Friday, September 15, 2023

The Royal Windsor Secret by Christine Wells

 Cleo Davenport has heard the the murmured conversations that end abruptly the second she walks into a room. Told she was an orphan, she knows the rumor—that her father is none other than the Prince of Wales, heir to the British throne.
 And at her childhood home at Cairo’s Shepheard’s Hotel, where royals, rulers, and the wealthy live, they even called her “The Princess.” 

But her life is turned upside down when she turns seventeen. Sent to London under the chaperonage of her very proper aunt, she’s told it’s time to learn manners and make her debut. But Cleo’s life can’t be confined to a ballroom. She longs for independence and a career as a jewelry designer for Cartier, but she cannot move forward until she finds out about her past. 

Determined to unlock the truth, Cleo travels from London, back to Cairo, and then Paris, where her investigations take a shocking turn into the world of the Parisian demi-monde , and a high-class courtesan whose scandalous affair with the young Prince of Wales threatened to bring down the British monarchy long before anyone had heard of Wallis Simpson.

Paperback, 352 pages
Published September 12, 2023
 by William Morrow Paperbacks
3/5 stars

This is my second book by Christine Wells. My first one was One Woman’s War which was the story of Ian Fleming during WW1. The Royal Windsor Secret begins in the mid-1930s as a young woman, Cleo begins to investigate her parentage. Abandon as a infant, she hears rumours that the Prince of Wales could be her father.

The Royal Windsor Secret was a slow moving story and it wasn’t until the last half that things seemed to pick up. I wasn’t a huge fan of Cleo's as I found her personality flat and I just didn’t feel any empathy for her. This book had her traveling between Egypt, Paris, England, and even up to Scotland. There were a number of subplots that took away from her original goal.  I found myself more invested in Marguerite's story.

I was given a print copy of the ARC from the publisher and was happy to see the author notes were included.  I enjoyed those and reading the parts of the story that were based on history as well as what inspired the author in the writing of this book.

The Royal Windsor Secret is now available for purchase.

My thanks to William Morrow for this print copy in exchange for a honest review.

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