by Patty Glenn

August 2003
ISBN: 0-352-33809-1
Reviewer Graphic Button Virgin Books
Mass Market Paperback

Martha is not your average princess. She is self-centered, self-destructive, and narcissistic. She is a con-woman who loves nothing more than a good snort and a good screw. She is a rich valley girl slumming on the wrong side of the tracks and hanging out with a seriously wrong crowd. In spite of all of this she has a heart of gold. Although, if she could pawn said heart for enough cash she would.

Things were shuffling along fine for our Princess until her bodyguard Gus, who had been looking out for her, wound up in the hospital. Without Gus to rein her in Martha has returned to her old ways popping pills and enjoying a quickie with the cutest guy to hand. Martha’s life takes an interesting turn when she meets Gus’ gorgeous, moody, taciturn partner, private investigator, Joaquin Lee. The sexual attraction between them is immediate and powerful.

He knows all of her tricks and every one of her sexy moves. He knows everything about her. He even knows that unless Martha can stay on the straight and narrow for one whole year she will never get her hands on her multi-million dollar inheritance. Joaquin makes her an offer in way that she cannot refuse. Joaquin will keep her sober and convince her family she’s cleaned up her act and in return he will pocket half of her inheritance. These two very stubborn characters then engage in an intensely sexual battle of wills.

Although, very well written with disturbingly real characters and an interesting storyline, The Reluctant Princess is a really intense book. At times it is difficult to read, as quite often the characters’ decisions and actions are not easy to witness. As princesses go, Martha is the bitchiest princess ever created and it is hard to even like her. It is hard to relate to an individual who has no depth or feelings to recommend her. And her obvious sociopathic tendencies make you even wonder how Joaquin can stand to have sex with her. The one redeeming aspect of this story is that Martha gets to grow as a character – she couldn’t get any worse. But don’t take my word for it see for yourself.

Reviewed in March 2004 by Cynthia.

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