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Monday, June 8, 2020

Welcome to my Blog Tour of Kiss & Tell

Welcome to my Blog Tour of Kiss & Tell

 

AUTHOR BIO:
Julia London is a NYT, USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of historical and
contemporary romance. She is a six-time finalist for the RITA Award of excellence in romantic
fiction, and the recipient of RT Bookclub's Best Historical Novel.
SOCIAL LINKS:
 www.julialondon.com/newsletter
 www.facebook.com/julialondon
 www.twitter.com/juliaflondon
 www.instagram.com/julia_f_london
BUY LINKS:
Harlequin
Amazon
Apple Books
Barnes & Noble
Books-A-Million
Google Play
IndieBound
Kobo

 

 

 

A Royal Kiss & Tell
London, Julia 
FICTION/Romance/Historical/Victorian 
Mass Market | HQN Books | A Royal Wedding #2
On Sale: 5/19/2020 
9781335136978
$7.99
$10.99 CAN
SUMMARY:
Every prince has his secrets. And she’s determined to unravel his…
Every young man in London’s ton is vying for Lady Caroline Hawke’s hand—except one.
Handsome roué Prince Leopold of Alucia can’t quite remember Caroline’s name, and the insult
is not to be tolerated. So Caroline does what any clever, resourceful lady of means would do to
make sure Leo never again forgets: sees that scandalous morsels about his reputation are
printed in a ladies’ gossip gazette…all while secretly setting her cap for the rakish royal.
Someone has been painting Leo as a blackguard, but who? Socially, it is ruining him. More
important, it jeopardizes his investigation into a contemptible scheme that reaches the highest
levels of British government. Leo needs Lady Caroline’s help to regain access to society. But
this charming prince is about to discover that enlisting the deceptively sweet and sexy Lady
Caroline might just cost him his heart, his soul and both their reputations…

Since the day of Eliza’s betrothal to Prince Sebastian, Caroline had also assumed, quite
incorrectly, that she would be the principal bridesmaid. After all, she and Eliza and Hollis had been
entwined in one another’s lives since they were very little girls.
“I am content with flower girls, honestly,” Eliza said. “I’d be content with a very simple affair. I
was content with the civil ceremony. But Queen Daria prefers otherwise.”
“Naturally, she does. This is the wedding where you will be seen by all the people you will rule
one day.”
Eliza snorted. “I will not rule, Caroline. I’ll be fortunate if I can find my husband in this massive
place.” She’d gestured to the decorative walls around them. It was not an exaggeration—Constantine
Palace appeared to be bigger than even Buckingham.
“Let me be the maid of honor,” Caroline had begged her. “I am much better equipped to see to
your train than Hollis is.”
“I beg your pardon! I am her sister,” Hollis reminded Caroline.
“The train is thirty feet, Hollis. How will you ever manage? You’ve scarcely managed your own
train since we’ve been in Alucia. And my gown should be seen. I spared no expense for it.”
Eliza and Hollis looked at Caroline.
“I mean, of course, after your gown is seen.”
The sisters continued to stare at her. Caroline shrugged a very tiny bit. “Obviously,” she added.
“I rather thought that’s what you meant,” Eliza said charitably. The three of them had gleefully
adopted the Alucian style of dress since arriving a month ago in Helenamar. The English style of
dress—full skirts, high necks and long sleeves—was hot and heavy. They’d admired the beautiful Alucian
gowns that fit the curves of a woman’s body, with the long flowing sleeves, and, most of all, the
elaborately embroidered trains…until they discovered that the unusually long trains were a bit of a
bother to wear.
“I will manage,” Hollis had insisted. “No one has come to this wedding to see your gown, Caro.”
“Well, obviously, Hollis, they haven’t. But they will be delighted all the same, won’t they? And by
the bye, there’s no law that says the attendant of honor must be one’s sister.”
“There is no law, but she is my sister and she will be the attendant of honor,” Eliza said. “And
besides, if you were to stand with me, I’d fret the entire ceremony that you were too enthralled with
Leo to even notice my train.” She’d arched a golden brow directly at Caroline.
As if Caroline had done something wrong.
She most certainly had not. “Leo? Is that what we’re calling him now?” she drawled. Leo was
Prince Sebastian’s younger brother. His Royal Highness Prince Leopold.
Prince Leopold, as everyone knew, had spent the last several years in England, “attending”
Cambridge, which meant, in reality, that he spent more time at soirees and gentlemen’s clubs and

hunting lodges than studying. Caroline had encountered him last summer in Chichester at a country
house party. They’d engaged in a charming little exchange that Caroline recalled perfectly, word for
word. Prince Leopold, on the other hand, remembered it not at all. Worse, he didn’t seem to remember
her.
The archbishop’s voice suddenly rose into a chant of some sort, drawing Caroline’s attention
back to the ceremony. Oh dear, she was thinking about Prince Leopold again when she should be
watching her best friend marry a prince. At that moment, Eliza slipped her hand into Prince Sebastian’s
hand and held on tightly as the archbishop asked her to repeat after him in English. To love, to honor, to
protect and defend.
So romantic.
Caroline glanced to her right. She was seated next to her brother, the baron Beckett Hawke. He
was older than her by half a dozen years and had been her guardian since she was eight and he was
fourteen. She leaned against him.
“Isn’t she lovely?” she whispered.
“Ssh.”
“I think she is lovelier than even Queen Victoria on her wedding day,” Caroline whispered. “Her
gown is beautiful. It was my idea to use the gold and silver thread on the train.”
Beck pretended not to have heard a word.
“Do you know, I think I could have made that train.” Her brother put his hand on Caroline’s knee
and squeezed as he turned his pale green eyes to hers. He frowned darkly.
Caroline pushed his hand away and glanced around her. It was massive, this Saint Paul’s
Cathedral. Painted ceilings soared overhead with visions of angels and other godly images. All the
fixtures were gold plated, particularly the pulpit, which looked more like a monument than a stand for
the Bible. There was so much stained glass that the morning light fractured across Eliza’s long train,
turning it into a moving rainbow as sunlight shimmered through the panes.
Every seat in the massive cathedral was taken, filled with beautiful people of varying skin tones
and colorful costumes and glittering jewels. They had come far and wide, Caroline understood, from
countries she’d never even heard of.
In a cove above the altar, a choir of young men and boys sang the hymns that had accompanied
Eliza down the center aisle to meet her prince. It had sounded as if the heavens had parted and the
angels were singing for this bride.
The ceremony, almost an hour of it now, was filled with a lot of pomp and circumstance.
Caroline wasn’t entirely certain what was happening, as the ceremony was conducted in Latin and
Alucian and, for the parts Eliza had to say, in English. It seemed to her that Eliza and Sebastian were up
and down quite a lot, one minute on their knees with their heads bowed, and standing the next, staring
starry-eyed at each other. There was a somber moment when Eliza was directed down onto her knees
alone. It looked as if she were knighted or anointed in some way, and when it was done, the archbishop

put his hand to her head, the king and queen stood, and then Prince Sebastian lifted her up and pinned
a gorgeous sapphire-and-gold brooch to her breast.
“She’s a real princess now,” Caroline whispered to Beck. Predictably, he ignored her.
Eliza looked like a princess, too, and Caroline wished Eliza’s father, Justice Tricklebank, could be
here. Alas, his advanced age and blindness had made it impossible for him to attend. There had been a
smaller, private ceremony in England—the first civil union—before Sebastian had returned to Alucia.
That ceremony, which her father had attended, had been necessitated by the fact that Eliza and
Sebastian could not seem to keep their hands from each other for as much as a few hours.
There was another civil union once Eliza had arrived in Alucia so there would be no question of
impropriety, as the heat between Eliza and her prince had only grown. It was embarrassing, really.
But neither ceremony had been anything like this. This was a pageant, a feast for the eyes and
hearts of romantics everywhere.
Caroline’s mind drifted, and she wondered if all these people would be at the ball tonight. She
hoped so. She had a beautiful blue Alucian gown trimmed in gold that was astoundingly beautiful. She’d
made the train herself. The ball would be her moment to shine…next to Eliza, of course.
Yesterday, Eliza had nervously counted out the heads of state that would attend the wedding
and the ball and had turned a bit pale as the number mounted. Caroline’s pulse had leapt with delight.
“I can’t bear it!” Eliza had exclaimed, unnerved by the number of dignitaries, of the many kings
and queens. “What if I say something wrong? You know how I am. Have you any idea how many gifts
we’ve received? Am I to remember them all? I’ve never seen so many gold chalices and silver platters
and fine porcelain in all my life! What if I trip? What if I spill something on my gown?”
“My advice, darling, is not to fill your plate to overflowing,” Hollis had said absently. She was
bent over her paper, making notes for the periodical she published, the Honeycutt’s Gazette of Fashion
and Domesticity for Ladies. The twice-monthly gazette covered such topics as the latest fashions,
domesticity and health advice, and—the most interesting part—the most tantalizing on-dits swirling
about London’s high society.
Hollis could hardly keep up with the ravenous demand for society news now. She was planning
to publish a gazette that would be twice the length of her normal offering with all the news of the royal
wedding the moment she returned to London. She’d been busily dispatching letters to her manservant,
Donovan, for safekeeping throughout the month they’d been in Alucia.
She was so preoccupied that her advice, while offered freely, was not offered with much
thought, and Eliza took exception. “I beg your pardon! I’ve hardly eaten a thing since I’ve arrived in
Alucia. At every meal the queen looks at me as if she disapproves of everything I do! I’m afraid to do
anything, much less eat,” Eliza complained. “They’ll all be looking at me. They’ll be waiting for me to do
something wrong, or speculating if I’m already carrying the heir. You cannot imagine how much interest 

there is in my ability to bear an heir.”

 

“Well, of course!” Caroline said cheerfully. “You’ll have to be a broodmare, darling, but after
you’ve given them what they want, you may live in conjugal bliss for the rest of your days surrounded by
wealth and privilege and many, many servants.”
“They won’t all be looking at you, Eliza. At least half the room will be looking at your handsome
husband,” Hollis had said with a wink.
Caroline was once again jolted back into the present when the archbishop lifted a heavy jeweled
chalice above the heads of Eliza and Prince Sebastian. Surely that meant they were nearly done? Prince
Sebastian took Eliza’s hand, and they turned away from the archbishop, facing the guests with
ridiculously happy grins on their faces. They were married!
Hollis turned, too, and even from where Caroline sat, she could see Hollis’s dark blue eyes
shining with tears of joy. The guests rose to their feet as the prince and his bride began their procession
away from the altar. Rose petals rained down on the couple and their guests from above. The little
flower girls fluttered around behind Eliza like butterflies, flanking her train as they followed the couple
down the aisle. Prince Leopold offered his arm to Hollis, and she beamed up at him. Caroline felt left
out. Hollis and Eliza were near and dear to her heart, the closest thing to sisters she’d ever had, and she
longed to be with them now.
Eliza and Prince Sebastian floated past Caroline and Beck without any acknowledgment of them.
That was to be expected—the two of them looked absolutely besotted. They were so enthralled with
each other, in fact, that Caroline fretted they’d walk into any one of the marble columns that lined their
path.
Oh, but she was envious, filled to the very brim with envy. In England, she rarely gave marriage
any thought except on those occasions Beck complained she ought to settle on someone, anyone, and
relieve him of his duty. But he didn’t really mind his duty, his protestations notwithstanding. Caroline
rather suspected he liked having her underfoot. So she flitted from one party to the next, happy to enjoy
the attentions of the many gentlemen who crossed her path, happy with her freedom to do as she
pleased.
But looking at Eliza, Caroline realized that she did indeed want one day to be in love with a man
who would be as devoted to her as Prince Sebastian was to his bride. She wanted to feel everything Eliza
was feeling, to understand just how that sort of love changed a person.
Prince Leopold and Hollis passed by Caroline and Beck. Hollis’s face was streaked with happy
tears. Prince Leopold happened to look to the guests as they passed, a polite smile on his face. His gaze
locked on Caroline’s—well, not locked, really, as much as it skimmed over her—but nevertheless, she
smiled broadly. She began to lift a hand but was suddenly jostled with an elbow to her ribs. She jerked a
wide-eyed gaze to her brother.
“Stop gawking,” he whispered. “You’ll snap your neck, craning it like that.”
Caroline haughtily touched a curl at her neck.
Beck turned his attention to the procession. The king and queen were passing them now. Beck
leaned toward her and whispered, “He’s a prince, Caro, and you are just an English girl. You’re indulging
in fairy tales again. I can see it plainly on your face.”

Just an English girl? She very much would have liked to kick Beck like she used to do when she
was just a wee English girl. “Better to dream in fairy tales than not dream at all.”
Beck rolled his eyes. He stood dispassionately as the archbishop and his altar boys followed the
king and queen.
Just an English girl, indeed.

 

My thoughts

Rating 4

Would I recommend it? yes 

Would I read more of this series? yes

Would I read more more this author? yes

 Note:
there is mentioning of slave-trade and trafficking but its not the main part of the story
First off I want to thank HQN Books for inviting me to read and review it and for their help in finding a new author to read, second this is the first time I've read anything by this author and even though this is the second book to A Royal Wedding series I would say pick up book one first to read that way you can meet and understand who the characters are. As for the characters themselves there was one that got on my nerves and that was Caro, how she acted not only towards her friends but towards the other characters in the book ,well lets just say there was times I wanted to ring her neck. And even though she was put in her place by someone that just made her act more like a spoiled brat who thought that they was never in the wrong , but luckily she was able to redeem herself in my eyes, did she become a favorite no but it got to the point where I could stand to like her and could see her finally growing up and that was mostly to her spend time with Leo . As for the romance its self its not a fast growing one , in fact it slow , which helps the story along much better than a fast one would , because doing that time you see the characters start to coming in to themselves which is great but the only downside is to the story is that I wish the author had not down played the slave-trade and trafficking, over all its a 4 star read because of how strong the characters are, how the story was written and how it comes to life, and at times it even had me smiling at what was going on, and while it did take me a while to like Caro , I did enjoy the story so much so that I didn't want to stop reading it, with that said I also want to say thank you to NetGalley for also letting me read and review it

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