As the Crown Prince of San Rimini, Antony diTalora has innumerable responsibilities - the newest requiring him to marry within the year, and provide the tiny nation of San Rimini with an assured future royal lineage. Dubbed the "Playboy Prince" by the media, Antony is in no hurry to walk down the aisle, especially as he has not found the one woman who will love him for himself, instead of his royal status.
Jennifer Allen has her own problems as the head of a refugee camp in Rasovo, San Rimini's neighbor. She has little time for those people who only throw money at the world's problems, instead of pushing up their sleeves and lending a helping hand. After Antony tours her camp, Jennifer wants to believe he is motivated by more than media attention, yet small actions lead her to believe the worst.
Yet when Antony's new San Rimini Scholarship Fund includes a service requirement - that scholarship recipients volunteer for the Rasovo Relief Society - Jennifer begins to see the man beneath the crown. Both Antony and Jennifer learn from each other's beliefs and actions to grow into better people, with Nicole Burnham's insightful writing style allowing the reader to come along for the journey.
Antony has always done what was required of him, as the eldest prince in a noble royal family. Until he met Jennifer, he believed that choices were available for other people, but not for himself. After his father, the king of San Rimini, forbids him from seeing Jennifer again, Antony chooses his own course of action after hearing that the fighting in Rasovo has escalated and Jennifer's camp is in the line of fire.
Can these two strong-willed people overcome society's restrictions to be together? Will Antony's father, King Eduardo, allow a marriage between his royal son and an American woman? Can love truly triumph over adversity?
GOING TO THE CASTLE is a powerful debut for author Nicole Burnham. Antony and Jennifer are delightfully complex characters, able to appreciate each other's strengths and the reader can follow their growth throughout the novel. Such gems as Antony's difficulty with English euphemisms lend a dash of humor to the story. The budding romance between the Antony and Jennifer is mainly implied, with a few passionate kisses tossed into the mix. The complimentary cast of secondary characters adds to the story, and this reader is hoping there will be more stories about the charming diTalora family. This novel is delightful, and is sure to give readers a memorable reading experience.
GOING TO THE CASTLE is an enchanting Cinderella story for the new millennium and Nicole Burnham is a refreshing new voice that perfectly complements the romance genre.
-- Julie Shininger for Escape to Romance Reviews