Title: The Princess and the Rogue
Series: Bow Street Bachelors #3
Author: Kate Bateman
Genre: Historical Romance
Date Finished: December 27, 2020
In The Princess and the Rogue, Bow Street agent Sebastien Wolff, Earl of Mowbray, doesn’t believe in love—until a passionate kiss with a beautiful stranger in a brothel forces him to reconsider. When the mysterious woman is linked to an intrigue involving a missing Russian princess, however, Seb realizes her air of innocence was too good to be true.
Princess Anastasia Denisova has been hiding in London as plain ‘Anna Brown.’ With a dangerous traitor hot on her trail, her best option is to accept Wolff’s offer of protection—and accommodation—at his gambling hell. But living in such close quarters, and aiding Wolff in his Bow Street cases, fans the flames of their mutual attraction. If Anya’s true identity is revealed, does their romance stand a chance? Could a princess ever marry a rogue? (x)
The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book deserves 5 stars simply for making me sit in the same spot reading roughly 60% of it with hardly any breaks for my poor eyeballs. It’s so fun and adventurous! I haven’t read a romance like this in a little while, so it was very enjoyable. I really enjoyed learning all of the Russian superstitions sprinkled throughout the book and loved Anya as a character. There was only one moment when I was screaming at her not to do something stupid, but other than that, she was a pretty smart heroine.
Sebastien was glorious, and my heart pained for him at every instance he felt he wasn’t enough for her. I wanted him to figure out who she was on his own, but the way Bateman does it was totally believable for me. Speaking of believable, I found Anya’s command of English and French to be a little hard to believe, but what do I know about the education of 19th-century Russian princesses? Diddly-squat. So let her be a masterful polyglot, I say.
They truly are an equal couple, both with their own strengths and weaknesses, who are able to come together and be a complimentary pair. There’s an interesting power dynamic with these two. Obviously, Sebastien’s a big strong man (and an earl) in Regency England, which gives him the upper hand. Conversely, Anya is a bona fide princess, which makes Seb’s earl status means next to nothing. They have to find equal footing, and I don’t think they would have if Bateman had constructed the story differently.
As for the villain, sneaky ol’ Vasili Petrov deserved to suffer more in my opinion. I don’t want to give too much away, and maybe I was too overjoyed at a certain revelation at the end, but as I said, more suffering for that slime ball would have been very welcome indeed.
I still haven’t read the second book in this series, though I really enjoyed the first, so I hope to get to that one soon so I can read Alex and Emmy’s story. They were really cute in this book, and I’m sure I would enjoy that one, as well.