Brielle Adebayo is fully content teaching at a New York City public school and taking annual summer vacations with her mother to Martha's Vineyard. But everything changes when her mom drops a bombshell – Brielle is really a princess in the island kingdom of Oloro Ile, off the coast of Africa, and she must immediately assume her royal position, since the health of her grandfather, the king, is failing.
Distraught by all the secrets her mother kept, Brielle is further left spinning when the Oloro Ile Royal Council brings up an old edict that states she must marry before her coronation, or the crown will pass to another. Brielle is uncertain is she even wants the throne, and with her world totally shaken, where will she find the courage to take a chance on love and brave the perils a wrong decision may bring?
I thoroughly enjoyed this romance with an international setting. Bri is a great heroine. She takes very seriously the decision to rule a country about which she knows next to nothing. I really appreciated her seeking God's leading and hearing from Him. I cheered her on as she devoted time and energy to get to know the people, their history, and their governing system.
I sympathized with Bri and the revelation of the law stating she must be wed before her grandfather dies if she is to be queen. And like any good romance, all the men the Royal Council suggest are so terrible. I wondered how God would work out a suitable love for the person He had chosen as the next ruler of the country.
There are several issues explored in this novel. Parental honesty is an initial problem. Bri is quite unhappy with her mother for hiding the true facts about her father. Relationship restoration is crucial. There is the issue of others in the royal family opposed to Bri becoming queen. There is also the whole issue of whether women are suitable for governing. I do wish Shiloh had given Bri more of a passion to help the poor and pursue ways to improve the country.
Besides being a good romance, readers get introduced to a new place, culture and people. While the cultural immersion could have been deeper, I did enjoy what was presented. This novel is definitely a romance. Although the plot is a familiar one and the outcome predictable, Shiloh did a good job putting a new spin on it.
You can read an excerpt here.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
About the Author:
Toni Shiloh (www.tonishiloh.com) is a wife, mom, and multi-published Christian contemporary romance author. Her novel Grace Restored was a 2019 Holt Medallion finalist, and Risking Love was a 2020 Selah Award finalist. As a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Toni loves connecting with readers and authors alike via social media.
Bethany House Publishers, 384 pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review. The book summary and author biography were provided by the publisher.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)