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I am Lover of romance, who indulges in the romantic adventures of literature

My name is Renee, and I am the host of this site. I am a 34 year old woman, on the prowl for her mate, searching out the best of books, exploring the wilds of the imagination and delving into the heart of a beautiful love story.

 

Audio Book Review-A Princess by Christmas by Julia London

by | Jan 1, 2022 | Audio Book Reviews, Book Reviews | 1 comment

This review may contain spoilers, so fair warning, upon reading the review.

About The Book

She’s discovered his secret.

Now the trouble really begins…

After three years of mourning—and turning her dear deceased husband’s gazette into the ton‘s sauciest source of fashion and gossip—Hollis Honeycutt feels her life has been strangely bereft of late… Her sister is living abroad, and her best friend moved to the country. What must a young widow of rank and reputation do? Why, transform her society gossip sheets into serious investigative news, starting with a rumored coup…and the rather dashing, mysterious gentleman whom Hollis suspects might be the villain of her first real story, and she is the only one who can write it.

Marek Brendan is investigating terrible rumors of treachery and treason that threaten his home country of Wesloria, but he must proceed with caution. No one can discover the truth. After all, who would ever believe he is Wesloria’s lost, crown prince? Only Hollis Honeycutt’s cerulean-blue eyes seem to know more than she’s letting on—and worse, Marek can’t seem to resist her curious charms. But even as betrayal threatens a nation and a throne, nothing is quite so dangerous as the lovely young widow who’s determined to find the truth…and a prince of her own.

I would not wish any companion in the world but you

My Review

First Impressions

A Princess By Christmas is the final book in the trilogy (at least I am pretty sure its the final book) and after reading the second book, I was really excited for Hollis’ book especially since there was such a teaser about her story in the second book ” A Royal Kiss and Tell” and honestly I didn’t really know what to expect in this book as there was a teaser about Hollis and her Butler (who is this sexy butler and is always by her side and very protective) but I hate to disappoint but that is the center focus of the story. But ironically, I really liked this romance more than I probably would have enjoyed Hollis with her Butler. Hollis and Marek are such a great match and they really connect together. There is such a smooth transition in their relationship and the flow felt so natural. It’s a story that will definitely bring the charm of the Christmas season, a bit of a mystery, and a bit of forbidden love to keep you interested all the way through.

Summary

Hollis Honeycutt has been mourning her dead husband for three years and she is at the point of her life where she aches to move on and find joy in life again. While she loved her husband, she is young and full of life and wants to share her ideas and thoughts with the world. But her life is changing so much with her family moving in various directions, and Hollis feels like she is being left behind in a cloud of dust. But she has a very fulfilled life with her gossip sheet column which she has transformed into something deeper and more elemental for the readers. Where she will brave the society with her talk of progressiveness and enlightenment. But then she meets a sexy stranger, who is full of mystery. At first, she thinks that he is after the throne of Westloria and that he is a true villain. But she is surprisingly shocked to discover that is far from the villain in the scenario, but a true hero. And when his secrets are revealed to her, Hollis is determined to get to the truth of who is after the King of Westloria, and after the safety of her family and what the future may hold for Hollis and Marek. But as Marek and Hollis investigate this plot against the King, intense chemistry builds between them. But their lives are so opposite from each other, and they wonder how they could ever find a way to their happily ever after when they are worlds apart. Will Hollis and Marek be willing to sacrifice to keep their love or let it go?

She missed a man’s touch, that feeling of being wholy desires, she missed abandoning herself to pleasure. She missed lying against someone. The kiss was wild and dangerous, full of craving and desire.

What I Loved

I simply had such a blast with this book and there were many elements to the story that I really enjoyed. I first want to mention the heat in this story because it was actually very well done. You never know what you will find especially in a historical romance here, but I found that in this one I was charmed by the heat that is played out within this novel. It was much more heated than I expected, but there weren’t that many scenes which is why I didn’t put it under a higher level. And it doesn’t happen until the latter half of the story. I will say the kissing under the mistletoe scenes were on point and so delightful. The characters themselves were the stars of the story and really shone throughout this novel. Julia London has this unique talent of really writing the most endearing character that just comes alive for the reader. The plot of the book was the icing on the cake. I really felt like even though there was such focus on the character’s depth and growth, it was well balanced with a decently built plot. We have this plot against the king, so we have this mystery of discovering who is behind it but also saving the King in time. I really liked how these elements blended together and what a great team that Marek and Hollis make together. It’s such a true partnership and once the steam level builds, the intimacy between them really solidifies in such a relatable way. Another aspect that I really loved was seeing the hero fight for the heroine. He is so devoted to her and willing to fight for what they have.

He was so different from any man she had ever known, he was taciturn and solemn, surprsing in so many ways. Somehow he had made her feel vibrant and necessary again, he’d made her want again.

What I Disliked

There were a few things that I struggled with in this story. As much as I enjoyed this one, there were some issues that I had with this one. The first being the pacing, I have technically been trying to listen to this one for weeks but just wasn’t interested in it. I am not sure if it’s the book itself or if it was the narration although I really liked the narration so I am not sure that even played a factor in the pacing element. It wasn’t until about 50% of the book that I started to really get into it, and I almost DNF’d it because it just wasn’t holding my interest as I wanted it to. Then we had the way that her family treated Hollis. They were actually pretty neglectful of her and then act all surprised when she has a love match. I really felt for Hollis in how her family acted with her. But also I would have liked to see Hollis fight to be with the hero more. It seemed like he had to do all the fighting for the relationship just because she didn’t want to leave her family (who by the way were leaving her for the countryside anyway). She did have this bond with her butler that was strange and wasn’t ever really explained and I would have liked for the author to give more focus on this a bit. The ending was lackluster, while there were some good things about it, nothing was revealed about the hero’s identity not even to his true parent and I was really disappointed in that.

I need my life to mean something, I have wants, and I want to live, I don’t want to live to mourn.

Overall Evaluation

I found A Princess By Christmas to be a loveable romance that sparks joy into the soul, its a story that while it has some drawbacks, as a whole, is a beautiful well told story that left me with a tear in my eye and a smile in my heart.

I am twice the man I am when you are near

Book Details

Title: A Princess By Christmas

Author: Julia London

Genre: Historical Romance, Victorian Era

Format: Audiobook

Source: Hoopla Digital

Length: 9 Hours and 51 Minutes

About The Narrator

Unique, Exciting, Sincere and Dynamic are just a few of the words clients have used to describe the voice of Justin Hill.

When Justin is recording from his studio you know that you will be getting high quality, professional audio using modern, state of the art and industry standard equipment. Whether recording for your upcoming Cartoon, auditioning for your next big video game hit or providing narration for your innovative commercial Justin strives for excellence and will record precisely what you are looking for.

Justin is located in the Dallas Fort Worth area and is willing to travel to a nearby studio of your choice.

Book Links

Amazon| Barnes and Noble | Kobo| LibraryThing| Goodreads| The StoryGraph| Literal Club

If you liked these books, then I recommend picking up “A Princess By Christmas”

An Heiress For All Seasons by Sophie Jordan

the Good, The Bad, and The duke by Janna MacGregor

Deck the halls with love by lorraine heath

Book Evaluation

Storytelling Quality: 4

Story Itself: 3.5

Character Development: 4

Writing Style: 3.5

World Building 3.75

Feels + The Romantic Heart 4

Pacing 3

Narration: 4

Plot 4

Cover Art 4

Ending 4

Book Rating

Overall Rating of the Book

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Steam Rating

Simmering—soft warm touches and light intimacy

Warm- a medium level of sexual tension, a balance of sexual and emotional intimacy, lighter on the details in the sexual moments.

Steamin’ up the room -the sexual content is more explicit in the language and tone, heavier amount of sexual scenes.

Blazing fire to the building-The prime focus is the sex scenes, scorching hot, and could burn one. Less focus on the emotional intimacy to the relationship.

Series Order

(order goes as follows, links lead to other reviews)

The Princess Plan-Pub 2019-(392 Pages)

Royal Kiss and Tell-Pub 2020-(384 Pages)

A Princess for Christmas-Pub 2021-(384 Pages)

About The Author

Julia London is the New York Times and USA Today best selling author of more than two dozen romantic fiction novels. She is the author of the popular historical romance series, the Cabot Sisters, including The Trouble with Honor, The Devil Takes a Bride, and The Scoundrel and the Debutante. She is also the author of several contemporary romances, including Homecoming Ranch, Return to Homecoming Ranch, and The Perfect Homecoming.

Julia is the recipient of the RT Bookclub Award for Best Historical Romance and a six-time finalist for the prestigious RITA award for excellence in romantic fiction.

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1 Comment

  1. Carrie @The Butterfly Reader

    I read this as an ARC I Think and wasn’t that fond of it but I’m actually reading this author right now. An older series and the last one, The Dangers of Deceiving a Viscount.

    Reply

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