“ Author: Hester Browne / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 06 June 2013 / Genre: Modern & Contemporary Fiction / Publisher: Quercus Publishing Plc / Title: The Runaway Princess / ISBN 13: 9781782065678 / ISBN 10: 1782065678 „
Amy Wilde is a gardener, and she really loves her job. She lives with her mad flatmate Jo, a woman of wealthy means, whereas Amy scrapes by with her business together with Toby. When they throw a party at their London flat one night, Amy gets talking to a handsome stranger, and the two click together easily. Jo finally reveals to Amy that her handsome stranger is in fact a handsome prince... Prince Leo Wolfsburg of Nirona to be precise. The pair begin to date, but Amy soon realises that their lives are worlds apart, and she struggles to cope with the demands of Leo's high profile life and everything it entails. Will Amy be able to overcome her fears of Leo's life, or will spend the end of their happy ever after?
I will be honest and say at the start, I found it to be a little slow and I was struggling to get into it. I decided to carry on reading because I had heard such good things about it, so I was hoping it would pick up and draw me in like I hoped it would. Luckily, my perseverance paid off, and soon I began to get involved in Amy's story, and started to warm to the other characters too. Amy is the lead character, the one we follow throughout the book, and the one the whole story hinges on really. I really liked her, she's a hard-worker, determined to make it on her own, and is a little bit naive about her relationship with Leo until quite a way in, which I found quite sweet. She just wanted to be a woman in love with a man, ignoring all the other circumstances, and I liked how hard she tried to make that happen.
Prince Leo himself was a wonderful character, treated Amy like a real princess, and was the perfect male hero! You could see he did his best by her despite how different their lives were, and I liked that he was willing to stand up to his family for the sake of his girlfriend. Browne writes them as almost the perfect couple, so you can't help but will them through to the end. Jo, Amy's flatmate added some real humour into the story, and I loved the scenes with her in, she sounded like a great, fun person to live with! I loved the descriptions in the book too, for me they made it come alive and everything from their flat to Amy's gardens and plants that she deals with were vivid in my mind as I was reading. The way Browne writes about London makes it sound so amazing, and the island of Nirona was so beautifully described, I wished it were real! Even the castle building sounded wonderful and opulent, Browne certainly has a knack for making things seem amazing!
Although the main story was the one involving Leo and Amy's romance, and the madness that is Prince Leo's life, there was also a bit of a mystery running right through the book. It was involving Amy's family and their past, but we aren't told for a long while exactly what happened. It's hinted at throughout the book, the effect on Amy and her parents is quite blatant, especially her poor mother, and I have to admit it really did have me curious because I was desperate to know what the secret was and why it had affected the Wilde's so much. I loved that Browne was able to keep it a mystery, and how it all came out in the end was great to read and very enjoyable. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and I loved the cast of characters. It's really an proper love story, about love overcoming the odds, and Amy and Leo are one couple you really end up rooting for. Browne's writing was easy to read, and really got me into the story, especially with her descriptions of Nirona, London and Amy's wonderful gardens. It's a joy to read, and I'd definitely recommend it.
ISBN: 978-1782065678. Published by Quercus on 6th June 2013. Pages: 448. RRP: £6.99. Also available as an eBook.
Thank you for reading, and to the publishers for sending me a copy to review for http://chicklitchloe.blogspot.com