Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Series: The Prince of Whispers, #1
Release Date: May 10, 2022
When Prince Crispin of Meradin is called by his father the King to his presence chamber, he was expecting the usual lecture on his hedonistic lifestyle and how he should be more like his late brother, Frances, but is shocked to learn that his father is casting him out! His father tells him that if he doesn’t shape up, he will be disowned and his cousin will inherit the throne, that said, his father tells him to leave with nothing but the clothes on his back until he has learned some humility and how to serve his people. Angry beyond belief, Crispin leaves and sets out to prove his father wrong, but instead is set upon by thieves, and if not for the quick-thinking action of a woman, he would be dead!
Crispin has been forbidden to tell anyone who he is, so he tells the woman he is a guard at the palace named Tristan and asks for her help. Ruby aka the Lady of the Forest, is a bit of Robin Hood and really wants nothing to do with him and after tending him, leaves him. But they reconnect and he helps her retrieve some items stolen from her friends. This leads to a steamy night of passion but in the morning, everything changes when soldiers from the palace come to find him and he learns that his father is dead. Upon learning who her lover really is and feeling betrayed, Ruby takes off and Crispin is forced to let her go – for now.
Crispin returns to the palace and brands Ruby as an outlaw, and sets a plan in motion to find her. He also sends for his best friend Henry who was banished to Wales by his father, to return and act as his right hand. When Ruby is brought in, he shocks her letting her choose her fate – marry him or be tried and convicted of being a thief!
This was a very well-written, intriguing read with lots of steamy love scenes and interesting characters. Ruby is a complex character, part innocent maiden and part badass, and she is perfect for Crispin. Crispin is not your typical hero, he is a bad boy and he unrepentantly wears that title with pride, so if you don’t like anti-heroes with strong sexual appetites, you might want to pass on this book – but if like me, you like a bad boy who doesn’t magically transform into Prince Charming once he falls in love, then you are going to love this story! This book is the first book in a trilogy and after reading this story, I can’t wait to see what happens next!
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that I requested and was provided to me by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.*