Sunday, 12 October 2014

Loving the Prince by Nicole Murphy

Loving the Prince by Nicole Murphy is the first in a new series of science fiction romance books by the author. I've previously read her paranormal romance series, which began with Secret Ones. This is more different and more science fictiony than I expected.
Cassandra Wiltmore is the heir to the throne of Rica, but it’s unlikely she’ll be stepping up any time soon. So she spends her days managing and building the Rican Balcite Mining Company. The company has made her family wealthy beyond imagination, but that kind of power needs careful control, and Cassandra is just the Wiltmore to control it.

When a new bid for the mining license is announced, Cassandra is determined to squash it. Then the thefts and threats begin, and every step she takes seems to be wrong. Taking on a new protector seems like an indulgence Cass can’t afford, but she equally cannot afford to be caught off-guard. If only the best man for the job wasn’t also the best-looking man she’s ever seen.

Kernan Radaton has ambition, and as protector to Cassandra Wiltmore, he’s well placed to reach all his long-held goals. If only his new all-business boss didn’t make him think of only pleasure. With the company, the heir and the family under attack, the last thing anyone needs is a distraction. But once everything is safe again, Kernan is developing new ambitions — ones that involve a lot of very personal time spent getting to know his boss on a very personal level.
A scientific error on the very first page did not bode well for this book. But happily it turned out to be the only egregious error and I was able to enjoy the rest of the book without getting annoyed at science. Admittedly, that was largely because most of the book dealt with logistics and corporate sabotage and not with anything technical, but that worked quite well. And the relationship between the two main characters, of course. That was also central.

I've made no secret in the past that romance isn't my favourite genre and one that I only dip into occasionally and then only if it's speculative. Loving the Prince was not too heavy on the romance — I'd say medium romance maybe — which worked for me. The story was very much driven by the plot — Cassandra trying to work out who's undermining her and get to the bottom of the conspiracy — and the romance was something that happened because the two characters were brought together. Plot driven romance is the kind I prefer.

I read through this book fairly quickly in about two sittings, which is a sign of how much it kept me entertained. The only part that almost made me put it down was (spoiler free) the bit in the middle where circumstances conspire to keep the two leads apart. But I suspect frustration was the intended reaction for that part. For those interested in the "steaminess" of Loving the Prince, I'd say it's low-ish (being medium romance, honestly I'm not sure what the standard scales are) with only one on-page sex scene.

Generally I found Loving the Prince to be an enjoyable read and I would absolutely recommend it to any speculative fiction romance fans. It kept me entertained throughout and I am interested in reading the sequel (although I'm also a bit sad it will probably star other characters).

4 / 5 stars

First published: August 2014, Escape Publishing
Series: Book 1 of Jorda series (of 3?)
Format read: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Challenges: Australian Women Writers Challenge, Australian Science Fiction Reading

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