SOS Aloha's Reviews > The Runaway Princess

The Runaway Princess by Hester Browne
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it was amazing

“Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.” - Twyla Tharp

For Amy Wilde, gardening is her art. It is also her livelihood – ranging from weeding, planting, and designing. The physical labor and resulting beauty help Amy heal from a family tragedy as she lives quietly in the shadow of her socially connected flatmate, Jo. Alas, Jo steps away from their “Heaven and Hell” party, forcing Amy to greet unexpected guests – a devil named Rolff and an angel named Leo. As a romance blooms between Amy and Leo, she learns that Leo is more than a successful banker – he is prince, 5th in line for the throne of a Mediterranean island/posh getaway/tax haven. Amy may be able to manipulate plants, but she finds thorns in her path as she cannot avoid the hungry press, royal expectations, and even her family’s shameful secret.

Browne takes readers on a merry carriage ride as Amy transforms into Cinderella while trying to hang onto her gardening business, endearing friends, and even her own identity. Browne sprinkles references to pop culture to make THE RUNAWAY PRINCESS a humorous read as Amy decides if the fairy tale is worth her family’s privacy. In fact, this was a poignant turn in the plot that made the book more than “Brit Chick Lit” – for me it became a heartwarming journey into what really matters in life.

Browne’s secondary characters brought comic relief – who knew that Jo (from a titled but broke family) could make a living managing contractors for her rich friends? But it was Leo who stole my heart – a true prince with humanity ala Prince William. The book is 448 pages, which typically would be a challenge for me. Yet this was an easy and engaging story that I finished in record time. Like Cinderella, it is a clean read with no sex. Browne gives us romance – actually dating! – with picnic lunches in secluded gardens, meeting Amy’s parents in their reduced circumstances, and chatting unassumingly with Leo’s grandfather, the reigning prince and avid gardener.

THE RUNAWAY PRINCESS cultivates old fashioned values of honor, integrity, friendship, and love. Recommended read for those who enjoy sweet romances, British culture, and gardening, too!

I received an ARC from the publisher for this review.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
September 22, 2012 – Shelved

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