When I was writing HIS DEFIANT PRINCESS, my Tule novella about an American woman who falls in love with the prince of a small, fairytale kingdom by the sea, I couldn’t believe how many people asked me this question: “If you were royal and had all that money, what would you buy?”
Huh? Money? For me, the attraction of a Royal/Commoner story is that the conflict is intense, difficult to overcome. Talk about culture shock! Oh, the poignant nobility of trying to choose honor over personal desires! And of course a Hero Prince is likely to be extraordinarily well bred, charming, intelligent, competent and brimming with health and confidence, so… there’s that. J
It hadn’t occurred to me that anyone would believe the primary delight of a Royal story was that becoming a princess would be like winning the lottery, with lifetime free-for-all-shopping.
So I tried to figure out why I saw it differently. After all, I’m not a saint. I like money. I like stuff. J
But I darn sure wouldn’t marry for it.
You see, I’ve been happily married a very long time, and I know this one thing to be absolutely true: there wouldn’t be enough money in the world to compensate for living with a man you didn’t love. You know the old song about having satin sheets to cry on? It’s not a cliché for nothing.
And the other sad truth is that most of the stuff we buy doesn’t thrill us the way we thought it would.
I’m sure you’ve been there! An expensive knick-knack looks magical in the store, but when you get it home it’s swamped by all your other junk. Eventually you just growl between your teeth whenever you pick it up to dust around it.
George Carlin supposedly once said (paraphrasing here!) that buying things to get happy is like trying to satisfy hunger by taping sandwiches all over your body.
In spite of the small perfume-purchasing problem I haven’t quite licked yet, I do know he’s right.
And so does Brenna Tinley, the public relations professional heroine of HIS DEFIANT PRINCESS, who must decide whether she can allow herself to fall in love with a man who carries the weight of his country on his shoulders.
You can bet that, if she does, it won’t be because he’s the guy who can buy her jewels and expensive dresses. After all, what’s the point of a fabulous gown if you’ll dread the moment when your Hero wants to slip you out of it?