It's possible that I've mentioned this before, but for me, a sign that I'm reading good fiction is that as I go about my day, I find myself occasionally narrating my own life. This might sound strange to some of you, but it's a funny thing about myself that I've noticed. I've always had a desire to write fiction, so I guess reading a story that's captivating and well-told brings that out in me.
I've read quite a few of Rachel Hauck's novels, and I think I've seen this effect each time. She really has a way with words and with story. Novels like this also make it hard to go about life's responsibilities, ahem.
Anyway, I recently got the opportunity to review a book in a series that I started last year, when I reviewed the first book, Once Upon a Prince. The second book, Princess Ever After, is related but not a sequel. While we meet up with the characters from book one a few times, they are not who book two is primarily is about. You don't need to have read the first book to enjoy the second.
Aside from the captivating storytelling, I enjoyed this modern-day fairy tale because of its well-thought out plot (Ms. Hauck created quite a world in the politics of Hessenberg and its entail with Brighton), its deep character development, and of course, its moving romance.
I love romance novels that aren't all about the romance, it's there, glaringly there, but the characters have other struggles and plot twists to overcome, and parts of their character that need refining as well-- that's what gives them their depth. As we see one character fight through the unknowns of following her calling, we see another fighting to overcome his past and let go of what has held him in guilt for so long. The story is fanciful, but the heart struggles are real.
More about the book
Regina Beswick was born to be a princess.
But she’s content to be a small-town girl, running a classic auto restoration shop, unaware a secret destiny awaits her. One that will leap from the pages of her grandmother’s hand-painted book of fairytales.
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 if 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.
About the author
Rachel Hauck is an award-winning, best selling author of critically acclaimed novels such as RITA nominated "The Wedding Dress" and RITA nominated "Love Starts with Elle," part of the Lowcountry series, the Nashvegas series and the Songbird Novels penned with multi-platinum recording artist, Sara Evans. Their novel "Softly and Tenderly,' was one of Booklists 2011 Top Ten Inspirationals. A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism, she worked in the corporate software world before planting her backside in an uncomfortable chair to write full time in 2004. Rachel 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.
Thanks to Litfuse for the review copy of this book. Affiliate links included here.