The Little Lady Agency and the Prince
Making plans for her wedding to American fiancé Jonathan Riley, who now runs a prestigious Parisian real estate company, Melissa agrees to do a favor for her beloved grandmother: transform the notorious Prince Nicolas von Helsing-Alexandros into a proper gentleman for the sake of preserving a family inheritance. Even possessive Jonathan agrees it's a great opportunity to make social connections. But taming a prince might prove too big a professional challenge for Melissa when she's confronting so many seismic changes in her own personal life.
Jonathan needs her in Paris. Her sister Emery's newborn son needs a christening ceremony, as well as a proper name. Emery herself needs Melissa -- to protect her from their bulldog nanny who's returned to do much more than babysit. Most unsettling of all, Nelson needs her to find him a new flatmate because she'll be moving out soon. Balancing all this with late-night dinners, polo matches, and a Mediterranean cruise with Prince Nicky, who is as charming as he is exasperating, suddenly has bride-to-be Melissa dreaming of a fairy-tale ending -- and not the one she expected!
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Reading Group Guide
1. "I can't be bossy when I'm everyday Melissa, yet somehow when I'm walking in Honey's stilettos I turn into a whirlwind of retro-glamour and female dynamism" (p. 2). Compare and contrast Melissa's personality with that of her alter ego, Honey Blennerhesket. Why does Melissa feel compelled to transform herself into Honey for The Little Lady Agency? What does it suggest about her self-esteem?
2. How would you describe Melissa and Jonathan's relationship? Are they, as Melissa comes to believe, "more in love with the idea of each other than the reality" (p. 279)? Why or why not?
3. Is Melissa's reluctance to move to Paris indicative of larger issues in her relationship with Jonathan? How so? Discuss Jonathan's plan for the business he envisions running with Melissa. How do they each view her role in the company?
4. Melissa is convinced that Jonathan will never agree to her taking on the assignment with Nicky. Why, in fact, does her fiancé readily support the idea? And why is Melissa so surprised by his compliance?
5. Why does Melissa initially have misgivings about working with Nicky? Which of her methods of transforming him into a gentleman are effective, and why? Does Nicky truly change, or is it only an act?
6. Which aspects of Nicky's glamorous world intrigue Melissa?
7. Discuss Melissa's relationship with her family, whom she describes as "a bunch of melodramatic, self-centered schemers" (p. 12). If, as sh see more