At His Majesty’s Request
Harlequin Presents #3112, January 2013
Marry the jaded prince and receive a title, a small island, a castle and a tiara.
Matchmaker extraordinaire Jessica Carter arranges marriages that work. And that is exactly what Prince Drakos is looking for. The last thing he needs is someone as unsuitable as her…but none of the beautiful socialites paraded before him excite Stavros as Jessica does.
Usually unchallenged, Stavros welcomes Jessica’s defiance — his fingers itch to lower her prickly facade and discover what lies beneath. Will Jessica agree to his final request? One month to exorcise their scorching passion, before he marries someone fit to be his queen….
As a fairytale, this book works. The uber-wealthy and responsible prince, heir to the throne, chooses as his mate the commoner to whom he is attracted, throwing over convention and duty.
Any deeper look at the plot leaves me feeling dissatisfied though. The heroine is from North Dakota, yet is otherwise not identifiable as American or a Dakotan; her word usage and choices (like charity shop) are more BrE than AmE. Readers are told that she’s an expert in the matchmaking field, yet she seems to constantly make errors in judgment about the women she selects for Stavros and the situations she arranges for them to become acquainted.
The author set up a backstory and used a fair amount of page space to convince me as a reader that Stavros was a duty-driven automaton; his change of heart and abandonment of duty at the very end of the novel felt unconvincing. Perhaps more POV from him would have changed that?
Recommended as fluff for readers of HPs, otherwise not so much.