Review: Red-Hot and Royal by Susanna CarrSunday, June 29, 2008 1:00
I don’t know what it is, but I have a thing for prince stories. Maybe it’s my own unwise crush on Prince William or love of happily ever after fairy tales, but a prince story can usually drag me in. This book has not one, not two, but three sexy princes who have sworn off commitment to be playboys and run away from love. A friend of theirs, Prince Hugo, has just gotten married and in the international spotlight Zain, Rafael and Santos are next.
Where do these princes go next but the United States, of course. This could be an anthology, but the stories are intertwined instead of separated, in an attempt to give the impression that it all happens about the same time, over about a month. Though rather sweet, the stories are rather short and don’t give enough time to get to know the characters in depth to accept their endings.
Zain is a prince from a desert kingdom steeped in astrology. He’s got a prophecy attached to him that his destined bride will give him a kiss at midnight on his birthday. Lauren Ballinger kisses Zain, but runs away. She’s kissed him due to a time capsule, a dead friend, and a wish list. Yeah, it is rather flimsy, especially when Lauren keeps turning Zain down because she’s always had her dreams shot down and just wants to survive.
Rafael has come to a small liberal arts university outside of D.C. to stop his brother Luca from getting involved with someone unsuitable. Shayla Pendley is Luca’s tutor and always willing to help fellow students in their love lives. Luca convinces Shayla to be a gold digger so his real girlfriend Cathy will look good to his family. Rafael figures things out and decides to go after Shayla himself.
Santos is a prince from an island country with an obsession with the beach. Kylee Dawes has been hired as his image consultant to turn him into someone who is a Prince Charming type to help his country in business and politics. Santos likes his laid back ways and doesn’t want to be confined by a suit while Kylee is working hard to hide her own wild beach past. Santos likes to be the wild, almost barbarian surfer dude and does everything he can to get Kylee to let out her wild child.
The princes were ok, Rafael was the best of the three. Santos came across as a spoiled, whiny child and Zain was way too brainwashed by his desert country’s astrological culture. The women all wanted to be modern, but what came across in the end was the desire to be rescued by the handsome prince and put in the lap of luxury. Lauren was way too scared of doing something outside her plans since her childhood dreams shattered, Shayla was scared to leave the world she knew at the university and being the reliable one and Kylee was uptight and just couldn’t handle letting Santos be who he was rather than who she wanted him to be.
If the stories had been longer perhaps these issues could have been worked out better and there is a good feeling in each of them, but not enough substance to overcome the character’s flaws and give a good backing to the idea that these three couples could find their happily ever after.
Kylee, Lauren, and Shayla are modern-day ordinary women who would never meet the requirements for fabled princesses. Damsels in distress? Definitely not. Fairest in the land? They wish. Pure as snow? Not even close. Now, these three women are about to get to know the wild side of royalty—and inspire three princes to cast the crown aside and bare it all. Their encounters are royally erotic—and the happily ever after they reach is not exactly the fairytale ending you’d expect. It’s much, much hotter. One thing’s for sure: These princes never had it so good…