REVIEW: Defying the Prince by Sarah MorganSaturday, September 1, 2012 1:00
This is a book in the Santini series, which I’ve read with mixed success, but this one is definitely a goodie. Morgan delineated a character you shouldn’t like, you shouldn’t root for, but I ended up hoping she gets the happy ending she deserves.
Izzy is the daughter of a footballer, and at a swanky royal party, she gets up, dressed in a tight dress, high heels and all the makeup her face can take, and sings. Nobody hears her song, even the prince she wants to attract. But for his position, not his body.
Even though he’s the sexiest man she’s ever seen, Izzy’s mind is set on her career. She appeared in one of those Search for a Star programs a year or two ago, won, and they produced her out of existence. To make it worse, she’s had a drink for Dutch courage, and now she’s tipsy.
Matteo is a prince and thinks that the engagement of Izzy’s sister to his brother is a mismatch, but he’s glad it isn’t Izzy. He drags her off the stage, and no, this isn’t an erotic romance, although sexy times don’t ensue, they have some banter and this is where the book starts off. This scene is delicious, because Everyone Hears. I love this exchange, when Izzy tells Matteo what for:
I would curtsey but honestly these shoes are completely killing me, so right now I’m trying not to move. If you were a girl, you’d understand.
He growls deep in his throat.
You are the most frivolous, pointless woman I’ve ever met. Your behaviour is appalling and the damage that someone like you could do to the reputation of my family is monumental.
Izzy, who has been called many things in her life but never ‘pointless,’ is deeply hurt, but at the same time oddly grateful, because surely she could never truly fall for a man who is so horribly insulting?
I happen to think it’s your behaviour that’s appalling. Why is it good behaviour to make someone feel small and inferior? You think you’re better than me, but if someone comes into my house, I smile at them and make them feel welcome, whereas you look down on everyone. I’ve had more impressive hospitality in a burger bar. You may be a prince and actually far too sexy for your own good, but you don’t know anything about manners.
As you can tell, I read the UK version, which Sarah kindly sent to me. While I don’t usually enjoy Big Misunderstandings, this one is fun. Because, you see, Izzy can really sing and she writes songs. She’s just been taught wrong by the TVG people and her own expectations of what a pop star should do. It’s a fairy tale. But Morgan does have a point. I’ve seen fantastic singers wrecked by these programs, and the really talented never win. So Izzy did as she was told, stifled her voice, and won.
The Prince decides to whisk her away to his island fortress. That’s exactly where Izzy wants to be, because that’s where he arranges and manages the huge charity rock concert he sponsors. She wants to wow him with her voice. He is controlled, perhaps too controlled, and Izzy is there to drive him wild.
That’s where the Big Mis starts. The Prince thinks she’s after his bod, and although he’s attracted to her, and hates himself for it, he doesn’t give in for ages.
Sarah Morgan is one of the few authors in the Modern line who I read for the heroines. Izzy is another heroine in the mold of Polly from her recent RITA winner, Doukakis’ Apprentice. She’s scatty on the surface and sharp as a razor beneath. However, unlike Polly, Izzy makes mistakes and fouls things up. Polly only seems to.
It makes me, at least, feel for Izzy, because I am one of those people who embarrasses herself in public because she doesn’t get it quite right. While Polly would have been great for the flashy TV show when she performs, she’s all wrong for a royal reception.
The Santini Crown series is more interesting because everyone’s story starts at the reception. It took me ages to find the order to read the books in, and it doesn’t really matter, because after the first ball scene, each character goes his or her own way.
This entry into the series is fun and I raced through it, read it in a day. Bursting with wit, emotion and cliche busters, I was sorry when it ended. Definitely recommend this one.
It was a night filled with scandal, but pop princess Izzy Jackson really took the crown! Royal and VIP guests were reportedly horrified at the singer and reality-TV star’s impromptu performance at her sister’s royal engagement party.
It was left to Prince Matteo, second in line to the throne, to whisk tipsy starlet Izzy offstage, into his limo and straight to his luxury palazzo…from which the pair haven’t emerged.…
Rumor has it the proud prince and the footballer’s daughter are working on a charity concert. Will they make sweet music together or split, citing irreconcilable artistic differences?
Read an excerpt.