Author: Eva Ibbotson
ISBN/Publisher: 978-0-14-2412277-0/Speak (part of Penguin)
Age Group/Genre: Young Adult
Star-crossed lovers Tessa and Guy are very different people, from very different worlds and very different lives. Tessa is a princess, and a very beloved princess in her town. But leaves her castle to pursue her love of music. She works for a struggling opera company, but no one knows her true identity. Guy is an orphan that was abandoned as a baby and is now a self-made millionaire.
The two constantly cross paths when Guy purchases Tessa's castle (but has no idea at the time who's castle it was) and goes to the struggling opera house to have an opera performed at the castle. The reason he buys the castle and wants the opera is because he wants to impress the girl, his first love who has recently been widowed. But as physically beautiful as Nerine is, she is incredibly shallow and self-absorbed. Like many books, Guy has yet to notice these flaws and persists on hiding his feelings for Tess, the girl from the opera house. However, Tess knows how she feels about Guy, but also realizes that he has a girl in his life already. So she just turns away from it all...the castle and love. What will it take for the star-crossed lovers to actually find each other?
We are back into good old Ibbotson's beautiful romances. The Reluctant Heiress was so fairy tale like that it just made it more wonderful. And we also get the beautiful Vienna as the city that this plays out in. Because of Ibbotson's beautiful description of the city, I really really want to visit this place.
I've read many reviews of this book and a lot of people are comparing it to the likes of Ibbotson's other novel, A Countess Below Stairs. And I agree that these two books are probably her best ones, but I enjoyed The Reluctant Heiress a bit more. This one starred a beautiful female character and a wonderful male character. Between these two, Tess and Guy, the story really moved along well. Their chemistry was very sweet and even their friends were lovely to read about. (But don't worry, there were also the characters that weren't so nice and I even name called a few times).
There were a few slow parts, but overall, the story was great and I recommend this to those that enjoy a little romance in their YA.
(This book was bought at a store called FullyBooked)