What happens when you throw an heiress, a prince and a wee bit of fanciful magic into a mix? You end up with a delightful, yet poignant story that stays with you.
Hauck weaves histories, secrets and working through real life issues into a very well-written story. Her characters, Corina del Rey and Stephen Stratton may have prestige, but they are both real, believable characters. And they both have lessons to learn about loving well. Hauck deals with PTSD and with survivor’s guilt in a thoughtful, sensitive way.
Corina del Rey has spent the last five years wrapped in grief over the unexplained loss of her brother. She opens this story, determined to move on from that place, as well as move beyond a secret she’s carried that long. When her brother’s close friend, Prince Stephen Stratton, prince of Brighton, surprises her and asks for her signature on some papers, she realizes she can’t leave her unanswered questions about the past behind her.
Prince Stephen of Brighton, a fictitious island nation, finds relief from his regret in being a star national rugby player representing his nation and encouraging his people. When his brother, the king of Brighton, brings him some rather important papers that need his attention, Stephen is forced to deal with aspects of his past he’d rather avoid.
As Corina and Stephen find their paths intersecting frequently, the relationship they once shared rekindles. When the truth comes out that put them at odds, they must decide if they can move beyond it, or if those regrets will hold them in it’s grip forever.
Things I liked about the story: Both characters made me like them and wish I could hang out with them. I loved the way Hauck pulled real life aspects of society into the story—Twitter and celebrity talk shows, as well as the challenges many military personnel deal with on a daily basis. I loved the fairy tale aspect of the story, and the way Hauck brings in a spiritual element throughout the story. I loved the character growth of both main characters. Hauck’s writing made it easy to picture the what was happening in my mind’s eye. This story was unpredictable, which I always like in a book. I found myself laughing and with a few tears as I turned the pages of this book.
I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read by Rachel Hauck. This book is no exception. If you enjoy modern day fairy tales with real-life and a bit of fanciful-ness mixed within its pages, this book will not disappoint.