To escape from a forced marriage (and possible death), Princess Anastasia Denisova flees to London with naught but what she and her devoted servant, Elisaveta, can carry. Once there, Anastasia and Elisaveta, now Anya/Anna and Lizzie respectively, hide in Covent Garden amidst the flower sellers and brothels. The two women do what they must to make ends meet, even if it means tutoring the courtesans next door.
Sebastien Wolff, The Earl of Mowbray, is on a mission. As an elite operative in the Bow Street Runners he’s on the hunt for a Russian spy and murderer. But that’s not going to stop him from enjoying his one vice: women. When he encounters Anya at a high-class brothel, he knows he must have her. But infuriatingly, she’s not for sale. Leaving him aching for the mysterious and beautiful woman.
But when their paths cross again, it’s under much more fraught circumstances. Together they must work together to keep Anya safe as well as unmask a traitor. All while striving to keep their passions in check.
The Princess and the Rogue is the third book in Kate Bateman’s Bow Street Bachelors series, and it’s definitely the best. Bateman knocked it out of the park with this book. She really did. I devoured the book in a day and I wanted more.
So what makes this book so great? The characters.
Seb has long been my favorite of the three friends. The second son of a duke from an unhappy marriage, Seb is the perfect rakish rogue. He’s got standards in who he seduces, and he makes sure that they enjoy the encounter as much as he does. He’s protective of his family and friends, and when he gives his heart he gives it over fully. I really loved him.
Anya is a great heroine. She’s intelligent and resourceful, and she’s not afraid to stand up for herself. She’s more than equal to Seb in several respects and is his better in others – like getting prickly people to go along with her plans. She’s also delightfully superstitious which adds so much depth to her character. I liked her ability to think through things and adapt when the situation required it. I also loved her devotion to her friends, even if they were nowhere near her in rank. The book passes the Bechdel test, which is a plus in my book.
The heroes and heroines from the previous two books make a reappearance, but it’s the other side characters which I love. From the prickly French chef, to the Dowager Duchess, to the Madame with a heart of gold, I really felt their realism.
The book does require a little bit of suspension of disbelief as many romances do. But for me it didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment of the story.
I unreservedly loved this book.
And for that I give this:
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Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for giving me the opportunity to read this book.