‘Once Upon a Prince’ Book Review: A Swoony, Romantic Fairy Tale

May 17, 2013 34 Comments
‘Once Upon a Prince’: A Swoony, Romantic Fairy Tale. Review of the 2013 romance Once Upon a Prince book by Rachel Hauck. Text © Rissi JC

STORY: Susanna Truitt likes plans. She’s not a spontaneous person. So rigid is she about her plans, she even holds to a 12-year plan; one that should have ended with her high school boyfriend (a Marine) asking, will you marry me? Instead he proposes a break-up. 

Now she’s nearing thirty, living in the home of her best friend’s aunt and working at her parent’s rib shack restaurant. All while she attempts to start her a career as a landscape architect. What’s a girl to do? The most natural response is to meet a prince, of course. 

That’s when Nate Kenneth walks into her life. He is the one snag in Susanna’s orderly life… and as it turns out, he may be the one person who can change everything.

Once Upon a Prince Book Review, by Rachel Hauck

Where to start bringing thoughts to order on the first novel of Rachel’s new series. I’d set myself up for a deliciously entertaining read which oftentimes can be dangerous. Luckily no such thoughts sweep through my mind as I fly through this novel. (So true is this that about halfway through and already I’d given this one a 5-star rating.) Turns out, that is warranted. 

Anyone who knows my reader habits knows I’m the girl who craves the happily-ever-after, and am sorely tested and disappointed in a storyteller who breaks my heart. This is a kind of enchanting little story that Hauck writes beautifully. Susanna is the girl-next-door we relate to. Then, in waltzes the dashing Nate. OH. MY. GOSH. I love this hero. He’s exceptional, and not at all the kind of chap one may envision when concocting an image of royalty.

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To be fair and taper my gushing (momentarily), Nate doesn’t sweep anyone off their feet with grand gestures. Rather it’s his character (how he respects Susanna) that does the job. (Though the accent doesn’t hurt.) He makes “stuffy” British very appealing. I felt like Susanna’s 180 personality switch (going from girl-with-a-plan to girl-who-lives-in-the-moment) completely believable, same as with the story itself.

At the center is a mature plot alive in a spiritual relationship both Nate and Susanna share with their Savior. Something neither of them takes for granted. It’s quite obvious the role faith plays in both their lives. As a reader, I did feel like the romance took priority – leastwise, at the surface. In actuality, it’s that strength of faith that keeps them both from doing what’s easy. Both learn a deeper definition of one of life’s greatest challenges: trust.

This book is exactly my cup of tea; sweet and light. The story flows well starting out with a love-at-first-sight scenario and ends in a bubble of fairy tale happiness. Because we each have our own opinions of what makes a story good, not everyone may find a jewel in this Once Upon a Prince book. I did and then some. It was pure pleasure reading with a special kind of heart that too many novels skim or forget completely. There was charm, classic romance plus a delightful grouping of characters – including but not limited to Colin and Avery, whom I am wishing fervently will be a part of future stories.

Susanna and Nate have been added to my list of memorable couples – and I do believe they are there to stay. ‘Prince’ is one royal adventure not to be missed; add it to your summer reading list.  ♥

About the Book:

(This post does contain affiliate links, which means – at no extra cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through a link. Read the disclosure page for details.)

Author: Rachel Hauck
Publisher: Zondervan
Shop the Book Amazon | Goodreads
Find the Review Elsewhere Goodreads
Publication Date: 2013
Series: Royal Weddings – Book 1
Genre: Christian Fiction; Romance, Contemporary
Rating: ★★★★★

With thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of this Once Upon a Prince book for reviewing purposes.

About Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

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  • Kristin May 17, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    Goodness- I want to read this one so badly! I was going to request it on Booksneeze, and had it marked on my calendar and everything so I'd be able to get a copy. Then that morning I tried to sign into my account only to find that it had been disabled because I hadn't requested a book in over 90 days. By the time I got everything straightened out, all of the review copies were already gone. :( {Booksneeze just rarely offers the kind of books I'm interested in reading. No wonder my account had become "inactive."}

    Anyway, it sounds completely adorable! And I will get my hands on it eventually. I'm off to enter your giveaway now! :)


    • Rissi May 18, 2013 at 4:16 AM

      Oooh, yes! Know that feeling, Kristin. My account hasn't gone dormant – yet (*knocks on wood*), but I don't think I request things there often either. Mainly because, by the time I log on that day, all the review copies are GONE. It always makes me annoyed with myself for skipping out! Ah, well!

      'Price' is adorable! Hope you enjoy when you get a copy – and best of luck with the giveaway! :)

  • Rosie May 17, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    Oooh, you have really gotten me excited to read 'Once Upon a Prince,' Rissi!! And to think I was really excited before, hehehe. Great review!

    BTW, I saw Star Trek 2 last night- ohmyword! It's a keeper! Can't wait for you to see it so we can chat about it! ;D

    • Rissi May 18, 2013 at 4:18 AM

      Yay! Happy that this review got you MORE excited. Thank you, Rosie – anxious for your thoughts also. :)

      Gah! Totally jealous, girl! But at the same time delighted to hear it was so good. Not only do I have to see IM3 but also 'Into Darkness' …and too many more Summer blockbusters to name. How will I chose which to see!? Filmmakers are so not playing fair! ;)

  • Kellie May 17, 2013 at 3:18 PM

    Hehe, you know….a couple years ago I would have read the part that says "at almost thirty" and be like "ew, she's ancient, not interested." But now….with 30 beginning to sorta loom on the distant horizon…I'm all for embracing this book. ;)

    • Rissi May 18, 2013 at 4:27 AM

      Kellie, you always make me smile.

      Do you know, the one thing that will endear a book all the more is when the heroine is younger (early twenties) because I feel as if I can relate to her more. However, as you say, thirty isn't all *that* far off for us and I certainly don't think of it as "old." My 21-year-old cousin once made a comment asking "don't you just feel old" (she included herself in this also) and I was like, "um… no. How will you think of yourself 40+ years from now?"

      Embrace this book you should – especially if you don't mind swooning over a cute prince. ;)

    • Kellie May 20, 2013 at 6:25 PM

      Oh girl, I never mind a good swoon over a cute prince. ;)

    • Rissi May 20, 2013 at 7:04 PM

      Knew you didn't. ;)

  • Hayden May 17, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    I too enjoyed this book quite a bit- even if I'm not a huge fan of contemporary novels! But I definitely liked this one (especially since it was so clean!) and I'm looking forward to the next book.

    • Rissi May 18, 2013 at 4:29 AM

      Me too, Hayden. I think generally speaking I am more fond of contemporaries though. That's a recent discovery and if I had to give the "why" behind it, I'd suppose it's because I can relate to a story set in the world that I live in. Either way, it was wonderful – cannot wait for the sequel!! :)

  • Jennifer May 17, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    I read The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck last year and just loved it. I love her prose. I am adding this to my to-read list.

    • Rissi May 18, 2013 at 4:30 AM

      Cool! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did, Jennifer. It was smashing. :)

      'Wedding Dress' is definitely on my TBR list.

      Thanks for dropping by.

  • Amber S. May 17, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    This is a wonderful review, Rissi – your writing is so enjoyable and sweet!! Love it. :)

    Once Upon a Prince sounds like a fun read! The premise, of course, reminds me of The Student Prince and The Prince and Me. :) (The music from The Student Prince holds special meaning for my grandparents, as it was during one of the songs – when my grandma was playing it on a record player in her home – that my grandpa says he knew she was the one. A true-life love story! :D)

    I do have to say that one part of your review concerns me…

    "Anyone who knows me knows I am the girl who craves the happily-ever-after and despises the story-teller who breaks my heart; I crave elegant simplicity and sweetness inside the pages of the stories that occupy my time."

    …and not because of anything on your part! Mostly I want to give you a heads up about Bleeding Heart. I'm afraid I might be the storyteller who breaks reader's hearts. I, too, love and value happy endings, so never fear on that part! But the story is rather emotionally intense and goes places that I don't think many Christian fiction books go. (I hope that doesn't sound vain! I just mean that I kind of break some "rules" along the way, and I am aware that I might get very strong reactions from readers.) I'm just hoping that the ultimate hope of the story shines the brightest, you know?

    OK, sorry for going on and on! If BH doesn't sound like your cup of tea, I completely understand if you'd rather not review it – and I will not be offended! We all have different literary tastes. :)


    • Rissi May 18, 2013 at 5:05 AM

      Thank *you* for reading, Amber and this lovely comment. <3

      Aw! How sweet that real-life "fairytale" is about your grandparents – that's a special memory! :) Thanks for sharing that story. (Also love 'Prince and Me'; been far too long since last I watched it. Must dust it off again for a re-watch.)

      First things first: you don't sound vain at all! Your work sounds creative and there is nothing wrong with being pleased at how it turned out.

      Heavens, no! I am for sure reading your book, my friend. I promise, I can take some heartbreak. It's funny because as a rule I'm not a very emotional person. It takes a lot to get me to cry – and like you, I don't wish to be misunderstood, I'm not trying to "puff myself up" or anything (that is not who I am)… I just am not a crier. I think my love of "happy endings" stems from just living… life. In life, not everything or every person earns that happy ending so it's nice when I read a book to experience that. Plus generally, I read for pleasure not for an education of sorts.

      If there's only one thing I've learned about you, it's that whatever message you wish to impart (whether it's in a review or just simple conversation), you have a knack for getting your meaning across. And I have every confidence that will transfer to the fictional page very well; I respect and admire that about you.

      Having said all that, even if I have to purchase a copy myself, I am SO reading BH, girl. Don't you think for a minute I won't be. ;)

  • Charity U May 17, 2013 at 6:44 PM

    So looking forward to reading this one, especially after this glowing review! Someday…

    • Rissi May 18, 2013 at 4:49 AM

      Yippee! Cannot wait to get your opinion.

      As always, you know how much I appreciate you taking the time to read this. Thanks, Charity. :)

  • Emily Rachelle May 17, 2013 at 8:48 PM

    I just followed you and now I'm follower #200! :D *happy dance*

    • Rissi May 18, 2013 at 4:50 AM

      THANK YOU, Emily!

      Will definitely be visiting your blog also – I would have today except I simply ran out of time; I'm delighted to have you follow along. I hope you enjoyed your visit – stop in anytime. :)

  • Bethany May 17, 2013 at 9:55 PM

    Wow! This book likes such a neat read! I am very eager to read it, and am so excited that you are giving away a copy! :)

    • Rissi May 18, 2013 at 4:51 AM

      It's charming for sure, Bethany. :)

      Thank you for entering – best of luck!

  • Rachel Danielle May 17, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    So entering the giveaway. And if nothing comes of that, I shall just have to run out and buy it. Thanks for your review! This book looks so me. :D

    • Rissi May 18, 2013 at 4:52 AM

      It was "so me" also, Rachel. I adore a good fairytale and this one fit the bill perfectly. :)

      Best of luck with the giveaway!

  • Kara May 18, 2013 at 5:03 AM

    Aaaaahhhh! CAN NOT WAIT!! Okay, I'll stop shouting. But still. I've been counting down the days for this one! So excited. When Rissi exclaims over a book, I know it'll be good. ;) Great review!

    • Rissi May 18, 2013 at 5:09 AM

      Shouting is perfectly acceptable, Kara – in fact… in some cases, it could be required. ;)

      Hope you enjoy the book as much as I did!

      PS: I'll be by to respond to the rest of your lovely comments soon – am just running out of hours in this day. :)

  • Grace May 18, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    A prince with an accent? Yep, this is going on my "to read" list.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the book.


    • Rissi May 18, 2013 at 9:47 PM

      Yay! It certainly is a jewel, Grace. Wishing you happy reading! :)

      Thank you for reading.

  • Mrs. Pedersen May 21, 2013 at 7:50 PM

    It's on my TBR list now. ;-)

    • Rissi May 21, 2013 at 11:01 PM

      Oh, yay, Heather! It's a gorgeous fairytale that I was tickled pink to have read. :) Wishing you happy reading. Would certainly be curious to know what you think.

  • Gwendolyn Gage May 21, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    Beautiful review, Rissi. I seriously cannot wait to read it!

    • Rissi May 21, 2013 at 11:03 PM

      Thank you for reading, Gwendolyn! Appreciate that – and I sincerely wish you happy reading! I think you'll enjoy 'Prince.' It's one I won't easily (make that EVER) part with. ;)

  • Little Lady May 24, 2013 at 1:44 AM

    OOOOH!!!! Super exciting!!!! Sounds like a FABULOUS BOOK! I am dying to read it!!

    • Rissi May 24, 2013 at 7:06 PM

      Goody! Glad to hear that, Micah because, it is one of my favorites of 2013 and I think you'd like it. Love how you put that use of "fabulous" all in caps.

      If/when you read it, let me know what you think, girl. :)

  • […] 12, 2018 2 Comments Years ago, I read a novel titled Once Upon a Prince. I ended said reading of novel with a happy grin and a light heart. The quirky, lovable romance […]

  • […] BOOK REVIEW | Once Upon a Prince by Rachel Hauck – A Swoony, Romantic Fairy Tale […]

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