Friday, August 28, 2020

Tempting the Prince by Christi Barth - New Release, Review, and Giveaway

Tempting the Prince
by Christi Barth
Series: Sexy Misadventures of Royals, #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 24, 2020

What happens when you mix an average American woman with a decidedly not average future King?

I can tell you from experience—a whole lot of complications.
You see, four months ago, my all-American sister, Kelsey, found out that she’s not actually my sister—she’s a princess of a country we’d never heard of. She begged me to come along when she was whisked off to her new palace, so here I am. An outsider who doesn’t fit in anywhere.

Now that she’s settled, I should go back to my exciting new career in New York. I absolutely should not stay in a country where I got shot (long story), where I suck so badly at the national sport that I accidentally murdered the symbol of the monarchy in front of half the country, and—oh yeah—where I can’t stop ogling Kelsey’s actual brother.

The Crown Prince.
The man who has to marry a very important princess. (not me)
The man who must create the next heir to the throne. (without me)
The man I absolutely can never be with. (remember that long story?)
The man who just gave me the best sex of my life…
Did I mention that it’s complicated?

“Well, if you hadn’t noticed, I’m rather competitive. I won’t ever turn down a bet.”

A ghost of a smile flirted with the corners of his mouth. “Nor will I.”

Mallory took a deep breath. Yes, she was probably about to cross a line. But the Grand Duchess had labeled her family. Wasn’t family who you could trust to tell the truths that you needed to hear?

Plus, watching Christian stoically try to ignore the potential awfulness of his future just clawed at her heart strings. Made her want to hug him, and stroke his head soothingly, and bake him some uber-comforting double chocolate Irish Cream brownies.

 “I also think it’s important to state for the record that you’ve inherited a crappy deal. Being told who you’re allowed to marry. Like you’re handed a prix fixe dinner menu, and you simply don’t have a taste for the three choices.” Mallory slowly shook her head, mindful of the weight of the tiara. “It’s not fair. You’re giving your whole life to this country. You deserve happiness.”

“I haven’t done anything to deserve it. But I do want it.” Christian lifted her hand, pressed a kiss to the backs of her knuckles. Half bent, looking up at her from beneath heavy-lidded eyes, he could be a movie poster of Prince Charming. “I want you.”

It was a moment—another one—she’d remember for the rest of her life. The stars, the softness of an oversized tree fern against her arm, the sweet scent of a night-blooming something, and the handsome prince giving her the most knee-melting of looks.

Why did she have to be the party pooper? The adult in the room? Why couldn’t she turn off her responsibility-meter? “Oh, no. I mean, wow, but, we can’t.”

“I can’t not want you, Mallory.”

Well, she couldn’t lie to the man. Her good, Midwestern ethics wouldn’t allow it. “I haven’t stopped thinking about you, either. I keep trying. I think that’s why I tried so hard tonight to find someone appropriate for you.”

“Appropriate? That sounds like a balanced diet with kale three times a week and no pasta. Like that menu you mentioned. Not at all what I want. So screw appropriate. I want you.” Christian surged forward. He locked an arm around her waist, splayed a palm across her nape, and kissed her.

His tongue immediately entwined with hers. Because there was no polite, warm-up peck. From the heat of his kiss, Christian had been as…affected…by their coupling in the bar as Mallory. And he’d been lusting for more, exactly as she had. A week’s worth of pent-up lust packed quite a punch.

It was grappling to see who could lick more, taste more. It was sloppy, wanton, wet proof of how much they wanted each other. It was a battle with no losers.

It was perfection.

A quick, fun read that had some laughs, some tears, and some sexy times! Christie Barth delivers a well-written story that is easy to read with characters who you can’t help but like.

Mallory and Christian were both easy to relate to. There was no lack of chemistry between the two, but there were definitely obstacles in the way of them finding their happy ever after. I loved how playful these two were with each other, but also how supportive to each other and those around them they both were. I also loved how Mallory always saw past Christian’s title and treated him like just a regular person, remembering that behind the crown was just a man who needed to be reminded of that sometimes. Although I got the whole “I’m the prince/king and I have a duty to put my country first” thing, I did find myself hoping for Christian to make a grand gesture/proclamation/just ask the damn King for permission already when it came to Mallory, but in the end, the way things happened did make me smile and appreciate how family played into Mallory and Christian’s relationship.
“I brought you out here to thank you properly, Mallory.”

“For what?”

And what constituted “proper” thanks from a prince? He’d already given her a title, for crying out loud.

“For looking out for me. Not the Crown Prince of Moncriano, just Christian. I’m used to people prioritizing the title. Not the man. “He skimmer his big, warm hand down her jawline. “So I very much appreciate you doing just that. Thank you.”

Oh my goodness. That shouldn’t require thanks.
The entire cast of characters was colorful and just what you would want in a family. They were relentless in their teasing of one another, but if you were family, you were part of the circle that would always be defended and supported. Even though there were times that things were strained – especially between Kelsey and Mallory – you always knew that the bonds of family were strong. I loved how things wrapped up with Christian’s father and was happy that the epilogue really tied things up nicely.

This is my first book by Christie Barth and I really enjoyed her storytelling! This was a fun read that is part of a series but can be easily read as a stand-alone. The romance was quick, hot, and turned into love rather quickly, but in this case, the insta-love aspect didn’t detract from the story at all, just added to the whole “forbidden lovers” aspect of the book.

This is definitely one to check out!

Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage.

A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning.  Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes award-winning contemporary romance, including the Naked Men and Aisle Bound series. Christi can always be found whipping up gourmet meals (for fun, honest!) or with her nose in a book. She lives in Maryland with the best husband in the world.

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