Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Once Upon a Prince by Rachel Hauck

What a delightful modern day fairy tale.

Susanna is not having a good day. The fellow she had been friends with for twelve years, experiencing the ebb and flow of romance, has just told her he cannot marry her. She is stunned. Marriage had been their plan since their sophomore year of college. But on his last tour in Afghanistan, he fell in love - with someone else.

Her day gets even worse when she finds her car has a flat tire. And then some creepy guy starts to bother her as she struggles with the tire iron. Then, out of the sunset, riding his trusty steed – well, actually a black SUV – is the most handsome man... He introduces himself as Nate and is more than happy to help her change her tire.

What Susanna doesn't know is that “Nate” is really Nathaniel, Prince of Brighton. He's having an American vacation on St. Simons Island, and will be the guest at a benefit put on by his distant cousin. Susanna, through quirks of accident, does not find out Nate's true identity for quite a while.

Nate is struck with love the very first time he sees Susanna. But he has a problem. His father is dying of leukemia and Nate may end up being king sooner than he had anticipated. His vacation at the cottage his family has owned for decades may soon have to come to an end. How can he bear to leave Susanna?

Susanna finds out by accident Nate's true identity. She is crushed. Why did he lie to her? Just when it looks like they might work it out Nate gets word his father has died and he must return to Brighton immediately. He must be king.

What a fun and well crafted modern fairy tale. There is the damsel in distress. There is (literally) the prince who comes to her aid. There is even a fairy Godmother, of sorts, in the quirky character of Aurora.

There is the typical romance problem. He is the king of (fictional) Brighton and the country has had a law for two hundred years that the king cannot marry someone not born in Brighton. Hauck really heightens the anxiety as conditions back in Brighton are not helping Nate and Susanna's romance at all.

This was a delightful novel to read. In addition to the traditional issues in a romance novel, Hauck also tackles the concept of being in love with an idea, rather than the person, and whether one marries out of (political) responsibility or love.

This is the first in the Royal Wedding series. The series is off to a good start! Watch a trailer here.

I am taking part in a blog tour of this book. You can see other reviews here.

Rachel Hauck is the bestselling author of ACFW Book of the Year winner Sweet Caroline, and RITA Finalist Love Starts With Elle. She lives in sunny central Florida with her husband. She is the past President of American Christian Fiction Writers and now serves on the Executive Board. Visit her web site at www.rachelhauck.com to sign up for her newsletter, read her blog and to follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Zondervan, 352 pages. Please visit your local Christian bookstore to purchase this book.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

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