The Princess Stakes: A Multicultural Regency Romance
When her father, the Maharaja of Joor, is murdered, Princess Sarani Rao flees to Britain, assuming the name and title of her Scottish mother. It happens the ship she sneaks aboard is captained by Rhystan Huntley, now the Duke of Embry, whom Sarani loved five years ago but sacrificed due to political pressure. Hardened by resentment and betrayals, Rhystan enjoys punishing Sarani for his pain by making her serve as his cabin boy. But in England, the foul-mouthed, foul-tempered captain turns into a status-conscious duke and proposes an engagement of convenience to shield himself from his matchmaking mother. Sarani, needing refuge, agrees.
Howard tackles head-on the prejudices of upper-crust English society; though a princess, Sarani dreads public scorn if her identity is known—at least until her enemies show up, which allows her to demonstrate her swordsmanship. True love eventually conquers bigotry, betrayal, and the demands of caste, but not without plenty of shipboard antics, balls, fights, and unbridled passion as the leads resist, then indulge their overwhelming attraction. Howard keeps the sexual tension at a constant sizzle, and it’s wonderful to see a heroine of color fight her own battles. Frequent reversals and much love-hate upheaval make this a rousing tale.