After having her heart broken twice, Alicia Dayne has sworn off men, decided to concentrate on her career, and is delighted to win a lucrative contract to make a commercial for Highborn Mattresses. She could make the most awesome fairytale commercial ever, except for Jonas Highborn, who isn’t exactly thrilled with her Princess and the Pea ideas, and really doesn’t want a prince in tights representing his company. Though he’s trying to keep his grieving mother happy by letting her have charge of the commercial shoot, and though Alicia’s trying to keep in mind that this annoying guy is her boss for the moment, they can’t seem to keep from clashing. Throw in an overly-handsome prince, a matchmaking mama, and a stunning rose garden, and maybe, just maybe, Alicia can be convinced they have a chance at something real. Because while she might not be a real princess, sometimes an ordinary girl’s got to take a chance, even when it seems too good to be true. (Synopsis from Goodreads.Com)
Sissy: Sometimes after having a rousing good political discussion with my daughter or trying not to be worried about the state of things on Capital Hill, I just want to read something so happy and non-threatening that I turn to a fluffy bit of literary froth like The Princess Problem by Diane Darcy. This soothes the savage beast and takes me away from the tragic turnings of reality. A delightfully creative reworking of The Princess and The Pea.
Bubby: You know when it’s cold outside and not the good kind of cold but the nasty drizzly I-live-in-a-snowcone kind of cold? And you are grumpy and can’t get warm? And then someone (like Sissy) makes you a cup of cocoa and brings you a blankie? And then you feel all better? Yep. That’s how this book made me feel. All warm and snuggly and happy. I do have a major issue with this story, however. It’s too short! I needed just a bit more. It was like having only half a chocolate bar. I need the whole bar! The whole entire bar, people!
Sissy: I was just about to say that The Princess Problem was almost too fluffy for me and then I glanced down at my hands, which I just polished with my 8-year-old niece’s pink glitter polish, complete with sparkling flower jewel, and noticed the eight strand seed pearl bracelet wrapped around my wrist and I realized that if I were a stripper, my name would be Fluffy GlitterSparkles. The prospective mother-in-law Willa Highborn is my favorite character because she is glamorous and elegant but at the same time warm and mischievous in her matchmaking. She reminds me of myself, really.
Bubby: Seriously? Must every review include how a main character “reminds you of yourself”? Especially when you describe her as elegant – right after your stripper name. Heavens.
Sissy: Don’t be jealous of my great depth of character that is similar to –
Bubby: Great depths of sewage treatment ponds?
Sissy: Your rudeness is unbecoming the sister of someone who resembles literary giants, which is how I was going to end my previous sentence. Anyway, there was some tongue-in-cheek cleverness in Diane Darcy’s writing which I enjoyed, such as the last name Highborn.
Bubby: The cleverness of the writing is really what saves The Princess Problem from being a complete sugar overload. There is just enough snark and sass to balance out the sweetness. Alicia and Jonas have delightful chemistry and it was fun to watch the relationship develop. I also enjoyed the fact that no one was ridiculously stupid in this storyline. Too often a major character (usually the female lead, unfortunately) overdramatically and self-abasingly undervalues herself and overvalues the inappropriate guy with whom she has fallen desperately in love. “I know he is the spawn of Satan and turns into a werewolf on alternate Thursdays and only wants me for my blood plasma, but I LOVE him!!!” None of that here. Alicia has some issues with commitment, but resolves them quickly and moves on with life! And Jonas is a good guy. Not the spawn of Satan.
Sissy: I generally like retellings of fairy tales. I have read hundreds of them. However, I just finished reading a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin and it was the most stupid book of all time. Made me want to pull out my uvula.
Bubby: Oh, that’s uvula. That hangy-down thing in one’s throat. I thought for a moment you said ukulele. I was confused as to why you’d feel the need to pull out your ukulele . . .
Sissy: And what? You thought I’d pull out my ukulele and write a song about hideous fairytale retellings?
Bubby: Exactly. You see my confusion.
Sissy: Yes, I see it daily.
Bubby: Actually, it might be a good song. You know my little girls’ favorite lullaby is “Truck Squished”, written by none other than you, Sissy.
Sissy: Yes. The truth is out. Famous, elegant blogger + songwriter. Now to finish. This fairytale retelling is a good one. A relaxing, non-demanding read. I give in 3.75 bubbles.
Bubby: I agree, as always, with my famously elegantly creative sister. 3.5 iridescent and sparkly bubbles.
Click HERE to buy The Princess Problem at Amazon.com