Avon, Dec 2001, 6.99, 384 pp.
Even as a little girl, the vain Lady Jocelyn Shelton expected to marry a prince. Now in 1819 as a debutante, anyone of a lesser rank is just not good enough for the conceited Jocelyn. As the diamond of the current season, Jocelyn sets her sights on Crown Prince Alexei Pruzinksy of Greater Avalonia. She is so cocksure of her abilities, she expects Alexei to propose and thus accepts an unchaperoned rendezvous with him. However, Alexei fails to meet her, but instead two assassins believe she has seen and overheard their plot to murder the Prince.
The two killers want Jocelyn dead, but Viscount Rand Beaumont, assigned to keep Alexei safe, vows to protect her. To do that, he needs her out of London and entrenched in a safe house until the thugs are stopped. However, he cannot escort a single young woman by himself unless he marries her. To Jocelyn, life is meaningless with a mere viscount even if she reacts to his regal kisses.
THE PRINCE'S BRIDE is an entertaining historical romance once the readers moves past Jocelyn's princely requirement. Rand is a hunk of a hero and surprisingly readers will ultimately find the lead female protagonist smart and charming. The support cast provides humor or tension depending on their role, but all enhance the relationship between Jocelyn and Rand. Sub-genre fans will relish Victoria Alexander's warm tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner