This is the first book in the series that I actually read and finished (not counting the audiobook that I listened to for The Princess and the Peer that I didn’t finish). That being said, Tracy Anne Warren is one of my favorite authors. For some reason, I just couldn’t get past Emmaline’s story and stopped listening altogether. I guess it must be because I was “reading” an audiobook which I am not used to reading. I may have to rethink the whole series and read the other two books sometime next year.
The book can be read as a stand-alone so I had no problem with the story. We do get to read about Emma and Mercedes’ life after their own story since Ariadne is their best friend. We meet Ariadne in the first book The Princess and the Peer and also in Her Highness and the Highlander and I think Ariadne is the most adventurous of the three princesses.
The story starts off with Ariadne thinking about getting a lover before she reaches the age where she can claim her inheritance – unmarried. She is overheard by our hero, Rupert (Emma’s brother) and manages to convince her that he would be the perfect man to teach her passion. The funny thing about this story is, both Rupert and Ariadne do not like each other. It was also hinted that she and Rupert did not agree and were always at odds.
I love the sparks that flew between Ariadne and Rupert. Their barbs and witty comebacks made me laugh and also helped in the sexual tension and build-up. When both of them finally succumbed to passion, I found myself falling in love with both characters. Rupert is also the perfect man for the headstrong Ariadne. Being a prince and used to getting who and what he wants, he finds Ariadne a challenge.
There is no actual villain in the story, only a fortune hunter that abducts Ariadne and spirits her off to Gretna Green. Naturally, Ariadne manages to fight for her life and almost successfully manages to escape when Rupert catches up to them and she is saved. Because of the impending scandal, Rupert announces that he is marrying Ariadne.
The last part of the story was wonderful. We can see Rupert and Ariadne being at odds with each other and deciding over choosing between responsibility and love. I love how they had to let each other go before finally realizing that they were meant for each other. The scene where Ariadne overhears Rupert and his sister talk about her unworthiness as a match for the new king (Rupert) was amazing!
All in all, I found this story very exciting, steamy, and romantic. I love the interactions between our H/h and the other characters in the previous books. Because of this, I am definitely going to read the other two books in the series.