Red-Hot and Royal
Signet, Jun 2008, $14.00
Following the forced wedding of compatriot Prince Hugo to Princess Agnes, three other princes, Zain of Mataar, Santos of Isla de la Perla, and Rafael of Tiazza heed the warning of watching their steps in public. The threesome agrees that even though Agnes meets the bridal princess job description perfectly, they do not want to follow Hugo into an arranged boring marriage.
Zain is turning thirty shortly; his people believe deeply in the “Prince Curse” that the female who kisses him at midnight on his birthday is his bride; failure to comply means forfeiting his claim to the throne. To avoid ambitious females, Zain hides in an Illinois cornfield. Lauren is on a quest to achieve her life goals including kissing a prince; she does at the wrong time, but rejects Zain’s offer of marriage though accepts his offer of bed time.
Santos is exiled to a class in Los Angeles hosted by an image consultant so that he can perform some of the duchy’s diplomatic functions. Kaylee sees her project as converting a surfer-boy into a royal adult; Santos sees the project as converting his instructor from a born again workaholic into a frolicking beach bunny.
Rafael visits his brother Luca, who loves unacceptable Cathy the American commoner. He asks his friend Shayla to pretend to be a gold-digger chasing Luca so their family will accept Cathy as the lesser of two evils. However, Rafael turns jealous when Shayla performs in his mind too perfectly and Cathy dumps Rafael for concealing her from his family.
These four contemporary romances are amusing chick lit tales as the European royals are Americanized. Susanna Carr juggles are ensemble cast with dexterity so that none are the same and all are full blooded; albeit the guys in blue and the gals in red. Although there are a couple of key moments that are brushed aside but seem too significant to ignore, sub-genre fans will appreciate these middle class women who fit the anti-princess job description and their royal hunks falling in taboo love.