The Runaway Princess is the latest novel by Hester Browne who has also written bestselling novels Swept Off Her Feet, The Little Lady Agency in the Big-Apple and The Finishing Touches. Despite being the author of so many best selling books, I'd never read any of Hester Browne's stories before so I was eager to discover her writing style and get stuck into her latest book, The Runaway Princess.
The story follows Amy Wilde who is married to her less than glamorous job as a top gardener. Despite her flatmate Jo (who is the complete opposite of Amy) continually trying to set her up, it just doesn't happen. Amy is comfortable with her life - it might not be glossy but she's happy. However her life is turned upside down when she a meets mysterious and handsome man called Leo and experiences an immediate mutual connection. Imagine her surprise however when she discovers that he's a prince and his life is everything hers is not!
The blurb reads -
Amy Wilde is tired of the idiots her glamorous flatmate Jo tries to set her up with - she'd much rather be landscaping a garden with her dog Badger at her side than trying to find the man of her dreams. That is, until she meets Leo Wolfsburg. Handsome, polite, funny, intriguing - Leo is everything Amy could want in a man. Best of all, the attraction seems mutual.
But Leo's lifestyle is a world away from her own. Private planes, charity balls, exclusive members' clubs - Amy begins to realise that her simple existance has been turned upside down. And just where is Leo's home country of Nirona, anyway? Is this all too good to be true?
This book deals with exactly what happens after the 'happy ever after' - something we don't often get to read about in books. It's a much more realistic example of a fairytale - as much as we'd all like to be swept off our feet by a handsome man who turns out to be a prince, there's a lot more to it than that. For example, Amy isn't too happy that Leo lied to her about who he actually was and then she's more than convinced she's not cut out to be a princess. Then there's family members - those who want the crown for themselves and those who don't think Amy could fill the role of a princess. It's refreshing to know that not everyone lives happily ever after without their fair share of pressure, especially when it comes to marrying a prince. I'd like to think should any ordinary girl meet a prince, this book is an accurate representation of how it would all play out. And I love that. I really, really love how this book manages to stay realistic but also inspiring at the same time.
I thought Hester Browne's writing was really witty and found myself giggling along constantly. The story was just right ; it was heartwarming and uplifting but it also had it's fair share of moments that made you stop and think which I liked. It definitely made me laugh a lot more than other stories too.
I loved Amy's character because I think we can all relate to her in someway. She's slightly shy around people she doesn't know - worrying about saying the wrong thing or giving off the wrong impression and prefers staying in the kitchen eating foods at parties instead of socialising. But she's also head strong and determined, especially when it comes to her career. Sure, she could definitely do with glamming herself up a bit, but at the end of the day she's just a normal lady like any of us.
My favourite character would hands down have to be womaniser Rolf. He's absolutely hilarious - he has no clue about woman (but manages to bag them all somehow anyway?) and is devilishly handsome. In fact, is it wrong that before I fell in love with Leo's character, I kind of wanted to explore things further between Amy and Rolf and wanted to know what would happen if she'd given him a chance? What can I say, I always did prefer a bad boy womaniser over a romantic prince any day..
Overall this book was really witty and inspiring and I loved how long it was. It started from when Amy and Leo met, but didn't stop when they fell in love. We found out exactly what happened when Amy struggled to fit in with their royal family. This seems like a lot, the book covering their relationship from the very beginning but it felt just right - it wasn't rushed but the writing didn't seem forced either.
And as a final note, I'd also like to add that the book cover is SO cute. It's very girly and sophisticated, which is a perfect reflection of the story.
You can purchase Hester Browne's The Runaway Princess on Amazon now.
P.S Check out the Book Reviews tag for more book reviews! Also, please do visit Hanging On Every Word - another blog I'm part of. It's a collaborative book review blog between myself and some other bloggers and there are some great reviews on there! Please do check it out!
*Please note, this post contains a PR sample.