by Nora Roberts

September 1987 reissue
ISBN: 0-373-48483-6
Reviewer Graphic Button Silhouette
Trade Paperback

Recently, Silhouette bundled three Nora Roberts titles into one large paperback and re-released them as Cordina’s Royal Family. This story is the last of the trio, and in my opinion, the best.

All the stories revolve around a mythical Mediterranean royal family (think Monaco?), and the lives and loves of its principal sons and daughters. The series culminates with the recent new novel Cordina’s Crown Jewel. Once again, Nora Roberts does what she does so well... takes us deep into a family of delightful characters and walks with us through their tangled passions.

Prince Bennett, youngest of the Bisset princes and dubbed the “Playboy” prince, has featured as the seductive and amusing sidekick in the earlier tales, but now he gets to show his mettle. Although the target of all the most beautiful women in the realm, his attention is snagged by prim and proper Miss Hannah Rothchild. Hannah, of course, has a secret.

Bennett and Hannah’s story seems to be the most realistic of the three tales – if anything set in a mythical principality of incredible splendor can be referred to as “realistic”. Bennett’s character unfolds as a mis-judged prince of the realm, one who is content to let his image stand while busying himself with things that matter to him. Hannah, on the other hand, is a strong-willed and courageous woman, not given to light flirtations, and with secrets that her life may well depend upon. At first glance these two are hopelessly mis-matched (and therefore destined for each other), but as their story progresses, their characters align much more closely than either could have guessed.

All three tales are a pleasure – Nora Roberts has yet to produce anything less – but I found The Playboy Prince to be the most exciting, passionate and intense of them all.

Reviewed in September 2002 by Celia.

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