Title: Once Upon a Prince
Author: Rachel Hauck
Series: Royal Wedding, Book 1
Print Publisher: Zondervan
Audio Publisher: Oasis Audio
Narrator: Eleni Pappageorge
Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance
Once Upon a Prince is the first book I’ve read — or listened to — by Rachel Hauck and I want to read more. Starting of course, with Princess Ever After (next in her Royal Wedding series).
Book Description (from Oasis Audio’s Web site):
A royal prince. An ordinary girl. An extraordinary royal wedding.
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 breaks up with her 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?
My Thoughts on the Story:
This sweet contemporary romance is all fairy tale, and I enjoyed every minute of it. The premise itself requires some suspension of disbelief, but the payoff is a fun and lively story complete with a dream-come-true happily ever after ending.
What girl wouldn’t love the idea of being swept off her feet by a prince who’s ready and willing to come to her rescue, who’s not above getting his hands dirty with honest work, and who sees something special in her that even she can’t explain?
From the beaches of St. Simon’s Island, Georgia to the grand ballrooms of Brighton Kingdom, the settings are lovely and really emphasize just how different Nathaniel and Susanna’s backgrounds are. And to watch each exploring and getting to know the other’s world? Priceless.
Besides the sweet romance, there’s also a faith thread woven throughout. Both hero and heroine must rely upon their faith, and recognize the importance of seeking God’s call for their lives and being ready and willing to go and do what He calls them to, even when things don’t seem to be headed in a direction they’d prefer.
Of course, in the end… well, you can probably guess. But the journey along the way is an entertaining one full of misunderstandings, paparazzi, tricky political entanglements, barbecue ribs, and of course, true love. Well worth the journey.
My Thoughts on the Narration:
Yes. Just yes.
If you’re even thinking about going with the audiobook edition of this book, then go for it. I absolutely loved the contrasting accents the narrator, Eleni Pappageorge used for Susanna and Nathaniel. From distinctly Southern to classy British, the accents fit the dialog and the characters perfectly and brought them to life for me. With clear enunciation and excellent pacing, the narrator made listening easy. Both male and female voices were well done, and the narration blended into the background, highlighting and adding an extra dimension to an already beautiful tale.
Enjoyed this review? Come back next week for my review of the audio edition of Princess Ever After – next in Rachel Hauck’s Royal Wedding series. Or consider subscribing to my blog so you won’t miss a thing! Meanwhile, what do you think? Is this a series you’d like to start reading? Or maybe you already have? Either way, please take a moment to share your thoughts in the comments. Or just say hello. I love hearing from other readers… and listeners!