But an unexpected visitor and the discovery of a fairytale, drawn by her great-grandma, causes Regina to wonder if she might be destined for something more.
Tanner Burkhardt, Minister of Culture for the Grand Duchy of Hessenberg, must convince the strong-willed Southerner, Miss Beswick, that she is his country’s long-lost princess. Failure could destroy his reputation and change his nation forever.
As Regina and Tanner face the challenges before them, neither are prepared for love to invade their hearts and change every thing they believe about themselves.
However, when a royal opponent nearly destroys Regina’s future, she must lean into God and trust He has sovereignly brought her to her true and final destiny.
Princess Ever After (Zondervan) is everything to be desired from a contemporary romance with a fairytale bent: it is a grown up Princess Diaries that strikes the perfect balance of whimsy and heart. The second instalment in Rachel Hauck’s Royal Wedding series brings back a captivating infusion of southern sass to the rigid European aristocracy.
The Grand Duchy of Hessenberg, a small European kingdom, is on the brink of losing its sovereignty and its salvation lies in the sole surviving member of an exiled and shamed royal family. To complicate matters, the successor, Miss Regina Beswick of small town Florida, is completely ignorant of her heritage and reluctant to assume the role that her birthright demands. The task of returning the prodigal heiress to restore her country and preserve its unique heritage is thrust upon the Minister of Culture, Tanner Burkhardt.
Regina “Reggie” Beswick is a force to be reckoned with, whether behind the wheel of one of her restored vintage cars or sitting in a local tavern facing an indignant mob. Abandoning her dull desk job as an accountant, she is fulfilling a life long dream to run her own car restoration garage. Unfortunately her joy is short-lived when King Nathaniel II’s envoy reveals a legacy that seems implausible but is her new reality. Reggie battles with her crisis of identity in the public political arena of Hessenberg while privately seeking God’s will and purpose for her life.
Tanner is a dashing and sensitive hero that empowers the heroine instead of saving her. He lives with the secret shame of his wayward youth and is determined to prove himself of noble character. His faultless support of Reggie is at times at odds with his patriotism but he is unwavering in his honour. Tanner’s self-imposed isolation and the bonds of his shame become loosened as his friendship with Reggie progresses and he witnesses the redemptive and restorative grace that God unconditionally extends to him.
Readers become intimately acquainted with the innermost fears and longings of both protagonists through the shared narrative. The dual first person point of view communicates the magnitude of Reggie and Tanner’s struggles and budding relationship with realism and authenticity. Hauck expertly captures the distinct accent, diction and vernacular of these characters, allowing their personalities to take centre stage and freeing them to be express a spectrum of spontaneous emotion without being contrived.
Rachel Hauck writes with comedic timing and dramatic flair that underscore the stirring theme of God equipping and legitimizing those He calls to fulfill a calling. Hauck’s examination of the battle of the mind over the heart in both Reggie and Tanner will find purchase with many readers who can identify with issues of self-worth and qualification. The frivolity that a Cinderella storyline can easily indulge in is restrained; Hauck chooses instead to capitalize on human emotion and experience to tell Reggie and Tanner’s stories so that they may simultaneously encourage and entertain.
Rachel’s portrayal of the supernatural presence and intercession of the Holy Spirit and ability to commune heart to heart with a person in their present circumstance is artfully executed and a powerful testimony. Often modern supernatural encounters with the Holy Spirit read as instances of mysticism and imagination, but Rachel Hauck illustrates Reggie’s spiritual awakening with a purity that leaves little doubt to its credibility.
Princess Ever After will endear itself to true romantics in search of substance flavoured with nostalgic storylines of princesses and happily ever afters. This novel can be read as a stand-alone novel, but be sure to check out the equally delightful Once Upon a Prince for more of Hauck’s modern fairy tales.