Samhain Publishing, $4.50, ISBN 1-59998-878-X
Contemporary Romance, 2008
Princess Lucia Anastasia Mirabella du Charbonneaux of Laurivenia – predictably enough called the “Ice Princess” – doesn’t like being a princess. The endless protocols, the tedious social events, and, of course, that really cute but insufferable American fellow shadowing her every move… those Walt Disney shows that always feature some insufferably perky young lady named Hannah or Lizzie are true! She’d rather be independent, et cetera. Our hero, Eric Delmonico, is called “Demon” by his friends and families without any hint of irony that would have made that nickname more palatable. He isn’t too keen on being Lucia’s bodyguard because he’d rather be molding recruits, fishing, or doing any other more acceptable testosterone-friendly antics appropriate for an action man recuperating from an injury. Thanks to a friendly matchmaking fellow who tries to turn Lucia into fish food, however, those two will find themselves holed up in close proximity for some “the killer is coming – let’s have sex!” fun.
From the first chapter of Lessons in Trust, I have to suspend my disbelief so high that it’s probably made its way out of the solar system by now. Lucia is supposed to be in danger according to what her brother Alex told Eric, but she is unaware of that, so I have a hard time accepting that her darling brother (the hero in the previous book Lessons in Love) will not even clue her in on any danger she may be in. It is hard not to roll up my eyes as she constantly argues with Eric about how she can’t be possibly in any danger because the public transportation in the country is safe and what not. As for Eric, my goodness, I can’t imagine anyone will want to hire this fellow to deal with other people because he shows Lucia as much as respect as one would show a troublesome little girl. Considering the fact that she’s a member of the royalty, I find it hard to imagine that Eric will not even show a little respect towards the princess. Okay, maybe “respect” is not the correct word to use since I suspect that I won’t be so inclined to do that “bow down, mister” thing when I am faced with someone who can be as bratty as Lucia can be. If not respect, then how about “tact”? Arrogantly telling her that he’ll be sleeping in the same room as her and crashing her bath session to leer are not examples of what I’d consider antics that will guarantee the cooperation of an already recalcitrant client.
Because these two characters seem determined to never agree on anything even if it means that her life may be on the line and his behind is on thin ice when it comes to future employment opportunities, the rest of the story sees the two characters behaving like silly little children who pull each other’s hair and call each other silly things because they actually like each other. To Ms Davies’s credit, the two characters here come off as more silly than annoying, but the two characters’ antics also cause the story to be not believable at all given the premise of the story. I wish the author has come up with a different kind of plot for her two characters, one where their silly antics and sillier faces at each other will be more believable. Maybe he should have been her personal dressmaker and they get into silly little fights about whether or not her underwear should match the color and design of her evening gowns instead?