Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Creole Princess by Beth White

Lyse Lanier spends much of her time between the company of her best friend, the daughter of a loyal British commander, and working with her brother to provide income for their family. Spanish merchant, Rafael Gonzalez, notices Lyse when she fends off an unruly sailor. As their paths cross, his theatrics hide deeper intelligence and feelings that Lyse slowly recognizes and comes to admire. However, Rafael's true motives remain a mystery to Lyse and leads her to question his intentions. Spain is still neutral in the American-British conflict – at least formally – but Lyse's connection to a British commander could be easily exploited. Will the budding love between Lyse and Rafael survive the perils that abound? Read more in The Creole Princess by Beth White.

The Creole Princess is the second novel of the Gulf Coast Chronicles series by Beth White. I have not read the first and the second worked fine as a stand-alone. Being set mostly in Mobile, Alabama, – an area somewhat apart from the original thirteen colonies – at the brink of the American Revolutionary War created an intriguing and original backdrop for story. The cultural fusion represented in Lyse was offset by the well-known racism and slavery of the “South” during earlier centuries. Though the latter elements were present in the story and presented in a negative light, the themes did not overpower the story.

I enjoyed the humor and mystery that Rafael brought to the story. The Creole Princess is far from the mystery genre, but the espionage element helped keep the story moving. I think the story could have benefited from a little different pacing. As it was, the romantic relationship between Rafael and Lyse developed quickly and then stagnated as Lyse spent much of the story ruminating on if Rafael was truly in love with her and the future of their relationship. While this is a natural reaction in light of the circumstances of their relationship, I found it a bit repetitive at times.

That being said, the setting, humor and well-rounded characters of The Creole Princess make it worth reading, especially for fans of early American romances.

Read an excerpt from The Creole Princess by Beth White on Revell Publishers' website.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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