Once Upon a Prince by Rachel Hauck
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book is a fantasy. That's clear from the outset - as soon as you hear the name "Brighton Kingdom" and realize that the plot revolves around a small, imaginary European kingdom, you know it's a fantasy.
Thing is, it was exactly the sort of fantasy I was in the mood for.
"Once Upon a Prince" was fun and light and sweet. The good humor made it fun, the fairy tale elements made it light, but the best part was the romance, which was very sweet indeed.
My favorite sorts of romances are the ones where the hero and heroine are pretty much gone for each other from the get-go and all of the energy of the plot comes out of them trying to figure out what in the world to do next.
This was that kind of romance. I totally bought the instant attraction and affection between Nathaniel and Susanna - it felt very natural and true-to-life. Watching them figure out what to do with the fact - how to deal with their insta-crushes in a mature manner, especially as it became clear that it went deeper than a crush - was a treat.
The setting might be fantastical, but I think the reason I really enjoyed this book is that the relationship rang true. Given that emotional core, I could totally accept the setting as the lovely, yummy icing on the cake it was meant to be.
There were a few elements that pulled me out of the story every once in awhile - a character who didn't quite ring as true as the main couple, a theological point I'd quibble with - but seriously, those places were few and far between, and I enjoyed just about every page. I read this when I was feeling particularly stressed out, and it was as relaxing as a good meal and a hot shower. If this is what you're in the mood for, it's going to be exactly what you were in the mood for. Pure bliss. Lovely.
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