The Little Lady Agency and the Prince
Hester Browne
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Buy *The Little Lady Agency and the Prince* by Hester Browne online

The Little Lady Agency and the Prince
Hester Browne
416 pages
September 2008
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Fans of Hester Browne know Melissa Romney-Jones very well, from the first books to the most recent, The Little Lady Agency and the Prince. Melissa, also known as Honey Blennerhesket, owns and operates The Little Lady Agency. Its primary objective: to turn poor, sappy, hopeless guys into proper English gentlemen, or at least as close to one as possible. In the first book, The Little Lady Agency, Melissa decides to open a business based on her personal talents. Besides being the almost look-alike of a curvaceous blonde from the 1950s, Melissa utilizes her old-fashioned beliefs in social proprieties to become a counselor to English gents in need of her services. She can turn them around as far as manners, confidence, dress, proper hygiene, and whatever else it will take to make them a proper Englishman.

Of course, Melissa has her own personal life and when she’s not Honey at work. She is currently trying to be sure that her former client and handsome current boyfriend, American businessman Jonathan Riley, is happy. He doesn’t understand why she just won’t follow him to America and open some kind of business there. Jonathan has become quite demanding of her time lately, and Melissa finds this is unsettling. Even her rather quirky family doesn’t understand why she cares about this business.

Nobody understands that Melissa has her own life and set of friends. Her flat-mate, Nelson, and her grandmother are her biggest supporters, but even Nelson is worried when Grandmother asks Melissa to take on a new client - the infamous playboy prince Nicholas von Helsing-Alexandros. Grandmother thinks Melissa’s alter-ego, Honey, can help this prince to reform. This becomes Melissa’s latest challenge and a key to the entire story. Prince Nicky is an embarrassment to his family and needs Honey’s guidance to become a proper gentleman. The most difficult part of this problem is that Nicky likes being who he is and doesn’t want to change. The only reason he agrees to it at all is because his family threatens to take away his liberal allowance which pays for his fast-paced lifestyle. To change Nicky and keep up with him, is a full time job for Melissa - er, Honey.

While dealing with Prince Nicky as Honey, Melissa also tries to keep up with her plans for her wedding to Jonathan. Loyal devotee Nelson enters the ring in hope of achieving more than just supportive-friend status, adding a new wrinkle for our heroine. Melissa worries about how Jonathan will take her spending so much time trying to get Prince Nicky into shape, but surprisingly, Jonathan looks at it as a good way to make the connections they need. Melissa is torn between the two men as well as other family problems, like her sister Emery and her newborn son who need a christening planned. The hilarious situation Melissa gets into with Emery and the “nanny” is one of the funniest in the book. Melissa is known for being uneasy around sarcasm because she normally doesn’t get the joke in it. A double entendre is nothing she will ever quite grasp.

How Melissa juggles and handles Prince Nicky and what becomes of her relationship with Jonathan make for a clever, madcap tale that only Hester Browne can pull off without making it appear trite or outrageous. Browne once more delivers her readers a character who appears eccentric on the surface but also believable on many levels. These aren’t just your run-of-the-mill chick-lit characters but ones that have some depth and believability. Laughter and delight will keep the reader engaged as Melissa and the men in her life leave us hoping for one more in this delightful series.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Karen D. Haney, 2009

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