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Genre: Historical Romance | Workplace Romance | Regency
Series: Princes #1 (Standalone)
Pages: 392 pages, Kindle Edition
My Rating: 4 stars!
Description: Widowed Anna Wren is having a wretched day. After an arrogant man on horseback nearly crushes her, she arrives home to learn that she is in dire financial straits.
There comes a time in a lady’s life
The Earl of Swartingham is in a quandary. Having frightened off two secretaries, Edward de Raaf needs someone who can withstand his bad temper and boorish behavior.
When she must do the unthinkable…
When Anna becomes the earl’s secretary, it would seem that both their problems are solved. But when she discovers he plans to visit the most notorious brothel in London, she sees red-and decides to assuage her desires . . .
The Raven Prince was recommended to me to fulfill the last and final read of the Romance-opoly reading challenge, a year-long challenge hosted by the lovely ladies over at Under the Covers Book Blog, as well as the amazing Jessica @ PeaceLoveBooks on BookTube! This challenge was so much fun, and made unique by the fact that these geniuses reimaged a monopoly board for the challenge! So it was kind of like a game :) The challenge was really so much fun! You can find my official 2019 tracker here, and more information on their website here.
I’ve seen this book described as what happens if Jane Eye and Beauty and the Beast have a love child. I’ve never read Jane Eyre, but from what I know, it seems pretty accurate! Anna Wren is a widow in a small town outside of London, who also cares for her mother-in-law, and a maid. But after a couple years, her savings is running out and she needs a job, so she takes a job as the secretary of Lord Edward Swartingham, which is an unfortunate name that luckily doesn’t get used very often.
Lord Swartingham (seriously? Why that name ugh) was unsurprisingly very overbearing, and also very protective. A combination that I can’t help but adore! (Is there a better combination….?) Anna and Edward were absolutely amazing together. Their chemistry, their bantering… everything about their connection was off-the-charts incredible.
“Don’t ever leave me again, Anna. I won’t survive the next time.
I want you to marry me, but if you can’t do that…” He swallowed.
Her eyes filled with tears anew.
“Just don’t leave me,” He whispered.
Edward himself is a wealthy man in the community, thus fulfilling my class-disparity requirement for Romance-opoly. Similar to the Beast, because he could be savage, ferocious and barbaric in his arguing methods and overall high-handedness – all adjectives that Anna uses to describe him. He was definitely an amazing hero, tortured, and fierce in all the ways he needed to be, and utterly seductive when he decided that Anna needed to be his, even as she tried to protect him by refusing. That means, yes, it was a steamy book at times.
I love office romances in general, and this workplace romance wasn’t an exception, as she worked as his secretary. The forced-closeness of seeing each other for hours each day always yields an amazingly promising storyline, and great chemistry. Anna’s wit and sarcasm had me giggling many times during the story, too.
It was truly quite enjoyable, and it grabbed me from beginning to end. The story was sweet, sensual and managed to turn a troubling subject matter into an upbeat, whimsical story with the light touches of humor. This was no fluffy, quick, sentimental read. It was a true journey of love, and I loved it.
“I’ve heard some people say my tempter is rather…” he paused, searching for a word.
Anna helped him. “Savage?” He squinted at her. “Ferocious?”
He frowned and opened his mouth. She was quicker “Barbaric?”
He cut her off before she could add to her list. “Yes, well, let us simply say that it intimidates some people.” He hesitated. “I wouldn’t want to intimidate you, Mrs. Wren.”
I managed to read this one in one sitting, and although it covered social issues thoroughly, and thankfully didn’t preach about how oppressed women were. Which, while true, is always frustrating to read about in a fiction novel I’m trying to read for pleasure – if it’s not done well (and a lot of the times, it’s not). But this manages to set the scene, show it how it is, offer a discussion on the perception of genders and how sex plays into that (rather than just the consequences) and does it in a way that’s subtle, but noticeable once you close it’s pages. This is my second Elizabeth Hoyt novel, after Wicked Intentions, and I’m suitably impressed with both, and I think Miss Hoyt will be an author that I follow pretty closely this next year. In fact, I’m already planning on tackling her backlist of titles!
Truthfully, I read this one merely to fill a challenge and it seemed the most interesting out of a list. Would I have read it without the challenge? Probably not. But I’m certainly glad I did, because it took me me along for the ride and I was right there with Anna, bantering with her boss and lordship, while battling unladylike feelings for an employee, but getting swept away by his charm regardless. A real win 💕✨
What are some books that you picked up for a challenge but ended up loving? Any historical romance recommendations you can give me – especially if they involve a “workplace romance”? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!