Peasant to Prince by Dawn Sorenson
Life isn’t easy for a princess, especially when she sets her sights on a charming stable hand instead of the princes she is supposed to fall for.
In a small country named Orilon, a young princess named Eleanor Westra falls in love with a dazzling stable hand by the name of Claude Resdeus. He is smart, kind, and probably the most handsome man she has never seen. He has all of the qualities that none of the princes available to her have. Except, of course, Claude is no prince. Regardless, they choose to hide their relationship, seeing each other right under the noses of her parents.
But when a rogue attack on Orilon finds its way into the castle grounds, Eleanor’s father is forced to send her off with Claude as her guard. With a sword and a horse they are sent riding through the countryside, fleeing from the feral Inic tribe that seeks to destroy their homeland. Their destination is her parents’ vacation home on the tropical beaches of an allied country, an ideal retreat, if they weren’t leaving behind their home and their families in a war stricken state.
In the most unlikely of situations, Claude and Eleanor’s relationship will be tested in ways they never could have imagined. Can it survive the hurdles thrown at them by their escape and the impassioned decisions made in the dead of the night?
The Book Doctors: This is such a bodice ripper, I can practically see the cover! This is one of the great tropes in storytelling. The Princess and the stable boy who are thrown together by war and find forbidden love. There’s a reason this kind of story has been around for so long: people love these kinds of stories. But what is a valuable asset can also be a detriment. Because the story is so familiar, you have to really work hard to differentiate yours. There has to be something new that you’re adding to the conversation. And some of this just seems not very original. For example, when you call the love interest “dazzling … smart, kind and probably the most handsome man.” Those are words I’ve heard so many times that they’ve lost a lot of their meaning. There’s nothing unexpected about them. And the story you tell seems to be kind of general. For example, I don’t get a full sense of the danger when they are riding on the horse through the feral tribe. You don’t paint enough of a specific word picture, and I don’t understand quite what the consequences will be if they get caught. I would like you to show us a scene where we actually see their romance blossom instead of you just telling us about it. And it’s really important for us to understand how much of a romance book this is by associating it with other books that you think are similar, again in the broadest sense.