cover image Once Upon a Prince

Once Upon a Prince

Rachel Hauck. Zondervan, $14.99 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-310-31547-6

In the first of the Royal Wedding Series, Hauck (The Wedding Dress) spins a surprisingly believable royal-meets-commoner love story. With only a subtle nod to Cinderella, this modern and engaging tale follows the budding relationship of an American Southern girl and a pseudo-Brit prince. Struggling with disappointments both personal and professional, Susanna Truitt meets Prince Nathaniel, who is vacationing on her island home of St. Simons, Ga., to escape worries about his ailing father and roiling political events back home. Hopeful, yet aware of the potential obstacles they face, Nate and Susanna wrestle with the idea of God’s will: is Nate’s kingly destiny a human device or divinely purposed? Can Susanna surrender her need to plan her life and, instead, let God lead? A royal marriage would ask Susanna to trust him more deeply than she thought possible. Facing political scheming and seemingly immovable royal traditions, the couple discovers that their happily-ever-after will require courage and faith not found in fairy tales. Well-developed secondary characters are entertaining in their own right, adding a quirky touch (as do cameo-style appearances by real-life royals). Hauck fans will find a gem of a tale. Agent: Chip MacGregor, MacGregor Literary. (May 7)