Jayden Woods is the author's pen name. Jayden is a graduate of the University of Southern California's Writing for Screen and Television program. She lived and worked in Los Angeles for five years before leaving Hollywood to pursue her passion of writing prose and novels. Her published works include the various Tales of Mercia and the related "Sons of Mercia" trilogy, beginning with "Eadric the Grasper."
The Prince and the Pretenderby Jayden Woods
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To this day, the truth behind the supposed death and reemergence of the first "False" Dmitri remains a mystery. Explore this sordid and tragic tale of Tsarist Russia during the Time of Troubles through the eyes of young Xenia, daughter of Tsar Boris Godunov. Xenia must choose between love, lust, and family in the midst of scandals, war, and tragedy. Her decision will change the fate of all Russia.
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- Jayden Woods
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Unlike so many historical romance novels which are focused on the same time period and the same setting, Prince and Pretender uses late renaissance era Russia as a backdrop. It tells an interesting story of conspiracy, secrets, hidden identities, and of course a love triangle. Check it out if you want something different than the usual Regency fare.
Xenia is the tsarvena (her father is the tsar of Russia) and she finds herself caught up in a whirlwind of events that throw her life into turmoil. I loved the layers of mystery and intrigue and romance that Jayden Woods plotted throughout this epic masterpiece, and it made me more interested to learn about this particular time in history and this family dynasty. Sensual, steamy scenes entice and thrill…I only wish there were more! The pacing and editing was near flawless (I notice these things) and overall the whole feeling of the book is that it is professional and polished and could stand on its own against any other masters in this genre. I loved the ending…but does this mean the story might continue on? I hope so!
This is truly one of those books that makes you want to curl up in front of the fireplace (its been rainy and cold here) and shut out the world for a while so you can be transported to another era. What a magnificent novel! I had to restrain myself from devouring it too quickly. I knew from the very first page that I’d like it as I liked the authors writing style and thought is to be very descriptive and she writes with such confidence. Immediately we are thrust into the tsarina Xenia’s world, and thrown into the action. There is no boring “backstory” or long winded “info dumps’ here (a personal pet peeve of mine with hist/rom). The world building is rich and atmospheric and for a while we really feel like we are in the Tsarevna’s life. It was a rollercoaster ride of emotions and twists and turns I didn’t see coming. Love it when books aren’t formulaic and predictable! I’ll definitely be looking for more from Jayden Woods in the future and am happy to see she already has an impressive backlist. Definitely recommend.
There is nothing I love more than feeling like I have maybe learned a little something after reading a good book, or at least been exposed to a certain element of life previously unknown to me. I’ve read several historical romances over the past few years, and while they were all very pleasant in their own way, they all seemed to be lacking a certain something. Maybe because they were all focused solely on the romance angle and the other plots took a backseat. But in “The Prince and The Pretender”, the author so masterfully weaves together a multi layered web of plots, each intriguing and compelling and unpredictable, at NO point can the story be dull or uninteresting. And oh yeah…the romance(s) were HOT :-). I really liked Xenia and thought her to be quite witty and resourceful. An admirable lead worth rooting for. A must read for fans of historical fiction and romance.
The Prince and the Pretender by Jayden Woods was such an unexpected delight for me! I admit I’m not one for reading historical fiction, but I’ve been wanting to expand my reading horizons lately and the intriguing premise and quality writing drew me in to the book. I’m so glad I read it! I was very impressed not only with the author’s ability to completely transport me to another time and place, but it all felt very authentic and well-researched. I know that this wasn’t an actual true story, but is inspired by real characters and events, but it really felt real. The descriptions painted the scene perfectly, and the dialogue did a great job of moving the story forward. I read this whole book in a matter of a few nights, and it is a bit on the longer side but so totally worth it! I was sad when it was over but will be reading more from this author in the future for sure. Highly recommend!