Monday, April 20, 2009



Fans of Hester Browne know Melissa Romney-Jones very well. They know her from the first books to the most recent, THE LITTLE LADY AGENCY AND THE PRINCE. Melissa, also known as Honey Blennerhesket, owns and operates The Little Lady Agency. The primary objective of this business is to turn poor, sappy, hopeless guys into very proper English gentlemen, or at least someone who is as close to one as possible. In the first book THE LITTLE LADY AGENCY, Melissa decides to open a business based on her personal talents. Melissa besides being the almost look alike of a curvaceous blonde from the 1950s takes her old-fashioned beliefs in social proprieties and becomes a counselor to the English gents in need of her services. She can turn them around as far as manners, confidence, dress, proper hygiene and whatever else it will take to make them a proper Englishman.

Of course, Melissa has her own personal life and when she is not Honey at work, she is currently trying to be sure her former client and now handsome boyfriend, American businessman Jonathan Riley, is happy. He doesn’t understand why she just won’t follow him to America and open some kind of business there. Jonathan lately has become quite demanding of her time and this is unsettling to Melissa. Even Melissa’s rather quirky family doesn’t understand why she cares about this business.

Nobody understands that Melissa has her own life and set of friends. There is her flat-mate, Nelson, and her grandmother who are her biggest supporters.

However, even Nelson is worried when Grandmother asks Melissa to take on a new client. He is an infamous playboy prince. He is Nicholas von Helsing-Alexandros. Grandmother thinks Melissa’s alter-ego, Honey, can help this prince to reform. This is what becomes Melissa’s latest challenge and a key to the entire story! Prince Nicky is an embarrassment to his family and needs Honey’s guidance to become a proper gentleman. The worst part of this problem is Nicky likes being who he is and doesn’t want to be changed! The only reason he agrees to it at all is because his family threatens to take away his liberal allowance that pays for his fast paced lifestyle. To change Nicky and keep up with him, is a full time job for Melissa, err, Honey.

While dealing with Prince Nicky as Honey, Melissa is also trying to keep up with her plans for her wedding to Jonathan. Nelson is a loyal devotee who starts to enter the ring of hope in more than just supportive friend status adding a new wrinkle for our heroine. Melissa worries about how Jonathan will take her spending so much time trying to get Prince Nicky into shape, but surprisingly, Jonathan looks at it as a good way to make the connections they need. Melissa is torn between the two men as well as other family problems like her sister Emery and her newborn son who need a christening planned. The hilarious situation Melissa gets into with Emery and the “nanny” is some of the funniest in the book. Melissa is known for being uneasy around sarcasm because she normally doesn’t get the joke in it. A double entendre is nothing she will ever quite grasp.

How Melissa juggles and handles Prince Nicky and what becomes of her relationship with Jonathan makes for a clever, mad cap tale that only Hester Browne can pull off without making it appear trite or outrageous. Browne has once more given her readers a character that on the surface appears eccentric but also believable on many levels. These are not just your normal chick-lit characters but rather ones that have some depth and believability. Laughter and delight will keep the reader engaged as Melissa and the men in her life leave us hoping for one more in this delightful series.

Submitted Originally to Curled Up With a Good Book by Karen Haney