Saturday, October 20, 2012

Gaelen Foley -- Prince Charming

Gaelen Foley -- Prince Charming Rated: ❦ ❦ ❦ ❦ . ❧   {4.55}
Action: ♠♠♠. / Emotion: ♣♣♣♣♣ / Romance: ♥♥♥♥ / Sensuous: ♦♦. / Suspense: ★★★.☆
Action: 3.5 / Emotion: 5 / Romance: 4 / Sensuous: 2.5 / Suspense: 3.5   //   Historical Flavor: 2 / Humor: 1 / Tears: 6½

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Gaelen Foley's Prince Charming turned out to be my favorite in The Ascencion Trilogy.   Why?   For no other reason, than that it was entertaining, enjoyable, and it did the job for which it was intended -- replaced the current daily dissatisfactions hammering away at my brain with a make believe world that ended up with "and they all lived happily ever after."   Foley is one of those authors who knows how to inspire quick interest in her story by creating an emotional connection to the hero and heroine and then developing an interesting plot that keeps one turning the pages without interruption.

After reading the Historical Note at the end of the story, the way Foley portrayed Crown Prince Raffaele Giancarlo Ettore di Fiore made so much sense -- and felt very realistic.   Not only was Rafe born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but it was a royal spoon and there was not anything that he didn't seem to have to work for -- if Rafe wanted, Rafe got -- and got easily -- all he had to do was stretch out his hand!   So he took!   Foley opened the book expressing the discontent that Rafe was now feeling at the arrival of his thirtieth birthday and he found he was tired of taking and bored at not having a purpose in life (except, maybe, waiting for his father to die so he could finally start his job).   He was tired of not knowing if people truly liked him or whether they were seeking his company for what it would eventually gain them.

The title of the book very aptly described Rafe's personality -- he could charm the pants off any woman in the kingdom with just his smile.   In fact, Rafe was so used to women worshiping at his feet that he didn't believe it when Lady Daniela "Dani" Chiaramonte turned down his invitation to be his guest at his birthday party.   Naturally, that made her even more desirable.

Dani had more important matters to deal with than attending a party hosted by "Rafe the Rake."   As The Masked Rider, Dani had just attempted to rob Rafe as he was taking a borrowed carriage from the opera to the Palazzo Reale at the summons of his father.   Dani had sustained a flesh wound from Rafe's bullet and even engaged in a physical battle with the prince before she was able to flee through the woods to her dilapidated estate where she lived with her not always lucid grandfather, a man who once led King Alfonse di Fiore's army, Colonel Lord Bartolomeo Chiaramonte.

Rafe and his Royal Guardsmen arrived at Dani's home just in time to catch her accomplices, the Gabbiano brothers: Mateo, Rocco, Alvi and little ten-year-old Gianni.   Dani's demands that Rafe remove himself from her lands were interrupted by her grandfather's shuffling arrival in his nightshirt.   Even through Dani was no more immune to Rafe than any other female in the kingdom, she had managed to remember the stories about his indulgences, so she was unprepared when Rafe exhibited a deep-seated kindness by escorting the Duke into the parlor and spending an hour listening to him tell stories about his youth with Rafe's grandfather.

Rafe was so arrogant and unused to rejection, that he explained away Dani's dismissal of him and his underhanded request to make her his mistress (after all, it was obvious she needed the financial support), by surmising that she and Mateo were lovers (upon seeing the close relationship between them).   Rafe had the guardsmen take the Gabbiano brothers to jail and left the Duke of Chiaramonte's estate to finally arrive at the Palazzo Reale to find that his father's meeting with the cabinet members was nearly at its end.   Rafe pasted on his 'I don't really care what they think of me attitude' before entering the lion's den.   Too bad the members of the cabinet weren't women so Rafe could charm them into forgetting his scandalous, rakish ways.

Foley began laying the foundation for the conflict that was going to keep the plot at a level of suspenseful interest that would keep one reading rather than putting the book down to get some sleep.   She introduced the members of King Lazar di Fiore's cabinet through the jaded, yet intelligent eyes of Rafe.

There were two high-ranking members of the counsel who were not only long-time friends, but were also united in their disapproval of Rafe and had no faith in his ability to rule Ascencion.   Foley gave these two men rich, detailed descriptions.   Even though their actual roles in the story would not keep them long on the pages, their relevance to the story was vitally important.   Big, bombastic Bishop Justinian Vasari was loved by the people and was also ten-year-old Prince Leo's legal guardian, thus was granted right of regency should anything happen to King Lazar and Prince Rafe.

The keen, diminutive Prime Minister Arturo di Sansevero, was even more virulently opposed to Rafe because of a personal grudge against him.   The childless Don Arturo blamed Rafe for the death of his beloved nephew, Giorgio di Sansevero.   Rather than stop his nephew from engaging in the illegal activity of dueling, Rafe had agreed to be Giorgio's second.   Rafe could not help but notice that Don Arturo markedly favored his distant Florentine cousin, Duke Orlando di Cambio, who had come to Ascencion two years ago and now served in the Ministry of Finance.

Have to give Foley accolades that she did not try to hide the villain of the story, but came right out and gave Orlando a point of view voice when she decided to reveal the man who was trying to became the future King of Ascencion.   At the end of the story when Orlando's horrific childhood was revealed, it was easy to understand why Orlando was so bitter and had become a cold-blooded killer with bitter, vengeful instincts.   Sometimes it is the small little inclusions in the story that make it so rich.   Even though there is absolutely nothing redeeming about Orlando as he weaves a path of distrust and destruction through this book, Foley included one little incident that made it possible to feel that tiny trickle of compassion for that poor child Orlando had once been.
It was the closest thing to an open declaration of affection that anyone had ever given Orlando.   He stared blankly at the old man with an odd, twisting pain coming up in him from his belly.   Stiffening, he tamped it down under the shield of ice he had formed in himself at an early age.   Without answering, he turned away and left.   (Orlando: page 347)
Another thing that Foley does amazingly well is to so engage the emotions that she can draw tears from the reader.   Granted, I am one of those people who cries at the drop of a hat, but when King Lazar chased after Rafe to explain why he was turning the reins of rule over to his son (so he could visit his grandchildren in Spain), I got chocked up.   But then in this make-believe world, of Ascencion, I have known King Lazar for 30 years now -- since he was introduced in his book, book, The Pirate Prince.   And to think Lazar was dying of a stomach cancer -- yep, Rafe was not the only one to swallow hard.

But this was not the only time Foley drew unshed tears.   Foley does such a great job of drawing one deep into the web of the characters, that she draws upon the emotions at the most poignant of times.   Cannot help but feel sad for both Dani and Mateo as Dani arrives at the docks to say good-bye to the Gabbiano brothers.   With just a few words Foley reveals a world of never spoken longings.
"I'll miss you."   Overwhelmed with sorrow at the hard goodbye, she moved to embrace him, but he held up his hand, looking away.

"No.   If I hold you, I'll never be able to let you go."   (Mateo: page 198)
Naturally, a rake like Rafe is going to have a beautiful mistress to muddy the waters.   The English opera singer Chloe Sinclair had managed to snare the wondering attention of Rafe for four long months and was not willing to give him up.   Chloe was so entrenched in Rafe's life that she even served as the hostess to his birthday bash.   (If the people of Ascencion weren't so busy trying to garner Rafe's favor, they would have been appalled at this audacity (just as was Dani).)   Although it is inappropriate for the hero of a romance book to cheat on his heroine, it was very realistic that Rafe came way too close to doing so when he was approached by the very manipulative, scheming Chloe when she happened upon him not long after he had been delivered some very unsettling news that set him back on his heels.   Thankfully, Rafe came to his senses before he went upstairs with Chloe and realized he wanted more from life than just unencumbered sex.   Have to admit that while reading this particular scene, it was with trepidation, and kept thinking, "Don't do it, Rafe.   Stop it, Rafe.   Go home, Rafe."

Thankfully, Rafe did go home and made love to his wife.   One of the seeds of discord Orlando had sewn was to convince Dani she had to remain pure so the King and Queen could secure an annulment to get rid of her -- an inappropriate wife.   Orlando just had to tell Dani that before leaving for Spain, King Lazar had issued an ultimatum to Rafe regarding marriage and then gave him a list of five princesses to choose from.   So a sexual war ensued between Rafe and Dani.   Rafe used his talent at loving women to use Dani's desire against her during their rocky road to becoming a loving, supportive couple.   Foley has a talent when it comes to writing emotional, yet sensual lovemaking scenes.   Foley did not shy away from adding spice and conflict to her descriptive love scenes.

Rafe had three particular boyhood friends that were part of the inner circle that remained in the periphery of his story.   The first was scholarly, intelligent Viscount Elan Berelli who was being groomed as the future prime minister and was the only decent member of this circle and was probably the most trustworthy.   The second was the sarcastic, wise-cracking Niccolo that Foley did not even bother to assign a last name even though she wove him into Rafe's life with regularity.

The most memorable and controversial of Rafe's friends was Adriano di Tadzio.   Adriano heartily disapproved of Dani, particularly since he was one of her robbery victims.   Being slow on the uptake, did not realize Foley used this gorgeous man and his relationship with Rafe and Chloe to address a controversial subject that must have been taboo in the early 1800s.   Orlando used Adriano as his pawn since he found him to be the most tortured and tormented and, thus, the weak link in Rafe's inner circle.   Out of all of Orlando's horrible actions, his treatment of Adriano had to be the most cruel, and the end result was heartrending.   (Yep, another time for the tears to flow.)

Two other very minor characters played an important role in the plot.   First the important and necessarily under-developed young under-chef that Orlando bribed into poisoning King Lazar.   (Sigh of relief -- Lazar was not going to die!)   Cristoforo was a wiry young man who just wanted extra money so he could visit the very beautiful, very young prostitute, Carmen.   Foley very cleverly used this relationship to tell Rafe and Dani what Orlando was up to.   And then she gave readers a surprise ending regarding Carmen's future in the Epilogue.

Foley briefly addressed the issue that she introduced in Princess regarding the effect Julia's betrayal took on Rafe.   Rafe had named it "The Debacle" and was ashamed that the entire kingdom knew about his big mistake.   King Lazar pushed marriage on Rafe because he believed that Julia's actions were part of the reason that Rafe was a womanizer -- that Rafe went from woman to woman because he refused to trust another woman again.   (Look what happened the first time he did so!)

Foley entered an inconsistency between Princess and Prince Charming regarding Rafe's virginity.   In Princess, Serafina's best friend, Elisabetta "Els," "had seduced the crown prince a few months ago.   Charming Rafe had bragged of it high and low . . . " (Princess: page 78).   Now in Prince Charming, Rafe is remembering his time with Julia: "She seduced him, took his virginity, then robbed him while he slept."   (Prince Charming: page 59).

One thing that did not make sense in the story was the state of destitution of the Chiaramonte estate and the peasants that lived on that land.   How could the renowned Rock of Ascencion (King Lazar), who had a wife who was known for her charitable deeds (Queen Allegra) not be aware of such drastic conditions that Dani took to becoming a highwayman to pay the rising taxes?   Yes, the fat, disgusting tax collector, Count Bulbati, was embezzeling and trying to force Dani into marriage, but, still, wouldn't Allegra have noticed while practicing her charitable efforts?   But, then, Foley did give an accurate assessment of the structure of the "haves" and the "have nots" as she detailed the extravagant opulence that Rafe took for granted versus the impoverishment faced by Dani.

Even though Lazar and Allegra did not inspire the most solid of connections while reading their story (The Pirate Prince), it was still imperative that Foley continue the necessary romance book fairy tale ending (and they lived happily ever after).   After being disappointed in the picture Foley painted of King Lazar and Queen Allegra in Princess (their daughter's story), it was with relief that she redeemed them in Rafe's story.   King Lazar was painted as a man who constantly pushed his son to become an over-achiever for two reasons: {1} because he loved his son (even though he had never said the words to him) and {2} because he loved his country.   Thankfully, Lazar and Allegra came across as more like the concerned parents that should inhabit a fairy tale in this, their son's book.   (Loved the throat tightening exchange between Queen Allegra and Dani at the end of the story.)

Another wonderful addition to the story was the very short point of view voice given to Darius Santiago (Princess) as his children frolicked in the palace gardens in the last chapter of the book.   This was a very sweet, well-written scene.   Absolutely love it when authors paint a picture of how the future is progressing for the previous heros' and heroines' of a series.

One little nit-picky thing.   The book opened in Ascencion in 1816.   Then the typo that instilled confusion was to be found next to the word "Epilogue" on page 400, which listed the date as April 1815.   In the next publication, please change that 5 to a 7.

Would readily recommend Prince Charming, Gaelen Foley's third book in The Ascencion Trilogy as a wonderful, entertaining read to Historical Romance readers.   Foley kept the plot moving at a quick, 'what is going to happen next' pace.   It included {1} several exciting action scenes, {2} a villain that kept the suspense constant, {3} a developing romance between a rake being tamed by a naive little country girl, {4} spicy sensuality, and {5} a deep emotional connection to the characters that inspired tears.
--Vonda M. Reid (Friday, October 19, 2012 : 4:40 p.m.)      {284}

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Books In The Series: "The Ascencion Trilogy"
# Date Title Hero Heroine
01.09-1998The Pirate PrincePrince Lazar di FioreAllegra Monteverdi
02.07-1999PrincessColonel Darius SantiagoPrincess Serafina di Fiore
03.02-2000Prince CharmingPrince Raffaele Giancarlo Ettore di FioreLady Daniela "Dani" Chiaramonte

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Characters Found In "Prince Charming"
Character Description
Crown Prince Raffaele Giancarlo Ettore di Fiore[Hero] expressionless suntanned face; patrician angles to his face; long dark gold hair swept back in a queue (1) sired by great man; 30-y-o (2) loved women (4) never lost temper (6) slight, urbane smile (7) clean shaven (8) thrill-seeker's soul (11) wild excesses (12) big; lean; tall; powerfully built; square jaw (14) broad, straight forehead; imperious nose; hard, angry mouth; warrior-like physique; over 6' tall; built of pure muscle; "Rafe the Rake"'; haughty (15) carelessly elegant; excellently manicured hands; large, capable fists; soft, deep, dangerous voice that rang with air of command; proud; handsome jaw (16) white, defiant smile; classically proportioned length; huge; powerful; enticing mouth; half-smile of pure deviltry (17) broad chest; sheer physical strength (19) a golden god with impeccable good grace; smile as sweet as summer sky; heart full of vice and perfidy; known seducer; flamboyant; silver-tongued; devil-may-care attitude; drank; gambled; squandered fortunes; dueled; flirted shamelessly (24) ludicrously charming to all woman; laughed too loud; played practical jokes; sailed yacht (25) broad shoulders (29) quick, neat grace (33) magnificent; larger than life (34) exceedingly handsome; sweeping gold-tipped lashes veiling his deep-set eyes; subtle, cool, dark green eyes dappled with fractured chips of gold; thick golden mane (34) face incandescent with the fierce, burning beauty of an archangel fallen to earth; hard, athletic body; dynamic presence (35) gorgeous; fascinating (36) smoky sensuality in eyes (38) carried peppermints (42) aware of innate superiority (53) sun-streaked hair; bronze skin; white flash of scoundrel's smile; strong, dynamic features of face; indomitable will; gentleness in eyes; strength of his innate noblesse oblige; thick golden eyebrows; deliciously sensual mouth; forceful intelligence in green-and-gold eyes; intangible magnificence made him superior to every man in room (89) sculpted face austere; moved with deceptive laziness (102) layer upon layer of complexity (104) steely sculpted arms; hard chest; lean waist (131) vibrant; magnetic (136) accomplished swordsman (222) 6'3" (228) deep, mellifluous voice (247) had mother's coloring and thoughtful expression (275)
Lady Daniela "Dani" Chiaramonte[Heroine] The Masked Rider (10) convent school (13) father dead (16) cascade of wavy chestnut hair (23) poor; unsophisticated; shy (36) looking after grandfather since she was 9-y-o; throw out of 3 schools (37) ride pony standing astride when 10-y-o (38) intelligent; unsinkably poised; unconventional; willful; fresh; redhead; skin tender as flowers (39) small, work-reddened hands; cinnamon lashes; willowy body; top of her head a couple of inches below Rafe's shoulder; wide prominent cheekbones, angling down to a small, delicate mouth like a rosebud; firm, saucy little chin; small, pert nose; serious demeanor (40) large, intelligent eyes full of fiery will and inborn command; innocent poignancy; aquamarine eyes (41) wide, wary, very innocent eyes the most extraordinary shade of pristine aqua-blue (42) land entailed to her until death; thin shoulders; in control of her life (47) needed morning cup of coffee (65) tomboy; misfit (66) something unique and rare about her; obvious provincial (97) 21-y-o (105) moved beautifully, graceful (109) irresistibly saucy chin; unmistakable air of inborn command (132) trim calves and thighs; gracefully turned hips; lean and wiry; blazing spirit; tumultuous life; fiery beauty (133) a handful (134) stunning (152) adorable (154) flowing, graceful walk; slim, neat legs; straight spine; head held high (155) small, pert, firm breasts (165) fighter; intensity and clarity of expression (175) 5'6" (228)
. . . . . .
Viscount Elan Berelli[Secondary Character] perhaps only decent member of Rafe's inner circle; fair-haired; thin; amiable; big nose (88) slightly hunched posture and forward head gave him look of buzzard; being groomed as future prime minister (89) scholarly (131) best man (208) intelligent; steady, cautious nature (323)
Dr. Bianco[No Appearance] had treated Lazar; died 3 months ago (78)
Count Bulbati[Secondary Character] county tax collector; raised Dani's taxes every time she refused to marry him (46) corrupt, greedy swine (47) fat body; looked ridiculous in frilly frippery; unctuous; greasy sweat on round face; small brown eyes; shrew, mean-spirited expression; thick, rubbery lips (69) small, pig-like eyes (72) pale, doughy face (257)
Duke Orlando di Cambio[Major Secondary Character] Rafe's Florentine cousin; stamp of Fiori in ruggedly handsome profile; 5 years older than Rafe; cabinet would prefer him as king to Rafe; looked more like Rafe's brother than a distant cousin; tall; broad shoulders; good-looking; arrogant; aware of innate superiority; jet-black hair; ice green eyes; bit of a loner; dressed in black; successful shipping merchant; left Florence to move to land of ancestors; served in Ministry of Finance; earned trust of cabinet and king with his able mind and sober, reliable manner (53) a brutal lover; shamed by his need to inflict pain (177) had Fiori family resemblance; raven-haired; darker complexion (181) cryptic ice-green eyes; held head high; wider brow; slightly hooked aquiline nose (182) slick as oil; walked around palace as if owned it (197) strange; brooding; solitary (260) usual blend of charm, manipulation and arrogance (285)
Marquis Chiaramonte[No Appearance] Dani's father; ruined himself with drink and gambling (121)
Carmen[Secondary Character] black-haired young beauty; lovely; olive-skinned; 17-y-o; lithe body; red-rouged lips (80)
Duke of Chiaramonte[Secondary Character] Dani's grandfather; once lead an army; now needed care of small child; aristocratic profile; jut of a pointy nose; a most distinguished mustache; a lofty, wrinkled forehead; gnarled hands (24) testy; senile (32) Colonel Lord Bartolomeo Chiaramonte (33) bushy white eyebrows (38) line face; raspy voice (67)
Cristoforo[Secondary Character] young, wiry, under-chef; tall beanpole; shock of bright red hair (80) brown eyes; freckles (81) tall; lanky (289)
Falconi[One Appearance] ancient castle steward; frail; formidably dignified (50)
Queen Allegra [di Fiore][Brief Appearance] [Heroine of Book One] Rafe's mother (148) light hair; gracefully maternal; known for humanitarian efforts; embodiment of nurturing, motherly wisdom (275) mellow timber to voice (389) wise, amber-brown eyes; gold-tipped lashes; sprinkling of buttery freckles on mildly lined face; not quite fifty; light golden-brown hair (390)
King Alphonse [di Fiore][No Appearance] Rafe's grandfather; Duke of Chiaramonte's boyhood friend (33)
Prince Amador di Fiore[One Appearance] His Royal Highness; two weeks old; Rafe, Dani's son; mother's aqua eyes; father's blond hair (400)
King Lazar di Fiore[Important Secondary Character] [Hero of Book One] Rafe's father; blustery hot-head (7) square-rimmed spectacles; stubborn Roman nose; large frame; striking man; square jaw; hard featured; salt-and-pepper hair shorn close; weathered brown skin; piercing dark-eyed gaze; intense; managed men expertly (51) ill; weathered skin stretched tautly over cheekbones; shadows under his eyes (60) intense stare (61) great, renowned Rock of Ascencion (62) darkly handsome; stern-looking; jet-black hair silvered at temples (274)
Prince Leo [di Fiore][Secondary Character] Rafe's brother; cherubic; sweet-natured; second son; obedient; 10-y-o; a budding rogue (52) sturdy; big brown eyes; rosy cheeks; soft dark curls (379)
Federico[Brief Appearance] member of Rafe's inner circle (121)
Don Francisco[No Appearance] venerated head of Ministry of Finance for 20 years; Orlando's superior; old; white hair (262)
Alvi Gabbiano[Secondary Character] highwayman (12) Rocco, Gianni, Mateo's brother (13) wiry youth (15) spectacles (75)
Gianni Gabbiano[Secondary Character] Rocco, Mateo and Alvi's 10-y-o brother (18) thin shoulders (91) spry as monkey (93)
Mateo Gabbiano[Important Secondary Character] highwayman (10) Rocco, Gianni, Alvi's brother (13) hot head likely to start a brawl at any insult; Dani's oldest childhood friend (14) dark expressive eyes (30) tall strapping farm boy; 24-y-o; handsome rustic youth; curly dark hair; big brown eyes that melted tenderhearted women (45)
Rocco Gabbiano[Secondary Character] highwayman (13) giant; didn't know his own strength (14) village blacksmith (27) big; gentle (75)
Mrs. Gabbiano[Brief Appearance] mother to Mateo, Alvi, Gianni (65) tough old peasant woman; stout, black-veiled widow (68)
Lady Julia[No Appearance] betrayed Rafe (59)
Maria[Brief Appearances] Dani's small, stout housekeeper (28) meaty hip (36)
Niccolo[Secondary Character] member Rafe's inner circle (6) ever-sarcastic (156) brown hair; brawny (320) wisecracking (323)
Nunzia[No Appearance] Baroness Raimando's faithful old nurse; Orlando's nurse; gave statement of Orlando's parentage (363)
Paolo[No Appearance] Mateo's friend; had boat ready to take Gabbianos to mainland (68)
Baroness Raimondi[No Appearance] Orlando's mother; tried to pass Orlando off as husband's child (363)
Bernadetta Rienzi[One Appearance] Mother Superior of the Sisters of Saint Lucia: black-robbed dragon from second convent Dani expelled from (307) tall; brisk; firm; broad shoulders; carried herself like aged warrior-queen (310)
Arturo di Sansevero[Important Secondary Character] Prime Minister; served on Lazar's council (52) Bishop Justinian's utter opposite; disapproved of Rafe; neat; quick; tidy; discreet; consummate courtier; keen, darting mind was like a silent, razor-toothed barracuda; unflinchingly loyal to Ascencion; slight of stature; hooded brown eyes; thin, spare mouth (52) softened when saw sister's children; childless; wife died 2 decades earlier; never remarried; Ascencion was his life; had personal reasons to despise Rafe; grandly rolled his r's (53) single bushy eyebrow (290) diminutive man (344)
Giorgio di Sansevero[No Appearance] one of Rafe's friends; Don Arturo's nephew; Arturo blamed Rafe for his death (125) Giorgio killed in duel (126)
Lady Anita [Santiago][One Appearance] Darius and Serafina's 2-y-o daughter (393) mop silky black curls (394)
Count Darius Santiago[Brief Appearance] [Hero of Book Two] Serafina's husband; fierce; deadly; watchdog of royal family (62) a warrior, not a statesman (261) professional government assassin (265) Count; beautiful; intense midnight stare; hawklike face held no smile; fierce-looking Spaniard (274) 6 children (280)
Lady Elisabeta [Santiago][One Appearance] Darius and Serafina's 4-y-o daughter (393) mop silky black curls (394)
Princess Serafina [di Fiore Santiago][Brief Appearance] [Heroine of Book Two] Rafe's sister (62) ravishing Princess (147) as breathtakingly perfect as Helen of Troy; married 10-y-a; rose-white skin; mass of jet-black ringlets; laughing, joyous violet eyes (274) sparkling quality to voice (389)
Chloe Sinclair[Major Secondary Character] Rafe's mistress; beautiful; opera singer (2) English diva; perfect body; gleaming smile; lasted 4 months as mistress (5) haughty blond (6) talented; sophisticated; courtesan at height of her powers (40) toast of London stage; met Rafe in Venice; radiant, sugar-plum confection of a creature; between 25-30-y-o; flawless delicate face; hair the gold of bright new coins; sky-blue eyes; perfect beauty mark just above the corner of her mouth; milky white skin (86) large breasts; burning light of narcissism in her eyes; wanton-looking mouth; drunk on vanity (87) dainty feet; radiant with laughter; dimples winking (180) endless appetites; bewildering mood swings; self-avowed bitch (193) spoiled, cosseted beauty (195)
Adriano di Tadzio[Major Secondary Character] Rafe's boyhood friend (3) intense; jaded; sullen; gorgeous; dark, seductive beauty (88) usual air of torment (99) raven-haired demi-god (100) haughty (157) jealous; mercurial; emotionally fragile (175)
The Masked Rider[Heroine] young highwayman; adored by Ascencioners; robbed from the rich to give to the poor (11)
Tomas[Brief Appearances] member of Rafe's inner circle (98) brown hair (100)
Bishop Justinian Vasari[Important Secondary Character] served on Lazar's council; big; bombastic; stocky as a bulldog draped in flowing brocaded robes; all bark; no bite; round, rubicund face with wild white wisps of hair that stuck out in all directions from underneath his velvet beanie; sure of God's opinions; constantly pampered his gardens at his rich palazzo; preached with a rolling, thunderous elegance; did not approve of Rafe; Prince Leo's legal guardian and granted right of regency; people of Ascencion loved; fiery; pompous; high-living (52) balding (360)
Zerlina[No Appearance] artless country girl in opera (1)

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"Prince Charming" Quotations
161"I have lived in his shadow all my life," he barely whispered.   "Nothing I ever do is good enough for him.   Just once, I wish he would look at me and say, 'Well done, Rafe.'   Why should I care what he thinks of me?   And still, I do."
367"Now, for God's sake, get off your royal high horse and use that silver tongue of yours to argue in your own defense."

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"Prince Charming" Review and Information Links
Rated Posted Site Notes, Comments, Etc.
. . . . . . Gaelen Foley Website Author
. . . . . . Gaelen Foley Facebook Author
B / Hot01-30-2000All About RomanceLaurie Likes Books
4.42 average{62 reviews}Amazonas of: October 20, 2012
4.00 average{48 reviews}Barnes & Nobleas of: October 20, 2012
4.00--Bella OnlineElizabeth Darrach
----Fact FictList of Books In The Ascencion Trilogy
----Fantastic FictionList of Gaelen Foley's Books
----Fiction DBList of Gaelen Foley's Books
3.79 average{31 reviews}Good Readsas of: October 20, 2012
3.66 average{3 reviews}Library Thingas of: October 20, 2012
Grade: 88--Mrs. Giggles
4.00 average{103 ratings}Paperback Swapas of: October 20, 2012
4.50 Top Pick--RT {Romantic Times} Book ReviewsKathe Robin
3.67 average{11 reviews}Shelfarias of: October 20, 2012
--08-31-1998The Romance ReaderInterview (should be under The Pirate Prince)
4.5510-20-2012Wolf Bear Does Booksshorter post on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Fiction DB, Good Reads, Library Thing, Shelfari

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