Kate Hewitt has written an exciting, intriguing and passionate love story in Royal Baby, Forbidden Marriage which is part of Harlequin's Snow, Satin and Seduction series. This contemporary has ups and downs, passion and secrets. It is a "royal" romance with the crown at stake for Prince Leopold.
His entire life Leopold has lived in the wings of this royal family. First his father died, then his mother was sent away and bought off and he was treated as the royal misfit. He also was left to pick up the messy pieces of his cousin Anders escapades. The dark and handsome Leopold was known as the playboy prince, left alone with no love, no family with only hatred and jealousy from his cousin. And then finally his selfish cousin abdicated his royal position to run away and marry the beautiful Phoebe Wells. Now his cousin has died in a reckless drunk driving accident, the King is ill and Leopold is next in line for the throne. However, there is one problem, Anders left behind an ex-wife, and son who is the heir, six year old Christian.
This royal story begins six years earlier with Leopold and Phoebe negotiating a pay off which she refuses. However, even though Phoebe believes herself in love with Prince Anders she is inexplicably drawn to this "dark playboy prince" Leopold, in ways she can't explain. Now her ex-husband is dead and she is again faced with Leopold, only in her home city New York. He has come to tell her that the King is aware he has a grandson and wishes, no demands to see him and has sent Leopold to bring them back to his country Armanes. The King is an unpleasant man who is selfish and known to only think of what he wants and he desires his grandson Christian. The Kings plan is to make his grandson the future King. Prince Leopold is made aware of the plan upon his return to Armanes along with Phoebe and Christian. He has worked so hard to change his reputation, move his country forward. He can't get this woman who so many years ago, left her mark on him and he also feels protective towards Christian. Leopold remembers his unloved childhood and how he was treated, he remembers everything and vows to come up with a plan for the good of Phoebe, Christian and himself.
Leopold realizes one thing after spending only one evening with Phoebe, that's she's a good mother, she's worked hard to create a loving environment for Christian and she's also created a business to provide for them both. He also realizes that she's very attracted to him and he uses that, inviting her for dinner both in New York and when they arrive back in his country. What neither Phoebe nor Leopold count on is the magnetic attraction they feel towards each other, like a moth to a flame, combustible, powerful, so full of desire they don't fight it, act on their feelings and then realize that Phoebe might be pregnant. He proposes marriage if she finds herself pregnant because of course the baby would be his heir.
As much as Leopold fights it, one secretly wonders if he's softening because one can certainly see that he adores Christian, he's attracted to Phoebe and won't let the King hurt either one of them, no mater the cost. Captured memories in this wonderful love story are many family outings with the three of them having a marvellous time, family time together. It clearly obvious Christian adores Leopold and sees him as a father figure.
However, things have a way of changing when secrets are revealed; they make people look deep into themselves to see what's important and that's what I personally adored about this future King and this contemporary romance. How in spite of his childhood, his anger towards the ruling monarch and his hatred for his cousin, he had a deep responsibility to his people and to Phoebe and her son. This alpha was tough, honourable and a changed man thanks to hard work, his people and the two people he was trying to protect.
As for Phoebe, her undying love for her son, her determination not to give up protecting him and her determination to stand up to Leopold and declare her feelings of love for him was amazing to read. Royal Baby, Forbidden Marriage is one spectacular, emotional and roller coaster romance, one you won't want to miss!