Prince in Disguise
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.
Dusty and Dylan, each one named after one of their mother’s favorite singers, are pretty opposite. Dusty is former beauty queen about to marry a Scottish nobleman after dating him on a reality show called Prince in Disguise; our introduction to Dylan is her trying to do an Internet challenge with her best friend Heaven’s help. From that first chapter, it’s clear there’s a large chasm between the sisters that needs to be bridged. This isn’t a book solely about Dylan falling for her future brother-in-law’s groomsman Jamie. It’s about the two sisters reconnecting in the icy wasteland that is Scotland in winter.
There wasn’t much else for them to do because… Well, Scotland in winter. Also the appropriately awful filming crew from the fictional TRC network, who are busy filming the Prince in Disguise wedding special. It turns out neither sister wants them there, but those jerks kinda need to be there. You’ll find a lot of the sisters’ best moments happening while Dylan is trying to hide from the cameras. The TRC people are pretty much an illustration of why I can’t watch reality TV.
Speaking of hiding out from the cameras… Lord, Ronan’s castle has so many secret passages for Dylan, Jamie, and even Dusty on occasion to hide in that I’d bet money that castle is haunted. There is no such thing as a place with multiple secret tunnels and no ghosts whatsoever! (I’d still go exploring in them.) If you’re wondering whether Dylan and Jamie make use of those tunnels for secret smooching and romantic getaways? Yes. Yes they do. AND IT’S WONDERFUL.
Dylan and Jamie together are honestly one of the cutest YA couples in a long time, what with Jamie’s regular literary references and the sweet satisfaction when Dylan starts to lower her guard for him. Hints that there’s more to Jamie than Dylan realizes are laid on so thick that you’ll see that reveal coming from far away, but it’s difficult to be mad about it. It’s simply too appropriate for the story!
WHAT LEFT ME WANTING:
The one thing that bothered me was the use of the word “g*psy” and even then, it was in the context of discussing Jane Eyre and the scene in which Jane talk to a fortune teller that’s really Mr. Rochester. Europeans were just as hideously racist toward Romani people in Charlotte Bronte’s time as they are now and Jamie is European, so…
I enjoyed Prince in Disguise so much that I hand-sold it to my best friend, who proceeded to borrow my ARC, fall in love with the sweetness of it all, and buy her own copy. Whether you save it until winter to enjoy when it’s cold outside or read it whenever you please, Prince in Disguise will satisfy the sweet tooth in your soul. Everyone needs some joy now and again, especially in 2018. This hasn’t been a nice year and we’re just over three months in.