The First Princess of Wales
Karen Harper
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Buy *The First Princess of Wales* by Karen Harper online

The First Princess of Wales
Karen Harper
Three Rivers Press
624 pages
December 2006
rated 3 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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In the mid-fourteenth century, Joan of Kent is a young woman on a mission. After years of watching her mother hide behind the emotional walls of grief after her husbandís death, Joan is confused, isolated and aware that there is more to the story than she has been told.

Invited to attend to the court of Edward III, the young woman arrives in a state of excitement, helplessly naÔve and unaware of the vast web of court intrigues that surround the throne. Unwittingly, she stumbles upon a handsome knight on her first day at the castle, not recognizing Edward IV, Prince of Wales, the man who holds the key to her future happiness.

Upon her motherís death, Joan learns that the very same Plantagenets who have welcomed her to their court have actually plotted the death of her father. Confused by her attraction to Edward, she is unable to reconcile the facts, secretly vowing revenge upon the royal family, even upon Edward, the object of her affection.

She neednít have worried. The queen has noticed the attraction between her son and the new lady-in-waiting, ordering this young miss quickly wed and out of Edwardís sight. Joan of Kent is married to a Knight of the Garter who lives in the borderlands of France, far removed from the prince, although he remains an active part of her life.

It is Edward who comes to her aid over and over while her husband is at war for the king, Edward who will not let Joan forget that they are meant to be together, soul mates in spite of the impediment of her marriage. Joan resists the ties that the prince so readily accepts, realizing she will never be accepted as his wife.

Joan vacillates between helpless infatuation with Edward and rage at the disservice to her family, periodically embarking on missions of revenge that unerringly fail to yield the desired results. Although her small rebellions always fail, Joan stubbornly persists in her attempts to wreak havoc, frustrated by her own conflicted desires.

Even in the midst of war and peasant uprising, Joan travels dangerous terrain to confront her heartís desire, putting them both at great risk. Eventually Joan claims her place in the royal family line, at the side of her beloved as his wife, the first Princess of Wales.

Formerly published as Sweet Passionís Pain, the historical narrative gives perspective to the constant threat of war with France during a tumultuous era, as England struggles for dominance in Europe.

Filled with treachery, family betrayals, court intrigue, troubadours, chivalry and the drama of forbidden love, Joanís future is secured by a determined prince who has more faith in their future than she.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Luan Gaines, 2006

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