Review: The Wild Princess: A Novel Of Queen Victoria’s Daughters – Mary Hart Perry
Princess Louise, the fourth of Queen’s Victoria’s daughters, has always been the impetuous one. Willful and determined, she’s intent on living life by her own set of rules. Yet protocol dictates that she do exactly as she’s been told by the Queen herself.
Deep inside, Louise knows that going against her mother’s wishes can be considered an act of treason. Yet she can’t deny the fact that she yearns to live her life freely without the public scrutiny of both England and the royal household. She can’t help but argue with her mother whenever possible in order to demand more of her freedom. Every part of her yearns to be done with the injustices she feels are committed against her and she will do anything in her power to get exactly what she wants, when she wants it.
Her mother has been willing to forgive her for her past indiscretions. To some extent, anyway. Yet Louise knows that nothing she can ever do or say will erase the disappointment her mother feels on occasion whenever she looks her way. Part of her wishes she could erase what she’s done, while another part of her knows that she never would have gained the freedom she has now if she hadn’t taken a stand for what she believed in. Granted, she’s not entirely free to do as she pleases, but what little freedom she does have is enough to keep her from acting out irrationally.
When the Queen decrees that she must marry John Lorne, the Duke of Argyll, Louise fancies herself happily married and surrounded by her own beloved children. She knows John’s a commoner, yet she’s willing to forget that little detail in hopes of making her marriage with him work as much as possible. In her mother’s eyes, her husband-to-be is a kind man and would give her what no other ever has.
When her marriage turns out to be anything but ideal, Louise begins to wonder if she can actually make things work between them. Her husband’s preferences are nothing what she imagined them to be and she’ll have resign herself to that fact that she’ll never truly have her happily-ever-after whether she wants to or not. Never-the-less, she’s determined to hold up her end of the bargain in hopes of living a comfortable life with the man she’s now married to.
From the moment he set eyes on her, Stephen Byrne realized that Princess Louise was a force to be reckoned with. Rash, independent, and quite determined to do things exactly as she wants to do them, he knows that protecting her to the best of his ability will prove to be a heavy burden. Yet it’s one he’s determined to fulfill, none-the-less. Repeated attempts on her life and that of the Queen’s make him weary of trusting those around him. Yet if he can’t trust those within the royal household, who can he trust?
Battling his attraction for the beautiful Louise, Stephen knows it’s a matter of time before the two succumb to their own desires. A relationship between them is forbidden, but when matters of the heart exist between two willing souls, there’s no stopping what will eventually rise to the surface. Even if it means that protocol must be broken in order to achieve as sense of normalcy that belies the turmoil roiling within the royal household.
As a lover of all things historical, most especially the history surrounding that of England and France, this was truly a very intriguing and thought-provoking read. Laced with a bit of truth, the story is, for the most, a fictional account of Princess Louise’s life. I must say that it was a wonderful insight into what the author thought the Princess’s royal life, and that of the entire royal household, back then was like.
From the moment I started reading, I was hooked to the story. So much so, that I didn’t much else until I finished reading. It’s that good, I assure you.
Mary did a wonderful job in instilling such emotions within the book’s pages that the reader is able to immerse her/himself completely within the story. We’re able to see Louise’s pain and heartache as she tries to overcome the adversities she’s plagued with throughout her entire life. We can feel her love and her hatred as she does her best to not lose control completely within any situation.
I found the background into what her life might have been like truly entertaining. At certain points in the story, I found myself wondering what it was like to live within that time period. I could feel Louise’s pain as she tried to come to terms with that fact that while she was free to do as she pleased, she was still confined to the protocol dictated by her standing as one of the royal princesses. A delightfully fictional historical account of her life, I think The Wild Princess is a great read. One I truly recommend to others for reading.
To the court and subjects of Queen Victoria, young Princess Louise—later the Duchess of Argyll—was the “Wild One.” Proud and impetuous, she fought the constraints placed on her and her brothers and sisters, dreamed of becoming an artist, and broke with a three-hundred-year-old tradition by marrying outside of the privileged circle of European royals.
Some said she wed for love. Others whispered of a scandal covered up by the Crown. It will take a handsome American, recruited by the queen’s elite Secret Service, to discover the truth. But even as Stephen Byrne— code name the Raven—vows to risk his life to protect the royal family from violent Irish radicals, he tempts Louise with a forbidden love that could prove just as dangerous.
In the vein of Philippa Gregory, Mary Hart Perry tells the riveting story of an extraordinary woman—a princess who refused to give up on her dreams, including her right to true love.
About The Author:
Mary Hart Perry lives in Maryland with her husband and two feline writing partners: Miranda and Tempest.
She teaches at The Writer’s Center in Washington, DC and is an inspiring speaker for international and regional organizations interested in the joys of history and fiction writing. She is an advocate for teen and adult literacy.
You can reach her at Mary@MaryHartPerry.com. She invites you to “like” her Facebook page and follow her on Twitter @Mary_Hart_Perry.