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Title: Once Upon A Prince Author: Rachel Hauck Publisher: Zondervan ISBN: 978-0310315476 My Rating: 3.5 stars

Perhaps this was immature of me, but being so throughly disappointed in The Royal We, I went straight to the Christian section of Barnes and Noble and grabbed the first royal wedding looking book I could find. I wanted a clean, modern romance that happened to have a prince and palaces and love and maybe even a little morality.

Once Upon A Prince was all of those things. It was exactly what I wanted. It was refreshing to read a love story without worrying that there would be sex on every page. The developing relationship focused on exactly that, the relationship, rather than the physical attractions. Though those of course were present, they weren’t the foundation of everything. Here’s something you’ll never see in the regular fiction section – both the hero (Prince Nathaniel) and heroine (Susanna Truitt) wanted Christ as the cornerstone for their marriage. Cue the Hallelujah Chorus!

Basic plotline: Prince Nathaniel, soon-to-be king of small Brighton Kingdom, seeks solitude and refuge in Georgia, of all places, and finds love in the form of Susanna instead. She doesn’t know who he is at first, but falls for him anyway even after his identity is revealed. They try to fight their feelings because of a silly law that forbids Nathaniel from marrying a foreigner. It’s a very archetypal plot, but if you’re looking for a charming romance and easy read, this is your novel.

Downsides: In addition to the plot, all characters are archetypal as well as a bit flat. It didn’t bother me too much because it’s not an incredibly deep story with an incredibly deep message – so no one was supposed to be deep. But I would have appreciated a little more variety.

Also, being that the publisher is Zondervan, one of the premier Christian publishers, most of the references to  God or Christ or religion comes off very preachy. You know, like a “Pa-raise Jesus!” sort of way. Got a little annoying at times, and there were a few minor instances that don’t quite align with Church teaching. HOWEVER, I would rather read that a thousand times more than the sex-saturated books that dominate the industry.

Is it my favorite book? No. Is it exactly what I needed to be reminded that good, fun books do exist? Yes. So thank you, Ms. Hauck. I just liked you on Facebook.