in my fair princess we meet gillian dryden, the hoydenish bastard daughter of a royal duke, and charles penley, the duke of leverton, the man in charge of making her acceptable to london's high society. as far as regency romances go, this novel isn't too far off the beaten path. though perhaps gillian is a bit too modern in her sensibilities, and the other main characters a bit too accepting of them?
the relationship between charles and gillian is actually really well done. the sparks that begin at their introduction lead to a full blown fiery passion. there is no doubt that these two characters are really well-matched, they challenge each other and bring out the best in one another. but at times i couldn't help feel like gillian was a bit too headstrong, a bit too strong asserting her independence in ways that just felt counterproductive.
this happens to me a lot, and it's weird, because i believe women should be strong and independent and have every right to fight for themselves, but sometimes these especially liberated women in historical novels grate on me. and maybe that's the point, that one should think about the double standards that existed then and exist now. why is it easier to accept an open-minded hero than an enlightened heroine? i don't want to be a bad feminist. but at the same time, sometimes the too modern sensibilities make me wonder why the author bothered to set this in the past? i mean, the setting did work for the most part, it just felt like sometimes all of the main characters were from another time and that sometimes pulled me out of the plot.
in the end, this is a nice regency romance, it's one i would have loved to share with my grandmother. these kind of books were her jam. (though maybe gillian is a little too risqué for my grandmother's sensibilities.)
**my fair princess will publish on august 30, 2016. i received an advanced reader copy courtesy of netgalley/kensington books/zebra in exchange for my honest review.