This was a quirky, fairy tale romance, and I'm here to tell you that it's so worth the read! Sure, as other reviewers have mentioned, there are certainly details that seem far-fetched, but sometimes the magic of a romance is to let reality go for a while to enjoy the love between two people. From the pair's unconventional meeting to their happily ever after, you are on the edge of your seat wondering how everything will work out for them. I loved all the secondary characters as well, and it makes me wish the book were longer so just we could see more of them.
Her brother has recently been killed at the Battle of Waterloo while on a diplomatic mission, and Princess Anastasia Denisova is in a bind. While she wants to return home, her hand is being sought by a villain of the worst sort, and her only hope at escaping him is hiding out in the last place he'll look - in Covent Garden, next to a brothel, living with her maid, and working as companion to the Dowager Duchess of Winwick. While teaching the women at the brothel to read, she has a very close, very intimate encounter with Sebastien Wolff, Earl of Mowbray, who thinks she is a loose woman herself. After a heated kiss, she runs from him and hopes to never see him again, only to see him once again after an outing with the duchess goes awry. Now she is under his protection, though he only knows her as impoverished Miss Anna Brown. As things become more dangerous for her, Sebastien is drawn deeper into her secret, and when it's finally revealed, they have to decide if their differences will mean an end or a very happy beginning.
I loved the relationship between Anastasia and Sebastien, especially as they got to know each other more and learned how perfect they were for each other. Anastasia was a resilient young woman, although at times she had some moments where I wanted to strangle her. While she grew up quite privileged, she didn't hesitate at helping others, and it was clear in how she helped the women at the brothel. She befriended the madame, helped her maid find love, and she tried to keep everyone around her safe. The secondary characters also really enhanced the story by adding so many different backgrounds to it. I would have loved to see more of the madame, she seemed like a really fun woman. Maybe she'll get her own book soon? Anastasia's maid was also adorable with her beau, Oliver, and they were a pair I would love to be real and meet in person.
It's a great book to read in December, when you're snuggled up under a fuzzy blanket, drinking tea, and ready to daydream. Get ready for lots of laughter and love!
**I received a free copy via NetGalley and this is my honest review.**