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Playing the Royal Game (The Santina Crown #8)
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Playing the Royal Game (The Santina Crown #8)

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  283 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
The Santina-Jackson Royal Fairytale: Fact or Fiction? Falling in love with a prince might be every girl's dream, but is Allegra Jackson's royal fairy-tale really all it seems? Allegra's headline-grabbing family have hardly prepared her for a life of public duty and sinfully delicious Prince Alessandro of Santina has always seemed virtually allergic to the idea of settling ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 3rd 2012 by Mills & Boon (first published January 1st 2012)
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Aug 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: heroine-i-adore
Adorable lovable heroine meets and falls in love with Prince Charming only he is not so charming. Story is about how sweet Allegra wins the beast's heart ❤ ...more
Sep 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
The last entry to the Santina continuity
This is the story of Allegra & Alessandro. The truth behind the hasty engagement party is now revealed.
Allessandro lives  & works in London. He  isn't ready yet to return to Santina to embrace his duties as a crown prince & marry his long term convenient fiancée. When he meets Allegra, Alex comes up with a plan : pretend to be in love with an unsuitable woman to have a reason to break up his engagement. Then, when his people reject Allegra, his
Jan 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
A great read and gripping ending to this series.

I really like this surprising twist to this entertaining The Sartina Crown series. We find out not everything is what it seemed on the surface and in the papers......there is so much going on behind the his totally hateful and snobby family but they still force them to marry as appearances are everything and love is a myth.

Playboy Prince Alessandro is sexy and so downright arrogant that you love to hate him. He comes off as a pretty
Aayesha Khatri
Aug 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: heartbreakingly-wonderful-favourite, trope-large-age-difference, trope-arranged-conv-marriage, romance-contemporary, heroine-i-loved, heroine-i-admired, occupation-writer, businessman, hero-with-emotional-scars, heroine-was-frustrating, romance-angsty, trope-forced-marriage, sweetheart-heroine, hero-quiet-controlled, heroine-has-emotional-scars, alpha-hero, hero-is-an-ass-to-heroine, castles, theme-english, virgin-heroine, sex-after-marriage, hero-with-ex, hero-controlling-possessive, destitute-heroine, theme-italian, trope-the-innocent-tamed-the-wolf, hero-is-a-workaholic, heroine-is-hardworking, rich-guy-poor-girl-theme, setting-city, trope-engaged-couple-romance, harlequin, well-written, harlequin-presents, setting-exotic, meddling-aunt-grandma-or-relation, romance-with-more-than-one-couple, ruthless-all-or-nothing-businessman, heroine-is-kind-selfless, mills-and-boon, setting-by-the-sea, hot-sex, setting-palace, overall-amazing-feel-read, trope-mock-engagement, helicopters-and-planes, mills-and-boon-modern, heroine-is-mature, setting-posh, hero-is-an-ass-even-acc-to-my-stand, hero-is-verbally-abusive, heroine-with-no-self-confidence, trope-ow-involved, heroine-is-a-slight-doormat, hero-is-reformed-ex-bad-boy, hero-engaged-to-someone-else, trope-the-prince-and-the-commoner, heroine-falls-in-love-first, trope-unrequited-love, hero-i-loved-to-hate, trope-hero-is-an-ass-to-heroine, trope-rich-guy-poor-girl, hero-is-magnetic-sexy-heat-radiatin, heroine-is-sweet-innocent, alphahole-hero, heroine-is-shy, hero-says-i-love-you-first, trope-unrequited-love-heroine-pov, trope-misunderstandings, hero-is-silent-doesnt-talk-much, hero-dnt-realise-feelns-4-h-until-l, trope-accidental-meeting, trope-castles-palaces, trope-make-believe-country, heroine-grows-a-spine-at-end, heroine-grows-spine-towards-end, romance-fairytale-like, heroine-is-quiet-and-sweet, hero-with-rough-childhood, h-realises-feelings-4-heroine-late, heroine-whose-side-i-was-on, hero-one-and-only-lover, h-realises-feelings-4-hero-early, hero-famous-celebrity-in-limelight, hero-commitment-phobe, hero-doesnt-know-h-is-virgin, trope-hero-thinks-h-evil-slutty-gol, heroine-i-felt-so-sorry-for, heroine-has-tight-control-over-emot, heroine-is-compassionate-sympatheti, hero-pov-shown, trope-humiliation-degradation, hero-is-a-cold-fish, hero-is-celibate-after-he-meets-her, trope-fake-engagement
I absolutely loved the heroine! She was amazing! I just wished that she's stood up for herself a little but sooner.

The hero was such an ass. Oh God, I almost cried when he says those things about the heroine to his father, the king, and she overhears him. She didn't deserve any of it, but despite all his bad treatment, she still loved him anyway. And I absolutely love a besotted heroine.

What I didn't appreciate, and what lowered my rating for this book, was the h's father. OH MY GOD, HE WAS SO
Fairly decent book. A different take on the whole royal thing. A couple of things writing wise held it back for me. The sense of time was vague. I think a lot of time passed in the book but the author did not account for it well. There was a dirth of words like "three weeks later" etc. Also at the end suddenly she was using poetic phrasing like "Gone were the days in which..." "Soft was the hand that..." You either need to write the whole book like that, in which case it really doesn't fit the H ...more
Nov 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

A couple of the previous books in this continuity series hinted at something that is not as it seems about the engagement between the Allegra and Alex (the event that started it all!) and that really whetted my appetite, I was very much looking forward to reading their story.

But, I also have a nagging feeling that this might be an accidental pregnancy story, there is nothing wrong with that of course but I knew that the series deserved something 'more'. I'm so glad I was wrong, in fact
Sara  HarlequinJunkie
Reviewd by: HarlequinJunkie Romance Reviews

Playing the Royal Game by Carol Marinelli was a well-written conclusion to the Santina Crown Series.

In this book we finally get an insight into Allegra Jackson and Alessandro Santina’s hasty engagement and their relationship.

I really liked the way this book started out and way it ended…. The middle parts I felt was lacking a bit of romance and intimacy between the H/h as the story progressed.…At times Alessandro came off a bit cold and disconnected.

Jan 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jó kis lezáró része volt a sorozatnak. Az utolsó részben megkaptuk végre Allegra és Alex történetét, a párosét, akiknek már az első részben is olvashattunk az eljegyzésükről, sőt, ez volt az egész sorozat mozgatórugója, hiszen a többi páros élete onnan indult el.
Azt hiszem, ennyire meseszerű Harlequin-történeteket még soha nem olvastam, mint ennél a sorozatnál, ahol ennyi szerencsés véletlen történt, de ez egyáltalán nem baj. Az egyetlen bajom, hogy nagyon gyorsan össze lett csapva ennek is a vé
Mar 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
Full review can also been see at My Two Cents

"Time line? Where is it? This while reading it I kept getting lost to the days, and the activities. Some points started on a certain day, with a few activities, mild conversation but by the end of the conversation time had passed it was supposed to be another day? It was confusing trying to figure it out. I don't see how it can be a Tuesday morning after brunch with the royals when a conversation in the hall starts, and suddenly when the conversatio
Sep 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a great finale for this spectacular series!! After seeing Alex and Allegra through all the books-and hating them sometimes, so I started reading the book with a serious aversion of these two-, I'm glad that it was really a good story for them. Sometimes I wanted to hit Alex so hard because he was some kind of jerk with Allegra. And Allegra, whom I hated after the way she talked to Izzy in "Defying the prince", was fighting for her freedom all the time. It was a really good ending for the ...more
Yuli Pritania
The translation is so bad. I hardly understand anything.
Alessandro Santina (Alex) bertemu dengan Allegra Jackson di sebuah bar. Kala itu Allegra baru saja dipecat dari pekerjaannya sebagai editor, sementara Alex kebingungan mencari jalan keluar dari masalahnya. Alex diminta kembali ke Santina untuk mengemban tugasnya sebagai putra mahkota. Dia harus menikahi tunangannya, Anna. Sementara pernikahan tidak ada dalam rencana Alex.

Alex dan Allegra membuat kesepakatan. Mereka akan mengatakan bahwa mereka telah bertunangan, sehingga pernikahan yang direnca
Donna McBroom-Theriot
Nov 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was such a cute book, and such an easy read. From the moment an unsuspecting young girl agrees to become the pretend fiancé of a real-life-prince, the roller coaster of life takes over and the twists and turns do not stop until the last page.

“She looked at the card and then back to him, to liquid brown eyes and the smile that was, frankly, dangerous. There was a confidence to him, an air of certainty – and she knew in that moment why he was so completely successful.”

Looking back, the book
Oct 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Allegra Jackson refuses advances from her boss and she is terminated. She desperately searches for another job, and this leads to a chance meeting with Prince Alessandro Santina. She absentmindedly wanders into a private club to sit and gather her thoughts and is later confronted by a waitress for not signing in. Prince Alessandro, or Alex, as he calls himself, steps in to save her from embarrassment. He is very somber himself because he is being forced to return to Santina to get married and fu ...more
Dec 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Playing the Royal Game by Carol Marinelli

Playing the Royal Game is the last book in the The Santina Crown series I believe. It is the first one I have read and now I wish I had read the others. They sound interesting and fun.
Allegra Jackson was having a rotten day. She has been looking for work and after having no luck entered a bar and decided to have a bottle of champagne. She was fired because the boss wanted personal favors from her.
Prince Alessandro Santina runs his own company. He
Hsiau Wei
Nov 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Allegra has agreed to pretend to act as an unsuitable fiance for Prince Alessandro of Santina, so his father will leave him alone. The idea is that not only will the King disapprove of her, but the people of Santina will reject her. Unfortunately, the people of Santina love her and take her into their hearts.

I enjoyed reading from both Allegra's and Alex's viewpoint, but hated how he treated her and her family.
Mariana Bezerra
This is an ongoing series and I haven’t read the other books, but it was quite easy to fall in this Cinderella story and at the end I was cheering for their happy ending. After everything Allegra suffered from her family she deserved some good in her life.

Don’t get me wrong, she wasn’t abused or anything like this, but they treated her like a slave, only working to give them money and for once she was doing something for herself, but apparently it was not enough because she was still unhappy.

Kathie (katmom)
Oct 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Thank you NetGalley and Harlequin for giving me the opportunity to read PLAYING THE ROYAL GAME.

This is definitely a HARLEQUIN. All of the elements are in place. Alpha male with a bit of sadness in his past (that whipping he was given as a 7 y/o? Yeah, hurt my heart)... A very nice woman with some drama in her life (wow, what a FAMILY!)

A chance meeting where they talk and drink a bit (a LOT) of champagne...and then ENGAGED! But just for pretend...until, of course, it has to be real.

Lots of drama.
Oct 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Allegra leaves and quits her job mid-shift because she tired of her boss’s innuendos towards her. On her way home she goes into a bar (club) and meets Alex.
Alex is the Prince of Santina, who is affianced to young lady that is friends of his family. Alex’s parents are calling him home to assume his rightful place as heir and commitment to the betrothal. Alex wants no parts in that.
Alex concocts a hasty shame with Allegra to be his fiancé and things take off from there.
The book may be a part of s
Stacey Conrad
Oct 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: harlequin romance lovers
Shelves: netgalley
Allegra agrees to a sham engagement to Alex, a Crown Prince, who is expected to marry— duty—not love dictates his actions. Neither of them planned on falling in love. So—it’s a Harlequin—it has all the trappings of what I read when I was younger. Sweet virgin girl falls for a man who shows his second face after he’s trapped her into complying w/his plan to accomplish his goal. He takes the whole book to realize she’s exactly what he really needs. HEA ensues. And yet, for some reason, Allegra dre ...more
Mar 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Ehhh This book was just ok. I was a fan of the whole regular girl turned princess, but there was too much of a disconnection between the prince and his impending princess. They spent so little time together that their "looooove" was just too unbelieveable. I can't get THAT into fantasy, you know?
So to me, this book just didn't do it for me. It's also part of a series of this disfunctional British family who seem to fall in love and marry into royalty. *yawn* It's cute the first time or two, but
Fanny Roswita Ria
Ahh,,tidak sesuai ekspektasi gw..padahal cerita yg lain sdh bagus banget..tapi cerita Allegra dan Alex begitu datar dan tak semenarik cerita Santina Crown yang lainnya..walaupun di novel ini diceritakan bagaimana sang heroine berusaha menjelaskan tingkah laku ayahnya, atau adiknya, Izzy, yang terlihat memalukan bagi keluarga kerajaan. Dan bagaimana Allegra terus percaya bahwa ada kebaikan di setiap orang yang ada disekitarnya tapi tetap saja tdk terlalu menarik banyak perhatian dr gw ke cerita S ...more
Oct 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is my favorite Harlequin Presents so far. All of the previous Santina Crown stories are mentioned. That brought a bubbly fun to what could have been an unexciting romance. Allegra and Alex are both very reserved protagonists, but their inner monologues were so charming! I'm really weak to stories about Plain Janes who worm their way into their subjects' hearts. This was a solid ending to what has been a pretty great miniseries.
Hina Tea
Jun 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Debra Taylor
Sep 23, 2016 rated it liked it
This book was a pleasant read. On the romance score it was sweet. Allegre was genuinely sweet but Alessandro was a player and a bit of a cad. The story was well written and easy to read but I had trouble connecting with the hero. Overall just an okay read for me.
Romantic Reads and Such
a love story about what could be, hampered by expectations and being forced into a specific role - to access the full review, please visit http://romanticreadsandsuch.wordpress...
Fanniny Moreno Zavaleta
Allegra tuvo que haberse enamorado en las primeras 5 páginas porque después de eso Alex de verdad que era frío. Sin querer leí el último libro de la serie y ahora no leeré los demás porque ya me "auto-spoilié".
Harlequin Books
Miniseries: The Santina Crown
Category: Classic Romance
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Carol Marinelli was born in England to Scottish parents, then emigrated to Australia, where there are loads of Scottish and English people who did exactly the same, so she’s very at home there.

She lives in the outer suburbs of Melbourne—pretty much in her car, driving her three children to their various commitments.

Carol writes for the Harlequin Presents and Medical lines and she also writes conte
More about Carol Marinelli...

Other Books in the Series

The Santina Crown (8 books)
  • The Price of Royal Duty
  • The Sheikh's Heir (The Santina Crown #2)
  • Santina's Scandalous Princess (The Santina Crown #3)
  • The Man Behind the Scars
  • Defying the Prince
  • Princess From The Shadows (The Santina Crown, #6)
  • The Girl Nobody Wanted