Victoria Leybourne, $0.99
Contemporary Romance, 2018
Rhian Rothe is your everyday nice girl, caring for her Gran and sneaking into the Albion Theatre in Convent Garden to support her good friend Jaya. Jaya is auditioning for a musical, and since no one is allowed to go in unless she is auditioning, Rhian inevitably finds herself on stage too. She’s terrible at it, but that’s okay, she’s not seeking any role in the first place. Still, she manages to catch the attention of Cornelius Guillaume Astor, the Crown Prince of Seingalt. You see, Cor needs a fake fiancée for the usual reasons, and he offers Rhian £20,000 if she will play along until he announces their breakup. That money can be used for many good things, so Rhian finds herself going off to Seingalt for an adventure of a lifetime. And that’s Rescuing the Prince in a nutshell.
Either I’m old or something gets messed up somewhere, but this one is marketed as a romance when I end up getting is something I’d consider a young adult story. Not even a romance, mind you, just a story with romantic elements. Rhian can’t be too mature since she thinks £20,000 can indelibly change the lives of herself and her Gran forever – that or this story takes place in the early 20th century, when that amount is really big enough to change’s one life for good. But this story is marketed as a contemporary romance, and it’s… well, not so much like one.
You see, this story has zero point of view from the hero, and it is far more preoccupied with showcasing Rhian’s young adult heroine-like adventures in Princess Land. It’s not something I normally go out of my way to read, and in fact, I wouldn’t if I hadn’t been led to believe that this is a contemporary romance. Young adult stories set in the present day tend to make cynical old bats like me break out in hives, after all.
Fortunately, this one turns out to be a pretty painless read. Rhian doesn’t annoy me or behave like some self-absorbed me-me-me Miss Thing, which is great as the story is told from her point of view. On the other hand, the story doesn’t have much excitement going for it, aside from fish out of water adventures of a heroine who gets to play the princess. In fact, the story arc is a predictable one, rarely deviating from the formula, so anyone who has read a few young adult princess stories will find much of this story to be familiar. There is some very mild suspense towards the end, but it doesn’t leave enough impact to make me sit up and go, “Okay, I take that back…”
This one’s alright. It’s just that I’m grown up now. Sweet little girls living out the Cinderella fantasy is nice and all, but I’d rather have a story of naughty princes doing unspeakably lascivious things to women whom they are offering unlimited credit and all. Like I’ve said, Rescuing the Prince isn’t for me, but I was led to believe it is. Oh well, I’d live.