A few years ago I was sent Always a Princess by Clyve Rose and loved it. The historical fiction romance took place in England during the regency era and followed Captain Wil Clifton and Romany princess, Syeira falling in love while she nursed her brother, Valkin, back to health after a duel.
Clyve was kind enough to send me her latest book, a spin-off/follow up to Always a Princess called The King’s Mistress!
The King’s Mistress takes place a few years after Always a Princess. Wil’s younger sister, Lydia, who was just a young girl in the original book, is now of age to be out on the ton and waiting for a marriage proposal. She hasn’t seen her brother Wil, his wife Syeira, or their children in a long time since he has been effectively cast out of the family and is now Romany.
When Lydia learns that her father has promised her hand in marriage to the Earl of Basingtoke, an old and brutal man, she is beside herself. At a party, the Earl tries to take advantage of her and gets violent. She is saved by Valkin, who does not recognize her. Lydia’s father does not care about the Earl’s actions and demands Lydia marry him anyway, which leads to Lydia running away. She takes on her maid’s name to avoid someone turning her in when they realize she’s missing and is determined to make it to France to find safety in her eldest brother, Roger. On her way, she encounters some Romany and claims to be the mistress of Valkin, who is now King. The Brishen take her in and she is charmed by the loving and family community. She never reveals her true name and tells Valkin that it is not safe for him to know her true identity. She doesn’t want to bring harm to the Brishen. Wil and Syeira are away and will not be back for another week or two so Lydia feels like she can get away with not revealing her identity until she can make her way to France.
But, she loves the family feel of the Romany and her childhood crush on Valkin has come back full force as an adult now. Valkin feels there is something familiar about Lydia, but can’t figure it out. All he knows is he’s enamored with her and wants to protect her. He knows he should let her go for the good of his people since there are rumors of the English looking for a young woman who ran away, but can’t seem to let her go.
I loved the book. It was so good and I always love seeing what beloved characters are up to (We do see Wil and Syeira eventually and meet their children!). I loved Lydia and Valkin and their slow burn relationship was so good and full of tension and angst. I love tension and angst!
This can be rad as a standalone, but I recommend reading both!
*I was sent this book in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links.*