PRINCE IN DISGUISE, by Stephanie Kate Strohm, Disney-Hyperion, Dec. 19, 2017, Hardcover, $17.99 (young adult)
The timing couldn’t be better — or worse — for the release of Stephanie Kate Strohm’s Prince in Disguise.
Dylan’s life is like a reality TV show — literally. Dylan’s sister, Dusty, is a former Miss Mississippi and current star of TRC television network’s hit show Prince in Disguise. Winning the reality show means winning the hand of the handsome Scottish laird-to-be Ronan, and Dusty’s accomplished exactly that.
Now Dylan, Dusty and their mom are on their way to Scotland for the wedding event of the century, and it will all play out live, you guessed it, on TV. Dylan wants nothing to do with the show, but her mom’s signed a contract and Dylan is expected to play along.
Cooperating wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, except that makes for boring TV. To spice things up, the producers pull out all the stops — family secrets, long-lost relatives and an evil future mother-in-law. The only thing that makes the trip to
Scotland somewhat bearable is Jamie, Ronan’s somewhat dorky groomsman. The two hit it off, but Dylan better keep on her toes if she’s going to keep TRC from turning her own life into TRC’s next hit series.
With Prince Harry’s recent engagement to Meghan Markle, The celebration of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip’s 70th anniversary, and the excitement surrounding the Duchess of Crambridge’s pregnancy, the British royal family has never been more popular. This makes the timing of Prince in Disguise perfect, except for one major element that comes at the end.
The problem comes with Jamie’s somewhat secret identity — as the sixth person in line for the throne! That’s right. He’s right in line after Prince Harry, and Dylan is completely clueless until the end. No one ever mentions it. No one ever uses his title. This takes the whole premise from unlikely to unbelievable, and it ruined the end for me. If only the author had chosen a more obscure relative.
Prince in Disguise is a silly modern-day fairy tale. But it’s an addictive silly. It’s easy to get swept up in the story and imagine it playing out on the small screen like a Hallmark movie. Many people won’t have a problem with the “big twist” at the end (see spoiler), but I found it a bit of a letdown. Overall, though, Prince in Disguise is harmless fun that many readers will enjoy binge reading.
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