Author: Rachel Hauck
Complimentary Copy Provided by: NetGalley
Once Upon a Prince, the first novel in the Royal Wedding series by best-selling 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. Simons 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 an ordinary girl. But everything changes when Susanna receives an invitation to Nathaniel’s coronation. It’s the ultimate choice: His kingdom or her heart? God’s will or their own? ‘This is classic romance at its very best.’ —DEBBIE MACOMBER ‘[A] surprisingly believable royal-meets-commoner love story. With only a subtle nod to Cinderella, this modern and engaging tale follows the budding relationship of an American Southern girl and a pseudo-Brit prince . . . Hauck fans will find a gem of a tale.’ —Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW for Once Upon a Prince.
One of the reasons I started to “blog for books” was to branch outside my world of non-fiction, gaining exposure to a range of genres and authors outside of the human trafficking/poverty/ justice related readings I tend to gravitate toward. For the most part the experience of blogging for books has been rewarding and has put some good reads in my lap that I would have ignored were it not for receive a copy for free.
And then, there are times that I just don’t connect with a read. Sadly, this was the case with Once Upon A Prince. I just didn’t connect with the characters or storyline in a way that I felt drawn into their world or circumstances.
I think the primary reason I felt disconnected from the arc of this novel is because I am not a fan of insta-love. I recognize this theme is central to many young adult and contemporary novels, but I think it’s harmful. I think insta-love is damaging to a healthy perception of relationships. I think insta-love undermines the amount of work required to maintain a long-term relationship rooted in commitment and sacrifice. And, I think insta-love sets unrealistic expectations for the psychological, emotional, and social development of trust in relationships.
Now, having said that, once I was able to remove the “insta-love-dislike” cap I was able to finish the novel and find value in the author’s intent. I think Once Upon a Prince was well written, presenting many important themes such as loyalty, social expectations, family roles and responsibility, finding one’s way according to personal passion and interest verse outside pressure … all issues that a reader can relate to in one way or another.
So, while this particular novel may not have been my cup of tea, I think Rachel Hauck to be a gifted writer and am interested in picking up some her other works outside the Royal Wedding/A Year of Weddings series.
(I received a complimentary copy from Zondervan Publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)
My first novel was published in 2004, and since then my books have won awards, been bestsellers and I believe have given readers the chance to escape into worlds where they can breathe in the fragrance of Jesus’s love. My hope is my novels take what is true in heaven and make it real on earth in our every day lives.
My prayer is that you will know true JOY and the pleasure of your dreams coming to life! And if my stories can ease your heart for just a moment from what ever load life is laying on you, then I am honored and blessed.
My Favorite Things
• Exercise. Watching the Buckeyes and college football. It’s a “season” in our house.
• Worship/Singing (I’m the worship leader at our church)
• Movies (like Remember The Titans, The Proposal, Notting Hill, It’s a Wonderful Life)
• Love stories (real and made up!)
• A good prayer meeting!
• Family and friends – the spice of life.
I think people are fascinating. Which means I think you are fascinating. I loved hearing personal stories of romance, tragedy and triumph, hope, and doubt, sorrows and joys. So I’d love to hear your story if you care to write. You can reach me here. http://rachelhauck.com/