Paula Radell's Reviews > The Princess

The Princess by Lisa Renee Jones
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The Princess, book two of the Filthy Trilogy, releases today-- and if you've read book one, The Bastard, my guess is you've already downloaded and devoured this sexy and suspenseful sequel - and possibly pre-ordered book three, The Empire. And if you're like me, you're now counting the days until this wild ride concludes, hoping for the happy-ever-after that seems so far out of reach right now.

The Princess picks up on the cliff where Lisa left us at the end of The Bastard, and the intensity ramps up from beginning to end - which, of course, leaves us with yet another mind-bending cliffhanger.

We learn a great deal more about Eric Mitchell, the protagonist, a Harvard-educated attorney, ex-SEAL, intellectual savant, and self-made billionaire employed by his best friend, Grayson Bennett (from Dirty Rich Betrayal). Through Eric's POV and some flashbacks to his adolescence, we are able to better understand the events in his life that have made him who and what he is, and why he so deeply hates his estranged "family." We feel the constant push-pull of his fragile relationship with Harper, who is truly the love of his life - but is also a member of the family he's grown to despise. We also feel the sense of desperation, frustration, and confusion Eric experiences as he tries--in vain--to figure out who his enemies are, and what their agenda might be. Lives are on the line at every turn. The wolf is literally at the door from page one until the end--yet their identities and the roles they play in this complex, emotional thrill-ride remain unknown.

Eric is a well-developed, complex character, reminiscent of another of my favorite heroes--Shane, from Lisa's Dirty Money series - another compelling story that explores family dynamics, greed, power, deception, and betrayal. But Eric is uniquely unforgettable, from his tattooed sleeves to his endless supply of Rubik's Cubes. His struggles feel real and relatable. Despite the fact that he's a brilliant billionaire and the alpha hero ideal we romance lovers crave, he's defies the stereotype in his own brilliant, rebellious way.

Harper, on the other hand, is less appealing as a character, and I honestly can't say why I feel that way, other than the fact that she just doesn't "stand out." It may be that we don't know enough about what happened in her life over the six years between her first encounter with Eric and their steamy, conflict-riddled reunion. It may be that she lacks any defining characteristic, or flaw, that makes her Eric's equal. More often than not, she feels like a stereotype - more a submissive, passive victim than a strong, loyal partner. But her role in the story is so critically important, I expect we will understand her much better by the time it reaches what promises to be a spell-binding conclusion.

One of the things I most enjoy about Lisa's stories is the way she weaves familiar characters into the fabric of every story. It's a treat to re-visit Mia and Grayson, the Walker brothers, and their team of security experts - especially Savage, who is one of my all-time favorites. They don't feel like secondary characters, they feel like friends and family, adding a sense of comfort that contrasts with the unrelenting suspense of the current story. I've already spotted a couple of new - and one or two previous - characters that I hope to see again, perhaps in their own standalone or series.

As I closed my e-reader at the end of my Filthy reading marathon (I re-read The Bastard before diving into The Princess) I realized that Lisa has, once again, carefully positioned all of the dominoes, but we can still only see one side of them. The tipping point is coming, the point at which deeply held secrets will be revealed, the villains and their motives will be exposed, and the dominoes will crash in rapid succession.

I can't wait.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
January 21, 2019 – Shelved

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