The Princess and the Rogue by Kate Bateman is the third book in the Bow Street Bachelors series. It’s my first from this author, and I was lucky enough to receive an advanced reader copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
The Princess Meets a Rogue
Heroine Anya Denisov is a princess on the run. Caught up in the turmoil after the Napoleonic Wars, Anya flees Paris when her life is threatened by Count Petrov, a fellow countryman convinced she has evidence of his treason.
Hero Sebastian Wolff, Lord Mowbray, served in the elite rifle division and survived with only the loss of hearing in one ear. He now runs a gambling hall with his two best friends and fellow survivors. Their stories are told in the first two books in this series: This Earl of Mine and To Catch an Earl.
When a Russian is found dead at the docks, the men of Bow Street want answers, and Sebastian must find someone to interpret Russian documents for him. How convenient is it that Anya happens to be a Russian princess?
Character Driven Romance at Its Best
If you’re familiar with this blog, you’ll know I thrive on character-driven romance. Bateman delivers!
Anya is not a damsel in distress. She is a smart, courageous princess determined to survive when others would seek to control her life. She flees Paris and creates a new life for herself in London, working as the companion to a dowager duchess, who happens to be Sebastian’s great aunt.
I loved how resourceful Anya is. Her character is not dictated by the era in which the story takes place, and yet I could completely believe she was a product of her time. She was just surprising at every turn.
Sebastian, while the proper romance novel hero, is so human. He is resistant to change in such a real and visceral way. His two friends have already left the lodgings at the gambling hell they run together, and Sebastian is adamant to remain a bachelor there. I was very worried Anya was not going to convince him to marry her; that’s how real his resistance to change was.
The camaraderie between the three main male characters and their wives was my favorite. The dialogues was sharp enough to cut leather, my friends. I love witty dialogue, and Bateman excels.
Bateman is an Accomplished Writer
What stood out to me the most about this historical romance was the fact that Bateman is an accomplished writer. Her descriptions are exquisite. There is never a wasted word and yet I could easily tell how a scene tasted because her words were so powerful.
This is the third installment in this series, but it could easily be read alone. This is due in large part to Bateman’s prowess with the pen. She sets up the story so Sebastian and Anya’s story could be read independently. I have not read the first two books and easily slipped into the story.
Although now that I’ve met the other characters, I very much want to read the first two books in this series.
My One Caveat
Bateman is clearly a lover of history and has done her research. Unfortunately, there are times when a historical tidbit interrupts the story narrative. I find that vexing. You’ll be deep into the story and suddenly we’re learning about a Russian tradition. I think this was meant to showcase a character trait of Anya’s, but I just found it dragged the story.
The same happened with snippets of literature. There are quotes from classic literature that while appropriate to the scene are very jarring. Especially because I don’t believe the characters would be reciting the actual verse in their heads at that moment. It would be something more like, “She reminds me of Byron.” That’s it.
That being said I love history and thoroughly enjoyed some of these snippets. I would like to read more of Bateman to see if this only pops up in this book because of the Russian heroine or if this is characteristic of Bateman’s writing.
Treat Yourself to a Princess and a Rogue
This was an incredibly well written historical romance with intricately drawn characters and the edge of suspense with the Russian treason twist.
So treat yourself to a princess and her rogue when this book releases on December 29, 2020.
If you enjoy historical romance with more of a suspenseful twist, check out this series and this series. You won’t regret it.