The Prince’s Plan, E. M. Youman
The Prince’s Plan, E. M. Youman
Genre: New Adult, Romance
I really didn’t know what to expect with this, loved the description but the author only has a 14 page short, and a quick non fic read out, so they weren’t any help for me to try to see if her writing style and I gel.
I hummed and hawed for a bit and finally took the plunge.
And I’m so glad I did. Don’t be fooled by the title, this is no fluffy romance, no fifty times removed royalty tale, but a very realistic and at times gritty romance. I really enjoyed it even though it was very slow to get started.
That start was just so, so slow though, and TBH I didn’t like what we saw of either Danny or Marnie to begin. He comes over as a typical selfish, arrogant star, only wanting to help Marnie to appease guilt he feels over his past. Marnie is just an enigma, we don’t know why or how but she’s prostituting herself for drugs, and doesn’t want to get clean.
I really couldn’t take to them, and maybe if this hadn’t been a review I’d have given up, but that would be a shame and I’d have missed out on what’s been a great read, with characters that are flawed, do things wrong, aren’t always grateful for help – real people actually just like most of us.
Addicts have their own code of morality – basically everything is someone else’s fault. They steal, its your fault for putting temptation in front of them, take drugs when they’ve promised to give up – your fault again for believing them…and that’s how it goes. they’ll lie, cheat, steal from closest family, nothing matters when they need the next hit.
So after a real tragedy Danny is currently clean, and when he sees Marnie he sees a chance to help someone. Its not all goodness of the heart stuff though, his main reasons are his conscience and hoping to pay for some past issues that way. You can’t change the past though, whatever good deeds you do in the present.
Marnie comes to stay, but is sullen, unhappy, argues with him….and you’d think being an addict himself he’d know all that is par for the course, but he’s kind of shocked, he expected her to be grateful.
He’s tough with her though, insists she works hard, sticks to a routine and slowly things start to work out.
Right from the start there’s a sizzle between them but he’s determined not to go there and makes that plain to Marnie from day one.
Working so closely they get to understand each other better, and of course want to help each other. That doesn’t always go well, especially as like us they only know parts of the past.
Marnie’s clearly holding a huge secret, and its not until quite well in the book we begin to get hints of what it is and why she fell into drugs. When it does come out its heart-breaking, and by then I’d come to like her and admire what she was trying to do, even though when she lapsed I was wanting to shout at her “no…Marnie, no!”
There’s so much going on here as well as the fame and drugs story, and its so real, so true and sad, when often books tend to romanticise drugs and addiction. You know the sort, 30 days in rehab and they come out clean and perfect, when most times its a hard slog with lots of setbacks.
There’s an incident towards the end that shocked me, came out of the blue and led to some huge changes. One part of me was saying “what the heck is going on? where did that come from? and why?” Yet odd things like that really do happen, and they have a huge impact on so many lives. It seemed to bring Danny and Marnie much closer, made them look at each other and how they feel.
Its a not a sex fest romance, Danny does have *interludes* with other ladies, but between him and Marnie very little happens until the end. That works, fits the story, and the reasoning and incidences that led to that felt very genuine.
I really enjoyed this book, far more than I thought I would. Its very character based, really gets into the minds of both of them, and how addiction changes people, how easy it is to get started and how hard to stop.
It shows well too how family and friends get hurt by addicts, how they lose trust, faith, can’t ever really believe they are clean until a proven time has passed. Even then addicts are always addicts, it only takes one time to spiral them back.
If you want light and fluffy romance, a spicy, sensual easy read this isn’t the book for you.
If you want some tough and gritty drama, real characters and situations with a romance that finally ends in a HEA then try this. Its got all that and more!!
Stars: Four and a half, a great read, but I wish it hard been a little quicker to start, and that I’d have liked Marnie and Danny earlier. That would have made it a five for me.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publisher