Award winner Rachel Hauck kicks off a new contemporary romance series on royal romances. This first book tells the modern fairy tale of an European prince on a holiday who falls in love with an American girl.
Once Upon a Prince tells of Prince Nathaniel who meets American commoner Susanna Truitt on St. Simon’s Island just after Susanna’s boyfriend breaks up with her. Under the Lover’s Oaks, she spills her tale of woe to a stranger, Prince Nathaniel.
Nathaniel is traveling incognito while in America. He knows the throne will be his in less than a year, due to his father’s poor health. Shortly after Nathaniel’s identity is revealed to Susanna, Nathaniel returns to his kingdom as the new king following his father’s death.
Nathaniel’s brother invites Susanna to the coronation ball, hoping to show Nathaniel that he really isn’t in love with her. When Susanna travels to Brighton for his coronation, he realizes he loves Susanna. Nathaniel wants to marry for love, but there is the Marriage Act, preventing him from marrying a foreigner. There is also the problem with the neighboring country’s independence and the missing heir.
Although the royalty marries commoner theme is popular in books and movies, Hauck manages to create a charming story with a sweet twist. One can easily envision Once Upon a Prince as a movie. The characters are easy to like. Hauck writes believe-able characters, especially secondary ones.
The faith element is evident: Susanna and Nathaniel are Christian, and wonder about God’s will for their lives. They pray for wisdom and direction. The faith element adds an interesting plot twist to this story.
Highly recommended for public libraries and adult collections. Once Upon a Prince was a 2014 Christy Finalist. and a 2014 Selah Award Finalist.
Carol R. Gehringer
–reprinted with permission, Christian Library Journal, Sept. 2013.