Royal Disaster, Parker Swift and Fourth Time Forever (The Oxford Blue Series Book 4) Pippa Croft
Royal Disaster, Parker Swift
Well, I’ve been waiting for this 😉 and of course for the final part. I really enjoy trilogies and series best when all parts are out and I can immerse myself in the whole story, start to finish. I loved book one, so on to book two.
I feel I know Lydia and Dylan pretty well now, and what a long way they’ve come in a short while.
Lydia had come to UK for her career, new country, huge challenge and living her dream. Then she met Dylan, known as Mr No Commitments, a playboy dating dilettante….but when he meets Lydia things change for both of them. For her its a whole crash intro to UK traditions, how structured and insular the royal family, immediate and extended, are. For someone from the USA its a real culture shock, and she’s worried about putting a step wrong and letting Dylan down.
He doesn’t care though, loves her freshness, her sense of fun, her wanting him, Dylan the man as opposed to Dylan the Duke.
He’s has some tragedy in his past through his heritage and the way the press (vultures) hounded someone close to him, and that led to his dating ban, his one nights and fun only stance. When he meets Lydia that soon changes, a few frivolous interludes simply aren’t enough and he’s soon wholly in love with her and she with him, even though its been only a short while.
Now though there’s threats again, and he’s trying so hard to protect her in the way he knows best, but its shutting her out and causing friction. Someone is watching them, proving he can’t keep her safe, that she’s vulnerable even when he thinks she’s OK ensconced in his own home…Nightmare situation, and adds to the stress he’s already under from his family and the family business, alongside running his own successful business. Poor guy, he needs a 36 hour day.
I love both these characters. Inevitable there are comparisons with other romance trilogies, especially those with an erotic angle, but to me this has enough to keep it fresh, to stand successfully on its own. As a UK reader I love that its set in UK, with all our peculiarities, our unique heritage.
I love the way Dylan calls Lydia Damsel, so much nicer that the ubiquitous Baby, that title really grates on me.
Damsel is just so much more nicer, suits the story, suits Dylan and his sense of tradition, even while he’s balking against some of it, dating Lydia for whom Tradition doesn’t really mean much. He’s a gentleman in the truest sense of the word, and treats Lydia so carefully, always protective but without being stifling or presumptuous. He sees her strength, values her ambition, and they make a perfect couple.
Without going OTT Parker brings in some of the media speculation that abounds in this sort of situation, the pictures taken in an unguarded moment that show something that didn’t exist, they look for signs of friction, invite readers to speculate on whats going to happen, what Lydia needs to do/needs to change, compare her to Dylan’s past ladies. Sadly all that is very true of the UK media, and one reason I never buy newspapers or magazines. The quest for scandal is fierce, and ruins lives, and Dylan is rightly protective of Lydia.
He needs to let her keep her sense of self though, her sense of self respect. One of the things he and I admire is her independence, the way she hasn’t taken advantage of her sudden rise to fame, but only takes what she feels is right, does what she feels is fair and correct. She needs to feel she has control of her life and that has been a bit of friction between them, when Dylan’s past experience lead him to take action but not tell her about it.
She’s also got a thin line to tread at work, with Josh and Fiona who were so kind to her when she first started but could now feel pushed aside. She needs her friends, values them so needs to watch that angle.
Its a fabulous read once more, hot and sensual scenes, very real feeling issues happening both in their private and public life, and I’m looking forward to how Parker finally winds up the story.
Somehow I feel she’s saving the best fireworks for the finale!
Stars: five, a great second book and roll on the final installment.
ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers
Fourth Time Forever (The Oxford Blue Series Book 4) Pippa Croft
This trilogy has so much going for it – and now even more as its become a quartet! In a world where there are hundreds of thousands of romance reads its hard to find ones that stand out – but this series does.
Its got a US female lead and a UK (hurrah!) male lead.
What I love is that they’re intelligent people, moral, disciplined, not the out for themselves, selfish, irritating types seen so often. You know, Alpha males that only grunt a few syllables, act as if they own the world, expect the females to obey every command instantly, where the ladies as simpering, idiotic, fall at their feet types.
When I here them grunting “Here, Knickers, Now!” ( I know they always say panties, I’m a UK reader, I can’t bring myself to write that). I want to say “No, p!ss off, Prick!”
I want characters I can get behind, want people I think I’d like to count as freinds if they were real, and this series delivers that. Not just in Lauren and Alexander but in the secondary characters too.
I loved the first three books, and while I liked the ending in book three it also felt like there was something missing, felt a little ambiguous.
Lauren and Alexander’s story hadn’t been a smooth run so in a way that fitted, but the romance lover in me really wanted more definite HEA, and when Pippa released this short novella to wrap up things as others had felt like me I was delighted.
Its delivered the perfect ending, but to get there – even though its just a short read – its another action packed , heart wrenching read. There were some real tears here on my part, and smiles when finally, finally they got their HEA.
Stars: five, a fabulous finish, the book I didn’t really know I needed, but which has made a perfect end to the series.