Friday, February 7, 2014

Book Review: Princess Ever After by Rachel Hauck

 Every woman assumes that her days of reading fairy tales are over.  Those daydreams of being a princess in a royal castle are long gone.   But somehow in The Royal Wedding Series, Ms. Hauck makes me believe it's all really possible.  Princess Ever After is the second book in the series. 
Regina "Reggie" Beswick is just a southern girl who left a job at a profitable accounting firm to restore old cars.  She's just finished with her first one, when Tanner Burkhardt arrives from the small kingdom of Hessenburg to change her life forever. The Grand Duchy Hessenburg was entailed to it's sister nation, Brighton, by Reggie's great-great uncle in 1914, to spare them from war with Germany.  The entail was to last one hundred years.  At the end of the entail, if no heir of Prince Francis has been found, the duchy will cease to be a nation and will become a part of the nation of Brighton.  No heir had been found until an old law professor remembered a secret about Princess Alice, Reggie's great-grandmother.  Tanner is sent to reveal to Reggie that she is the long-lost heir to the throne.  Reggie is bowled over by this news, and isn't sure she wants to give up her life in America to become a princess in a foreign land. 
She agrees to travel to Hessenburg temporarily and get to know some of the people, places and customs.  She wants to take a little time to make her decision.  But not everyone in Hessenburg is ready to be a monarchy again.  Reggie is faced with opposition from some surprising sources.  When she learns that a part of her life back home is about to disappear forever, she runs back to America again, leaving Tanner hoping that she will return to save the kingdom. 
It would be easy for a story about an American girl becoming a princess to be ridiculous and far-fetched.  But somehow Ms. Hauck has made it seem totally reasonable.  Both of the Royal Wedding books have been wonderful.  I like their message that God calls everyone to do something.  He doesn't care if you're born a royal or a commoner, He has a plan for your life.  I never looked at it in that light before, and I found in refreshing.
I love the characters in this book.  It's hard to consider dialects and accents when reading, but sometimes I like to slow down a little and imagine the characters voices.  I love Reggie's southern drawl, and Tanner's crisp British accent--and his propensity to call himself "old chap" when he's talking to himself.  I loved that by the end of the book, Reggie was using the word "bloke."  I liked how Reggie stayed true to herself, even when others thought it was strange. 
I will admit to feeling a little annoyed at Reggie occasionally.  Her reactions got on my nerves sometimes.  But when I sit back and consider it, I don't know if mine would be any different if someone told me out of the blue that I was a princess!
If you're a grown-up who thinks she's done with fairy tales and daydreams, you need to read this book!  It can stand alone without reading the first book in the series, but I highly recommend that you read them both, simply for your own enjoyment.  I don't know if there will be any more books in this series.  It seems like the stories may have played themselves out.  But if their are any royal weddings in the future, count me in!

Happy Reading!

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for my review.  All opinions are my own.

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