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The Runaway Princess

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  4,906 ratings  ·  590 reviews
If Amy Wilde’s new boyfriend, Leo, treats her like a queen, that’s because he’s secretly a prince himself: Leopold William Victor Wolfsburg of Nirona, the ninth most eligible royal bachelor in the world. Amy soon discovers that dating an heir to a throne has many charms—intimate dinners, glittering galas, and a dazzling new wardrobe with tiaras to match. But there are also ...more
Paperback, 431 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by Gallery Books
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Average rating 3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,906 ratings  ·  590 reviews

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Feb 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I tried to read Hester Browne's first book and put it down after, oh, 20 pages or so.

So I was reluctant to read THE RUNAWAY PRINCESS, but it was at my library and I needed something to read so...

Wow. Am I glad I picked it up.

I loved Hester Browne's voice in this book. Her writing is warm, and funny, and real. I gulped the book down as fast as I could.

Amy Wilde is a London-based gardener whose speciality is wildflowers (I see what you did with the name there, Browne.) She lives in a flat with her
This review is spoiler-free and here’s why: the title of the book alone is a huge spoiler, the prologue is an even bigger one, and the back cover blurb gives away one of the biggest “surprises” in the whole book. Not that chick-lits are bursting with suspense as a rule, but at least there is a flimsy veil drawn across how Our Heroine and Mr Perfect end up together. In this case, it was the sheer likability of the main characters and the wit and warmth of Browne’s writing that kept me turning the ...more
Nada A.
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

I am extremely disappointed, although this is entirely my fault. I was super excited going into this because the premise sounds exactly like the kind of story I love to read about (I'm a sucker for Kate Middleton-type stories) but this ended up being just irritating.

The first quarter of the book was fine, interesting even. I enjoyed all the character development and Amy and Leo's blossoming relationship but the more their relationship progressed the more annoyed I got.

Mar 09, 2019 rated it liked it
I wasnt exactly blown away but if you like cliche books about hot princes and simple girls then you will love this.
Tiff at Mostly YA Lit
Review originally posted on Mostly YA Lit:
The Runaway Princess by Hester Browne stars Amy Wilde as an up-and-coming garden designer in London, hailing from small-town Yorkshire. On New Year's Eve, her fun-loving best friend and roommate throws a party where she meets Leo, a fund manager that she instantly has an attraction to. What she doesn't know is that he's a prince, and Amy's middle-class life is about to be turned upside-down.

I really enjoyed the romance of The Runaway Princess.
Hester Browne is a go-to to for fun, fluffy reads that still retain quality writing. I once likened reading The Little Lady Agency to eating a big piece of chocolate cake. Not an every day occurrence, because it is possible to have too much sugar, but enjoyable in the right moderation.

Browne does it here as well: the staple better-than-she-knows leading lady, the fun and smart best friends, the really cute guy who might just be too good to be true, and the situation that makes our leading lady
I'm becoming increasingly angry reading this mess of a supposed modern fairy-tale. The main characters have NO personality, the book skips over important events and casually mentions what could have been entertaining scenarios in fleeting terms, and if I read "sausage rolls," "daisy," or "Nirona" one more time I swear I will scream. Nirona. Seriously. Stupidest name for an imaginary kingdom. I literally cringe every time it's mentioned, and that's a whole heck of a lot.

The prince isn't likable,
Miranda Kenneally
May 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Took me a little while to get into this but I'm so glad I stuck with it because it was hilarious and sweet. Loved the romance.
Sally Whiteside
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Beautifully written but as much as much as I love this author I didn't really like this story much.
Cora Tea Party Princess
5 Words: Gardening, family, friends, love, royalty.

This was such a fun listen, read by one of my auto-buy narrators.

It's feel-good fun at its best.

Full review to come.
Jacqueline's Reads
Dec 22, 2012 rated it liked it
3 Stars

I am highly disappointed with The Runaway Princess. I love Hester Brown books and I have read all of them and so when I noticed this recent release, I was very excited.

Amy is your typical normal gal; she lives in London and co-owns a garden business. Amy meets Leo at a party and doesn’t know Leo’s a prince. I wish I could say the book is about Amy discovering who Leo is, but it’s not and that was probably the down fall of the book.

The first 60 pages were not necessary, I felt like it didn
Absolutely loved it! Perfect blend of romance, wittiness and angsty plot. It was funny, incredibly well written and very good. I love reading a book that really gives a well rounded account of a couple falling in love. They have friends, their own lives and their own problems. Each person brings their own life to the table and reading about that makes a book so much more rich.
And I love Royal romance. So add that, and this book was a total winner.

Loved Amy, and completely connected with her and
Feb 15, 2014 rated it did not like it
Couple of seriously irritating points:
1. The MC doesn't seem to stand for anyone or anything-
E.g. when she lets Sofia and Liza push her around-like so much. I get that the author is trying to show how Amy is in a difficult position, but quite frankly I think the way that she handled it-to go along with it, disregard her values, and then run away from it all when it all gets too much-is hardly admirable.
2. The romance-Leo is perfect-too perfect. He lacks character and is really quite boring.
Dean MacKinnon-Thomson

I don't recommend this, disappointing book.

Characters: stereotypes. Few of them lovable, and the primary protag (Amy) is insultingly anti-feminist. A woman who naturally cant take compliments or handle her own emotions... Ffs... And using a flat uber-bitch from career land in form of Sophia does NOT balance out Amy anti-fem character! Not all feminists are heartless career scum who loath family and enjoy stress work... sophia is just another stereotype.

Plot: confused. First 15% of book isnt
Dec 22, 2013 rated it did not like it
Boring, dull, totally unrealistic and annoying. Amy is silly and stupid. The title gives away the story. Such a silly read. Wasted my time. I do not recommend it.
Nov 28, 2017 added it
Shelves: chick-lit

After nearly being buried under my last book, the 1,149 page Outlander behemoth, An Echo in the Bone, I was looking for something lighter and shorter to read. Inspired by American princess to be Meghan Markle, I picked up this cute little novel about a commoner who becomes engaged to a prince. When gardener Amy meets Leo at a party she is the only person on earth who doesn't recognize who he is. She quickly gets caught up in the fun part of being a royal, diamond bracelets, glittering parties
The title of The Runaway Princess is misleading because Amy, our heroine, is just ordinary English middle-class girl. Her best friends Jo jokingly calls her 'Queen of Spades', but that's got more to do with Amy's profession than social status. If you haven't guessed it, Amy is a gardener. I felt close to Amy immediately - we had a lot of similarities. We're both not afraid to get our hands dirty, do not care about latest fashion, makeup, manicure and usually say wrong thing or get tongue-tied ...more
Lauricia Dawn
Jun 13, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a very cute book.
I really liked Hester’s writing style, it was very funny and the dialogue was like stepping straight into a delicious romcom.
I loved Amy and Jo, their relationship was adorable.
I was also enjoying Leo and Amy’s relationship, more at the beginning before she discovered he was a prince, but whatever.
The only reason I wouldn’t give this more stars is because it felt like it took me a long time to get through it, and I don’t know if I’d devour it again, but I DID enjoy it.
Sally S
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've been looking for a good royal romance for ages and this is most definitely it. The heroine (and narrator) Amy is a down to earth Yorkshire gardener with a very funny internal monologue. Her friends and family are complex and well drawn, the central relationship doesn't ignore the problems that would come with a millionaire Prince falling in love with a working class girl, it's genuinely funny and surprising (yes even with that spoiler title). I just loved this. It neatly sidestepped all the ...more
This book wanted to be SO MANY THINGS so it didn't quite manage to be any of them. I'd have liked to see more about either Leo and Amy or about Amy reconciling her past and her present.
Nasty Lady MJ
Jul 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
To see full review click here:

I started this book right before my last final and had a hard time putting it down (thank God the final was open note and I basically started the book when study time was over).

This book was simply a breath of fresh air. Yeah, it was predictable and it was ridiculously fluffy, but I really enjoyed it.

Maybe it's because I love any book with princesses in it-you can blame Meg Cabot for that one folks. Also, I was sort of
I really liked this book. I thought for a fairy-tale type of story it was surprisingly believable and it really made me think of what I would do if faced with the same situations. I really did relate to Amy. She was a girl who took pride in working for everything she got and I liked that about her, she didn't let the glamour of dating a prince change her personality. She was a normal girl and I think that's what made the book not feel over the top, which a lot of modern princess stories can be ...more
Rating: solid 3 stars

It was a nice cute read. The shy wallflower, middle income girl gets the prince, but I did however find the Leo character quite lacking. He was great and charming, but there really wasn't much depth to him. He didn't really have any flaws. Sure, he was really considerate made the heroine feel special, but he never made a mistake. There was no hidden traumas of being royal or emotions of resentment that his every action was monitored by the press. Or that he followed a
Where this book falls on the motor revvin’ scale:

--->Sweet: This book could be read by Puritans without blushing.
Sensual: A few pages of sexy time, but mostly story.
Hot: NSFW but safe enough for the bus if you hide the cover.
Erotic: Oh my.

Genre tropes:
* Rich or super-rich hero
* Awkward heroine/ Ugly duckling
* Royalty
* Heroine is tortured by her past
* Insta-love

The first romance novel to make me laugh out loud a couple of times, but with awful two dimensional characters.

The love interest was
Jan 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Actual rating: 4.5 out of 5

Reading secular rom-com isn't always my cup of tea. Fortunately I'd read a stellar review for this novel which led me to buy a copy. After that The Runaway Princess sat on my shelf being good for nothing but taking up space. Once I finally got into it, I had to ask myself: why did I wait so long to read this!?

The snappy dialogue (which is deliciously British), its British setting and wonderfully colorful characters gives this book an edge. Sure it will probably
Mar 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
Hester Brown's books are always such fund with a leisurely pace and lots of character development.
What I like best is that the characters are believable with honest reasons for the behaviors, not turning completely into someone else at that last minute to make the plot work.
Amy is somewhat shy, but not because she doens't care for people or is uninterested. She has some bad past to constantly remind her of what happens when you let people in. I could eastily understand why she is the way she
Sep 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: chick-lit, 2012
I liked The Runaway Princess. I might've enjoyed it a bit more if it hadn't been such a long book.

It's about a "normal" girl who falls in love with a prince. It describes itself as "The Princess Diaries meets Runaway Bride" and this description is pretty much exactly what I would've compared it to.

I enjoyed the parts where she was being taught how to be "royal" the most. My main problem with it was the length. I thought there unnecessary parts and times when the book moved a bit slowly.
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I went through a bunch of royal wedding books a few months ago, due to Harry and Meghan's wedding. I had this one ready to go at the time, but burned out. Reading it now, I realize it should've been at the top of my list. This is a fun story, about a gardener in London, named Amy, who meets a wonderful guy, Leo, at a party. She soon learns that he is actually a prince, albeit with no hope of becoming the Crown Prince of his homeland. This is a great romantic story, with some twists I saw coming ...more
Jan 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Totally guilty pleasure I grabbed in the library. Not sure how to rate it: I really enjoyed reading it, but it wasn't a good book (characters are one-dimensional, you know what is going to happen if you have ever read any other piece of chick lit). Still...I was entranced and enjoyed it in spite of myself.
Jun 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars-This was a really fun book. Typical nobody meets a prince love story with lots of flair in between. It felt a little rushed at the end, but I still really enjoyed the characters and their stories.
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Hester Browne was born in England's Lake District, read English at Trinity College, Cambridge, and worked as a fiction editor before leaving publishing to write full time. She enjoys Scottish reeling, driving, baking, and trawling eBay for estate sale bargains. She doesn't enjoy hot weather, tax returns, or any talent programme where people have to plead to be allowed to juggle flaming chainsaws ...more
“I'm not that nice," I said. People were always telling me how nice I was. You'd think it would be a compliment, but it was amazing how sometimes it just felt like a kinder way of saying "blah." "I just keep my horrible side well hidden.” 8 likes
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