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!