Our main couple is definitely the highlight of the story. Avery and Prince Colin have a history that proves just as potent in their present. When the two of them are in close proximity neither can see anyone else! No matter how much they both deny it, their chemistry speaks for itself. Yet their past is not so easily overcome. Pain causes Avery to withdraw, while duty does the same for Prince Colin, and they have to work to rebuild trust in each other. Still, ignoring isn't an option since familial relationships mean they are required to spend time together. We all know where their story is going to end, but it's each hard conversation, as well as giddy moments filled with sweetness, that makes the journey so fun. Plus when they needed the push, a certain centuries-old tradition involving a bell decides to help. I loved all the supernatural bits added in, true love will not be denied!
All the side characters are just as interesting, especially since we get to spend more time with Nathaniel and Susanna, who end up being voices of much needed reason. And I so appreciated how Avery and Susanna, along with their mother, were honest about their grief for their father. Losing someone you love is difficult, it changes every aspect of your life, which is something I know well. So to see the sisters, especially Avery, working through the emotional upheaval was poignant. Ms. Hauck described the unknowns and emotions of grief very accurately. It was true and honest, and heartfelt.
The fairytale-like elements are another part of this story that I loved. What young girl hasn't dreamed of marrying a prince at some point? Ms. Hauck takes that idea and brings it to life for us again and again. Which just makes me *happy dance*! I read through the story with a constant grin on my face. I would certainly not be opposed to more books in this series, Ms. Hauck! More swoony romance please! :)
**I received a complimentary copy via Netgalley. All opinions expressed are my own.
Sad thing about losing your parent is a door to your childhood closes. One you didn't even know was open.