Rescuing Prince Charming by Edward Hoornaert
Desdemona Johnson, or Dusty as she prefers, is no heroine. She’s a mere tech writer, just one of the hundreds of humans and Kwadrans laboring in the caverns of the Wiki, with the dream of creating Earth’s first interstellar spacecraft. So what’s she doing searching the evacuated underground corridors for a saboteur’s bomb? And who is the mysterious, gorgeous Kwadran who turns up to help? The rush of emotion from their near-fatal adventure pushes them into one another’s arms, a very uncharacteristic move for the introverted, highly rational Desdemona—one she hopes she won’t regret. That hope is quickly dashed when she learns that her companion in saving the ship from destruction is Prince Reese Eaglesbrood, disgraced younger brother of the Kwadran king and new leader of the spaceship endeavor.
Reese Eaglesbrood has led a life of scandal since his people plucked their island from an alternative universe, whisked it through the void and landed it off the west coast of twentieth century America. His appointment to oversee the development of the Fraidy Cat prototype offers him the chance to redeem himself in his brother’s eyes. He’s determined to root out the saboteurs plaguing the project and bring the effort to a successful completion. However, his intense attraction to Dusty seriously complicates that mission.
Rescuing Prince Charming is a science fiction romance that solidly satisfies the criteria of both genres. The Kwadrans are descended from Pacific Northwest Native Americans. Mr. Hoornaert does a fabulous job bringing their culture to life, complete with language, art, architecture, technology and oceanic metaphors (e.g. “splashing the orca’s tail” is a euphemism for casual sex). The Kwadrans are friendly aliens, for the most part, but that doesn’t stop both humans and Kwadrans from holding prejudices, which significantly complicate their relationships. I’ve always preferred scifi that focuses on the social implications of future changes; this book definitely falls into that category.
Meanwhile, Dusty and Reese are obviously made for one another, despite the barriers of race and social status. Though the book does not contain any explicit scenes, the powerful connection between them is both emotional and physical. I loved both characters, especially Dusty, whose intellectual curiosity and quick wits make her a true heroine despite her beliefs that she’s ordinary.
The novel kicks off with a literal bang, and the fast pace continues throughout. Mr. Hoornaert’s writing is dynamic, crisp and clever. For instance:
Where was Reese? Where?Footsteps thumped. A fist smacked flesh. Another gunshot, followed by the tinkling of broken glass.She wobbled to hands and knees, determined to rescue Reese even if it cost her her life.“Dinna shoot!” whined Sir George. The sir title must be a lie, she thought groggily. Surely no real Scottish peer would say dinna.She struggled to her feet. Hair blocked her vision. When she pushed it aside, her hand came away drenched in blood. She hated blood, especially her own—but she ignored it. No time. She tried to assume a martial arts crouch, but her head whirled, and she slumped weakly onto a bench, instead.It took a while to realize there were no more shouts or gunshots. The battle was over.And the good guys had won.
Finally, of course, there’s the Siamese cat. I would have adored this book even without Priscilla, but she’s the icing on the cake—as well as being central to the plot.
Rescuing Prince Charming is hugely entertaining and highly recommended. I haven’t read a romance I enjoyed so much in a long time.
Note: I received an ARC of this book from the author. The novel will be released on December 4, 2017.