Published: 4th November, 2014
Publisher: Penguin Australia
Format: ebook courtesy of the publisher
Prince Alexander Davros is on the run. From the press, from his bodyguards, and from a secret that threatens his position as heir to his country’s throne …
Journalist Maddie Lawson is determined to prove herself capable of covering hard news. She’s fuming when her boss tells her to investigate reports of a European prince holidaying undercover in Sydney. As far as Maddie is concerned, Alexander Davros is a freeloading playboy.
When their accidental meeting results in a media frenzy, Alex is convinced Maddie’s just been using him for a story. And Maddie can’t believe the cute surfer she kissed was actually royalty. With her professional reputation in tatters, Maddie has no choice but to accept the royal family’s offer to travel to Europe to write a profile on the Prince.
While furious that his father has arranged for Maddie to visit, Alex is forced to keep her close or risk having her uncover his secret. And as they spend more time together, the attraction between them grows. But if Maddie discovers the truth, she’ll have to choose between the career she’s worked so hard for and the man she’s just getting to know …
I’d been going through a book slump where nothing I read could hold my attention or encourage me to read, and then I stumbled across this one sitting on my e-reader and thought why not. Next thing I know the sun is setting and I’ve finished the book… the entire book in one sitting!
‘You don’t want a prince?’
The girl chuckled. ‘What would I do with a prince? No, they are welcome to him’ She waved her arms around at the other woman in the pub.
“No?’ Alex asked, suddenly beginning to enjoy probing the woman with these questions. he rarely got the chance to have a conversation with someone who didn’t know who he was. it was even rarer to have one with someone with such pretty eyes. Green, he realised.”
Maddie is a journalist for the Sydney Times whose dream is to write a life changing piece that holds worth and merit, not some report on a European Prince who may or may not be hiding out in Manly, Australia. So naturally when she is assigned the report it’s the last thing she wants. Begrudgingly and half heartedly Maddie set outs with her best friend Kate to ‘find’ the prince, but expects the night to be a flop. Then she meets a mysterious tall and dark stranger and her night is changed for the better…. until she has to leave and go hunt for the prince again.
Prince Willem Alexander Raphael Davros is on a holiday in Australia and the last thing he wants is the media poking its nose where its not wanted. So he establishes a few fake twitter accounts and leads the media and ‘prince scouting’ girls on a wild goose chase to different venues. Then he meets Maddie a woman who is apparently searching for him and yet oblivious to who she is speaking to. He throws her a few lines testing the waters (“You don’t want a prince?”) and is intrigue by the only girl he’s ever meet that seems to like him for who he is and not what he is.
After a heart stopping kiss on the beach, their true identity is revealed and neither like the other much. And so their brief almost-romance encounter is over before it began. Or so they each thought. Add in a couple of meddling parents, a Jubilee celebration in Amorea (Alex’s country), a bucket of misunderstandings and past that just begs to be uncovered, and the pair of them are sure to be sick of the sight of each other before too long… or fall head first into bed. Whichever works.
As mentioned above, I quite enjoyed this book for a number of reasons. The first being that it was put together effortlessly and because of that it was an easy read. The writing was great and I never would have guessed this was a début novel if I hadn’t been told already. Actually it was so great that I was able to sit on my bed and read the entire thing in one sitting for the majority of the day without the need to search for food or do something else. It literally held me captive, not so much that I was on the edge of my seat for it was fairly obvious what was going to happen right from the start, but because I was so immersed in their world that I didn’t want to leave. So I didn’t until the book was finished, and then I wanted more. The characters were interesting and each embodied real human doubts and fears that held the story together and created a powerful play between what they wanted and what they should want and do.
While it’s true I encountered a couple of small plot problems, I never really noticed them while reading to be honest because I was so caught up in the story they didn’t seem to matter. However post reading two main issues dawned on me:
I find it hard to believe that as a trained journalist who wants to get more hard hitting pieces, that Maddie wouldn’t have done some research into her target: Prince Willem Alexander Raphael Davros. Surely she would have at least goggled him one to find out what he looked like? Or something about him that might clue her into where he might be whilst hiding out in Manly? But alas she does no such thing, and goes on a wild goose chase for a Prince that she doesn’t care to find… so it’s no real wonder why she doesn’t recognise him when she does meet him the first night, but surely by the second night she might have seen or heard something more substantial about him then “Willem Alexander Raphael Davros: he was 34 and allegedly single, though the internet seemed to hold endless rumours linking him with leggy blondes and insouciant brunettes.” For we all know that means nothing.
Another issue I noticed with the plot early on was the fact that Alex, or more accurately Prince Alex has no security in tow. Surely a crown prince would have something or someone. I know its loosely waved away by the slight explanation of being a trained soldier and this being a romance and all, but I just don’t buy it fully.
That said, I could overlook both of these points as a reader, because well I was suspending my sense of belief after all – we can’t all be Prince Mary’s and meet our Prince in a pub in Australia. That said as a reader it didn’t really bother me either because I was swept up in their tale from early on and I just wanted to know more. Read more. Feel more.
The Secret Prince is a sweet, light, entertaining read with a romance that is easily to get caught by in. It’s effortless and kind of the perfect lazy Sunday read. So if you like reading Royal stories, or are a fan of movies such as The Prince & Me (which is what I thought of the whole time I read), I highly recommend this one. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.
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