Genre: contemporary romance
Sex scenes: mild
Cordina's Royal Family: (1) Affaire Royale, (2) Command Performance
Romance RBC 2014: A book published in the 1980s
Eve Hamilton has become a renowned theatre producer in America in her own right. Many dismissed her initial interest in theatre as a rich heiress’s hobby, but there’s now no question about her talents. When her presence is requested in the tiny country of Cordina by Prince Alexander Bisset, heir to the throne himself, she can do nothing but answer his summons, despite the animosity between them. Seven years ago, Eve had an embarrassing crush on Alex that he didn’t reciprocate. Alex has always been polite and courteous towards her, but it’s nothing like the friendship that she shares with his siblings, Gabriella and Bennett. Still, when Eve and her company are invited to perform at Cordina’s Fine Arts Center, she can’t say no, despite the knowledge that she and Alex will be working in close quarters.
A tiny country, Cordina is not without its fair share of enemies who wish the royal family harm. A man called Deboque, imprisoned for his crimes against Gabriella seven years earlier, seems to be orchestrating attempts against the Bisset family from the confines of his prison, despite their attempts at surveillance. Eve is determined to press on with her shows regardless, and when threats in turn come to be directed against her, she and Alex are forced to confront the reality of their feelings for each other and find a solution to this very real and pressing threat …
I remember being charmed by the first book in this series, Affaire Royale, featuring Princess Gabriella and Reeve, the American bodyguard hired to protect her. Though Command Performance is set seven years later, the story was just as captivating, if not quite as exciting. I wasn’t as convinced of the chemistry between Eve and Alex, whose feelings have always been repressed under his overhanging sense of duty to his country and his people. He’s learnt to hide his feelings behind courtesy and a polite mask, having no one to confide in or be himself with. Eve challenges his self-reliance and he is forced to learn open up and share his feelings in order to gain Eve’s trust.
For the most part, Nora Roberts’ characters and protagonists are normal people, living out their ordinary lives: cops, writers, hoteliers, artists, small business owners – the list goes on. Royalty, on the other hand – not so common. There was Princess Adrianne in Sweet Revenge and there have been others who as a result of their celebrity status, are practically celebrities in their own right, but actual royalty is something different altogether. Nora Roberts still manages to make this story accessible, despite the privileged position of Prince Alex. Eve is normal in comparison, though her family’s wealth in America sees them socialising in higher circles of society. Otherwise, Alex and Eve are a sweet couple, though
Another Nora Roberts title ticked off her ever-growing list of published books. I have no idea exactly how many I’ve read now (over the 150 mark, I believe) though I’m determined to read them all. It was a great fluke that this was published in the 1980s, otherwise it wouldn’t have been able to fit into the remaining RBC 2014 categories. This was a sweet NR novel to round up her titles I’ve read this year. Not the best by far, but a solid one nevertheless and I’m happy that I’ve managed to inch one book further in a series that I’ve started and loved. It’s not one for everyone, but that’s your decision and opinion.
Image courtesy of Book Depository.