Books are my escape...I need it. My life is super busy between working full time, being a mom of 2 super social kids, a traveling husband, and an annoying habit of not being able to say "No".
In the third in Katharine Ashe's Prince Catchers series, the eldest of three very different sisters must fulfill a prophecy to discover their birthright. But if Eleanor is destined to marry a prince, why can't she resist the scoundrel who seduced her?
She can pour tea, manage a household, and sew a modest gown. In short, Eleanor Caulfield is the perfect vicar's daughter. Yet there was a time when she'd risked everything for a black-eyed gypsy who left her brokenhearted. Now he stands before her—dark, virile, and ready to escort her on a journey to find the truth about her heritage.
Leaving eleven years ago should have given Taliesin freedom. Instead he's returned to Eleanor, determined to have her all to himself, tempting her with kisses and promising her a passion she's so long denied herself. But if he was infatuated before, he's utterly unprepared for what will happen when Eleanor decides to abandon convention—and truly live.
Katharine Ashe once again confirms her status with me as a favorite author of mine. Her writing is rich and compelling. This is an impressive ending to this series in which all three books are good. The characters in this story, Eleanor and Taliesin, have been introduced and alluded to in the first two books. I was eagerly awaiting this story and hoping my expectations wouldn’t be so high. I am happy to say my expectations were surpassed.
Looking forward to this story, I was wondering how Ashe was going to wrap up this trilogy since the prophecy delivered in the first book directed that one of the three sisters was to wed a Prince and then the identities of their parents would be revealed. Since so far the other two sisters wed non-Princes and the last sister, Eleanor, has had an attraction to Taliesin, a Gypsy, I wondered how this story was going to work and yet have the prophecy be fulfilled. I marvel at Ashe’s creativity for the tangled web she wove to create this story. It is incredibly complex and for a minute there I thought about getting out some graph paper. I still may need to re-read to fully remember, but it was very clever.
I loved many things about this book. For one, I loved that Eleanor was giving herself the opportunity to find herself by finally leaving her family’s home and go on an adventure. When she was young, she nearly died from an illness which had her perceived as weak by all, except Taliesin. His affirmation of her strength gave her the courage to debunk the perception. She would catch herself doing something in line with that of a weak, meek girl and she would turn herself around and be brave. There were several situations where men were quick to put her in the simpering female bucket and she was having none of that. Robin Prince seemed to want to put her that bucket and he annoyed me because of it.
I loved Taliesin! Ashe writes the BEST heroes. Every. Single. Time. Taliesin is no exception. I liked how his story growing up and the reason he left St. Petroc was revealed throughout the story. I found his story sad. He was always a wanderer, which is the lifestyle of the Rom, but he really desired stability. His love for Eleanor was unwavering as well – complete devotion and he could not keep himself away from her. I could not figure out why he didn’t want to have her get too close to him, I suppose he wanted better for her, but to me, you would think they would have sensed that they loved each other, but no. This just managed to continue the suspense.
I also loved Eleanor’s quest to find her parents. It was a fun quest and she met some interesting people along the way. I didn’t really care for the Prince family – they were duplicitous. While being overly nice and friendly, they each had their own motivations behind their actions. Then when Robin’s efforts, by way of Taliesin, lead to a remarkable discovery, it turns out to be a boon for Eleanor but with a substantial cost to her health. I thought this part of the story went way off into extremes, but it served its purpose. The courtroom scene was funny and I thought written with such wit and imagination it was definitely one of the most entertaining scenes in the story.
The only thing I wish was that the epilogue had been more of a substantial conclusion to their story given all the information that was divulged in the last 100 pages. Not complaining about the ending, but I would have liked to read about them in a year’s time as opposed to the three weeks that was presented. This would have concluded with more finality some of the open items that the reader was left to assume/imagine concluded happily.
Bottom line – this is a must read, the series is a must read, and everything that Katharine has written is a must read. 4.5 stars!!!!
Thank you to Avon for the Digital ARC via Edelweiss