Sins of a Wicked Princess by Anna Randol

November 13, 2013
"Salagadoola mechicka boola bibbidi-bobbidi-boo."

I'm wishing, I'm wishing... I'm wishing. I'm looking, looking. Where is that book that is going to knock my socks off? Where is my next wow coming from? Which leads me to Sins of a Wicked Princess, the third in Anne Randol's Sinner's Trio series. I'm tired. When is that war with Napoleon ever going to be over and when can allllll those English spies return home? When can allll those Princesses from Lackaslavia ever unite their homeland again? And, when can all those peasants from Lackaslavia ever go back to their little cottages under the mountain? You know the cottages I mean, the ones on top of the iron ore that's being mined. Well, that's what we sort of have in this book, a princess who is fighting to have her homeland restored to her. Granted she hasn't been there in awhile, she doesn't even know if she has any people to rule...but by golly, she's going to give it the old college try. But first she must steal some papers from our nefarious villain and she does that with the help of Ian Maddox, aka the Wraith. Also along for the ride are numerous secondary characters: there is Apple, a street urchin; Gregory, Juliana's brother; Eustace; Leucretia; Constantina; her aunts; Canterbury, the valet/butler; Wilhelm, her maybe future husband (who by the way has a blind daughter back home); Abington, the drunken sidekick; and Sleepy, Dopey and Doc.

You know, I didn't necessarily dislike this book. In fact, there were some parts that I enjoyed. I liked both the heroine (even though she's a princess) and the hero (even though he's not worthy.) They were both strong characters and there was plenty of witty dialog between the two of them. Ian was charming right from the beginning and I had no problems liking him. Juliana, on the other hand, was a little harder to like. She has all of these grandiose plans for getting her country back that almost border on TSTL, but somehow worked in the end. 

There were also some parts in this book that were slow and I had to force myself to continue through. It's not a good sign when I put the book down and do needlepoint. For me, there just seemed to be one too many plots going on and one too many people to keep track of. And, the three aunts were interchangeable; I kept having to check back to see which one was which.

I had one other quibble with this book. Ian and Juliana are instantly attracted to each other. In fact, Ian had an almost constant puffy Mr. Toad; I'm surprised he was able to maneuver through most of the story. He's out there scaling walls, picking locks, climbing out windows...all with this giant protrusion. Surprised he didn't trip over it. Anyway, he is captivated by our heroine, but as we all know, he isn't good enough. No, not he - he is the scum of the earth, the dirt beneath her fingernails, he is not worthy, not worthy. He must stay away from her, from the temptation, the distraction she presents. So, what is one of the first things he does? Why, he climbs into her room, takes his clothes off and precedes to take a bath in her water...right in front of her...while she watching his big old Mr. Toad flapped around. And, that was how he stayed away from her through most of the book. I thought it was rather silly that he kept saying he should avoid her one minute, then the next minute he's biting her ears.

Overall, I would have to say Ian and Juliana were not enough to save this story for me. It seemed to me that Sins of a Wicked Princess couldn't decide whether it was a romance or and adventure story. I lost interest in the adventure part of the story half way through the book and the romance wasn't strong enough to make it work for me as a romance. I found the solutions to their many problems to be a suspend-your-disbelief time. While I liked the secondary characters of Apple and Abington, the others were all flat. So, what started out as promising, ended by disappointing me.

Time/Place: Regency England
Sensuality: Warm/Hot and an out of control Mr. Toad

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