeks from all of this mayhem that has pushed her too far – and to try and find herself and what she can be when she is not a princess – she disappears in a rental car one night after a benefit thinking she will only be gone for a little while. That is until her car breaks down in the middle of nowhere and she is picked up by a tough prickly character named Delaney, an archaeologist who, very begrudgingly, accepts what he thinks is a rich woman in trouble into his home. It isn’t long before she is working her way into his heart, but he still wants to know: just who is she?

An hour later, thoroughly appalled with the state of the cabin now that she had given it a thorough assessment, Camilla sailed into the shed. She was armed with a long list.
       “You need supplies.”
       “Hand me that damn wrench.”
       She picked up the tool and considered herself beyond civilized for not simply bashing him over the head with it. “Your home is an abomination. I’ll require cleaning supplies – preferably industrial strength. And if you want a decent meal, I’ll need some food to stock the kitchen. You have to go into town.”
       He battled the bolt into submission, shoved the switch on. And got nothing but a wheezy chuckle out of the generator. “I don’t have time to go into town.”
       “If you want food for your belly and clean sheets on which to sleep, you’ll make time.”

There were some fanfiction stories that I used to read and think, if this wasn’t fanfiction I could see this in print. This is so well written. This has great potential. This could work as a book. I take all of that back right now.

This book reads like it’s fanfiction written about the Cordina Royal Family. Granted it is a romance novel, but the research into the worlds of Camilla and Delaney was perfunctory at best. Camilla making “no-duh” statements about archaeology was lauded by the supposed doctorate in archaeology as being impressively bright observations. She then went on to make those same observations two more times, with slightly changed wording, in the book. Okay. We get it already. Archaeology is great.

Her intelligence is often lauded, her forethought, her organizational abilities, all of it. But, then she does stupid things, lots of stupid things. Really stupid things. Like, not thinking and running away without any cash on hand, and then not wanting to use her credit cards because then people would recognize her and the media could track her. Duh! If I, who has no organizational or large scale planning ability whatsoever, could have seen that coming from a mile off, why couldn’t she?

On to the smut. Yes, out of all of my romance novels, this is the first one that I would actually count as erotica as well. It’s not getting a tag on my blog yet, but it might if I review another. I have nothing against smut in and of itself, I have read very well written of such and a lot of the time the build up alone is worth reading it. Writing a sex scene is an art and when done correctly even the most up tight reader could perceivably enjoy it. Not so here. It was okay. It was not stupendous. It happened a lot.

It could have been worse. Trust me.

Actually there was one point where it did get worse. During one scene Delaney grabbed Camilla by the neck and lifted her by it to her toes to give her a “fierce possessive kiss”. That kind of intimidation, power play move, borderline abuse is not okay. I don’t care how angry the person made you, I don’t care how cranky you are supposed to be, that is just not okay. Especially when the the whole interaction is painted as a positive one, instead of a negative one. No. A loving act perverted into a physically abusive power struggle by anger is not a turn on, nor is it pleasant to read about.

So, aside from that little deviation, the rest of the book I will admit I enjoyed. I actually thought I was reading fanfiction for a bit and it was a bit like walking down memory lane. Thinking that this or that writer could really have something here. I guess I always assumed though that when they entered the publishing market that they would, I don’t know, get better. This book has potential. But, the characters were unrealistic, the scenes were overly emotional and obviously written by and for women, and the sex could have been worse, and in some cases it was. It’s standard escapist romance fair. The only thing I will say for it is that, for something that had a far fetched plot line on the back cover, the author pulled it off surprisingly well considering that, when it came right down to it, this is a story about a runaway princess cleaning up a grumpy dwarf archaeologist’s house, and life.

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