PUBLISHER AND RELEASE DATE:William Morrow (July 31, 2012)
Four of the five daughters of England’s Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were regal, genteel, and everything a princess should be. But one was rebellious, scandalous, and untamed. This is her story. . . . To the court and subjects of Queen Victoria, young Princess Louise—later the Duchess of Argyll—was the “Wild One.” Proud and impetuous, she fought the constraints placed on her and her brothers and sisters, dreamed of becoming an artist, and broke with a three-hundred-year-old tradition by marrying outside of the privileged circle of European royals. Some said she wed for love. Others whispered of a scandal covered up by the Crown. It will take a handsome American, recruited by the queen’s elite Secret Service, to discover the truth. But even as Stephen Byrne—code name the Raven—vows to risk his life to protect the royal family from violent Irish radicals, he tempts Louise with a forbidden love that could prove just as dangerous. In the vein of Philippa Gregory, Mary Hart Perry tells the riveting story of an extraordinary woman—a princess who refused to give up on her dreams, including her right to true love.
The astronomical success of the historical novels of Phillipa Gregory and Christine Trent prove that readers simply can’t get enough of the British royals–and now Mary Hart Perry enters the fray with an exciting, deliciously sensual novel of Queen Victoria’s “wild child” daughter, the Princess Louise. The Wild Princess transports us back to Victorian England and plunges us into the intrigues of the royal court, where the impetuous Louise brazenly followed no one’s rules but her own–even marrying a commoner, which no one of royal blood had done in the previous three centuries. Filled with rich period deal, The Wild Princess is an exciting, enthralling read. The Tudors have gotten the lion’s share of attention in historical fiction; it’s high time Queen Victoria and her family got their due
Romantic Historical Fiction,
heat rating: 2
REVIEW RATING: 4 stars
REVIEW BY JILL
Debut Queen Victoria and husband Prince Albert had nine children – four sons and five daughters. Princess Louise, born in 1848 was the fourth daughter, and was considered a beauty. In 1871, at twenty-three she married John Campbell, Marquess of Lorne, and was the first child of a monarch in over 300 years to marry outside royalty. She was a sculptress and painter, had no children and died in 1939, aged 91 years. The Wild Princess is the first in a planned series of the five daughters of Queen Victoria. Readers looking for a straight historical fiction may be disappointed. Though many of the details are historically accurate, where historical details are grey Ms Perry has created her own version of events of the private life of this royal. There has been much speculation apparently, that Louise had pre and extra-marital affairs, that her husband was homosexual, and that she had a child out of wedlock. These speculations are where author Mary Hart Perry has let loose with her creative fire, filled in the gaps in history with her own version of Louise.
Written as a flashback over her life, the beginning has Louise penning a letter to her godson in 1901 after the death of her mother, Queen Victoria. Her marriage to John Campbell is a disappointment (especially on the wedding night) and Louise despairs of ever having a fulfilling sexual and romantic life. Enter Stephen Byrne. Dressed in a leather duster, vest, Levis and a Colt on his hip, Stephen Byrne is the brash American Civil War hero and now member of Her Royal Majesty’s elite Secret Service. He’s everything a romantic hero should be, handsome, daring and single. He takes no nonsense from the Queen, her daughter or the Queen’s favourite, John Brown. Besides the romance between Louise and Byrne, there is a plot involving the Fenians, the Irish radicals demanding a free Ireland, who have brought in two explosives experts from America. Byrne is involved in tracking down the terrorists, and finding who the highly placed informant is, working for the seditionists.
Despite the fact that I enjoyed this story, I did find some of the situations Louise found herself in highly unlikely (for example, a number of times she was allowed to walk the streets of London’s coarser districts unescorted), some of the conversations implausible, the love story at times described in flowery romanticisms, and some historical timelines conveniently restructured. Part history, part thriller and suspense, part romance, I found this imaginative debut thoroughly entertaining, an absorbing what-if tale of the unconventional Princess Louise.