Publisher: Carina Press
Publish Date: August 8, 2011
Synopsis: Eve Stanhope masquerades as a foreign princess at ton parties, stealing jewels from the nobility she despises and returning to her London slum at the end of the night. She’s carefully plotting revenge on her former employer—a society cad who’s ruined her reputation. Now it’s her turn to ruin him. What she doesn’t expect is to encounter the criminally handsome Orchid Thief on one of her heists…
Philip Rosemont, Viscount Wesley, is also in disguise. Bored and stifled by society, he steals jewels for fun and leaves orchids as his calling cards. He knows the woman he’s cornered at the ball is no aristocrat, much less the Princess of Valdastock. But something tells him she’s not exactly common, either. Now he must uncover her motives while he enjoys her illicit kisses. Can these two become partners in crime even as they give in to their mutual seduction?
Previously published, newly revised by author.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I was in the mood for a historical romance, so imagine my delight when I ran across Always a Princess by Alice Gaines. I have never read Gaines’ work before, but I have read many similar stories from Carina Press and that was all it took to convince me to give this a try.
Eve Stanhope masquerades herself as a princess, and is slowly climbing her way up the social circles. She has been the belle of the ball, so to speak, getting close with society’s rich and famous. Eve does not have ambition to be prominent in these circles, but rather she intends to steal from them. In her former life, she was a governess, but an unfortunate misunderstanding and circumstances has forced her to do what she can to survive.
Viscount Philip Wesley is also in the same social circles and attends the same soirees, but this is his first encounter with the princess. While Philip has more right to attend the parties more than Eve, he could care less about his social standing. You see, Philip is the lord who moonlights as the infamous Orchid Thief. And what does one thief do when he spots another thief? He observes.
While Eve attempts to steal a necklace, Philip reveals himself to her. With a little coercion, they make a deal to be partners. Together, they plan to steal from the rich and give to themselves. Eve wishes to no longer be a slave to poverty, while Philip plans to bring himself closer to her. Working together for their own purposes only brings them closer together, and with that adds to the attraction that they feel for each other.
Eve was someone who was determined to survive no matter what her odds. You could relate to her passion of surviving poverty. While Gaines reveals a bit of her past, chapter by chapter, you develop this sense to love Eve unconditionally.
Philip reminds me of someone in a young adult genre book who also thieves out of pure exhilaration. But while Philip’s counterpart does it out of boredom, Philip enjoys the thrill and excitement of being on the cusp of danger. Philip is not your normal male lead, but he sure makes it look good.
Always a Princess is a quick and enjoyable read. Gaines writes a wonderful story with delicious scenes. Nothing was overdone. Some historical romances, that I have read, pay too much attention to every little detail and leave little to the imagination. Gaines has a perfect balance of satisfying the visual aspect while feeding into the need for a great plot.
Great read for anyone who loves a good historical.