Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Book Review: How to Catch a Prince by Rachel Hauck

If you have read this blog very long you'll know how much I love Rachel Hauck's books, particularly The Royal Wedding Series.  This series is one of my guilty pleasures, that really doesn't leave me with much guilt (except what comes from knowing I should have done a load of laundry instead of reading all morning).  Just like the first two books in the series, How to Catch a Prince is like a fairy tale for grown women.  It's like reading about Prince William and Kate Middleton--if she was from a small town in Georgia.  While this third book follows the same vein as the first two, it goes in a slightly different direction, that I really didn't care for much, but I loved the story still.
This series takes place in the fictional kingdoms of Brighton and Hessenburg.  This particular story is that of Prince Stephen, the younger brother of King Nathaniel from Once Upon a Prince.  Prince Stephen has a secret.  Five and a half years ago he married American heiress Corina Del Ray one month before he was deployed to Afghanistan.  The events that occurred there tore him up inside, leaving a shell of fear and shame.  He returned to Brighton and informed Corina that he could no longer be married to her.  Heartbroken, Corina returned to the United States and tried to build a new life, assuming that her marriage to the prince was annulled.  Suddenly, the secret marriage comes to the attention of King Nathaniel, and Stephen is forced to seek out Corina and ask her to sign annulment papers.  Corina's life hasn't been the same since her brother died in Afghanistan and her husband ended their marriage.  When Stephen comes knocking with a request for annulment, she sees it as an opportunity to finally find out what happened to Carlos five years ago.  Along the way she realizes she's still in love with the prince, and decides to try to win him back.  But she doesn't know the guilt that consumes him, and he doesn't believe she'll be able to forgive him for the past.
This is another great story with beautiful gowns, expensive cars, fancy parties, castles and royalty.  I liked that while it is a story about a prince finding love, it was different in the fact that Stephen and Corina were already married.  I thought that was a nice twist.  I loved the scene when Stephen went to visit the Archbishop of Hessenburg.  This author includes at least one such scene in each book, where a character finds a deeper relationship with God, but this may be the best yet. 
I love the characters in all of the books.  Corina was a little different from Susanna and Regina from the first two books.  As an heiress she didn't need to learn the protocols, or buy a new wardrobe to fit in with the royal family.  She already knew most of the famous people she met.  Once again, the scenery described in Brighton Kingdom was beautiful and made me wish it was a real place I could visit.  I admire this author for her ability to weave a story about a fictional kingdom so well.  She even made up tidbits of history for Brighton.  She really makes it seem like these places and people exist.
Now, this book contained some mysterious elements that I didn't care for: an inn that was only visible to Corina and Stephen and some servants who knew everything about Corina's life and were sent to help her win the prince, along with a long-lost tiara and tea set.  I just felt like they were superfluous to the story.  The first two books didn't contain anything like that, and I felt it took something away from the story.  I also thought the first two books were a bit lighter and this one seemed more serious.
I assume this is the last book in this series, since I don't know of any royal left to marry off, but I wish there were more.  I would definitely read them all. 
I think all women could enjoy a book like this.  It's a little fairytale break from chasing the kids around and washing dishes.  But, don't read this one if you haven't read the first two or at least book one in the series! They are all great books and definite favorites of mine.

Happy Reading!

You can read my review of Princess Ever After, the second book in this series here and my review of A March Wedding and Once Upon A Prince here.

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


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