Tuesday, December 20, 2016

A Royal Christmas Wedding by Rachel Hauck

Sometimes you need to read a fairy tale!

Let’s begin with the summary:

Avery Truitt aches for true love—the kind she once shared with Prince Colin. Can she dare to hope for happily ever after, or is a fairy-tale ending beyond reach?

College volleyball star Avery Truitt has not seen her former flame, Prince Colin of Brighton Kingdom, since he suddenly pushed her away five years ago. But now, the sadness of losing her father and the joy of her sister Susanna’s pregnancy have brought Avery back to Brighton just in time for Cathedral City’s enchanting Christmas season.

Avery knows she can’t avoid seeing Colin—now the Kingdom’s most eligible bachelor—whether or not her heart is ready to relive the pain. But seeing him again might bring her the closure she needs after all this time.

When Colin finds himself at the center of a centuries-old Brighton tradition, he must decide whether to follow the path laid out before him or follow his heart to the only woman for whom he would ring the Pembroke Chapel Bell.

Can Colin convince Avery to meet him at the chapel on Christmas morning—as tradition dictates—or will Avery run back to her St. Simons home and pursue a coaching career as planned?

In the fourth installment of the Royal Wedding Series, New York Times bestselling novelist, Rachel Hauck, weaves a charming story of holiday romance as two broken hearts seek the love they once knew.

And now, my review:

I’ve really enjoyed Rachel’s Royal Wedding Series. So, what a treat to revisit those characters and their kingdom with this title. Here, we get to return to Brighton, an English kingdom with some grand traditions. And we get to see what happened to Avery, whom we’d followed in an earlier book.

This is a Christmas novella, so it reads fast. I was hooked from the first page (or screen on my e-reader) and stayed engaged (ha!) the whole way through. Such a fun story! Rachel’s sense of humor, her distinctive prose, and her skilled storytelling are so enjoyable.

As I read, I could see this story as a Christmas TV movie. Lots of romance! One of the themes was becoming one’s own person. Learning to follow God first and then listen to others in our lives, even when those others were once authority figures. The hero must learn this. He’s noble before he does, but he’s stronger afterward.

It’s fun to be Rachel’s friend and catch her references to her own life. She often includes character names of people in her life in her books. Here, she included Prince Tony and Princess Rachel—a direct reference to herself and her husband. How fun is that?

As always, Rachel includes a supernatural element in her books. You’ll have to read to find out how God steps into the story. I loved this aspect. Rachel’s depictions of God—as creative and original as they are—show Him as merciful, loving, and powerful. No exception here as God guides the characters.

I highly recommend this novella! The story is more satisfying if you’ve read the earlier books in this series, but she sprinkles in enough backstory that you wouldn’t be lost if you began here.

[Earlier books in the series include: Once Upon a Prince, Princess Ever After, How to Catch a Prince]

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