Title: Prince in Disguise
Author: Stephanie Kate Strom
Format: Kindle E-book
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publication Date: December 19, 2017
“Someday I want to live in a place where I never hear “You’re Dusty’s sister?” ever again.
Life is real enough for Dylan—especially as the ordinary younger sister of Dusty, former Miss Mississippi and the most perfect, popular girl in Tupelo. But when Dusty wins the hand of the handsome Scottish laird-to-be Ronan on the TRC television network’s crown jewel, Prince in Disguise, Dylan has to face a different kind of reality: reality TV.
As the camera crew whisks them off to Scotland to film the lead-up to the wedding, camera-shy Dylan is front and center as Dusty’s maid of honor. The producers are full of surprises—including old family secrets, long-lost relatives, and a hostile future mother-in-law who thinks Dusty and Dylan’s family isn’t good enough for her only son. At least there’s Jamie, an adorably bookish groomsman who might just be the perfect antidote to all Dylan’s stress . . . if she just can keep TRC from turning her into the next reality show sensation.”
Available Editions: E-book and Hardcover Copy | Amazon
Disclaimer: I received an ARC copy from Disney Hyperion and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
For anyone who has watched Netflix’s A Christmas Prince — and enjoyed it — will appreciate this book a great deal. And what’s more, it’s much better written and (in my opinion) much more romantic than that beloved yet disastrous film . . . that I love.
You ever watch one of those wedding shows on TLC and wonder what it might be like to be behind all those cameras? To be scrutinized by the public eye? To have all eyes on you, even during moments you might consider private?
Well, this book explores this situation through the eyes of Dylan, the introverted sister to the glamorous and highly extroverted Dusty who has agreed to have her wedding televised for all the world to see. Dylan rejects the idea of having the camera focused on her and her life, but she finds herself not being able to avoid the crushing attention as she travels to Scotland to attend her sister’s being wedded to a Scottish “prince.”
The author does a well enough job conveying the suffocating nature of television and the entertainment industry as a whole. I do feel as if more time could have been dedicated to diving into Dylan’s mindset to clear up the source of her anxiety when being filmed. Was Dylan bothered by TV because of its intrusiveness or was she simply shy, I couldn’t really tell.
Dylan as the main character, however, was well-rounded, believable, and fairly realistic. At times she was ridiculously childish, but circumstance and age (16) could excuse her more frustrating behaviors. Some of her dialogue/humor felt very forced but I was mostly unbothered by it.
Her love interest, Jamie was definitely my favorite. He was odd, sentimental, sensitive, and bound to literature. And he was never short on charm and wit. Clichéd? Sure. But everything about this book is clichéd. Purposefully, I hope. And though some fairytale-like romances can be slightly tiresome and dramatic, I can’t say I’m completely bored with them yet. Dylan and Jamie’s relationship and frequent banter were certainly the highlights of the book. It was a bit insta-lovey and not always realistic, but still extremely adorable.
The other characters were a bit more caricature than character. There’s the malicious, snobbish mother that opposes the marriage. The uptight soccer mom. The rebellious sister vs the perfect sister. The charming prince type. The token black friend. And on and on. Even so, I can’t say the cast of characters weren’t fun and lively! They each had their faults, but they were fitting for this story in particular.
Is this a perfectly written romance? No, not really. But it’s incredibly enjoyable and re-readable, and a great book to curl up with during the holidays!
About the Author
“Stephanie Kate Strohm is the author of It’s Not Me, It’s You; The Taming of the Drew; Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink; Confederates Don’t Wear Couture and the upcoming The Date to Save and Prince in Disguise (Fall 2017). She grew up on the Connecticut coast, where a steady diet of Little House on the Prairie turned her into a history nerd at an early age. After graduating with a joint major in theater and history from Middlebury College, she acted her way around the country, performing in more than 25 states.
Although she was born in New York, she currently lives in Chicago, and doesn’t discriminate against any type of pizza. When she’s not writing, she loves baking, walking her dog Lorelei, taking dance cardio classes too seriously, and playing board games with her husband.”