Princes have pomp and glory — not crushes on commoners.
Nothing gets the tongues of London’s high society wagging like a good scandal. And when the personal secretary of the visiting Prince Sebastian of Alucia is found murdered, it’s all anyone can talk about, including Eliza Tricklebank. Her unapologetic gossip gazette has benefited from an anonymous tip about the crime, prompting Sebastian to take an interest in playing detective — and an even greater interest in Eliza.
With a trade deal on the line and mounting pressure to secure a noble bride, there’s nothing more salacious than a prince dallying with a commoner. Sebastian finds Eliza’s contrary manner as frustrating as it is seductive, but they’ll have to work together if they’re going to catch the culprit. And when things heat up behind closed doors, it’s the prince who’ll have to decide what comes first — his country or his heart.
Bestseller London (Seduced by a Scot) launches a Victorian series with the complicated romantic entanglement between Miss Eliza Tricklebank, owner of a gossipy gazette and caretaker to her elderly father, and Crown Prince Sebastian Charles Iver Chartier, destined for the throne of fictional Alucia. At 28, the self-assured and pragmatic Eliza is comfortably unmarried; she publishes the gazette with the financial backing of her widowed sister, Hollis, ignoring their father's concerns about their inappropriate pursuit. Eliza and Hollis attend a masquerade ball held in the prince's honor, fertile ground for gazette content, and soon Eliza, tipsy on rum punch, meets Sebastian, who's dodging several women who want to marry him. Eliza's perceptive nature and possession of an anonymous tip are valuable to Sebastian when his trusted aide and friend Matous Reyno is murdered, possibly by an Alucian considering rebellion; as Eliza and Sebastian pursue the killer, a cross-class romance kindles. London's observations of gender roles are keen, and her protagonists are eminently likable in their dogged pursuit of their own goals despite societal expectations and political pressures. Occasional repetition slows the story, but the romance and mystery are good enough to pull the reader through.