Feature book: Loving the Prince
Cassandra Wiltmore is heir to the throne of Rica. The heir is chosen by the incumbent and may be unchosen at any time for any reason. She also runs a company that mines and distributes balcite (a highly prized and expensive mineral). Her family is generally nice and relatively normal.
Kernan Radaton is a hero, security expert and high-level telepath. He’s also handsome (head-turning handsome, of course) and wants to move from high-level protective duty to a more 9-to-5-type job so that he can start a family (cue the swooning women). Hera, one of Cassandra’s sisters, had an affair with Kernan when he was recovering from an injury he sustained protecting the Prince of Angonia and prior to his meeting Cassandra. Diana, another of Cassandra’s sisters, this time a twin, though not identical, is a beautiful man-eater (not literally) and wants to take a bite (sorry about the pun) out of Kernan too.
Relationships where the guarder and guardee fall in love always remind me of the movie The Bodyguard, and it’s difficult sometimes not to hear the strains of ‘I Will Always Love You-oo-oo-oo’ as warbled by Whitney Houston in the background. This is a love-at-first-sight story complicated by Cassandra’s job, her position as heir to the throne of Rica, and her sister, Hera.
This is the first book in the Jorda series and while this will sound like criticism (and I guess it is) Cassandra is a mostly enjoyable character who walks the TSTL (too stupid to live) line. She frequently puts herself in dangerous situations under the banner of ‘It’s my responsibility’. The hook incident regarding the missing enriched balcite, confronting Plissa Waltric (Cassandra’s arch nemesis) about a second mining license (the plot device by which Kernan loses his memory) and pretending to marry Grendon to read his mind are three ‘my responsibility’ incidents that jump immediately to mind. These are really not actions you would expect from a chief operating officer of a significant company.
The other item that pinged my brain and pulled me out of the book was the mention of Mentatnet, the pet parrot Cassandra and Diana reminisce about practising their telepathy/mental powers on. In this case my sci-fi ganglia were twitching as mentats are a race of human computers (for want of a better description) from Frank Herbert’s Dune series of books.
Overall it was an enjoyable sci-fi romance, but the TSTL moments and Mentatnet pulled me out of the story; they may not do the same to you.
Reviewed by Gina
A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.