Princess Ever After, by Rachel Hauck (Zondervan, 2014)
Reggie (Regina) Beswick is finally living her own life. Still in her 20’s, she has walked away from a successful accounting position to do what she’s always wanted: restore antique cars. She and her partner, Al, are good at it, too.
Enter Tanner Burkholdt, emissary from Hessenberg (a fictional island duchy in the North Sea, with mixed British and German heritage), claiming Reggie is their long-lost princess—and the duchy’s one chance to regain independence. Suddenly Grandma Alice’s half-forgotten princess fairy tale takes on a new meaning.
Princess Ever After gives the expected look into the culture shock an American citizen would experience in the role of royalty. Reggie discovers that her education, her experience in the world of finance, and her business skills have prepared her for a role far greater than she dreamed—or than she wanted.
She could abdicate, but whatever she does, Reggie will be a princess. Ever after. Even if her political opponent succeeds in deposing her—and arresting her as an enemy of the state.
Regina and Tanner are strong characters. She’s straightforward, confident, and once she decides to accept this new role, determined to give it everything she has. Tanner looks like he has it all together, but he can’t forgive himself for his past. Do they dare fall in love in the middle of Hessenberg’s political crisis?
To me, the conflicts raised by Mark in the US and Seamus in Hessenberg fell short of their opening setup. What if Mark went after Reggie to press his case? What if Seamus had actually believed he was helping his country instead of just helping himself?
Toward the story’s end, Regina and Tanner experience the sort of Divine intervention that can happen in real life, but I confess I find disappointing in anything other than fantasy fiction. It’s not a huge part of the story, but readers who object to this sort of thing can consider themselves warned 🙂
That being said, there’s much to like in this novel, and it’s an engaging read. Regina learns the difference between intellectual faith and stepping out in faith, and Tanner learns a healthier way to live.
My favourite lines:
Reggie loved Mondays. They were like mini New Years four times a month. A chance for a fresh start… (p. 116)
I’d never looked at Mondays that way. Think I’ll start! And what about this:
Tanner: “God disciplines a man, or the man disciplines himself. I chose the latter.”
Reggie: “Too bad … because God would’ve been kinder, more generous, and definitely more loving.” (p. 279)
Rachel Hauck is a RITA finalist and a multi-published, award-winning author. She’s a regular contributor to the My Book Therapy blog and was named American Christian Fiction Writers’ Mentor of the Year for 2013. Visit the Princess Ever After page at the author’s site for more about this book (#2 in the Royal Wedding series) and to read a sample chapter. I think you’ll like Reggie.
[A review copy was received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.]