A Prince of My Own*
Lovely Hero and Heroine; Ghastly Mother
Her mother has told Lady Miranda from nearly the second she popped out of the womb that she was destined to marry a prince or a duke. Her mother has even tried to place her in compromising positions to force a marriage between her daughter and the upper echelons of aristocracy. On a trip to a house party where Miranda will meet her mother’s next quarry, the family gets into an accident. The mother sprains her ankle severely. Dr. Simon Astor is at close at hand, and after examination, he declares that she cannot move for at least a week or two and offers them rooms in his home. Simon is the third son of a duke (unknown to Lady Miranda and her family for a while) who, while he is a physician, has a good allowance and has been able to buy a lovely estate which he has partially turned into a hospital.
Simon is a dedicated physician and an all-around decent man. He enjoys spending time with Miranda, and she soon begins helping him with his patients. This isn’t always easy for her as she is a gently bred young woman, so Simon sees and appreciates her strength and compassion. Considering that the book is relatively short, their progression from friendly acquaintances to love is believable, natural, and quite sweet to read.
Lady Miranda’s mother, on the other hand, is a real piece of work. Before the carriage accident in an early discussion between her and Lady Miranda, the mother comes across as over-the-top and melodramatic in her desire to see her daughter wed to a man of the highest station. In fact, it was so over the top that I almost quit reading because it was just crazy. But I had read good reviews of this book, and I was curious to see the relationship between the principals, so I kept going. Lady Miranda’s mother doesn’t care for her daughter’s happiness whatsoever; marrying the highest title is the only thing that does. Her mother sets in motion something drastic to get her fondest wish realized, and when it happens, it is ghastly and heartbreaking.
The only other fault that I see in this book is that it ended too soon. The ending is one of the most abrupt I’ve seen in a romance. Things are barely resolved when—BOOM!—the book ends. I would have liked to have seen a little more about what happened afterward, both in the main line of the story and in an extended epilogue. The hero and heroine are excellent characters who deserve each other; they also deserve for their story to be more fully told.