by Jane Porter

November 2004
ISBN: 0-373-12430-9
Reviewer Graphic Button Harlequin #2430
Mass Market Paperback

Princess Joelle Ducasse is supposed to marry Prince Leo Borgarde in a year. The marriage is pre-arranged and is not one of love. In fact Joelle has never even met her intended.

Determined to live a little before doing her royal duty to help save her homeland, Joelle leaves Porto Melio and heads for New Orleans LA where she becomes Josie d’Ville. She intends to have one year in the states to live out her dreams.

Josie has found a job as a singer in the French quarter. She has made friends and lived a wonderful year. She is sad that her year of freedom is almost over, but nonetheless she makes plans to return to her homeland to marry the prince who has been chosen for her.

During her last few days in New Orleans Josie meets a fascinating man named Leo Fortino and is instantly attracted to him. She decides that she wants to experience physical love before her return home.

Mr. Fortino feels the attraction too, but he has a secret. He is Josie’s intended prince. He plans to call the wedding off because he feels Joelle has acted in a very reckless way. Will he be able to proceed with his plans or will his strong attraction to Josie prevent him from ending the upcoming union?

Jane Porter writes tales with great emotion and The Italian’s Virgin Princess is a perfect example of her superb story telling. Ms Porter has a knack for creating irresistible alpha heroes, and Leo is a prime example. Josie is perhaps a bit naive as she is torn between doing her duty to her family and living the life she dreams of, but she is a loveable character nonetheless. One thing that bothered me a bit about this book was the hero’s double standard in that it was ok for him to “play the field” but not ok for Josie to do the same. It didn’t bother me enough to keep me from enjoying the story however, and as this attitude is part of the typical alpha male behavior, it was expected.

I loved the New Orleans setting of this book. Readers will have the feeling that they are right in the Big Easy on a hot sweltering night.

The love scenes in this book are written with great passion and will have the reader wanting more. The Italian’s Virgin Princess is a great example of what has made Jane Porter a reader favorite in the Presents line.

Reviewed in April 2005 by Barbara.

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