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.
In the first of Rachel Hauck’s Royal Wedding series, readers learned about a political situation brewing between the fictional North Sea country of Brighton and the nearby Duchy of Hessenberg. According to a century-old agreement, an heir to the Hessenberg throne had to be found or the area would lose its independence and become a permanent part of Brighton. In Princess Ever After, that heir is located in rural Florida. She likes messing with cars and wearing cowboy boots, and she has no idea that her beloved great-grandmother was heir apparent to the Hessenberg throne.
Rachel Hauck said that her inspiration for this series was the royal wedding of William and Kate, more formally known as Their Royal Highnesses, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Proof of that inspiration is everywhere in Princess Ever After; the book has a definite Englishness about it. Sons call their mothers ‘mum.’ Tanner calls the television the ‘telly.’ There are frequent mentions of the European Union and its law courts. The use of English seaside town names continues with one Hessenberg establishment being called Scarborough.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I. It is perhaps no coincidence, therefore, that the war was made to be a reason for the situation in which Hessenberg has found herself. Actions have consequences and memories don’t fade easily. Her ancestor’s actions mean that not everyone welcomes Regina or the return of the monarchy.
Do I recommend Princess Ever After? Absolutely. I’ve yet to meet a Rachel Hauck novel I didn’t like. Reggie is very much an independent and forthright woman, and I suspect few American women could resist Tanner with his good looks and English accent. Minor characters have their own charms and idiosyncrasies, such as Reggie’s step-mom the bank president who likes to bake during stressful times. The plot is light, and allows us to drift away for a while in that princess happy ever after fantasy. To prolong the escape, I suggest you read Once Upon a Princess first. If you have an e-reader, you can also read the novella, A March Bride, which is based upon that book.
Ps: did you know that Regina is Latin? The rough translation is ‘ruling Queen.’ Regina was definitely born to be a princess and heir to the throne!
Thank you to Zondervan and Litfuse for my complimentary copy of Princess Ever After, which I received in exchange for an honest review.
Have you read Princess Ever After? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.
Publisher: Harvest House
Publication Date: 04 February 2014
Page Count: 368