Royal Passion far exceeded my expectations and has made me a bigger fan of Jennifer Blake. I reviewed a book from her Louisiana History collection earlier and was impressed. Royal Passion is set thousands of miles away, and has a rich historic backdrop.
Mara has been brought up as the daughter of a plantation owner. She is French Creole and is getting over her martyred fiancée. She is visiting Paris with her grandmother when the old lady gets into a gambling addiction. Unable to pay their debts, Mara is blackmailed into doing something utterly distasteful that is sure to ruin her.
Roderic is the prince of Ruthenia and also the prince of the gypsies. He and his cadre of guards are camped outside Paris, having some fun along with the gypsies. A carriage throws out a girl and drives away. The wounded girl is Mara who asks for Roderic’s protection. The cadre rightly suspects Mara. Mara is supposed to seduce the prince and be ready for her orders, or her grandmother’s life will be harmed.
The whole Ruthenia party enters Paris and settles into Ruthenia House, the royal residence. As Mara claims to have lost her memory, no one knows what to do with her. They think that someone else might recognize her in Paris. Mara, now Chere, takes on the housekeeping duties to keep herself busy. Eminent guests like Victor Hugo and Dumas grace the table at Ruthenia House. But the changing political climate takes a dark turn. The king of France is in danger and Mara is unwittingly sucked into the plot.
Royal Passion is a love story, love between a Gypsy prince and a Creole heiress. Love that is not acceptable to many and that is overshadowed by the turmoil of the times. There is a lot of history about the time and Jennifer Blake hasn’t been shy in weaving it in with the story. This speaks of tons of research and effort which adds several dimensions to the book and elevates it from being just another historic romance.
Royal Passion has passion aplenty, resplendent royals and a good story. I have no doubt you will enjoy it as much as I did.