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March 4, 2022

The Prince by Dinitia Smith ~ a Review

by MK French

The Woodford family is rich and wants for nothing. The penniless Prince Federico is about to marry Emily Woodford, the only child of Henry Woodford. At the wedding, Emily's former friend Christina arrives as a guest. She once was Federico's lover and catches Henry's eye. Who can the Woodfords trust?

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

cover of The Prince by Dinitia Smith, a brilliantly written re-telling of The Golden Bowl
March 2022; Arcade; 978-1950994199
ebook, print (288 page); romance

Federico is culture-rich and monetarily poor, so he's more than willing to sign the prenup without arguing. Henry is full of life and intimidates others without even meaning to, maneuvering through New York City's elite with the expectation that everything will go as he expects it to. Everyone tries to make him happy, eliding over details he wouldn't want to acknowledge. Emily takes her wealth for granted and is almost too innocent.  In comparison, Christina is mercurial and mercenary, and from the start, I didn't like her. She makes choices and blames others when it doesn't turn out the way she wants, and she only cares about her own desires. Out of these characters, maybe Emily was the one that I liked best, but ultimately, I didn't really like any of them. 

Federico has no sense of self and has trouble staying idle, but can't turn his energy to anything truly productive. The start is a slow, meandering one, full of details before months spin past with an odd languidness, time passing, and blurring. Confrontation is in ellipses and half-spoken truths mixed with half lies. When the betrayals happen, it's an emotional car wreck in slow motion that left me tense and biting my nails. It's such an unpleasant feeling, and knowing the characters are living that day in and day out is unbearable. The Prince is a novel focusing on emotional nuances, and strength comes in the most unassuming ways. It's brilliantly written. Still, I'm glad that I don't know any of them in real life.

Buy The Prince at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.

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