Sometimes, you just need to eat some candy. Or in my case, read some candy books. You know the kind – books with little substance that can often be devoured in a few days if not hours. “The Little Lady and the Prince” by Hester Browne is just one of these books. This is the third book in the series and I found it to be quite enjoyable.
SPOILER ALERT: IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE FIRST TWO BOOKS IN THIS SERIES PREPARE FOR SPOILERS!!! OR JUST STOP READING…
The Little Lady Agency is what started it all. The main character, Melissa Romney-Jones starts up this ‘finishing’ business in the first book and continues her adventures in a second and now third book. In this business, Melissa performs a wide range of things including girlfriend-like tasks. She sends flowers and gifts for those forgetful sons/uncles/boyfriends to make them look good, she does makeovers for guys without a clue, she even helps guys get out of sticky spots like flings turned stalker and so on. All in all, she does a little bit of everything and she does this under a different name – Honey.
In the first book, Melissa met an American who was just getting out of a very messy divorce and wanted to avoid the ‘set-ups’ from various friends and acquaintances. So, Jonathan (the American) hires Melissa/Honey to be his stand-in girlfriend. Eventually, they stop pretending to have a relationship and actually develop one. In the second book, he brings her with him to New York City so she can get a taste of America and consider opening up a similar business but more focused on throwing parties and the like rather than being a girlfriend-for-hire (minus the physical part). All in all, Melissa doesn’t like the idea of cutting down what she does in her business but things work out and at the conclusion of the book, she and Jonathan are engaged!
This brings us to the third book “The Little Lady and the Prince”. This book begins with Melissa preparing to move to Paris to live with Jonathan. One thing I did not mention before was that Melissa’s family is a bit much. They are all basically terrible, terrible people with no one else in mind but themselves. Her father is the worst of them all, but it is pretty much a given that when Melissa interacts with her family, someone is going to find a way to use her. In “The Little Lady and the Prince” her grandmother recruits Melissa to help an old friend with his grandson who just so happens to be a prince. Melissa has to pull out all the stops to shape this playboy prince and it is not easy for her. Before agreeing to do it, Melissa discusses it with Jonathan who thinks it is a great last job at her agency. Jonathan then pitches to Melissa that they open a business together in Paris. He will sell people their homes and she will help them get settled by teaching them where they need to go, what shops to use, where to get good coffee, where to walk their dogs, etc. Jonathan is very enthusiastic about this but Melissa is a bit apprehensive.
Melissa begins working with the prince and finds the task is not going to be an easy one. It certainly doesn’t help that he is gorgeous. “He twinkled his brown eyes at me, and something inside me melted. Not on purpose. Like when you accidently leave ice cream out.” (The Little Lady and the Prince, pg 178). I liked this quote because it displays the quirky humor that Hester Browne portrays throughout her entire novel.
I really like the development of the different characters in these books. There is the best friend – Gabi who is more often than not the comedic relief in the book. Then there is Nelson, Melissa’s flat mate who cooks and rubs her feet. Nelson is quite the sweetheart and the interactions between Melissa and Nelson are always entertaining. Melissa’s family is a little ridiculous, they are constantly calling on Melissa to help with one thing or another but they do provide that little something extra to the book. Then there is Melissa herself. On the one hand, she is a kind, organized, intelligent woman with a thriving business in her lap and on the other hand, she is a pushover that falls easily into whatever scheme her family cooks up. When Melissa puts on her blonde wig to become Honey she finds that strength that she needs. It is fun seeing her transform herself and eventually discovers that everything was inside the whole time. She didn’t need a feather to fly.
Would I recommend this book? Yes, I think that fans of chic lit would enjoy this series a lot. This particular novel had a few twists and turns that I did not see coming and that were an added bonus. Hester Browne has a creative way of writing that I can’t help but devour.