REVIEW: Shock Heir for the Crown Prince by Kelly Hunter

Posted February 19th, 2018 by in Blog, Harlequin Mills&Boon, HJ Top Pick!, Presents, Review / 2 comments

Shock Heir for the Crown Prince by Kelly Hunter is an excellent modern day romance with an old time feel set in a fictional European country. It’s the first of a quartet of stories about four royal rulers and the women who become their princesses – in name and in love.

Prince Casimir of Byzenmaach spent one idyllic week with language student Anastasia Douglas seven years ago, a week where a chance meeting in a bar led to days and nights of passion without cares and worries. But it couldn’t last, and he made himself leave Ana without a backward glance to assume his royal responsibilities. For Ana, it was a week with unexpected consequences as she ended up pregnant. At 19, with no knowledge of who the father really was, she made the decision to keep and raise the baby on her own with the support of her parents. She went on to become a successful UN translator, supporting herself and her daughter Sophia in Geneva. Though she discovered who her lover was, she ultimately chose not to inform him of the baby.

In preparing for his upcoming royal engagement to a long time friend in a neighboring country, Cas is consumed with thoughts of the woman he left behind. Thinking that if he found out how she’d fared he’d be able to forget about her, he instead discovers that she is single – and a mother to a girl who looks remarkably like his long dead sister. Cas’s life as a prince took a turn to tragedy when his sister was kidnapped by a northern faction of the country over water rights, resulting in her death and his mother committing suicide when his father refused to negotiate for her return. The grief of that time never left him, but with his father approaching death, Cas is determined to be a different kind of ruler. To protect Sophia, Cas seeks out Ana to bring them to his home. He offers Ana marriage – a chance to rekindle their passionate affair. Ana is willing to compromise for the safety of their daughter but draws the line at a marriage without love. Can their second chance lead to a happy ever after?

What a delightful story! I loved everything about it, from the contemporary setting of Geneva, Switzerland to the fictional royal kingdom of Byzenmaach with its ancient castles and traditions. In parts, it felt like a medieval romance with the day to life in the castle replete with wolfhounds and horses in the stables and the ancient sport of falconry. Yet for all that, Cas is definitely a modern hero, worried about the future of all the people under his reign. He’s determined to move the country forward, including making peace with the rebels in the north. He never comes across as arrogant or ruthless, just determined to keep Ana and Sophia safe.The passion he feels for Ana is genuine though it takes a while for him to admit to himself, and to her, that it’s more than just desire.

Ana is lovely, genuine woman. She discovered Cas’s real identity when she was already nine months pregnant, at which point she figured he’d already forgotten her and there was no sense in disrupting his life. She’s smart and sophisticated and easily able to adapt to her new life in Cas’s home. Yet she is also determined to maintain some independence and not let her education go to waste. I thought it was really sweet that one of the languages she learned was Cas’s, even though she never thought she’d see him again. She is willing to admit she loves Cas (though in Russian, and believing he doesn’t understand her) and to hope for something more with him. Sophia comes across as a precocious and intelligent young girl who adapts well to the sudden changes in her life, including having a father. There are a few heart stopping moments, some sexy love scenes and emotional surprises. I can’t wait to read the rest of the stories in this series!

Book Info:

Publication: Jan 16, 2018 | Harlequin Presents | Claimed by a King #1

She kept his royal heir a secret… Now he’ll make her his reluctant queen! Prince Casimir of Byzenmaach can’t shake the memory of Anastasia Douglas. With her, he forgot his royal duties for a moment of wild abandon. Seven years later, he must wed–but seeking out the unforgettable Anastasia, he discovers a secret: she gave birth to his daughter! And he’ll stop at nothing to claim them both…



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