May Contain Spoilers
I decided to read Abby and the Playboy Prince because of the title. What girl can resist a prince? Especially a fun loving, playboy of a prince. I found this to be a mixed bag. It features a trope I love – reunited childhood friends – but there wasn’t much spark between the protagonists. I don’t even think Mychale kissed Abby until their wedding scene at the very end of the book. What kind of playboy is that?
Mychale is fleeing from the woman his family wants him to marry. After a period of warfare in his country, the ruling family of Carnethia has fallen on hard times. The Crown Prince, Dane, has commanded that his younger brother wed party girl Stephanie for her family’s fortune. Mychale spent a few days on a cruise with Stephanie and her cronies and decided enough was enough. He hopped in his Lamborghini, heedless of the broken power roof that won’t close, in the pouring rain. Even with a broken roof, his Lamborghini is a far better ride than I will ever be able to afford, so I had a hard time imagining that the royalty of Carnethia were truly a step from being paupers.
Mychale hides out in the abandoned family chateau, an enormous mountain retreat where he lived as a boy. When he arrives, he gets the disquieting feeling that he’s not alone. And he’s right! Abby has also fled to the mansion with her infant niece Brianna. Mychale isn’t happy with the intruder, and is even less thrilled when he learns that his childhood friend has a baby. He can’t just throw her out into the night, however, because it’s raining. He could never live with himself if he forced Abby and the baby out into the chilly, damp night, but gives her an ultimatum. He won’t ask any questions or call the police because he’s too tired to deal with her right now (don’t forget, he was on a party cruise! For days!), but she better have answers in the morning.
Mychale conveniently falls ill during the night, so Abby has to save him by hopping in his sports car and driving into the village for the doctor. She’s never driven before, but that’s okay. The mountain roads aren’t too terribly treacherous, and she safely makes it to Gregor’s home. Gregor is another childhood friend, and was studying to be a doctor. He was forced to drop of out school after he was injured in the war.
Mychale has an inner ear infection, which is apparently an affliction of the royal family. Because these deadly ear infections can cause spasms at night (only at night??) Abby is ordered to stay with Mychale all night long. What a convenient illness!
Anyway, Abby finally confides in Mychale that Brianna is Crown Prince Dane’s daughter, born after he was gravely injured in the war. Dane has no recollection of Abby’s recently deceased sister Julienne, but the girls’ uncle and guardian, Dr Zaire, performed a DNA test to prove that Brianna is indeed Dane’s child. Ugh. This, along with Mychale’s inherited ear infections, diminished the enjoyment of the story for me. It’s all so soap opera, unbelievable and somewhat silly, and these plot points did not work for me. The declaration of love by Mychale did work, though, and I’m not sure why, considering how silly other parts of the story proved to be.
The art has an old school vibe. Abby’s eyes are as large as dinner platters, and they are her only defining feature. Abby, to me, seemed plain and unformed, while Mychale received more than his fair share of artistic detail. His hair alone had more to distinguish itself than Abby’s entire character design. There’s lots of sparkles or tone in the backgrounds, but not much else.
Like the art, there isn’t much to set Abby and the Playboy Prince apart from the competition. It’s not a bad read, but it’s not one that I’ll go back to again and again, and some of the plot details are already fading from memory. This is a pleasant way to spend some down time, but that’s about all.
Grade: C / C+
Review copy provided by publisher
About the book:
After spending a rather aggravating time with the woman his family had arranged for him to one day marry, Prince Mychale retreats to his mountain château, which he thought would be the perfect hideaway. He isn’t the only one who thought so. There he finds Abby Donair, niece of the royal family’s physician as well as a childhood friend. Abby is trying her best to take care of the baby she has with her. Mychale wants nothing more than to be alone, but he falls ill and there is no one but Abby to look after him. Mychale, who’s always been a bachelor, finds himself oddly wanting Abby by his side and even enjoys helping her care for the baby. As Mychale ponders the meaning behind these feelings, Abby is desperate to get away so that her troubles don’t catch up to her…