by Julie Garwood
Amazon / Goodreads
Orphaned and besieged Princess Alesandra knew that only hasty marriage to an Englishman could protect her from the turmoil in her own land. To the amusement of her makeshift guardian, Colin, younger brother of the Marquess of Caineswood, the bold raven-haired beauty instantly captivated London society. But when Alesandra was nearly abducted by her unscrupulous countrymen, the fighting instincts that won Colin a knighthood for valor were rekindled.
Deceiving himself that he wanted only to protect her, Colin swept her into a union meant to be a marriage in name alone ... yet Alesandra's tender first kiss and hesitant caress ignited a wildfire in his soul. As the lovely princess dashed headlong into unforeseen dangers, Colin would follow, knowing he must claim her as his own forever. Now he would risk life itself before he would lose this sweet, tempestuous angel ...
Review:Castles is a lovely romantic story with a little mystery and a quietly sassy heroine. Alesandra keeps tries to act with decorum and it's not always easy, but she is very smart and figures out ways to get what she wants. I enjoyed reading about a heroine who wasn't too outspoken or confident, but was not a pushover and could hold her own against the forceful personality of Colin.
Colin was a total alpha male, and a great match for Alesandra, even though I sometimes felt like Colin could be a little too overbearing and harsh. But he did soften in time (as of course he had to!) and it was very sweet to see how Alesandra changed him for the better. Both of them had their insecurities that they worked through and I love that their romance developed somewhat slowly.
I also loved that the secondary characters felt fleshed out and added to the story - even the smaller characters felt like a big part of Alesandra and Colin's development, and it was great to see how much they added to the plot.
The story has a mystery that is pretty predictable, and because it figured so little into the main plot, it was a little jarring when the story would make reference to it. It created a great denouement for the story, but sometimes it did feel unnecessary. This is a book I'd recommend for the way it builds the romance which is very touching, and for the great heroine.