To Marry A Prince is a book that serves a very specific purpose on my bookshelf – It is almost always the book that I will pick up when I am looking for a peaceful, indulgent, girly sort of evening. It is a favourite pick for when I want a luxurious bubble bath, accompanied by a glass of cool sweet wine and something deliciously casual and cheerful to read.
This book is from the perspective of Bella Greenwood, recently returned from counting fish on an exotic island in the middle of nowhere and hopelessly out of touch with current fashions and events – This is a position I can relate to deeply without the excuse of months of isolation from the real world. She immediately moves in with best friend Lottie, who works in PR and takes Bella to a shiny posh party where she bumps into a mysterious stranger. The romance blossoms from there in a very roundabout route with Richard, heir to the throne, trying to juggle privacy, duty and desire.
Bella is a loveable character full of goodwill and common sense, who is championed by Lottie (well-informed and full of encouragement), her grandma (a lady with some serious style and sass) and her mother (charming, anxious and desperately well-intentioned). With her support network in place, Bella moves into the limelight as the Prince’s official girlfriend and begins to learn to navigate the complicated world of the Public Eye. With the press watching her every move and the palace hangers-on dictating her every propriety Bella is still working out how she feels about Richard, what she wants for her life and whether a life in the public eye is for her.
The romance itself is sweet and doesn’t feel forced – the genuine affection between the two of them explains the lengths that they will go to in order to be together and the choices that they make as the story progresses. There are several amusing turns of event specifically as a result of Richards elevated status and how ought to inform his actions when he is not head over heels in love. Those occasional lapses make for some interesting interactions and inter-character conflict, and escalate slowly as the story sraws closer to it’s finale – a Royal Wedding. It appears to be loosely based on the romance between Kate Middleton and Prince William leading to their 2011 wedding.
I enjoy the detail that the author goes into about those frivolous details that you just need to indulge in every now again; she discusses outfits, nights in with wine and a friend, the social engagements and accompanying decisions and when I am in that mood I simply lap it all up in a blissful little whoosh of relaxed entertainment. It is pretty much the ultimate bath book and I must have read it a dozen times now at least. It is the low-stress friend that you hang out with in the evenings simply for a bit of light company and cheerful conversation – nothing serious or taxing, just a nice time all around, and I would like to recommend it for exactly that purpose.