July 18, 2013

A Royal Romance

Once Upon a Prince by Rachel Hauck

Release Date: May 2013
Publisher: Zondervan
Pages: 352 pages
Series: The Royal Wedding Series #1
Source & Format: NetGalley; e-ARC
Amazon Goodreads

Summary (from Goodreads)
Susanna Truitt never dreamed of a great romance or being treated like a princess - just to marry the man she has loved for twelve years. But life isn't going according to plan. When her high-school-sweetheart-turned-Marine-officer breaks up instead of proposing, Susanna scrambles to rebuild her life.

The last thing Prince Nathaniel expects to find on his American holiday to St. Simon's Island is the queen of his heart. A prince has duties, and his family's tense political situation has chosen his bride for him. When Prince Nathaniel comes to Susanna's aid under the fabled Lover's Oak, he is blindsided by love.

Their lives are worlds apart. He's a royal prince. She's an ordinary girl. But everything changes when Susanna receives an invitation to Nathaniel's coronation.

Thoughts on Once Upon a Prince
I'll be completely honest and tell you that the cover and title of this book immediately caught my eye. Then, I read the summary and knew I was hooked. The book includes two things that I included in my Top Ten Tuesday post about words that make me instantly pick up a book - Georgia and royalty.

Once Upon a Prince opens with Susanna getting the worst news of her life. Instead of the proposal she expected, her boyfriend of twelve years is breaking up with her. The plans she made and the future she envisioned won't be coming true, and she hardly knows what to do with herself. It doesn't help that she's from a small place where news travels fast. It's not long before everyone knows that she's been rejected.

Susanna grapples with the realization that she cared more about comfort and stability than passion and devotion. Heartbroken and in shock, she confides in a man named Nate. Well, his name is actually Prince Nathaniel, but she doesn't know that yet. Nate, on the other hand, is basking in the freedom of being unknown and developing a friendship that isn't influenced by his royal title. Of course, Nate can't keep his secret forever. Sooner or later, the truth will come out.

I enjoyed Susanna's struggle to come to terms with the past and the way it's influenced her actions in the present. There was so much upheaval and instability in her parent's marriage that she's clung so tightly to what's familiar. Her relationship may not have been incredible, but it was safe. I really enjoyed this aspect - the idea of holding on to something good but potentially losing out on what's best in the process.

I adore movies like The Princess Diaries and The Prince and Me, so I was already predisposed to love this book. There's just something about the idea of a happily ever after, of an ordinary girl who is chosen by a prince, that just resonated with me and made for a delightful read. As a Christian fiction novel, it's a clean, light and feel-good read. The romance is sweet and charming (although lacking in the swoon department), but I still found myself grinning at the pages.

In many ways, it really did read like a modern-day Cinderella. The only aspect of the plot that I didn't really love was the character Aurora, who was essentially the fairy godmother of the story. She felt a little too magical and didn't really fit with the tone of the rest of the book. Otherwise, from the setting to the sweetness, I thoroughly enjoyed this fairy tale!

For someone who is so obsessed with William and Kate, this book really hit the spot. I've already recommended it to a few friends who can't get enough of royal romances!

*I received a copy of this book from Zondervan in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated in any way for my review.

14 comments:

  1. Part of this book is set in St. Simons Island?! So fun!! I will definitely be picking this one up!

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    1. Yay! It's light and cutesy and perfect when you need a pick-me-up read!

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  2. This book sounds like a magical, captivating read! I'm a sucker for stories like the ones in The Princess Diaries and The Prince & Me, as it's always intriguing to read about royalty falling in love. Seriously, the cover + title are cute too and I definitely want to check it out!

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    1. Hope you enjoy if you do check this one out! I'm a sucker for books like this, too, so I just had lots of fun reading it. I adore the cover and title too!

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  3. I'm glad you loved this one, Hannah! I've had my eye on it. I'm a sucker for these Cinderella stories as well, and happy that it was a winner for you. Also I ADORE your blog design.

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    1. I'm a sucker for stories like this, too! It was definitely a fun read :) And thanks for the kind words!

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  4. This cover is AMAZING. And I would pick this up in a heartbeat and check it out. It sounds light and fun. I just looked this one up at the library and there is a hold list for it! So I put it in my "Remember Me" list for later. Thanks for bringing this one to my attention - I've been wondering about it since I saw it in one of your previous posts.

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    1. YAYYYYY! I love when you put books on your Remember Me list because of me :)

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  5. This books sounds like so much fun! Of course, I am a little royalty obsessed, but still.... even if I wasn't think I'd really enjoy this.

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    1. Yeah, it's definitely a fun read! Glad I'm not the only one who is royalty obsessed :)

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  6. Oh my goodness, look how prettyyyyy! ♥ I don't know if I can deny this book. How cute!

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    1. It is SO cute! Light and fluffy, but lots of fun!

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  7. I might need to try this one. :) Great review.

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    1. Yes, I think you'd enjoy it! Particularly in light of your love for her other book that you recently reviewed :)

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