Kiss Your Prince Charming
Up until a couple of months ago I had very little experience with series romance. I had sort of subconsciously dismissed them as being too short to be worth my time. And the few I had read had done little to change my opinion. But the library I work at gets so many series romance donations that I began to wonder if maybe I should give them a try. When I asked around AAR for suggestions of good series authors, Jennifer Greene’s name was brought up several times. So I snagged a copy of Kiss Your Prince Charming from our library book sale, and, boy am I glad I did. It was a very fun read.
Greg Stoner sees himself as sort of an everyguy. He’s extremely bright, he has a great job and a beautiful old Victorian house, and is the neighborhood rescuer and hero. He’s very respected and liked. But he’s also very tall, a little overweight, and completely convinced he’s a nerd. He’s been in love with his neighbor, Rachel Martin since she moved in the house next door two years ago. He’s been there for her in every way imaginable and worships the ground she walks on, but knows there’s no way a beautiful, stylish, exciting princess like Rachel could ever love his frog-like self.
Rachel Martin is aware of Greg. She appreciates him completely – as a friend. She’s spent the last two years recovering from a devastating divorce and trying to locate her missing self-esteem. She’s spent eons of time with Greg, but never really noticed him as a man. She just thought of him as the wonderful friend who painted her rooms, changed her storm windows, and watched TV with her on the couch. She never thought of him as attractive – until.
Greg sustains injuries in a car accident. His face is cut up and his jaw is broken, and multiple plastic surgeries are required to rebuild and restructure his face. And when the bandages are finally removed, he isn’t attractive – he’s gorgeous! So gorgeous that Rachel stops thinking of him as good old Greg, and starts thinking “Wow!” But her changed perception of him makes them both uncomfortable because they truly value each other as friends. Can they successfully be more?
Greene’s writing style was sparkly, brisk and colloquial in a way that lent itself particularly well to the interior monologues. The characters thoughts seemed like real thoughts, authentic thoughts, not soliloquies. Also the way she described Rachel and Greg’s first passionate kiss made my toes curl. It’s the best kiss I’ve read in a long time.
Greg and Rachel are both quite sympathetic, but I was especially taken with Greg. It’s nice to get a normal hero once in a while, one whose testosterone is not at carcinogenic levels. Greg is somewhat insecure with women in general and with Rachel in particular, but in every other way, he’s a true everyday hero. A nice guy. I loved the way he longed for Rachel. It was very sweet.
The only problem that I had with this book is that I couldn’t quite get a handle on Greg’s motivation all the time. Greene makes a point of saying repeatedly that his new look has given him more confidence. He walks more confidently and has better posture. But he seems more insecure with Rachel than ever. I would have thought he’d have jumped at the opportunity to be with her forever, but he waffles a bit.
And I have one other teeny, tiny, very personal quibble. All through the book Greg calls Rachel “Rach.” I have to say that as a Rachel, I hate that particular shortening of my name. When people address me as “Rach,” I just look at them steadily until they realize there’s an ending there and add the “el.” Every time he called her “Rach” it was a little like fingernails on the chalkboard for me. But this is so trivial a complaint, and the 99.99% of romance readers out there not named Rachel should not have a problem with this at all.
Kiss Your Prince Charming is a very good read: fast, fun, and, in its own way, quite clever. I had a hard time putting it down. Since I have confronted my ugly prejudice about series titles, I have come across wonderful series authors like Kathleen Korbel, Jan Freed, and Suzanne Brockmann. I will have to add Jennifer Greene’s name to this list. If the other books on her sizable backlist are as enjoyable as this one, I foresee many happy evenings on the sofa for me.