Monday, May 21, 2012

Book Review: Royal Secrets

I got Royal Secrets for Mother's Day and I was really excited because I'd wanted to read this book since it came out.  I apologize to all the other books on my TBR list because Royal Secrets went to the top of the list, as in, I started reading it immediately and ignored all the other books I'd been reading until Royal Secrets was done.

Royal Secrets is the sequel to Royal Target.  In Royal Target we are introduced to the royal family of Meridia who needs the services of CIA agent Janessa Rogers to help foil a terrorist plot against them.  I really loved that story because Janessa was a kick-butt girl who didn't back down in the face of danger.  The only thing I didn't like about that book was the Prince's name was Prince Garrett.  (I know, it's silly, but there was just something that seemed so out of place with that name.)  In Royal Secrets Prince Garrett and Janessa are back, (and I won't tell you what they're doing because that would be considered a spoiler), but Janessa's friend Alora, who lost most of her family in a terrorist bombing, is coming to Meridia to be Janessa's assistant.  (Okay, never mind, it says right on the back cover that Janessa and Garrett are planning their wedding.  So don't blame me, blame the back copy people for giving away that little gem. Ha!)

Anyway, Alora and her two small sons arrive at the castle and it reminded me a bit of a CIA Cinderella story.  Poor woman with no family goes to the castle and meets a prince.  *swoon*  I liked Prince Stefano's character a lot because he was so flawed.  He's a bit arrogant and demanding, which I think anyone raised as the heir to the throne could be, yet he's got a soft side to him that is just as engaging.  But in Royal Secrets he's recovering from an assassination attempt when he meets Alora and her boys and the plot thickens from there.  (No spoilers, I promise!) 

The main plot is that there is a group trying to overthrow the monarchy and Alora, Janessa, and the princes are working to stay alive and figure out who's behind it.  I thought the plot was engaging and twisty enough to keep me turning pages.  My only complaint (another silly one I'm afraid) was that there were a lot of names starting with the same letter that made it hard to keep characters straight sometimes (i.e. Paolo, Pedro, Patrice, Phillippe, etc.)  (Meridia, Meridian, Merid)  I know, I know, I shouldn't be so picky, and it's my fault for staying up into the wee hours of the morning to finish and my poor brain can no longer remember who is Paolo and who is Pedro.  But the book is so good I had to finish, no matter who was who!  :)

I am a big fan of Traci's books and I highly recommend her SEAL series if you want an edge of your seat romantic suspense.  Royal Target and Royal Secrets are more of a fun romantic suspense, and I recommend them to anyone who wants a great afternoon read that turns into an early morning hours because I have to finish it right now read.

Here's the back copy:

It’s been three years since the tragic Christmas Eve when CIA agent Alora DeSanto returned from a doctor’s appointment to find her husband dead and her Paris home destroyed by a terrorist firebomb. Still mourning her heavy loss, she seeks a new life for herself and her two young sons by accepting a job offer from her friend and fellow agent Janessa Rogers, who is engaged to marry Prince Garrett of Meridia. As Janessa’s personal assistant, Alora takes up residence in the royal chateau in Bellamo, where Prince Stefano is recovering from a possible assassination attempt and reeling from some life-shattering news of his own.

As their paths repeatedly cross, Alora and Stefano are surprised by a budding attraction that draws them together in friendship. But as their hesitant affection evolves into romance, royal secrets plunge them into plots of espionage and blackmail that threaten all they hold dear—including each other. And as enemies arise to crush the Meridia monarchy, Alora must confront the fears that destroyed her past before they destroy her future


Debra Erfert said...

Oh! This sounds fascinating! I'll go track it down in Kindle right now. Thanks!

Debra Erfert said...

Tee hee!! Done!!!!

Jon Spell said...

This is off-topic, but not off-blog, so...

I just watched the penultimate H50 for the season (Steve finally comes back) and I have a few questions/observations:

1) What is Kono thinking? Sure, the guy's handsome (but is he an alien?) but (Jon splutters incoherently) seriously?

2) The CIA played a really fictionalized role in this one, despite one of them saying something about "you only see that in spy movies."

2a) What purpose did it serve for Danny to escape from them at the end? His arrival didn't do much. Was he the one who got the rest to converge on that spot?

3) Did they tie up whose blood was in the bathroom in Osaka? Was it Kono's BF's dad?

3a) Why did they arrest Kono's BF at the end?

I bet Chin was having some serious flashbacks after Steve's airplane crashed. =) (Good that he wasn't present, along with Steve's marine buddy.) I did enjoy the Steve-Danny banter, probably more than just about anything else. Maybe we'll watch the finale tonight. (I'm avoiding reading your blog on it until I see it.)

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Debra, you won't be sorry!

Jon, Kono is in her bad boy stage, obviously. It's a girl thing. (haha!)

Yeah, the CIA angle did seem a little contrived, but there was a lot from this ep that was hard to swallow, like the fight in the jungle and stuff. And yet it was so pretty to watch! :)

I haven't heard whose blood it was. They sort of dropped that, oddly.

McDanno saved that ep for me because I like that they have a solid friendship and worry about each other.

I'm assuming you're referring to the actor who plays Chin having also been on Lost? I never watched that show because I swore when Alias ended I would never watch another JJ Abrams series. I think I'm glad I didn't get into Lost because it sounds like it didn't end that great either. Did you watch Lost?

Can't wait for you to see the finale. There's a lot to talk about there. Ha!