Sweden's Princess Madeleine just got engaged to her long-time boyfriend, and that's as good an excuse as any for me to blog about royal romance novels. Lately I'm finding zillions of them during my searches for books about royalty. A few recent titles:
Innocent Mistress, Royal Wife by Robyn Donald. Prince Rafiq de Couteveille believes Alexa Considine to be a money-hungry mistress. But to Rafiq's horror and shame, Lexie is innocent! Out of duty and honor, he must propose!
Royal Seducer by Michelle Selmer. Royal must marry royal, which left Prince Christian's options few and far between. Until a new princess was discovered: beautiful, innocent and unaware she'd been offered up as a pawn. He just had to keep love out of the equation… or lose his kingdom forever.
Royal Protocol by Dana Marton. Prince Benedek Kerkay's long-held fantasy became reality when opera singer Rayne Williams stepped off the plane and into his arms. He would sacrifice his life and his throne if it meant keeping Rayne safe.
The Desert King's Bejewelled Bride by Sabrina Phillips. Kaliq Al-Zahir A'zam cannot believe the audacity of model Tamara Weston, displaying her body for all to see. He sees to it that she returns to his kingdom to model the royal jewels she should have worn as his bride, and deliver to him the wedding night he was previously denied.
The Illegitimate King by Olivia Gates. Once, she'd scorned him. And illegitimate secret prince Ferruccio Selvaggio had sworn he would make her pay. Now, Princess Clarissa D'Agostino was in his power. It was time to teach her a lesson.
Captive of the Desert King by Donna Young. As the King of Taer, Jarek Al Asadi was used to having total control, but then he met Sarah Kwong. He became her only hope for survival in the unforgiving desert. And she was the one temptation he couldn't resist.
OK, that's enough. I didn't expect this to be quite so depressing and weird. Judging by the publishers' descriptions, every one of these stories is about the "hero," not the woman he picks to be his victim — er, I mean, his wife. "The Desert King's Bejewelled Bride" in particular reminds me of things that have allegedly happened to real women in recent times. Not romantic.
The heroes of "Royal Protocol" and "Captive of the Desert King" perhaps aren't so bad. But where are the royal romances about arrogant princesses who protect handsome visitors and/or treat them as pawns and/or teach them lessons? Where are the stories about control-freak queens holding "beautiful, innocent" men captive?
Admittedly, I don't want to read that. But I don't want to read about sexist, abusive princes, either. Sorry, publishers, but I think I'll stick to the real world of royalty.