Title: The Princess and the Rogue
Author: Kate Bateman
Series: The Bow Street Bachelors (Book 3)
Page Length: 304
Publication Date: Dec. 29, 2020
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Synopsis: A princess in disguise is forced to live with a rogue in order to protect her from danger in this fun, sexy regency romance.
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?
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A princess in hiding and a dashing gaming hall owner are the focus of The Princess and the Rogue, the third book in The Bow Street Bachelors series. Sebastien, a consummate bachelor, has sworn he’ll never fall in love and tie himself to one woman. Between owning a popular gaming hall and investigating a murder with Russian connections, he doesn’t have time for love. However, when he heads to the local brothel, he is quickly enchanted with Anya, the mysterious and beguiling woman he meets there.
Anya is actually Anastasia Denisova, a princess in hiding. After the death of her brother at the Battle of Waterloo, Anya is pursued by the dastardly Vasili, whose violent and evil intentions force her to fake her own death and flee. Anya suspects Vasili is a traitor to Russia, and Vasili knows if he marries her, she can’t speak out against him. After a year of evading Vasili, it seems as if Anya’s past has finally come back to haunt her.
After Sebastien rescues her from a potential kidnapping, he determines to keep her safe. Can the princess trust Sebastien to protect her from her past? And how will Sebastien react when he knows the truth of her identity?
Anya is a strong, resilient, and resourceful woman who evades the evil clutches of Vasili by selling her diamonds and gaining employment under a pseudonym. She works hard and lives frugally, a sharp contrast from her life as a princess, and no one suspects her true identity. I love Anya! She is clever, brave, and selfless, even when faced with frightening and dangerous situations. I like her gumption and her survival instinct. In this way, she and Sebastien are very much alike.
The romance between Anya and Sebastien is lovely. It is clear from the start that this couple is drawn to each other, and their chemistry is palpable. I love their passionate and humorous banter, as well as their determination to resist falling for each other. This makes for an interesting romance and plot and two dynamically developed characters that compliment each other well. It also leads to some sizzling, romantic scenes, and an awesomely satisfying conclusion.
Sebastien, a war veteran, is not quick to trust, and he knows that Anya is hiding her identity, among other things. Anya, trying to avoid any connection to her past, is reluctant to divulge her secrets. However, Anya and Sebastien, both accustomed to being independent, eventually show their vulnerable sides when together. This is particularly difficult for them as they both hide behind the walls they’ve built. Anya fears an abusive and violent marriage to Vasili, and Sebastien fears falling in love and losing his independence. I love how they slowly let their guard down, ignore social expectations and demands, and follow their hearts.
I also enjoyed the integration of popular Russian fairy tales, superstitions, and sayings, as well as the references to Shakespeare, other popular poets, and historical events that influenced the people in the story. These allusions add depth to the characters, setting, and plot and immerse the reader into the culture of that time period.
A wonderful addition to the Bow Street Bachelors series, The Princess and the Rogue is a well-paced and well-developed historical romance. Though it can be read as a standalone, I am definitely going back to read the first two in the series. The character development and interesting plot, as well as the epic romance, make this a memorable read! Thanks so much to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Paperbacks for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
The Romance, of course! Anya and Sebastian have great chemistry, and their love story is fantastic!
The historical and literary allusions.
The man was a walking promise.
In a foreign country you are glad to see even a crow from your own land.
Readers who enjoy historical romance with a smart and likable protagonist, a swoon-worthy romance, and a wonderful HEA should pick up The Princess and the Rogue.