Title: Princess Ever After
Author: Rachel Hauck
Series: Royal Wedding, Book 2
Print Publisher: Zondervan
Audio Publisher: Oasis Audio
Narrator: Eleni Pappageorge
Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance
If you saw my blog post last week, then you already know how much I loved listening to the audio edition of Rachel Hauck’s Once Upon a Prince. If not, feel free to go check it out now, and then consider subscribing to my blog so you won’t miss out on future fun. 😉
Okay, back to hear what I thought of the second book in the Royal Wedding series? Sweet! Let’s get started.
Book Description (From the Oasis Audio Web site):
Regina Beswick didn’t know she was born to be a princess.
She’s content to be a small-town girl, running a classic auto restoration shop, unaware that a secret destiny awaits her. One that will leap from the pages of her grandmother’s hand-painted book of fairy tales.
Tanner Burkhardt is the stoic minister of culture for the Grand Duchy of Hessenberg. When he is tasked to retrieve the long-lost princess, he must overcome his fear of failure in order to secure his nation’s future — and his own.
Yet lurking in the political shadows is a fierce opponent with sinister plans to abolish the throne forever.
Overwhelmed with opposition, Regina must decide whether she’s destined to restore old cars or an ancient nation. Together — with a little divine intervention — Regina and Tanner discover the truth of her heritage and the healing power of true love.
My Thoughts on the Story:
Princess Ever After is a delightfully lighthearted read, with some meaningful themes woven in amongst the fun. Having just finished reading Once Upon a Prince, I spotted a number of parallels between the two stories, but this one still felt fresh, with enough twists and variations on the ordinary girl to princess theme to keep me happily engaged in Regina’s story. In fact, I’d say the combination of familiar elements with new variations makes this the perfect second book for this series, and I suspect fans will love this one too.
Tanner and Regina make for interesting and relatable main characters, with their flaws, fears, quirks, and dilemmas. The story also features some great secondary characters, and I particularly enjoyed the passages from Princess Alice’s diary, which gave glimpses into Hessenberg’s past and that of Regina’s family.
I thought the romance went – to borrow a phrase from the book – from “zero to sixty” a bit quickly and I think I might’ve liked to see a little more page time devoted to showing the development of Reggie and Tanner’s feelings toward each other. That said, this is meant to be a modern day fairy tale, and I do think it fits that bill perfectly despite, or maybe because of the whirlwind romance. The ending in particular is spectacular in exactly the ways a fairy tale should be, and I was willingly whisked along, enjoying every minute of the ride from beginning to end.
My favorite themes from the book are the ideas of restoration (applied in several contexts) and of overcoming fear of the unknown to take a leap of faith when necessary. Oh, and the scene in the grand ballroom is pretty spectacular. You’ll know what I mean when you get to it.
If you enjoy a good lighthearted read every now and again, this book will definitely be worth the read. Especially if you’re a fan of modern day fairy tales.
My Thoughts on the Narration:
As she did with Once Upon a Prince, Eleni Pappageorge has done a superb job narrating this book. Her renditions of Tanner’s British-ish accent and Regina’s southern drawl were a delightful complement to an already excellent story. I particularly liked the narrator’s attention to detail, right down to giving a melody to songs characters sang, and making her voice sound like a character speaking through an intercom when the text called for it. Book 3 in the series, How to Catch a Prince, is scheduled to release in February 2015, and I will definitely be on the lookout for the audio edition!
Thank you to Oasis Audio for providing an electronic copy of this audiobook for review purposes.