Saturday, August 20, 2022

Review: Nobody’s Princess by Erica Ridley

Nobody’s Princess by Erica Ridley
Series: The Wild Wynchesters, Book 3
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Historical Romance 
Nobodys Princess cover
ISBN: 9781538719589
Source: Publisher
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Nothing happens in London without Graham Wynchester knowing. His massive collection of intelligence is invaluable to his family’s mission of aiding those most in need. So when he deciphers a series of coded messages in the scandal sheets, Graham’s convinced he must come to a royal’s rescue. But his quarry turns out not to be a princess at all… The captivating Kunigunde de Heusch is anything but a damsel in distress, and the last thing she wants is Graham’s help.

All her life, Kuni trained alongside the fiercest Royal Guardsmen in her family, secretly planning to become her country’s first Royal Guardswoman. This mission in London is a chance to prove herself worthy without help from a man, not even one as devilishly handsome as Graham. To her surprise, Graham believes in her dream as much as she does, which makes it harder to resist kissing him…and falling in love. But how can she risk her heart if her future lies an ocean away?

The Wild Wynchesters are back and it’s Graham Wynchester at the center this time in Nobody’s Princess. Graham has a hunger for knowing everything, which is why he takes note of the gorgeous woman who seems to be gathering intelligence of her own around Mayfair. Kunigunde de Heusch is the companion of the Balcovian princess, but her true desire is to be a member of the Royal Guardsmen. Her time in England is her chance to prove herself the equal of her brothers, two of her country’s finest Royal Guardsmen. She’s taken aback by the charming, handsome Graham at first and the way he offers to help. Kuni doesn’t need anyone’s help, but she soon finds herself whisked away into the world of the Wynchesters. The more she learns about the unique family, the more she desires to become a part of it. But her lifelong dream isn’t something she can toss away, even for a family as welcoming as the Wynchesters and a man as tempting as Graham. The clock’s ticking until it’s time for Kuni to return to Balcovia, but it’s becoming harder for her to tear herself away.

Kuni is strong, smart, and stubborn. She has tried so hard to be a part of her family and has worked so hard to try for the chance at becoming a Royal Guardswoman – not just for herself but to be a role model for girls in Balcovia – that now the chance is almost within reach she cannot seem to see beyond it. And it’s clear from the start that although Kuni would be an amazing Guardswoman, she’d be an even better Wynchester. The quirky family welcomes Kuni immediately and she becomes involved in their quest to help people in need. Kuni is also entranced by Graham, the former circus performer turned intelligence gatherer. Graham has long been captivated by the idea of being acknowledged by royalty and Kuni is the closest he’s gotten to it. But fantasies aside, he’s drawn to the brave, determined woman. Their romance is an extremely slow burn but sweet.

I liked Nobody’s Princess but I’m sad to report it’s not my favorite Erica Ridley novel. The Wynchester family members have always been presented as unique, but fully-formed characters and in this story many of them felt reduced to one character trait. The family is such an important part of this book and the series that this brought down the book a bit. And though I enjoyed Kuni and Graham together, they were missing some of the spark I expect from Ridley’s couples. Things picked up near the end and the happily ever after was sweet, but it was slow going for the first part of the story. The book could be repetitive at times and it felt like much of the story was spent with the characters spinning their wheels until it was time to wrap things up – perhaps in a shorter format the story would have been stronger. As I said, I did like the ending and Graham with his good heart and dreams was a good match for Kuni who has a strong sense of purpose and a yearning heart. But this story never grabbed my attention the way the first two Wynchester books did and I just wanted a bit more. Still, I look forward to seeing more of Kuni and Graham as more Wynchester siblings find their happily ever afters.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.