Gillian is a spoiled brat who has her heart set on marrying royalty. But when her father reveals an embarrassing debt to another aristocratic family, Gillian is forced to leave her life of glitz, glamor, and social media braggadocio to work as companion to an old lady at a remote villa. The temperamental dowager seems to be going senile, but why is it that the strange wishes she makes keep coming true? With the help of a down-to-earth construction worker named Manny, Gillian corrals ghosts at fancy parties, stops statues from rampaging around the estate, and manages to stay alive herself. By the end of her year of indentured servitude, Gillian has learned to care for both the old lady at the villa and the decidedly un-royal Manny. But when the autocratic Prince Max decides that Gillian would be the perfect trophy wife, she must decide what is most important to her in a husband.
This story is based on the “King Thrushbeard” fairytale. When Gillian meets her love interest for the first time, she is utterly put off by his bushy beard, big enough to house several birds’ nests. Apparently, Gillian was a villainess in a previous book of this series (which I have not yet read), but in this book, she manages to pull off a believable and startling transformation. This light read was excellent company on the airplane, and I’m curious to read more by J.M. Stengl.