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Gowns & Crowns, #1

This sweet reworking of the Cinderella story has delicious modern twists and sets up the framework for an entertaining series. There are multiple scenes that makes one want to sigh over the sheer pageantry and romance as the vivid imagery makes one drool over the scenery, whether it be yummy male physiques, awe-inspiring locations, or beautiful outfits. The story flowed smoothly and quickly, and the painful responsibilities thrust on the main characters and difficult decisions they faced were depicted realistically, and made one ache at the conflicts they had to deal with. There were a couple of scenes that definitely made me reach for a tissue, while others made me cheer, and I was delighted that I had the opportunity to read this wonderfully romantic story. I hope to see each of Em’s friends get their own time in the spotlight, as they each seemed to have plenty of complexity and intrigue of their own!

“Courted” by Jennifer Chance is the first story in the ‘Gowns and Crowns’ series and depicts the tale of Emmaline (Em) Andrews, who has joined her three friends on a whirlwind tour of Europe, despite her guilt at leaving her infirm parents for a brief time. A chance encounter on a beach in Garronia with an attractive male who turns out to be the crown prince, Kristos Andris, leads to an adventure worthy of a fairy tale. The enchanting interlude gives both of them a brief respite from their individual responsibilities, but all good things must come to an end…or must they?

Book Blurb for Courted

Aspiring concert violist Emmaline Aurora Grace Andrews is torn between her love of family and her love of music. A year ago, she deferred entering a prestigious graduate program to help her parents recover from a devastating accident. Now the deferment is expiring, but her parents still need her. Worse, every time she plays her audition piece, she mangles it. Is it too late to be the musician she'd always dreamed of? Should she even try?

Determined to get clarity, Emmaline accepts a friend's offer for a whirlwind European vacation. First Stop: a real live fantasy kingdom—the perfect place to sort wishes from reality.

Prince Kristos Andris was a respected captain in his nation’s military… Was. In the wake of the tragic death of his elder brother, he's managed to avoid his duties as the new Crown Prince of Garronia for months. But now he must accept his responsibilities and leave his troops behind. Outraged at the restrictions of his new royal position, he'll do anything for one last adventure. So when opportunity suddenly lands in his arms in the form of a dreamy-eyed American girl, he embraces it (and her) for all he's worth. What's the harm in a quick fling, after all? It won’t change what he knows he must do…

Only this is Garronia in the summertime, where passion has a way of ruining even the most sensible of plans.

"An awesomely fun, modern day fairy tale!” – Lori Foster, NYT bestselling author

Night Owl Reviews Jan, 2016 4.25