In Once Upon A Prince by Rachel Hauck, Sussana Truitt finds herself without love and a future when her boyfriend of twelve years dumps her for another woman. Suddenly all her plans for a future crumble and she’s left wondering what’s next for her. Prince Nathanael is vacationing in St. Simons, GA visiting a family friend and taking time to clear his head about his father’s illness and the very real possibility that he will become king soon. While out driving Nate finds a stranded Sussana on the side of the road in need of assistance. This first meeting just happens to be at Lover’s Oak, a famous tree in St. Simmons that promises love eternal for anyone who gets engaged underneath it. Fate or coincidence?
Who Is This Book For?
If you are someone who likes christian romance, this is for you. I say that because God is mentioned A LOT. This is about as clean of a romance novel as you’re going to get and it still classify as a romance novel.
What Did I Like?
The overall story was really well written. We got a good feel for the characters and who they are. I think some of it was a bit drawn out at times but it didn’t deter me from wanting to continue reading. I liked the final “confrontation” between Sussana and the Queen and even laughed a bit at the interaction.
What Did I Not Like?
Every other paragraph mentions God. If you are not relgious or not of the christian faith it will get old quick hearing the characters talk about praying or trusting in God. I’m a christian myself and it even got to me to read it over and over and over again.
What About The Hallmark Version?
Hallmark came out with the movie version that was kind of loosely based on this title about a year ago. They kept the main theme, setting, and characters with a few tweaks. I actually enjoy the movie version a little better because it gets right to the point and doesn’t mess around with drawing out the conclusion. It also skips a lot of the politics in that happen in the book (though those politics are an important player in the series itself).
I like how they changed Susanna’s parents’ business from a bbq joint to a garden supply store (fits better for Susanna’s interests). I wish they had drawn out Susanna’s break up with Adam a bit more because a lot of detail was missed, but it didn’t matter to the overall story so it’s not a huge loss. You also don’t get the mentioning of God a lot. There’s implied, “You’re meant for better things.” kind of hints but the characters don’t drop to their knees in a grassy field to pray (like in the book).
If the premise of the book interests you but you don’t want all the talk of God, I’d go with the movie instead.
In comparison to the movie, I can’t say that the book was my favorite. Before seeing the movie though, I loved the book. Despite the constant mentioning of God, it was enjoyable and I went straight on to read the fourth book in the series because it focuses on Sussanna’s younger sister, Avery. There are a total of four books in the series, and I recommend you read them in order (not like me) because if you skip to the last book you miss a lot of history between the other characters that you hear about in book four.
I’m happy to say this get’s a seal of approval in terms of happy endings and recommend it for anyone looking for a little christian romance.
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