****FINAL RATING: 4.50 STARS****CATCHALLI don't read a whole lot of adult novels, because I just…don't. It's not like I have anything against them, I just choose to spend most of my time reading and reviewing young adult. However, when I saw the premise of this novel I knew I wouldn't be able to resist. And there aren't quite enough words to describe how happy I am that I decided to pick this up. Not only was it a beautiful love story; it was also so much more than that. There was legit danger and a mystery to be solved, and a brave princess who never backed down.THE HEROINE LOUISELouise was one awesome princess. She was brave, but not foolish. Bold, sometimes too bold, but she also knew when to back down. She's lived for a long time in the shadow under the influence of her mother, and she wants nothing more than to break free. But trapped by a loveless marriage, she resigns herself for a while to the life that she'll never have. However, it's only a matter of time before she takes matters into her own hands. She's strong and independent without being polarizing, and is herself with or without a man by her side.THE LOVE INTERESTSTEPHENStephen is our dashing American hero, who's about as sexy as they come. Dark and tall and dangerous, he intrigues Louise from the beginning. Though his job is to keep the entire royal family safe, he cannot help but be drawn to Louise, seeing to her personal protection before all else. He's not a shallow character, either. In fact, he's pretty awesome. He certainly keeps things interesting. It's obvious that he cares deeply for Louise, and wants to protect her.THE PLOTThe plot is awesome. Although yes, this is a love story, there's so much more to it. There are people who want to free Ireland, and they've gathered into a coalition as they try to kidnap members of the royal family for hostage, planting one failed plot after the next. The first leads to Louise and her family nearly getting killed.Stephen is launched into the investigation, as Louise offers him her own private investigation that would give her peace of heart. In an uneasy type of peace, the two work together and try to fight their growing attraction to one another as they work to protect Victoria and her children.Everything unfolds beautifully and flawlessly. One event flows seamlessly into the next. Everything happens for a reason. Moreover, the things that happen make sense. There are a few extraneous plot lines one the side, and a few things that seem a bit obvious. However, overall it was wonderful and genuinely enjoyable.It does I think dwell a bit too much on Louise's past. However, her past is important and it does have to be told.So yes, I loved this! It was totally action-packed and romantic. There was ever really a good moment to put it down, because I constantly felt that I needed to know what was going to happen next.THE ROMANCEThe romance in this book developed beautifully. Louise's and Stephen's relationship really grows, and doesn't feel fake or instalovey at all. There's a ton of chemistry, and so much tension. It's seriously one of the best-written romances I've ever read. And it's not smutty, which is a plus. It's passionate and yet also sweet, which makes it feel so realistic. I loved it. Honestly, it was just…wonderful. There's not much more to say here, but that's a good thing.THE WRITINGMary has utterly lovely writing. It alternates POV, mostly between Louise and Stephen but occasionally there's someone else, only rarely. Despite the writing style being the same, both of their voices were so distinct. Even without knowing who was narrating, I would have been able to tell just by their voices. While there's not so much description in this novel to speak of, it somehow glitters anyway. And the dialogue is so wonderfully done.THE ENDINGHEAs are one of my drugs of choice, and so of course I was immensely satisfied with this ending. It made me incredibly happy. As far as happy endings go, I'm not sure that I could have asked for more. It's perfect and adorable, and made me smile. It was definitely a bit far-fetched, but who cares? It was fun and I loved it. Totally romantic, and completely satisfying.WRAPUPI'll definitely be reading more of Mary's works, and I can confidently recommend this one! I know most of the people who read my reviews are YA readers, but I honestly believe that even if you read solely YA you'd still enjoy this one. It's not too heavy and it's still intriguing and majorly interesting. The story completely drew me in, and the characters are awesome. I really, really loved this one!FINE.Find more of my reviews on Sparkles and Lightning!