by Jennifer Blake

October 1991
ISBN: 0-449-14790-8
Reviewer Graphic Button Fawcett Books
Mass Market Paperback

Mara Delacroix didn't go to France for intrigue or excitement. She and her grandmother were there to heal wounds left when Mara's fiancÚ was killed in battle. However, when Mara's grandmother tallied up large amount of gambling debts that left them at the mercy of an evil man, Mara was forced to play the pawn in a game of espionage. Her role in this ploy was to seduce Roderic, Prince of Ruthenia, for reasons unrevealed to her.

In order to infiltrate Roderic's house and gain his protection, Mara must pretend to have lost her memory of who she is and where she has come from. Roderic is determined to solve the mystery of who Mara is by using any means necessary to the point where Mara isn't sure who is seducing whom.

I wasn't expecting to find Royal Passion an engaging novel. The plot of having to sacrifice oneself because of another's debts has been done many times before and a heroine pretending to be suffering from amnesia seemed so trite. However, Jennifer Blake's knowledge of the turmoil and the political upheaval of 19th century France added depth and a richness to the story. Additionally, the characters were very well written and believable. Roderic was everything you would imagine a 19th century prince to be - in a good way. Mara was intelligent, caring and Roderic's perfect match.

The dialog was witty and flowed well. The secondary characters were given just the right amount of time and involvement in the story. One aspect of the story I found disappointing was that the motive behind the villain's actions of revenge against Roderic were not sufficiently revealed or explained. Nevertheless, it was intriguing to try to solve just that one of the many mysteries in Royal Passion.

If you enjoy actual historical events interspersed in your romance novels, plenty of action and excitement, you are sure to enjoy Royal Passion.

Reviewed in November 2001 by Nicole.

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