The Bachelor’s Dare

The Virgin's Proposal

 
Her Frog Prince by Shirley Jump
(Silh. Rom. #1746, $4.25. G) ISBN 0-373-19746-2
***
Based on fairy tales, this series are supposed to generate warm fuzzy feelings and happy endings. Her Frog Prince is one of those stories, and it falls into the acceptable category for its run-of-the-mill writing, plot and heroes.

The "Princess" is a pampered beauty who is now trying to learn to run her own business in order to make her father proud of her. Parris Hammond (even the name connotes princesses in the news) wants to run a charity auction in Florida successfully and then get back to New York to her life – a life in which she is not really satisfied. But Parris has been the one to look pretty and act pretty and she is still trying to discover what she wants. Rich Daddy has given Parris and her sister (newlywed Jackie) a chance to make something of this new company.

The Frog is marine biologist Bradford Smith, a man who is living on a shoestring grant and trying to find giant squid. But the grant is almost over and he needs to get re-funded. To do that he has to convince the committee to award him the grant and he hates everything that smells of suits, ties and politicking. Brad is a member of "the" Smiths", a well to do family who has loads of money. But Brad is determined not to use the family money because he thinks it will obligate him to leave the sea and join the family business.

These two fall for each other, literately, when Parris falls off a yacht and Brad fishes her out of the ocean. Their romance is helped along by a lady named Merry, who is old and ugly, the result of a curse. Merry must help 21 couples to marry in order to break the curse and return to her beautiful self. She just finished watching couple number 18 marry, so she is on a roll. But her deadline is approaching.

The story is basically Parris and Brad fighting their attraction while we come to realize why Brad loves the ocean and why Parris can really benefit from such a down to earth guy. There is nothing new here. There are moments of high romance, generally when they are off to themselves discovering the wonders of the sea. There are more serious parts such as the time Parris and her sister bond. And there are triumphant parts when Parris' efforts pay off and Brad thinks he finds a squid.

Merry's role is less than engaging. She plays a minor role, but every once in a while the author throws her into the story to maintain the premise. The other characters are typical…a snobbish mother, a father who is sorry he treated his girls so poorly, a friend of the hero who is selfless and dedicated to his happiness.

There is nothing to warn the reader off this story, but there just isn't much to make the reviewer recommend the story. The hero is adequate, with moments of endearing qualities. The heroine is acceptable for a woman who is basically coasting through life, and one who throws out her distrust of men whenever she feels any emotion.

Her Frog Prince is a nice story, but has nothing that makes one really want to pick it up over any other.

--Shirley Lyons


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