Title: I Adored a Lord: The Prince Catchers
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Prince Catchers
Format: Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Avon (July 29, 2014)
“This ring is the key to your destinies,” (...) “This ring . . .” the Gypsy intoned, “belongs to a prince.”(...) “The rightful master of this ring,” she said soberly, “is not of your blood.” (...) “One of you will wed this prince. Upon this wedding, the secret of your past will be revealed.” ('I Married the Duke' by Katharine Ashe)
Twenty-two years ago, a mother sent her three daughters to England in the accompaniment of their nanny when their ship sank. They were the sole survivors. The villagers of the area tried to find their parents, but their search was in vain. The nanny they'd been traveling with had drowned and, with no one to claim them, the girls were sent to a foundling home. They were later adopted by Reverend Caulfield who had lost his wife and daughters just months earlier to fever. The only clue as to who the girls might be is a ring worthy of a king.
While the Reverend was a good, but somewhat strict parent, Arabella, the middle Caulfield sister, was desperate to learn about their real parents. That is what led her to approach a gypsy in the hope she could shed some light on who they might be. The gypsy's response, however, was as mysterious as their past. She foretold of a prince who would have the answers they seek which he would reveal upon his wedding to one of the sisters. While many would think the prediction of a gypsy was nonsense, Arabella, grasp on to it, and years later was still determined to see one of her sisters, as she was happily wed, married to a prince. That was how Ravenna, the youngest of the Caulfield sisters, came to find herself at the bride-hunting party of Prince Sebatiao of Portugal. Ravenna, unlike her sister, didn't believe the gypsy's prophecy and had planned to never marry. Tricked into attending the function by her sister, Ravenna soon finds herself at the center of the handsome Lord Vitor Courtenay's attentions and in the middle of a murder mystery. An uninvited guest is found murdered in a suit of armor with a note in his pocket suggesting he was there to rendezvous with one of the young ladies attending the festivities. With a house full of potential suspects, the question upon everyone's mind is, "Who did it?"
Having discovered the body, Ravenna is not going to let Lord Vitor dismiss her from helping solve the crime just because she's a woman. Using the logic that she, as a woman, is more likely to be able to extract information from the ladies in the party as they'll be more willing to talk to her than a man, she convinces Vitor and the local police that they need her help. As they question the suspects and attempt to piece together what happened, Ravenna finds her own life in jeopardy as she gets closer to the truth.
Lord Vitor Courtenay has secrets of his own. Celibate for two years, he was on the verge of taking vows and joining the monastery before he changed his mind. As his attraction to Ravenna grows, he knows he made the right choice. While originally not happy about her joining the search for the murderer, he finds it a convenient way to get closer to the object of his affection. As the two work together, he comes to admire not just her beauty and spunk, but her intelligence as well.
Overall, I gave this book 4 out of 5 roses. It was fun, at times sweet, and contained quite a few twists. I enjoyed the mystery and the romance even more. I thought Ravenna and Vitor made a cute couple and loved how Vitor liked her just the way she was. It was fun seeing these two worked together as a team to solve the murder. I could definitely see this turning into a husband and wife crime solving team spin-off, in the vein of a historical 'Hart to Hart' (the TV show) series. If you haven't read the previous book, you can get away with reading this one first. Be forewarned, however, you're probably going to want to read it after you finish with this one. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.