Thursday, January 30, 2014

Princess Ever After.

Let me be honest: I love a good princess story. I played dress up and loved Disney movies when I was little (okay, so I still love Disney movies). But I don't think I was ever a girly girl, or if I was, I'm definitely not now. Still, there's something special about princess stories, especially modern day ones. The Princess Diaries has been one of my favorite films for about ten years now, and I'm not ashamed. :) Didn't every girl like to daydream that she was secretly a princess?

Last year I read Rachel Hauck's book Once Upon a Prince and really enjoyed it. I was excited to find out that she was releasing a sequel (of sorts) this year, called Princess Ever After. The plot of this second story is intertwined with that of the first book, and some of the characters make reappearances. So while it's not completely necessary that you read Once Upon a Prince before Princess Ever After, you probably should. You'll get a lot more out of the story. :)

When I first went into this book, I was feeling a little iffy about the fact that the main character, Regina, is crazy about cars. Not that there's anything wrong with that (in fact, I liked the way her interest was worked into the story), but I know absolutely nothing about cars myself and I was worried that there would be too much car talk for my taste. If you feel the same way, don't really only lasts a chapter or two.

What I love about this series is that Rachel Hauck really knows how to write a realistic modern day royal story. The countries and history involved in the plot are completely fictional, but they're so rooted in the real world that they feel like something that could have really happened. And I love that. If you're going to take a classic car loving, southern talking, redhead from Florida and turn her into a European princess, it seems impossible to do that in a way that doesn't feel fake...but somehow Hauck manages it.

Regina is a really likable character, and she reacts to the news that's she's a princess in a way that most people would. After her initial disbelief, she's afraid of leaving her normal life behind and she feels completely unprepared for the job of being a princess. Tanner is a sweet guy trying to forget mistakes he's made in the past, and goodness, is the romance in this book swoon-worthy. :) I love how Tanner is with Regina from the very beginning (he's the one who breaks the news to her), advising her and protecting her and just being a nice guy in general.

At first I thought that the "opposition to the princess"/political turmoil aspect of the story and the subplot about Tanner's past would be a bit too much, but those things ended up adding a lot to the story. The political situation that's happening in the book added to the authentic feel, especially given the modern day setting. And it helped make the story deeper than just a girl adjusting to the royal life.

I only have two tiny little qualms about this book. The first is that sometimes there were sentences or paragraphs that were worded a bit strangely. There wouldn't be anything complicated happening, but I'd have to reread that part a couple of times to understand exactly what was meant. I seem to remember that from the first book in the series, too (which is the only of Rachel Hauck's books that I've read besides a couple that she co-authored with Sara Evans). But I've never heard anyone else mention having this problem, so maybe it's just me? The second thing is some of the southern dialect/dialogue. I live in the south, and I know that we have a unusual way of saying things sometimes. But occasionally in this book, "southern" phrases or words felt the tiniest bit forced. (Granted, I am from Virginia and not Florida, which is where Regina's from.)

Overall, I really enjoyed Princess Ever After. I may have even liked it better than the first book! The story felt realistic, the characters were great and very likable, and it made me smile, swoon, and even tear up a bit (especially towards the end). If you're craving a modern day princess story, this is the book for you. Now, I think I'm long overdue another viewing of The Princess Diaries...

"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."  -Summary from Booksneeze

*Note: I received this book for free from Booksneeze in exchange for an honest review.*


  1. Another viewing of The Princess Diaries sounds wonderful. I need to do that too. :)

    Glad you overall enjoyed this one, Kristin! Makes me all the more anxious for the third book in the series. It's really refreshing to read a fairytale series that while fictional (setting, some of the events that happen, etc.) there is always a mix of realism in the story - it makes it all the more pleasant to read. :)

  2. I don't usually read contemporary fiction or fairy tale novels, but this one sounds like something that I could get into!

    I'm right with on watching The Princess Diaries again. :D


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