*I received a copy of this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
3.5 Mysterious, Romantic Stars
I love a good mystery. Add in a swoon-worthy royal romance, a conflicted thief, and a dangerous villain, and To Catch a Princess was an enjoyable read that kept me interested until the very end.
This book starts off in the thief's POV, a man who wants out of the life he's living and to settle down and start a family. But the Thief of Hearts, as he's affectionately known as, doesn't know that the man he's stealing for has other hidden agendas besides wanting a precious heirloom back. And he doesn't realize it until it's too late. But, let me back up a little. I'm way ahead of myself here. I love a conflicted and tortured "bad guy" as much as anyone. I have to say, I kind of liked him near the end. But he's not one of the main characters.
The star players in this romantic mystery are a prince and a princess. I'd tell you both their names but they're too long, and I can't even pronounce them correctly. :P Let's just go with Peter and Tatiana.
Tatiana's parents made a deal with the Grand Duke a long time ago. It was a marriage arrangement between their two children. It was only put in place until Alexander, Tatiana's brother, found a wife and started a family. But now her parents are pushing her to marry a man she doesn't even know. And the Grand Duke wants to see his son married and having his grandchildren before he dies. But this barbaric, old-fashioned tradition doesn't sit well with either of the two parties being forced to accept it. Neither of them have time to think of it, as they are both busy with their lives.
When Peter, a detective who's been good friends with the Ivanovs for many years, discovers that the infamous Thief of Hearts is planning to steal precious jewelry at Tatiana's charity fashion event, he decides to go with her to Monaco and stick close to her side in the case that this isn't a straight-forward theft. What Tatiana doesn't know is that Peter is really Pyotr Romanovich, son of the Grand Duke and the man her parents want her to marry.
I thought Tatiana's anger was misplaced, though Peter should have been honest with her the moment he decided to go with her to Monaco. There was no way it wouldn't have gotten out that he's a prince. But Tatiana hates lies. Any kind of lie. I understand why she's distrustful of people who keep the truth from her. She's been screwed over in the past, and it hurt her. And as a princess, she's always having to deal with people who are only there because of her royalty status. But like I said, her anger is misplaced with Peter. His lie wasn't meant to hurt her.
I didn't like Tatiana's icy haughtiness toward Peter numerous times when he kept something from her, which was never anything that was harmful. At first, she was angry because she doesn't like lies, no matter the reason they're told. But as she starts to fall in love with Peter, her anger is because couples are supposed to tell each other everything. But like I said, her anger is misplaced because she doesn't understand that sometimes people just need space and time to open up about things. The reason why he went into hiding was kept from EVERYONE. Not just her. It was a painful family secret that he kept close to his heart. And I didn't like how it felt like she'd given him an ultimatum when it came to that secret. How, if he didn't tell her right this second, she would walk away from him. It was like he had to bare his soul just to keep her and make her understand his past. Honestly, he didn't deserve her frostiness and air of royal superiority a lot of the time. She truly is a princess, and it definitely showed in her personality. They make her seem like a down-to-earth woman, but I didn't see it that much.
However, I did love hers and Peter's relationship. It was like their own fairytale, minus the vengeful prince and vicious paparazzi. It was very swoon-worthy, and I loved the development of it. How could both their parents have known that the two would actually fall in love? :)
The mystery was intriguing, and even though I knew the villain, I didn't know what was going to happen or how it would end. I was completely blind-sided by the prince's vengeance, and I was equally as surprised with how Peter handled the Thief of Hearts. And I thought the suspenseful story-line was played out nicely.
But I have mixed feelings about that ending. I didn't think it tied off the loose ends. Peter and Tatiana got their happily ever after, the Thief of Hearts is free for now, and Prince Sergei is still on the loose and has not been captured for his evil deeds. So, I'm left wondering if another book will continue, either with the same characters or maybe with the thief himself.
I really enjoyed this modern-day fairytale with a mysterious twist. :)