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Servant of the Crown (The Crown of Tremontane Book 1)

Servant of the Crown (The Crown of Tremontane Book 1) - Melissa McShane Mh, no. The premise is interesting and I can't resist the lure of book-related things in my reads, but this one sadly fell short on all accounts. Flat cookie-cutter characters, little worldbuilding, no momentum, unbelievable behaviors, a thin plot, the word "blotchy" repeated 24 times to describe the heroine's lone mundane feature -her cheeks when flustered, unremarkable writing...at least the descriptions were nice.

The main character is so beautiful and wealthy and titled that all men she encounters just want prestige, money and/or flesh from her, while all she wants is for them to see her as a person. She only cares for her work in the publishing business because it's her passion. Then she is suddenly cast in the role of a lady in waiting to the queen mother and meets the crown prince, who obviously makes a lewd comment in a very public place where her smarting outrage is duly noted. Of course the prince is most handsome and a total rake. To avoid a scandal the ruling queen, the prince's sister, contrives the perfect plan: prince Anthony North and countess Alison Quinn are to appear together in very public places once a week. And so they do. The prince keeps ogling and complimenting and the heroine keeps reminding the reader of how tiresome this all is because she is a person, not boobs and hips with an head attached. Ok. Of course amid the flirting the prince also shows a new side of himself where he doesn't salivate all over her and magic! She starts to see that deep down there is more to him that meets the eye, not that she complains too much about what meets the eye:

"She looked ahead at North, who made a fine figure despite his character flaws, his broad shoulders, the fine muscles of his back and his…"

"He really was handsome, not that it mattered to her at all, with those cheekbones and the strong curve of his jaw, the way his eyebrows swooped just the tiniest bit at the inner corners to draw attention to his absurdly blue eyes."

This goes on and on with constant reminders about how nice are the spells when he shows his genuine smile and doesn't say anything suggestive; how sad it is that "It won’t last [...] he’ll be back to his old self when I see him next." (or, let's quote another "Perhaps he has changed, she thought, but we’ll see how long it lasts.")


"North looked down at her, and smiled, no hint of a leer in those attractive blue eyes. He really was too handsome for his own good. Alison resolved to be friendly."

Yeah. There is also a library somewhere in the story. I almost DNF it at 50%. Then the story picked up and it was okay, but too late to convince.