Princess Ever After
By Rachel Hauck
Regina Beswick never dreamed of faraway places. She's happy with her life as a classic car mechanic and owner of a restoration shop. But an unexpected visitor and the discovery of a fairytale, drawn by her great-grandma, causes Regina to wonder if she might be destined for something more.
Tanner Burkhardt, Minister of Culture for the Grand Duchy of Hessenberg, must convince the strong-willed Miss Beswick that she is his country's long-lost princess. Failure could destroy his reputation and change his nation forever.
As Regina and Tanner face the challenges before them, neither are prepared for love to invade their hearts and change everything they believe about themselves.
However, when a royal opponent nearly destroys Regina's future, she must lean into God and trust He has sovereignly brought her to her true and final destiny.
Princess Ever After, book two in The Royal Wedding series, taps into the fascination that many have with royalty, subtly blends spiritual themes with a fascinating storyline, and thoroughly entertains. I have not read the previous book, Once Upon a Prince; while this would have provided background into the setting and characters, Princess Ever After easily stands alone.
"She'd found bliss. Perhaps even true love. Behind the wheel of a '71 Dodge Challenger restored to Slant-6 perfection."
With these opening lines, we meet the charming and refreshingly different character of Reggie, who has finally found happiness by leaving the corporate world and running a classic auto restoration shop in her small Florida town. Though she’s cozied up to the idea that her new life is nearly perfect, Regina is unaware a secret destiny awaits her.
I really liked Tanner, Hessenberg's Minister of Culture, who is tasked to retrieve the long-lost princess in order to secure his nation’s future — and his own. Romance fans will enjoy the growing attraction between Tanner and Reggie, and find their story very appealing. The ending is especially moving.
Tanner is a man carrying the burden of past mistakes alone, and the phrase "existing but not living" has become the mantra of his life. "Somehow the buried and hidden became exposed and confronted his solitude, his shallow substitute for living." This is a theme that I think a lot of us can relate to, for how often does something we thought was buried forever rise to the surface, confronting us as it did Tanner? The words of Tanner's dad, the archbishop, offer so much comfort: "We are nearest to him when we are in the wilderness."
Flashbacks to journal entries written by Reggie's great grandmother, Princess Alice, not only add depth to the story, but provide a vehicle through which Rachel's goal (taken from her website) becomes a reality: "My hope is my novels take what is true in heaven and make it real on earth in our everyday lives." The book of fairytales, a treasured heirloom that Princess Alice left, becomes so much more. To me, it was a picture of the Bible, God's Word that guides us into our own royal inheritance, for we are all beloved sons and daughters of the King of all kings.
Princess Ever After is an enjoyable read that will surely entertain romance fans, and I appreciated the way spiritual themes of forgiveness and obedience were threaded throughout the narrative. When God intervenes - and He will - we have to choose between trusting obedience or determined self will, and the characters struggle just as we do. Through characterization and narrative, Rachel beautifully shows the healing and restoration that true obedience brings. Recommended.
Rachel Hauck is an award-winning, best selling author of critically acclaimed novels such as the RITA nominated The Wedding Dress and Love Starts with Elle, part of the Lowcountry series. She also penned the Songbird Novels with multi-platinum recording artist, Sara Evans. Booklist named their novel, Softly and Tenderly, one of 2011 Top Ten Inspirationals.
A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism, Rachel worked in the corporate software world before planting her backside in an uncomfortable chair to write full-time in 2004.
She serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and leads worship at their annual conference. She is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, and conference speaker.
Rachel writes from her two-story tower in an exceedingly more comfy chair. She is a huge Buckeyes football fan.
Visit the Litfuse Blog Tour post to learn more. You can also meet Rachel online at rachelhauck.com, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.