Tuesday, November 26, 2019

ARC Book #Review: Secret Prince's Christmas Seduction by Carol Marinelli #SecretPrincesChristmasSeduction #NetGalley

Book Title:  Secret Prince's Christmas Seduction
Author:  Carol Marinelli Twitter|  
Publisher: Harlequin Presents
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Series/Standalone: Book 2
Format: ebook, Mass Market 
Cost: $5.25
Pages: 256
How I got it: Publisher via NetGalley
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound
Publication Date: November 19th, 2019
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Claimed by the prince

For Christmas or forever?

Sicilian chambermaid Antonietta prides herself on her discretion, so she’s mortified by her inappropriate reaction to her hotel’s newest guest! Antonietta has no idea Rafael is the notorious prince of Tulano. All she knows is that his touch lights her up more brightly than a Christmas tree.

Their unexpected connection floors cynical Rafe. All he can offer is a temporary festive seduction before resuming his royal duties. But unwrapping the precious gift of Antonietta’s virginity changes everything. Rafe must choose—his crown, or Antonietta…
Antonietta returns home to Sicily after fleeing on her wedding day 5 years ago. Her family hadn't listened when she starting raising objections and went ahead with the arranged marriage and because she fled they have been holding a grudge ever since. She's home hoping her time away gave them a chance to forgive her and will welcome her home for the holidays.  To help her out her best friend has gotten her hired at her husband's newest hotel in their home town, there she will work part time as a chambermaid in the luxury suites and train the rest of the time as a massage therapist.

Not one for gossip she's unaware of the significance of the hotel's newest guest, when she's assigned to his room. Rafe is there to recover from a recent skiing accident that he can't allow the people of his country to learn about. Tired of being regulated to the life of a playboy he's been pushing for more responsibility from his father as Prince of his people, however his father has one stipulation and Rafe cannot abide by it. One of Rafe's best friend has given him a place to recuperate and rethink things. While there he finds himself drawn to Antonietta who meets none of the standards his family requires for a future queen but he himself can't get her out of his mind.

As time goes by and he heals and gets to know the woman who is  here to make his stay more comfortable he is forced to re-evaluate what he expects for his future. I really enjoyed how slowly they built this relationship. Even with their attraction they took the time to get to be friends first, Rafe especially was uncertain with how this friendship could develop and where it would lead. As the pressure mounts for him to make a choice Rafe realizes he doesn't want to be like his father. When given a choice he makes the best for himself. To be honest I was prepared for that, I kind of expected the story to be just a fling I should have remembered I'm reading a romance novel and HEA are guaranteed.

The friendships are what really help this story along. I loved that her best friend tries to help her and make her confront what is happening with her family and see it realistically. I loved that she's a safe haven for Antonietta and is a great sounding board as well.  I am enjoying how much these new romances challenge our beliefs about what a heroine can be and how they can fall in love. It's a sweet Christmas romance that makes Antonietta face what makes a 'family" especially because her own isn't the best.

I loved how sweet they were together and how Antonietta embraced her new life and the changes she wanted for herself.
Happy Reading my loves, 

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