I started this series in 2014 and read this book last year. How did I do that if this is the first book?
Well..... this one is the first book, but not the first book I read, oops! I read book two first. So, yeah, I was pretty much spoiled for book one. I recommend reading them in order (But my favorite is probably the last one).
This is a *kinda* Cinderella re-telling. We have Cinderella elements of a prince and a "commoner", a ball and a, basically, fairy godmother and special shoes.
We have our main girl, Susanna. Susanna is from Georgia, she is a Southern girl. Susanna has a younger sister and a Mom and Dad. Her parents run a barbecue place on the beach. Her parents used to have a rocky marriage, but they found God and turned their lives around. Susanna has been in a romantic relationship with a man for YEARS. He was serving America overseas, so they were waiting until they were both older to get married. He has just come home and ENDED the relationship.
She is very upset (as I would be).
Then we have our other main character, Nathaniel, or should I say Prince Nathaniel? Nathaniel's Father, the King, is dying of leukemia. Nathaniel is the Crown Prince and very soon to be the King. He doesn't feel worthy, or God ordained, basically a "Why Me???" situation. And He is dealing with political, and old law issues, that we go a lot more into in the second book of the series. Anyway, Nathaniel goes to a charity event in America, but before that event, he meets Savannah on the side of the road with a flat tire. Neither one knows who the other one really is and they move on thinking, "Wow, I really liked him/her, but I will never see him/her again."
Then, the people that Susanna works for tell her to go to THE charity EVENT and they meet again, but she still doesn't he who Nathaniel really is. The two main characters start to fall for each other, but before anything can come of it, Nathaniel lets Susanna know that they cannot be together, because law prohibits him from marrying someone not of his country. Right after this, his father dies and he has to leave to be King. But how will they be together?! Will they ever be together??!!!!!
I don't want to give away much because the book is pretty predictable (not 100%, but still, you kind of get an idea of what is going to happen). There are a lot more characters and twists and turns. But I feel that if you know too much more it is pretty spoilery.
I will tell you about a few miscellaneous things now. The "fairy godmother" type character is fabulous! She is in the running for favorite character of mine. And you have to read this and love her!
I love that the author really makes the fictional Kingdom feel real. Also, I would so enjoy to see this book as a movie.
Other or more extra miscellaneous-ness! Upon re-reading this, I noticed all the set up for later books. This series was for sure planned and not just thrown-together willy-nilly. I always love seeing set up that I didn't notice the first time around. I also want to note, that book three has a bit more mature elements and themes than the other books. Another thing is that I found the first chapter to be very hard to get into the first time I tried, but not the next time. For me, the book got interesting when it introduced Nathaniel. The characters have a lot of good character development.
This is a Christian book. The the characters pray, go to church and just live as Christians in a world where it is hard. The Christianity does play a big part, and I found it to be executed very well.
I recommend this book for 13+, because of some things I will be talking about in my "Definitely could be considered spoilers section". This is my Markless girl PG13 warning. If you are between 13 and 16, highly consider having a parent read over the "Definitely could be considered spoilers section" and help you decide if you are ready for this book. This is technically an adult fiction book.
Definitely could be considered spoilers section:
There are many fake Royal Scandal tabloid type things. Nathaniel and Susanna fall asleep in a church after having a really long day and a sort-of date night, and the tabloids spin it as a one night stand, or other bad thing. The fairy godmother character (called Aurora) alludes to having been an alcoholic, done drugs, and slept around until God got her and showed her real freedom (She said that everyone thought they were free doing all of those things but really they were in chains.). A female character (not Susanna) throwing herself at the prince. The non-Crown Prince, just normal, boring Prince, gets tipsy-drunk and Nathaniel points that out to him (He never does anything really bad or stupid, just says some mean things to his brother.). Avery, Susanna's younger Sister, says she needs a hot, sexy gown. Avery also says "OMG," written just like that; I think that she is not taking God's name in vain, but just shortening "oh, my goodness." I mainly think that, because Avery is a Christian and never says anything else like that. Also, the past problems of Suzanne's parents, as mentioned at the beginning of the review. There is thinking about kissing and wanting to, but waiting for it to be important and not just whatever. There is one simple, sweet kiss at the end when everything gets resolved.