A Royal Kiss & Tell (A Royal Wedding Book 2)
May 19 2020
A Royal Kiss & Tell by Julia London is the latest of two books that show why she is “Queen of the Banter,” writing family-focused funny and endearing tales with snappy, witty, and teasing dialogue between the hero and heroine.
A Royal Kiss & Tell has some very funny moments as the hero, Prince Leopold and heroine, Lady Caroline Hawke argue and confront each other. For example, Caroline says to him, “given that your feathers have flocked together with his. I’d rather be vain than ill-mannered like you.” His response, “I am unaccustomed to being so completely contradicted every time I speak. Do you treat every gentleman of your acquaintance in this manner, or do you reserve this behavior solely for princes? As evidenced, Prince Leo becomes appalled that Lady Caroline cannot hold her tongue, conforming to societal norms of the time.
“I wrote Caroline as a dress maker. She is beautiful and is not humble about it. I love this about her. She can be aggressive but does wonder if people love her for who she is as a person. She can be self-centered, vain, but also spirited, confident, and sophisticated. I wanted her to stand up for herself. It is OK for male characters to be like an alpha, but when it’s the female character it upsets people. Why? She has every right to be as sure of herself as her brother and the prince.”
This is the backdrop as both return to London where he and Caroline’s brother, Beckett, become best friends. The prince is returning partially to investigate a human trafficking ring, which he was told about. Unfortunately, as he secretly talks to maids to help them escape, wrong intentions are implied. This is where the mystery begins, how is he to expose those involved in sexual slavery and save the girls? He has no other choice then to turn to Caroline for help who completely goes all in. In addition to working together to free the girls, they realize that they have more in common and a secret budding romance begins.
Caroline’s ability to be the center of every man’s attention allows her to use her assets to find the girls, but also draws Leopold into her charms. She can be selfish, shallow, and self-absorbed, but also vivacious, charming, and self-assured. The Prince feels sorry for himself, being the second son who sees himself as useless and unappreciated. But when approached to help, he acts and shows that he has a backbone.
“I based Leo on Prince Harry ten years ago. It had been reported he had enjoyed being a partier and was not sure he wanted to be part of the Royal family. I thought how all the attention is given to the Crown Prince. I wanted to have Leo unsure what he would do with his life. In the beginning he is snobbish and a non-conformist, but then redeems himself.”
This story includes tenderness and humor throughout. There is a love/hate relationship, passion, and characters somewhat at odds with societal norms. The snappy sarcastic dialogue moves the story along allowing readers to laugh, smile, and cry with the characters.