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The Princess of Nowhere

3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  243 ratings  ·  55 reviews
Princess Pauline Borghese was one of the most fascinating women of her day. Now her story is unforgettably told by one of her descendants....

The sister of Napoleon Bonaparte, Pauline knows that her sole purpose has always been to make an advantageous marriage to further her ambitious brother's goals. But her joie de vivre cannot be contained—much to the dismay of her new
Paperback, 336 pages
Published December 7th 2010 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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Want to Read It Now!
102nd out of 202 books — 142 voters
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Community Reviews

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Jenny Q
I've seen some mixed reviews on this one, but I ended up really liking it. Pauline is a great character--she's charming, passionate, full of energy and a hunger to live life to the fullest. She's also vain, selfish, promiscuous, and at times utterly infuriating, but she always makes for great reading! Camillo's a big sweet potato, alternately excited and disgusted by Pauline's overt sexuality. But as time goes on, he tires of her infidelity and her trifling ways and devotes his time to his milit ...more
3.5 stars

The story of Paulina Bonaparte, Napoleon Bonaparte's "free spirited" sister, through her second marriage with Prince Camillo Borghese.

Paulina seemed like a spoiled, self-centered, uncontrollable teenage girl. By the halfway point, I only found her annoying. I didn't like Paulina and didn't understand how Camillo could tolerate her.

The sex scenes seemed like they didn't belong in the book. Most of the book felt like it was from the point of a view of a young teenager and then all of a s
When author Lorenzo Borghese visited The Galleria Borghese in Italy, a home that belonged to his family until the early 1900s, he was drawn to a marble statue of his ancestor Princess Pauline Borghese and inspired to tell the unique story of her life. Told from the view point of Sophie, the princesses’ long time companion and lady-in-waiting, the marriage of Pauline Bonaparte and Prince Camillo Borghese is explored in the pages of The Princess of Nowhere.

Pauline was charming, charismatic and one
I knew going into this book that Lorenzo Borghese was not a professional writer, and despite the flack I'm likely to hear for admitting to this I will confess, I actually watched him on 'The Bachelor' back in 2006, where he came across as a really nice guy.

I read the Afterword of this novel before reading the story Lorenzo Borghese created about Pauline Bonaparte. Learning how he came to hear the story of Pauline gives this novel a different context and I appreciated the perspective of the auth
Audrey Terry
I started reading historical fiction a long time ago. This book reminded me just how powerful the genre can be; transforming a name on a ledger into a breathing, vibrant being is a beautiful accomplishment.

Borghese's portrayal of Pauline had me seething. She was manipulative, cruel, and petulant. But at the same time she could also be captivating, endearing and oh so vibrant. I wanted to hate her. I wanted to be in love with her, and I wanted to hug both Sophia and Camillo and congratulate them
I'm excited to receive this win from First Reads. It looks like a very unique and interesting read. Look forward to digging in! Thanks, goodreads!!!!


I finally finished this selection. It's actually an easy and short read but I just got caught up on work. It was surprisingly interesting and it's made me do a little research on Princess Pauline Borghese. A fascinating character and a good story!
Sara Giacalone
A little jewel of a book focusing on Napoleon's sister, Pauline who married Prince Camillo Borghese. It's been sitting on my TBR shelf for a long time, and I'm not sure what took me so long to dig in. It's enjoyable and easy to read, offers glittering settings and historical figures, romance and betrayal. (And it was written by an actual member of the Borghese family.)
It's hard to choose a rating for this book. All of the characters were pretty one note, especially Sophie, and not particularly likable. On the other hand, the author did an excellent job redeeming Pauline and the entire last section was very emotional. In the end, I did like it and I'll probably remember the last chapter long after the rest has faded.
I can always tell when it's a man writing the sex scenes. Lots of "he thrust," and "he pushed," but not much, well... I get a UTI just thinking about it.

A beach read that was completed before I ever made it there. Tasty fluff for the summertime.
Rio (Lynne)
Dec 05, 2013 Rio (Lynne) marked it as to-read
Shelves: i-own-a-copy
This was written by one of The Bachelors (The TV Show) Ha!
Questa biografia romanzata, seppur non storicamente accurata al 100%, tratteggia in maniera affascinante e credibile la figura ribelle, anticonformista e carismatica di Paolina Borghese.
L'autore, erede della famiglia Borghese, sottolinea nella postfazione che questa storia va letta soprattutto come "una lezione molto importante sull’amore, una lezione che desideravo condividere con tutti coloro che hanno voluto leggere questo libro: amore è capacità di comprendere, di perdonare e di comunicare.
I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed Lorenzo Borghese’s book. With him being a distant heir to the Borghese family and this being his first novel I thought this book would be full of bias and that I would be let down. Let me just say that that was not the case. I found this story to be charming, erotic, and amusing.

The characterization was perfection. It was apparent that Lorenzo did his research and really built the characters from the inside out. Paulina was so eccentric and wild t
Last semester in my European Civilization History course I learned so many things I had always hoped to learn. Most of all, I learned about the French Revolution and that, of course, was what I was most interested in. One of the most revolutionary historical figures gets beheaded and then not very long after comes in one of the most powerful men in all of European history, Napoleon.

Therefore, reading this book just felt right.

We learned about Napoleon, of course, and his military strategies, h
I should start off by telling you that I had my doubts about this book from the time I accepted it for review. I am always skeptical about books that are written by someone who has spent time as a celebrity – especially a reality television personality. The author of this book was The Bachelor on The Bachelor: Rome and he is writing about his own family. So I really went into reading this with some skepticism as to how I would like it. And I am pleased to tell you that my skepticism was unwarran ...more
WOOHOO! Won this as a first reads! Can't wait to read it!

I really enjoyed this book! I thought it was well written and easily understandable even though I didn't know anything about the family history except that Napoleon ruled France for a while.

There was one moment- just one- when I wanted to scream at Sophie, and once at Pauling for being so selfish and ridiculous. I felt desperate when
*** mild spoiler if you don't know the history at all***
Pauline and Camillo separated. I loved and hated Pa
Lorenzo Borghese’s The Princess Of Nowhere is a historical novel built around Pauline, one of his own ancestors, and is inspired largely by a famous marble sculpture of her from 1808. Reclining and lovely, Pauline’s reputation for being a temptress spread throughout Europe — and nearly destroyed her union with Camillo, which was always precarious at best. In his debut novel, Borghese himself interprets the whims of love and disgust between them, highlighted always by a seemingly physical pull ba ...more
Quello di Lorenzo Borghese (reale discendente della famiglia Borghese, con la quale Paolina, dopo un primo matrimonio con un generale francese, si imparentò, sposando per questioni politiche Camillo Borghese) è in primo luogo un romanzo, come lo stesso autore ribadisce, ma un romanzo dalla ricostruzione storica apparentemente piuttosto accurata.

In effetti, riuscire a trovare il punto esatto dove la storia cessa di essere tale è molto difficile tanta è stata la maestria di Borghese nel ripercorre
Colleen Turner
I received this book as a first read from

I was pleasantly surprised while reading this book. Being that the author is a descendant of the main characters, as well as being known as a reality TV show bachelor, I wasn't too optimistic as to the quality of the story and writing style. I was sorely mistaken! This was a very well written and intriguing story and the author did not try to paint his ancestors in rosy colors. It is not only a loose history of the Napoleonic era in France
Jori Richardson
This is the story of Pauline Bonaparte, the sister of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, and her cousin, Sophie. Pauline is a stunningly beautiful, wild young widow who would rather be seducing handsome courtiers than donning mourning clothes. In an effort to control her scandalous behavior, it is arranged that she should be re-married to a Borghese prince, Camillo. Pauline's young ward Sophie, who is fascinated by her older, glamorous cousin, watches the two fall in love, only to be torn apart by Paul ...more
Barbara Tiede
I didn’t expect much from this book, but wound up really liking it. My modest expectations may have resulted from the blurb on its author, Prince Lorenzo Borghese. His background as a reality show participant (The Bachelor, Celebrity Big Brother) and founder of Royal Treatment, a line of high-end pet-care products, doesn’t foreshadow ‘writer’. (I was also annoyed by references to Pauline and Camillo as his ‘paternal ancestors’; he does not descend from them, but rather from Camillo’s younger bro ...more
Marthe Bijman
Just reading the author’s name is enough to conjure of visions of illustrious Italian power and wealth, as any history buff could tell you. But what you don’t expect is more than competent, even skilful, writing from a Borghese descendant who now makes a living selling a line of luxury pet products, and who is a New Yorker. Further from the golden age of 18th century French and Italian nobility, with lands, castles, armies and blue blood, you cannot get. The prince – looking pretty much like a t ...more
I'm kind of embarrassed to admit that I read this, let alone liked it, because of the author (star on the show The Bachelor). It was much better than expected, and actually pretty well written. There were a couple of smutty scenes that were not necessary. In the end the author tries to make us think that what Pauline and Camillo had was love. I totally disagree. I think they were selfish and shallow with each other right up until the end.
This is a book for my friends & family that read romance novels. (Wendy, I think you would like this.) However, I am not one of those readers. I knew nothing about the Borghese family. I was really looking forward to the history of the family. There are 3 main characters: Camillo Borghese, Pauline Bonaparte, & Sophie Leclerc. What a great character study this book COULD have been. If only the author, who is a BORGHESE, had spent more time on learning about his relatives & what their ...more
Linda Barry
I enjoyed this book, Pauline is a character that you might not allways like but that you can empathize with. Her own character flaws that she is honest about makes the reader feel a bit better about our own. The essence of the difficulties in her primary relationships and how they work out in the end are a reminder of the resilency of human emotions and how we carry them within us, even years after we have finished experiencing them.

I enjoyed that this was written by a decedent was an interesti
Whenever you study European history and learn about Napoleon, rarely do you hear anything about his family. Does he have one? Does he have brothers and sisters? Where were they during all of this?

The book at least answers the questions by telling the story of Pauline, one of Napoleon's sisters.

I will say that I did not like Pauline, which made it a good book, as I kept wanting to read it to see what happens. Despite everything she did, I still felt bad for her too. And the hold Napoleon has on h
CoffeeTimeRomance andMore
I found this book to be very interesting even though I had never heard of Pauline. I love the fact that the author is a relative of Pauline’s. The touch of fiction paired with family history is so entertaining. Although their story does not have a happy ending you can truly feel the love that Pauline and Camillo had for each other. If you are looking for something off the beaten path to read then you might want to take a shot at The Princess of Nowhere.

Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance &am
The characterization and relationship description was so well done and so achingly believable.
This was a well-written book based on one of Napolean's sisters. It was interesting to read bits of perspective on Napolean's rise and fall. I was expecting to learn a bit more of the history of the time, but the focus of the book was on the relationship of Princess Pauline Borghese to her husband, Prince Camillo Borghese, and her cousin, Napolean's ward, Sophie. The story is well-done and will keep you quickly turning the page, as well as hungering for learning more about that era of French and ...more
I romanzi incentrati sui personaggi storici mi risultano sempre interessantissimi perchè creano un mondo intorno a quelle figure conosciute probabilmente perché menzionate in qualche libro di scuola...
Paolina è viva, è spregiudicata, è egoista, è gelosa, è affettuosa, è innamorata, è forte. E' donna.
Per quanto la storia possa essere stata ovviamente adeguatamente romanzata, ha il suo fondo di verità e mi piace quando quella verità ci viene colorata un po' di più.

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Prince Lorenzo Borghese is an Italian-American businessman. He is a member of the House of Borghese, a cosmetics entrepreneur and animal advocate, and the featured "bachelor" the 9th season of ABC's "The Bachelor" in 2006.
His first book, "The Princess of Nowhere" (2010), is a fictional biography based on the life of his ancestor Princess Pauline Bonaparte Borghese.
More about Lorenzo Borghese...

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