Almost happy ever after

secret prince

Book review:  The Secret Prince by Justine Lewis

I have really enjoyed a couple of other Destiny Romances, and again, I think they delivered on most levels. On others, I was left disappointed.

The good is that this is a very readable, lighthearted romance which fits neatly into the chicklit category. The lead characters, for the most, are likeable and I wanted to keep reading and hoped their ending would come to an expected conclusion. The writing flows nicely and I will definitely choose to read another of this author’s titles.

Now, the disappointing part… I suppose the main issue is the plot is too weak to sustain a full length novel. The beginning of the book was the classic fairytale plot that’s been done a million times. A female journalist is sent by her editor to find a prince, from an imaginary European country, who is supposedly hiding out in Australia. The journalist does find him, but doesn’t recognise him (this part is a bit of a stretch, considering if she was a decent reporter she would have checked his photo), they kiss and all is well until their true identities are revealed. I really thought this part should have dragged out for longer (that is, with her not knowing he’s a prince, and him not knowing she was a reporter). I think the plot afterwards became harder and harder to swallow.

It turns out the prince has a deep dark secret. It’s mentioned several times. Only, after a very brief time, it’s pretty obvious what the secret is, and it doesn’t work. I do understand that a writer needs to add conflict, but this one seemed really forced.

There’s also the bit where the prince’s parents (the king and queen, no less) invite the reporter to their country for an exclusive interview. Apparently they just *know* immediately that this girl is the one for their son. How is never really explained, and again, I found this unrealistic.

I did kind of like the king and queen, but unfortunately the princess (our hero’s sister) is completely wasted, and her lines make her sound like a child rather than a middle aged adult.

I would still recommend this book for lovers of romance, and probably point any teenagers who are moving on from their young adult titles to give older romance a go. 3 1/2 stars overall.


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