|Once Upon a Prince by Rachel Hauck|
This title kicks off Rachel Hauck’s new Royal Wedding series.
Let’s begin with the summary:
Susanna Truitt never dreamed of a great romance or being treated like a princess---just to marry the man she has loved for twelve years. But life isn't going according to plan. When her high-school-sweetheart-turned-Marine-officer breaks up instead of proposing, Susanna scrambles to rebuild her life.
The last thing Prince Nathaniel expects to find on his American holiday to St. Simons Island is the queen of his heart. A prince has duties, and his family's tense political situation has chosen his bride for him. When Prince Nathaniel comes to Susanna's aid under the fabled Lover's Oak, he is blindsided by love.
Their lives are worlds apart. He's a royal prince. She's an ordinary girl. But everything changes when Susanna receives an invitation to Nathaniel's coronation.
It's the ultimate choice: His kingdom or her heart? God's will or their own?
And now, my review:
I love Rachel’s way with modern-day fairy tales. Such delicious fun to follow a prince and a would-be princess on their adventures.
The story is split into three parts, which I enjoyed in that it broke out of the romantic genre formula. She threw in some great twists and turns and the story never lagged.
True to Rachel’s previous few books, I loved the odd character of Aurora and her special gift of wise words and even shoes to our heroine. This quirky, yet prophetic character, will capture readers’ imaginations.
Loved all the royal references and how our two main characters were noble and willing to be self-sacrificing, as royals should be—gracious and servant-hearted.
Our heroine has a hard time opening her heart. She’s hiding. At first it frustrated me that Susanna (whose name means Lily, by the way—an image used for the maiden in the Song of Songs) wouldn’t confess her true feelings. But aren’t we like that with God, holding back? Hiding? Unable to trust and give ourselves fully over to His love? All of Rachel’s references to our bridal relationship with God are always something I look forward to in her books. Plus, her prose rocks!
The best theme in the story, though, was that of surrender to God. Like us, Susanna avoids surrender. Yet, surrender will bring freedom (a little-known secret of God’s mysterious kingdom) and it leads to finding our destinies. We surrender to God, and He gives us the desires our hearts because He’s that good. That was the life-changing message in this story—that of praying with Susanna, "I got nothing. You can have all of me, God."
A great read! I highly recommend this modern fairy tale. It’ll remind you of a recent movie, but satisfy Christian readers with the deeper aspect of God’s love for us.