How to Propose to a Prince is the third in a series about triplet sisters from Cornwall who are reputed to be the illegitimate daughters of the Prince of Wales and his Catholic wife, Maria Fitzherbert. This story follows the fortunes of Elizabeth, the one remaining unmarried triplet who has dreams that often become true. When she dreams that she will
marry a handsome prince before Michaelmas, she believes it, although her sister Mary thinks she must be wrong. When they almost immediately bump into the man in her dream at a jewelers, introduced as the Marquess of Whitehaven but referred to by the jeweler as "Your Royal Highness," Elizabeth is convinced that her marriage will
soon approach. But Sumner, as he becomes known to her, apparently plans to marry Princess Caroline.
As Elizabeth spends time with him and with Princess Caroline, it seems that her dream may be slipping out of her reach.
The central plot of this story is
that of someone pretending to be someone else in order to protect him. Sumner isn't actually Prince Leopold, as everyone thinks, but his cousin; the real Prince Leopold is quietly wooing Princess Caroline in the background.
These details reveal themselves early on, taking away some of the sense of suspense and confusion. We know who Sumner is, Elizabeth doesn't, but she seems to blunder on anyway, assuming that Sumner wants her.
The characterization here is pretty sparse; none of the people feel
particularly real. The most descriptive passages within an otherwise simple writing style
concern Elizabeth's clothing, of which she seemed inordinately interested. There
is little tension to urge the reader on, and a minor plot about someone trying to kill Leopold/Sumner
is pretty transparent. The names of all three suitors for the triplets - Rogan, Laird and Sumner - all feel inappropriate
to this historical period, and Elizabeth's behavior is also rather scandalous - for example, calling to visit a gentleman on her own. The historical research with regard to the true historical figures such as Princess Caroline and Prince Leopold seems reasonable, but the behavior of the hero and heroine in this book doesn't feel authentic, and the case-of-mistaken-identity plot device
carries on longer than it should. This is a passable read but nothing special.