"She must not become enarmored with the man simply for a beautiful knowledge of good literature. But the more she thought on him, the more she asked herself what better reason could merit interest in a man."
As the small kingdom of Oldenburg faces the threats of drought and an invasion from Napoleon, Crown Prince Hayes Wilhem finds himself in England seeking aid. The Duke of Shelby happily hosts Prince Hayes, and his two brothers, and introduces them to many in society. However, the Duke of Shelby has an alterior motive for his kindness. He has charged his two children, Duncan and Elsie, with spying on the Prince.
thoughts & feelings
I love A Torn Allegiance even more than the first book in this series, A Foreign Crown! I love how developed all of the main characters are and how we get to see glimpses into their motivations and secrets (yes, secrets) throughout the story. Obviously, we get to see our leading lady and main man the most, but I was pleasantly surprised with what we get to know about the Duke of Shelby, Duncan, and the Duke of Sumter. I know he isn't one of the Oldenburg princes but I would love for the Duke of Sumter to get his own book. Super unlikely, I know, so I'll just hold on to the hope that we get to see more of him and Lady Sophie in the next book.
One of my favorite parts of A Torn Allegiance was how well rounded the world is. Kind of strange wording I know. In my experience a lot of novels focus on one particular country or even city. For example, most Regency Romance novels take place in London or in an English countryside estate. We rarely hear about world events. I loved that Jen Geigle Johnson was able to connect Napoleon, England, Scotland, and the invented world of Oldenburg together in actual historical facts. It was so interesting to see how these countries dealt with their own issues, like drought and lack of crops, while also worrying about Napolean invading. Stacking countries and historical events gave the world and characters so much depth and I loved seeing all of their points of view.
Lastly, I also love that Jen is not writing books in order of siblings. The first novel in the series, A Foreign Crown, focuses on the youngest brother of Oldenburg and this novel focuses on the Crown Prince. I love that I know there are more books coming but also have no idea which brother could be next! The anticipation is so much fun.
Want to know my guess? I'm thinking that Prince Marc is next in line for his love story...and I'll leave it at that.
Steam Level: clean, kissing
Content Warnings: none
Trigger Warnings: none
Title: A Torn Allegiance
Series: A Royal Regency #2
Author: Jen Geigle Johnson