FTC Disclosure: The publisher, author, book tour company has provided me with a copy of this book for review or I have purchased it with my own funds. The opinions I share are mine and not influenced by the publisher, author, or book tour company if received for review.
Series: Prince in Hiding #3
Published by Penguin on 2014-06-03
Reviewed by Shayna
Three intrepid princesses find themselves targets in a deadly plot against the crown—until their uncle devises a brilliant plan to keep them safe... Princess Luisa has devoted her life to duty, quietly preparing to succeed her father as ruler. Nothing, however, primed her to live on the run, disguised as a personal secretary to a notorious English scoundrel. The earl is just the man to help her reclaim her throne, but Luisa is drawn to her powerful employer in ways she never imagined... Philip, Earl of Somerton, has spent six years married to a woman in love with another man—he refuses to become a fool due to imprudent emotions ever again. Only, as his carefully laid plans for vengeance falter, fate hands him hope for redemption in the form of a beautiful and determined young princess who draws him into a risky game of secrets, seduction, and betrayal. And while his cunning may be enough to save her life, nothing can save him from losing his heart...
Crown Princess Luisa of Holstein-Schweinwald-Huhnhof watched as the entire life she was raised to lead got turned upside down by the revolutionaries who murdered her father and her husband. Now disguised as a man and living in England while her uncle works to regain her crown, Luisa has gone from princess to personal secretary of the most dangerous man in England. The Earl of Somerton is dark, lethal, and extremely bitter. His wife is in love with another man and his focus has devolved into a quest for vengeance. Only Luisa seems able to reach him. But can she tell the man who trusts almost no one that she’s been keeping secrets from him? Even if he forgives her deception and promises to help her cause, Luisa isn’t so sure Somerton will ever be able to open his heart to her…and she’s very afraid she’s already lost hers to him.
The fate of a small German principality is decided in How to School Your Scoundrel. In the third Princess in Hiding book, Juliana Gray has penned a story filled with action, disguises, deception, redemption, and love.
Somerton is not an easy hero to like, but I grew to care about him fairly quickly, thanks to Ms. Gray’s talent. Somerton has never known love or genuine kindness, and each time he’s opened his heart he’s been slapped in the face in return. His marriage comes across as a twisted Beauty and the Beast story, one where Beauty would never give the beast a chance because he wasn’t the Adonis of her dreams. Somerton has become someone extremely bitter and hurt and it takes Luisa to bring him from the darkness to the light. Luisa is smart, capable, and just a bit cheeky. She doesn’t back down from Somerton and isn’t afraid to speak her mind. The two of them are a great pair and their relationship – both before it turned into a romance and after – gives How to School Your Scoundrel life.
How to School Your Scoundrel is a fast-paced read for the most part. The overarching series plot of the revolutionaries in Luisa’s country adds action to the story. Though I won’t spoil what happens, I will say that Ms. Gray resolves this plotline in a satisfying manner. Where How to School Your Scoundrel dragged was the plot involving Somerton’s wife. There seemed to be good chunks of the story missing, likely because Elizabeth and her lover are the hero and heroine of another book (A Gentleman Never Tells) and Somerton is presumably the villain in that story. Not having read A Gentleman Never Tells I only got Somerton’s point of view and thus many of the events in his book that paralleled Elizabeth’s story seemed out of place when they were only part of a larger story.
All in all, How to School Your Scoundrel is an enjoyable read and an excellent conclusion to the Princess in Hiding trilogy. I adored Luisa and Somerton together and their stellar chemistry had me turning the pages of their book late into the night.