We all know the fairy tale. The handsome prince comes riding up on his white stallion and rescues the beautiful princess from her enchantment with a single kiss. Then they ride off together to live happily ever after. But what if the person longing for that handsome prince is a man himself? And why not?
Neil Plakcy's The Handsome Prince is a mix of traditional and contemporary stories, each with its own unique fairy-tale atmosphere. Sometimes the prince is the one who needs rescuing, as in "Chauffeur Prince" and "Creosote Flats and the Big Spread". Sometimes the true prince is the other guy - like the tales told in "The Virgin Prince and the Rebel Chief" and "Reckless". There is humor and charm in these stories, with an underlay of passion and desire. The one thing these stories have in common, along with the original fairy tales, is a happy ending. These stories drip, quite literally, with romance. Whether it's a HEA (happily ever after) or a HFN (happy for now), when these guys find their princes, hot steamy sex ensues. Here's to stories (and heroes) that make us swoon!
The short stories all feature a prince figure, either royalty or someone who comes to the rescue of the other man. Sex and love ensue. Happily ever after or happily for now are assured. As with any collection by different authors, some stories were very good, others so-so. JL Merrow and Josephine Myles were standouts. In my opinion, the better stories were the ones set in modern times as they require less of a suspension of disbelief and sometimes led with humor. I felt that a few of the stories set in more romantic, "princely" times fell prey to anachronistic language that tore me from the story.
I think I would have enjoyed this more as a novel. The reader killed a lot of the stories for me.
The stories weren't bad. For short stories, they were sweet and entertaining. If you are a reader who dislikes lack of depth or development (as I am), you should probably look for a full novel and avoid these short stories.
The narrator sounded bored, the stories were poor to average. It was hard work finishing the book, will avoid this narrator in future.