Book Review: The Prince Of Solana by Susan Sheehey
This is the first in a three-book series called The Royals of Solana; the second book, Jewel Of Solana, is released on March 17.
Solana is a fictional island kingdom in the South Pacific, which makes it an interesting departure from most fictional romance book royal kingdoms; they are usually European in scope. Solana's history is explained during the story, though not in an info-dump sort of way, just a few light remarks which nevertheless give the kingdom a reasonably logical 'origin story'.
Being from the South Pacific, Solana's natives are described as 'Polynesian-like' in appearance, which has me slightly bemused as to how Prince André thinks for five minutes he can pass himself off as being Colombian to an actual Colombian. That and the fact that a drug cartel from the Philippines apparently convinced themselves that they could take over a strategically important location in the South Pacific and keep it were some fairly major logical inconsistencies in the book. Still, those things can be reasonably hand-waved away for the sake of the romance in the story.
I enjoyed both Prince André and Gemma's characterization; the only issue I had was that I didn't quite buy them as a couple. We spent much of the romance in Gemma's point of view and there seemed to be an odd sort of disconnect in her despising André as a wasteful playboy and wanting to get in his pants. Physical attraction alone does not a solid relationship make; she never really seems to develop all that much respect for him.
The second book in the series follows Princess Alanna, André's younger sister. The third book, Crown of Solana, I'm assuming will be both of them since there are no other members of the royal family living. In that one, we might see more of a long-term believable relationship between André and Gemma.
While this story isn't without its flaws, I did actually thoroughly enjoy it. The action and pacing are excellent, the sex scenes are hot and the description of Solana and the Texas ranch which are the two major settings are beautifully done. I find myself very keen to read the remainder of the trilogy to find out what has happened to Alanna and who ends up taking the crown of Solana in the end.
Disclaimer: I received this book for review through NetGalley.