Review: His True Queen (Smoke & Mirrors #2) by Jodi Ellen Malpas

Title: His True Queen
Author: Jodi Ellen Malpas
Publisher/Year:  EverafterRomance 8/7/18
Length:   400 Pages
Series:  Smoke & Mirrors #2

Overview

A beautiful, defiant princess. A renowned, sinfully gorgeous Hollywood actor.

A love affair that is sure to rock the British Monarchy…and the world.

Their love affair began intensely and passionately. Princess Adeline and Josh Jameson knew any future together was impossible—her status as a princess and his standing as a Hollywood heartthrob dictated that. But the heights of pleasure they could take each other to were wildly unanticipated by them both. Josh’s absolute disregard for Adeline’s status quickly drew her into his hedonistic world. And her perfectly worn mask and false façade captivated Josh to the point of obsession. The boundaries became blurred. The physical became emotional. Their hearts became entwined.

But a cruel turn of events rips their worlds apart and Adeline is more bound than ever by the protocol and expectations her title commands. The army of royal advisors who guard the secrets and scandals of the Monarchy will go to unthinkable lengths to keep the smoke and mirrors in place…and Josh away from Adeline. She knows the power she possesses comes with agonizing sacrifices. Walking away from Josh devastates her…but it keeps him safe from the corrupt institution that has ruled her life.

Yet Josh refuses to lose the woman who has consumed him so completely, distorted his boundaries, and stripped him of all sensibility.

Will the power of the British Monarchy triumph? Or will their fierce love for each other change the course of history?

My Thoughts

I don’t know how she does it – our amazing author.  As if the story wasn’t complicated enough coming out of the tragedy at the end of the first installment, there’s a twist that i never even fathomed.  and i pride myself on being able to figure out the hook fairly consistently.

In this 2nd (and final) installment to the series, Adeline finds herself bound to her country – the Queen who not mourns the loss of her family, but mourns the loss of her love since that’s really what’s at stake here.  She cannot be with the one person that makes her feel free, and that’s more painful than anything that she’s forced to deal with.

Throughout this story, we see quite a few things happening here.  Outside of Adeline and Josh, there are so many more players that are trying to fight their way to the top.

Queen Mother for one – her secret is out but not – with her husband’s passing, the secret revealed that Eddie isn’t the King’s true son, and his father is Davenport.  A man who worked for Kings for generations.  While we had zero warm and fuzzy feelings for him in the first book, he turns out to be quite the human being in the 2nd.  Someone that we rely on as a voice of reason, until he chooses to remove himself from the mix

Then there are Sir Don, and David Sampson, men who have their own agendas in the royal realm and agendas that take very malicious turns.  I think that it’s safe to say that there are no redeeming qualities for these two.  or are there?

Then there’s Haydon Sampson – the man who everyone has chosen to wed Adeline, yet she’s not even remotely inclined to hear that.  She does all in her power and in her despair to be gentle with him – to put him down gently, but he shows another side that is shocking and unexpected.

And poor Prince Eddie – he’s gone off the deep end now that his life is not at all what he thought it was and he’s forced to maintain a party line in order to save face and have Adeline take the thrown.

Then we get to our amazing couple.  A pair that will do whatever it takes to be together, sacrificing everything for just those few stolen moments here and there.  Even with so many people trying to set them up for failure, trying to keep them apart, the love and passion that they share is something that there’s no chance of breaking.  Until something comes between them and causes a rift that is impossible to rebound from.

So as expected, we get such a romantic story – one that has depth and momentum, with all the customary bits of heat, passion, chemistry and spark that our author is known for.  Add to that family drama, tradition and heritage and people who are out for ‘blood’ so to speak, and we get an amazing culmination of sots to this story.  As you read it, you must consider that however you think/hope it will end, you will be surprised!  Enjoy!

Review: The Controversial Princess (Smoke & Mirrors #1) by Jodi Ellen Malpas

Title: The Controversial Princess
Author: Jodi Ellen Malpas
Publisher/Year:  EverafterRomance 5/22/18
Length:   340 Pages
Series:  Smoke & Mirrors #1

Overview

Her father is The King of England.

She is The Controversial Princess.

Regarded as down to earth by the press and rebellious by The King, Princess Adeline refuses to bow to the royal expectations her title carries. She knows better than anyone that the united front of the royal family is nothing but smoke and mirrors – lies and secrets masked by power and privilege. She wants no part of it, and she will never surrender to The King’s demand to marry a man she does not love. But despite Adeline’s determination to retain her free will, she remains deeply unfulfilled, feeling caged and suffocated.

That is until she meets Josh Jameson. Drawn in by his confidence, Adeline is soon captivated by the scandalously sexy American actor. His ability to penetrate her defences overwhelms her – his touch is pure fire, and his allure overpowering. Nothing has ever made her feel so alive in a world where she’s otherwise slowly drowning. However, while Josh may be Hollywood royalty, he’s not actual royalty, and Adeline knows The King and his advisors will do everything in their power to keep them apart.

But Josh Jameson becomes the princess’s ultimate vice.

And although she bows to no one, she bows to him.

My Thoughts

I love getting the monthly updates from Goodreads on ‘new releases from authors you’ve read’ since i wouldn’t have found this one for a bit at least without it.  So in this story, we get the introduction to a new series of sorts – featuring our main character – Adeline, a princess who has been forced into so many constraints by her family, yet as she’s grown up, she’s really having trouble coping with the lack of freedom.  You can’t blame the girl at all for that – she’s thirty, the youngest of three, she knows that she won’t ever have the thrown and she’s an utter disappointment to her father the King.

There are so many ties from this story to pop-culture if i have to admit it.  We have the duke and duchess of Sussex as characters (although not Harry and Megan), and we have Adeline who reminds me exactly of a character from the show on E! the Royals.  But other than that, we have what’s a really sweet story.

Adeline manages to make due with her station in life, trying to be happy with a friendship with her cousin Matilda, and the most amazing security lead – Damon.  Both are able to read her like no one else, and they do their best to make things a bit more manageable.  Upon her thirtieth birthday, she finds herself at a party thrown in her honor, with one surprise guest being her middle brother Eddie whom she adores, and the other, a hollywood superstar named Josh who affects her like no other man ever has.

That’s where this crazy rollercoaster romance begins.  They can’t stay away from each other yet they can’t be together since he’s American and she’s Royal.  Adeline knows that if her family catches wind of him, he will be taken from her, yet they have such strong feelings for one another that they will do whatever they can to be together.

There’s a great nuance here that Ms Malpas writes in – the D/s relationship between these two.  Josh is the one person in the world who has recognized that while Adeline is strong willed in everything that she does, she truly bends to the one person that can control her in a specific situation, a hot and steamy situation and that gives her even more freedom and release than ever imagined.  It’s something that makes their chemistry even hotter and a bond that really can’t be broken. Factor in another gentleman that the king seems to believe is better for Adeline, and you get to watch how these two make an impossible situation less so.

So the challenges that we see throughout this first installment of the series are layered in this hidden romance yes, but there’s so much more.  You know that there have to be several secrets because these are Royals, and it’s not until the end that they all spill out because of a catastrophic event.  Life as they knew it is over, and we are left wondering what comes next.  We find that so many people that we have grown to appreciate and love (or not) in this first book have died, and that means that everything is up in the air.

There are some of the hottest scenes that you can imagine, giving us a glimpse into the submissive world that Adeline is finding herself in.  This falls true to form of our amazing author – getting such detailed and sexy scenes amid a story that is strong enough to keep us interested.  Knowing where we left off at the end of this first book, it makes you wonder what will come next since the impossible just became even more so.  So on that note – i’m sad that i have to wait 4 days for the next book, but at least it’s just 4 days.  Enjoy!