Remember Prince Arthur from Santa Dora who appeared in SVT and then disappeared? Apparently he's just been waiting for the chance to come back to Sweet Valley and now is the right time. While all the girls go cray-cray for him, Dana instantly takes a dislike to him. She whines and complains about how much royalty sucks, so you know where this is going. All the guys are on her side because the other girls won't stop drooling, and even Lynne Henry writes a song in his honor called Rule My Heart. Gag me.
Jessica and Lila decide that this is the perfect time to start fighting over a guy again. Both of them want to be the next princess of Santa Dora. Jessica thinks she'll win because she's throwing a party for him the day after he arrives following a whirlwind tour of the states. Lila thinks she will win because she looks more like a Mediterranean princess, is throwing a big fancy party for him, and she's more accustomed to living like royalty.
Jess asks The Droids to play, but Dana refuses. Jessica then convinces her to come to the airport with them to pick up Arthur. Once she meets him, Dana gets all flushed and can't concentrate at all. They all go to a party at the Wakefield house so he can meet/see everyone, or at least the people the twins picked. Dana clearly likes Arthur but acts all disgusted by him.
Since Arthur has nothing better to do, he goes to Sweet Valley High for the day. After a confrontation in her social studies class, the teacher agrees to let them debate the merits of royalty the following day in class. Dana gives a pretty good speech about how the royal family is outdated, democracy is better and all that jazz. Arthur basically says that the family brings in money for the country and wins. It's ridiculous.
Arthur shows up at the Wakefield house to talk with Elizabeth alone. No shocker, he has the hots for Dana and doesn't know what to do. This leads to Liz talking with Enid over the phone and Jessica overhearing. She instantly thinks that Arthur likes her and can't wait to brag to Lila.
Cut to a party that Jessica throws. She makes hamburgers, apple pie, and all American type food and spends the whole night ignoring Sam and focusing on Arthur. Arthur finally does show up but only because he's too shy to ask Dana to dance with him and wants Jessica to do it for him. She grudgingly does, and to no one's shock, they immediately fall in love.
Arthur shows up the next day at Dana's house. She's all worried about him seeing her in teddy bear slippers, a tie dye shirt, and leggings but figures he should get to know the real her. They spend the day sightseeing around town and spending time together, which leads to them both admitting that they're in love. Gag me again.
This all leads up to Arthur going to see Liz again and dissing Jess again when she tries to help. He tells Liz that his country has a tradition where the crown prince must announce his engagement on the eve of his 17th birthday. His whirlwind trip was actually his chance to find a woman he wanted to marry. Though he wants to propose to Dana, Liz warns him to at least tell her the truth about the tradition.
After another date, Arthur takes Dana for a walk along the beach, gets down on one knee, and pops the question with a diamond the size of my head. She freaks out and tells him that she loves him but she isn't sure, so he tells her to take a few days and think about it. When she tells her mom, her mom instantly flips out and goes crazy about having a price for a son in law. She winds up telling a friend who calls another friend, and dozens of reporters wind up camping out on their lawn.
Lila decides that the best way to get to Arthur is through his young and hunky bodyguard Paolo. She and Jessica take him out a few times but all they get is when he makes a slip about a tradition. They then follow Arthur all around town until Jessica finally gives up and lets Lila go it alone. Lila actually does some research, finds out about the tradition, and calls a reporter, who then calls Dana and tells her about it. The reporter also reveals that if he can't find a woman, the gossip is that his family will betroth him to some spoiled brat princess from England. Dana is so mad that she goes to see him and throws the ring on the ground to end their relationship.
Arthur goes to Liz who basically tells him that she should have been upfront with Dana. She then goes to see Dana and tries to talk to her but fails. At some point, Jessica goes to see Sam and apologizes for once again ignoring him for another guy. Lila then throws her party for Arthur and gets him alone long enough for one dance and for a photographer to take their picture before he bolts for the door. Jessica has a good laugh at her friend's humiliation before Liz and Sam point out how she once acted.
Elizabeth goes back to see Dana and points out that they did have some good times and that he's leaving. She bitches because she saw a picture in the paper of Arthur and Lila dancing. Liz points out that he left right after that and that he clearly misses Dana. She then goes home and has a talk with Jessica about how Lila is probably hurting because Arthur's rejection is just another guy hurting her like John did. It's kind of touching until Liz basically says it's a good thing Lila is still in therapy and leaves the room.
Dana rushes to the hotel and gets there just before Arthur leaves. He tells her that he's going home to tell his parents he isn't getting married and that if they don't like it, they can make his younger brother the crown prince. Arthur proposes to her again and suggests a long engagement, and she turns him down again. They agree to maybe try their relationship again in a few years when they're both in college. They kiss, and he leaves.
*Elizabeth serves croissants, fresh seafood salad, fresh fruit, homemade cookies, and other random stuff for her party. What happened to pizza and soda?
*The debate really was stupid. Arthur's only argument is that tourists come to see the palace and pump money into the economy. Can't they do that if they have the royal family but leaders with actual political experience? I have no clue why he won.
*I hate Liz more than usual in this book. Enid keeps saying that Arthur clearly has a crush on her, and she keeps denying it. When he shows up and tells her about the tradition, he says that he thought it might be her, and she's all like, "yeah I kind of figured that." Um, no you didn't.
*Liz introduces Todd to Arthur as her "special friend" and then wonders if she was clear on their relationship. Why didn't she just say he was her boyfriend?
*Then, when Dana is all down about what happened and complaining about the engagement tradition, Liz says that he came to Sweet Valley to ask her. Dana freaks out about him proposing to someone else, and Liz just pulls the whole' "it wasn't quite like that" thing. Oh, you mean in the not quite like it way in that he never proposed to you?
*I do love Jessica though. She points out that since Liz turned him down, she thought he would turn to her identical twin next because it just made sense.
*Why was no one going after the bodyguard? They describe him as being 6'2" and super tanned with lots of muscles, but none of these boy crazy guys even bats an eye in his direction.
*What teenage girl turns down a proposal from a hot and rich prince? Arthur even tells her that they can have a long engagement, go to college together, and get married 5+ years from now. He also tells her that she can have a music career and do basically anything she wants with his money and support. I know it's ridiculous but come on. If a girl can fall in love in three hours, how is becoming engaged not possible?