Once Upon a Prince, the first novel in the Royal Wedding series by bestselling author Rachel Hauck, treats you to a modern-day fairy tale.
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 a ordinary girl. But everything changes when Susanna receives an invitation to Nathaniel’s coronation.
A modern day fairy tale indeed! This is such a lovely story. I quickly devoured it once I had it in my possession, but I've been waiting a little to try and get my thoughts to make sense. I didn't figure you wanted to hear, "It's awesome! Go read it!", and that's it. (Although it is! And you should!) I think what convinced me that I'd love this story is the hero, Nathaniel. He is such a great guy. Kind, gentle, God-fearing, and once he falls in love, he's incredibly loyal to Susanna and not afraid to show it. Even when she tries rebuffing him! (Emphasis on tries. She's not very good at denying her heart. But she tries! Oh how she tries.) And did I mention how kind he is? While Susanna dithers about, he stays by her side. Simply just being there and helping and supporting her and her family. Even when he's on the other side of the ocean, he still helps her by staying away with no contact to try and make things easier on her. (They aren't allowed to marry. It's a law.) Oh he is such a good man. I want a Nathaniel for me! ;)
The setting, the romance, it's adorable! There are moments when you're reminded that this is very much a fairy tale type of story (far from real life.....although Will & Kate might beg to differ ;), but it's so much fun! To attempt to make it clear why you should read this one, and give you a taste of the story, I'm going to try something a little different. I wrote some notes while I was reading. I don't normally do this, but I kept talking to myself about this phrase or that scene and finally decided maybe I should write them down instead of shouting them in an empty room! :D Anyway, here are my (lengthy) thoughts:
If you're going to create a fake country, then you have to pick grand names for your cities. "Cathedral City"? I like it! ::: I just love this: "...after he spiffed up the bathroom, I plum near put a place setting in there." ;) ::: I love Aurora! ::: Okay, these two people are idiots. Lovely and sweet idiots, but idiots all the same. Who do they think they're fooling? ::: Definitely reminding me that I would never want to be royalty! How tiring must it be to always have part of you that millions of people know and expect to know? Sounds perfectly awful. ::: Yup, he's twitterpated all right! :D ::: Yes! Have a t-shirt made! "I don't want to marry her." Great plan. ::: Stephen seems to think he knows all, but oh boy, does he ever not! What a horrid plan! Poor Susanna. But I've a feeling this is gonna backfire on him. ::: If you feel guilty, then why are you trying to manipulate your son? Shouldn't the guilt be a clue not to? ::: I love Aurora! ::: Lady, you're a mom. Shouldn't that mean you actually listen to the son you're so concerned about? ::: Well! It's about time she showed her true colors! ::: Ah! The joys of being royal means you get to tell other people to shove it if need be! Politely of course. :D ::: Susanna, never question a man who looks like that and talks like that when he says he loves you. Of course he means it! ::: You know what? I totally agree with Susanna. Not a nice move there, bub. ::: You go, Susanna! Show them that you're the bigger person! ::: I love Aurora! ::: This whole family is terrible at lying! (This is a good thing, but still. Surprises don't stay surprises this way!) ::: For once, listen to your mother, Susanna. At this moment? Her advice is excellent! Oh my stars a mighty!! ::: By George I think I'm in love with this man myself! He's got me swooning at his feet. I don't know how Susanna could resist him for so long! ::: *Sigh* Melt my heart won't you, Ms. Hauck? It's in a puddle at my feet right now! *Sniff sniff*
It's awesome! Go read it! :)
"I don't like him, Mickey. Not in the way you mean." Susanna set down the dirty dishes and reached into the jar, fishing out quarters. "Even if I did--which I don't--he lives four bazillion miles away. Across the Atlantic and halfway into the North Sea."
"So you know where he lives?"
Susanna banged into the kitchen, leaving Mickey and his amusing chuckle on the deck. What did he know? Old Irish-singing coot. He wasn't even really Irish, for crying out loud."