Review: The Princess in His Bed by Lila DiPasqua

Friday, January 28

Author:  Lila DiPasqua
Series: Fiery Tales series #2
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Format: Trade size paperback & digital e-book
Date/Year: November 2010

*This book was provided to me by the author for review

Summary from the publisher:

Inspired by “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” “The Ugly Duckling, and “The Princess and the Pea,” Lila DiPasqua spins three sexy tales that give new meaning to the term bedtime story…

The Marquis’ New Clothes: To save her cousin, Aimee de Miran must retrieve a jeweled ring from the most sinfully seductive man at court, the Marquis de Nattes. But to search his considerable wardrobe she’ll have to get very close to the notorious rake…and soon she finds herself very close to him indeed, with his clothes—and hers—utterly forgotten…

The Lovely Duckling: Reputed for his carnal skills, Joseph d’Alumbert prefers amorous encounters without emotional entanglement—until a quick-witted lady stirs tender feelings and hot desire. Emilie de Sarron suffered burns to her body as an infant, and keeps her scars—and her heart—well hidden. But Joseph is determined to peel away her inhibitions, one slow steamy kiss at a time, to reveal the beautiful swan inside…

The Princess and the Diamonds: Princess Gabrielle can’t sleep at night. There is something hard in her bed. No, not just the stolen diamonds tucked under her mattress, but the handsome Marquis on it….whose carnal talents she can’t resist. But he threatens her secret mission, and worse, she stands to lose far more than the diamonds---her heart is at stake….
My Musings:

The Princess in His Bed is Lila DiPasqua’s second collection of stories from her Fiery Tales series. I enjoyed her first collection Awakened by a Kiss and thought her unique twist to the classic fairy tales was original and “fiery” indeed, so I had high expectations for this next collection.  In some respects the author exceeded those expectations, but with a few disappointments as well.  I apologize ahead of time for comparing the two books in the collection, but I think it is important since they are based on the same premises.  I also won’t summarize each of the stories for you since the description from the publisher gives you the general idea of what each story is about, so instead I will tell you what worked for me and what didn’t since my issues pretty much apply to each of the three stories.

What I enjoyed so much about the first series is that the author used elements of the original fairy tales, but cleverly changed it up so that it seemed new and familiar all at the same time. I didn’t necessarily feel the new versions in The Princess in His Bed had as much in common with the older tales, but instead had only the most basic and fundamental facets to connect the old with the new.  I felt they each had less in common with the original version than I anticipated so as a result I didn’t think they were quite as clever as I expected them to be based on my first impression of this author’s talent in Awakened by a Kiss.  Therefore, I was a little bit disappointed even though I felt each story was well written.

In addition, at the beginning of each story in Awakened by a Kiss, there was a shortened version of each fairy tale by the original author that I especially enjoyed.  However, in The Princess in His Bed that was absent from the collection and I missed that as well.  I’m not sure if this was the author’s choice or the publisher’s, but I wish they would have kept this aspect of the series consistent.  It didn’t make a BIG difference to my impression of the stories, but it was a minor disappointment because you couldn’t exactly compare the original to the new version of each tale to highlight what made it special and “cleverly retold”.  That being said however, I thought that the quality of all three stories in The Princess in His Bed collection was higher and more consistent than they were in Awakened by a Kiss.

Each story in The Princess in His Bed had interesting and compelling characters, with fevered and passionate love scenes, and captivating plots that made it hard to put the book down. I enjoyed them all immensely...especially “The Lovely Duckling”.  “The Lovely Duckling” was the best story in the book in my opinion, with a rakish hero that hides his identity from the woman he desires in order to try and atone for past wrongs, and a heroine who yearns for passion despite being scarred both physically and emotionally from events in her past which leaves her insecure and reclusive from society. It was beautifully written with emotion, heart, despair, passion, redemption, and mostly importantly…love at it’s best.  This one would have been perfect, except for the fact that the ending felt a tad rushed.  I would have loved for this story to have been a full length novel to fully explore the depth and potential it had.  The Lovely Duckling alone is worth the price of the book, which makes The Marquis’ New Clothes, and The Princess and the Diamonds, icing on a most delectable cake.
Lila DiPasqua proves once again that she is an emerging and talented romance writer with what I hope is a promising future with her first full length novel, A Midnight Dance (August 2011), which is her retelling of Cinderella.  I for one am very much looking forward to it.  If you enjoyed Awakened by a Kiss then I think you will love The Princess in His Bed.  I know I did!


Overall: 4.25 stars.  I would give the individual stories the following ratings:
  • The Marquis' New Clothes: 4.0 stars
  • The Lovely Duckling 4.50 stars
  • The Princess and the Diamonds 3.75 stars
Sensuality level:  3.5
For a complete understanding and definition of the ratings, click here

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