Title: Royal Escape
Author: Susan Froetschel
Release Date: December 10, 2008
Rating: 4 out of 5
From the dust jacket:
Beautiful, witty and sharp on fashion and charity, Elena was supposed to live the fairy-tale life. Instead, her marriage is in ruins and her in-laws resent her glowing popularity. All Elena really wants to do is spend time with her two sons and to be a good mother.
The death of her divorce attorney complicates her plans. The Queen, her mother-in-law, withholds settlement on a trust fund and expects Elena to give her marriage one more chance. That means keeping a low profile and following all orders by the royal family and their staff.
A terrorist attack on Elena puts her back into the spotlight. The family’s security detail whisks her two sons into hiding, insisting that protection requires separation from their mother. But she wonders how can anyone be safe, if the security experts can’t even protect a princess?
When I first heard about Royal Escape, the description intrigued me. It basically said that readers looking for a less tragic fate for Diana, Princess of Wales, would probably enjoy this book. I’m not one for royal mania, but I just watched a PBS special on The Windsors, so I was in a royal family mindset.
Let me make this clear right from the start: if you are a fan of the Windsors, this book is probably not for you. The Wyndhams, as they are referred to in Royal Escape, aren’t portrayed in the best light. If I were to have to guess at Froetschel’s political leanings, I would say she is for the monarchy being abolished in Britain. Elena (Diana) is, of course, the most sympathetic of the characters in the book, a victim of both the royal family and their staff. Her concern for her sons was touching, but I didn’t do much in terms of character analysis because it was obvious who each character was supposed to represent in the royal family.
The most interesting part of the book was how the royal family is handled by their staff. While I don’t know if it is true or not, I thought it was very intriguing. The mystery of what really is going on behind the scenes is captivating and propels the story forward.
Basically, this book is pure escapism: if you are looking for a fun, mindless read, this is a great book to choose. There isn’t too much substance, but it is fun and keeps the reader hooked. There are some unresolved issues at the end of the book and some large plot holes, but if you aren’t in the mood to care about that sort of thing (as I wasn’t when I read the novel), then Royal Escape is for you. As long as you don’t take yourself or it too seriously, you will enjoy this book.
Thank you to those at Five Star Publishing who sent me this novel to review.