Series: Nvengaria #1
Published by JA / AG Publishing on August 1, 2006
Genres: Historical, Paranormal
FINAL DECISION: A fun mixture of fantasy, fairy tale and historical, this book introduces a new series. While the insta-love reduces much of the emotional drama, the story was interesting and the characters have a good story to tell.
THE STORY: Miss Penelope Trask is a double jilt after ending two disastrous engagements. She has resigned herself to never marrying when Prince Damien of Nvengaria appears informing her that she is the the woman he has come to England to find. The woman destined to be his bride and help him rule his land. Penelope knows that something magical is happening (and this book has magic in it) but knows that men have deceived her before. Damien and Penelope must battle those who are trying to prevent Damien from returning to his country and certainly trying to prevent a marriage between them.
OPINION: This book was an enjoyable mixture of historical, fairy tale and fantasy. As the first book in the series, the mixture is not always smooth, but I found the combination both sweet and fun. (There is also some sexy situations put in the mix to keep the sickly sweet possibilities away).
Damien comes to England to search for his destined bride, immediately falls for Penelope but then has to win her and her family over. At the same time, the two need to battle the evil Grand Duke who wants to prevent the two from fulfilling the prophesy and returning to Nvengaria as the rulers. There are assassins and monsters and magic sleeping spells along the way.
The insta-love in this book (consistent with the Cinderella fairy tale this is loosely based on) reduces much of the emotional drama between the characters. The book also has bit of “marriage of convenience” feel to it as Penelope and Damien seem fated to be together but then have to learn to live with one another.
I loved Penelope in this one. She is strong and independent and clearly the center of this book. Nothing works in this book without her. It is her discovery of her true self that makes this book work. Like Cinderella, she is hidden in the small town she lives in. In truth, she is a princess. Her discovery of her abilities — her true self — makes her relationship with Damien work and also saves their country.
I also was intrigued by the story of the villain, Alexander (whose story is next in the series). For me, I was more interested in his story than Damien’s (I have a thing for the anti-hero). I would read the next book in this series simply based on Alexander’s story, but I also was intrigued by the combination of genres.
A reader of this book will have to be open minded because the book combines the fantasy elements of magic and monsters with a some very typical historical elements.
WORTH MENTIONING: This book is a historical paranormal with magic and fantasy elements along with taking place in the regency period.
CONNECTED BOOKS: PENELOPE AND PRINCE CHARMING is the first book in the Nvengaria series.
STAR RATING: I give this book 3.5 stars.