These are books 29 and 30 of my 100 books challenge and part of the Cordina family series written by Nora Roberts.
Cordina’s Crown Jewel
When Gabriella Bisset is found alive on the side of a road, her family and country breathes a sigh of relief. The full extent of her injuries is only obvious when she wakes up – she has amnesia. Her father, His Royal Highness Armand de Cordina and the Minister of State Loubet agree that it is best for her and her country that no one knows of her condition except those closest to her. Armand employs the help of the son of one of his good friends, Reeve McGee. The ex-cop turned farmer returns to Cordina to help the Bissets protect Gabriella, but to protect her reputation they agree the two must be presented as an engaged couple. As Brie’s memory starts to return in patches, she must deal with her growing attachment to Reece. Together they set out to return Brie’s memory to her, and find trouble along the way as they discover who is behind it all.
In its genre, this can be considered as a good book. Nora Roberts sticks to her tried and tested method of writing. Damsel in distress, male hero, etc. etc. There is very little deviation from a generic storyline of lust and suspense, but the novel is well executed and moves smoothly from on event to another. The first time I read the book I was really surprised at both villains, so points must be given for that. Reece is the traditional hero – handsome, strong and proud. There is a lot of generic royal talk, and I rolled my eyes at that. I thoroughly hope that no royal is so impressed with their royal pedigree in real life!
Eve Hamilton returns to Cordina to produce plays as a fundraising event for the Aid to Handicapped Children organization. She is excited to reconnect with the entire royal family, except to heir to the throne, Alexander. Alexander’s silent disapproval stung Eve as a young woman, but now, being older and wiser, she has accepted him as a necessary evil. Her arrival in Cordina is marred by the grisly tidings of the death of his Highness Armand de Cordina’s secretary, Seward. Eve accompanies Alex to give the terrible tidings to Seward’s wife, and realizes that there is a man behind the title who struggles with his anger. When Eve learns that Alex thinks that she is in relationship with his younger brother Bennett, she is furious, and refuses to tell him the truth. She doesn’t know that Alex suffers with this knowledge, because he is genuinely attracted to her. When he kisses her, Eve thinks it only as a competition to his brother, and returns to America in a furious with him.
Eve returns two months later to start working on her biggest accomplishment to date. She finally sleeps with Alex after he learns that she has never been with Bennett, and they start to face their feelings. Alex is forced to accept that he loves her after she nearly dies following an explosion at the theater. Nothing that he says can force her to return to America, and he is constantly tortured by the thought of her safety.
When Eve finds that one of her company is behind the bombings, she jumps in front of Alex to save his life. She is injured, in hospital under constant supervision, and Alex begs her to remain with him. She makes a recovery, and accepts Alex’s marriage proposal, and a life of royalty.
Command Performance is my favorite book of the series. As with the others, it is very predictable, but still good to read. I suspected the villain here, so that is a minus. Reading about her and Alexander, and the opulence in which he finds himself, was intriguing. I would recommend this book to any person who loves romance novels.