"The Prince" was wonderful, heartbreaking, amazing, and I wished that it was longer still so I could fully see the happily ever after that Libby and Ziyaeddin wrought for themselves.
Ashe pulls no punches in this one, by the way. Sodomy and homosexuality are sins punishable by death. Being Other and "the Turk" and what it means is explored in fine detail. Libby's struggle to do what she loves and what she's truly good at is laid out almost painfully. My heart cracked at what she had to go through to do something that we take for granted nowadays. And then there was the case of Libby's differences, how she had to battle her own brainweasels in addition to all of society.
This isn't to say that "The Prince" is all grim all the time. I loved the supporting cast. Libby gains some very very good friends and some of the recognition she deserves. Ziyaeddin was wonderful and it was lovely to see how he tried his best for Libby even while he had his own demons to best. There were moments of joy and love interwoven throughout.
My only real quibble with "The Prince" is that there really was a lot going on in the story, in addition to an almost-mystery that needed to be solved. I felt that the romance was somewhat overshadowed by all that was happening and when the story ended I really just wanted to see Ziyaeddin and Libby together and happy in a place that wasn't some form of battlefield.
Ashe just keeps getting better and better. I can't wait to see what comes next.
The temptation of her lips…
Libby Shaw refuses to accept society’s dictates. She’s determined to become a member of Edinburgh’s all-male Royal College of Surgeons. Disguising herself as a man, she attends the surgical theater and fools everyone—except the one man who has never forgotten the shape of her exquisitely sensual lips.
…will make a prince say yes to her every desire
Forced to leave his home as a boy, famed portraitist Ziyaeddin is secretly the exiled prince of a distant realm. When he first met Libby, he memorized every detail of her face and drew her. But her perfect lips gave him trouble—the same lips he now longs to kiss. When Libby asks his help to hide her feminine identity from the world, Ziyaeddin agrees on one condition: she must sit for him to paint—as a woman. But what begins as a daring scheme could send them both hurtling toward danger…and an unparalleled love.