I came across this series after watching the Hallmark movie based on Book One, Once Upon a Prince. I loved the Hallmark movie, and I had read a couple of Rachel Hauck’s books before, so I decided to check out the series.
Not surprisingly, (I love Hallmark, but let’s not pretend we watch their movies for their depth) the book version was MUCH deeper and full of rich character and story arcs that made for some intense late-night reading.
So, I read the second one. Again, I enjoyed the unique characters and situations (I mean, a car mechanic from Florida turns out to be the lost princess of a kingdom on the brink of losing its supremacy? You KNOW that’s going to be amusing!).
Then I got to Book 3, How To Catch a Prince. Keep reading for my review.
About the Book
Behind him, beside him, before him, the synchronized cathedral bells began to ring out.
One, two, three . . .
Then she said it first. The words his heart burst to share. “I love you, Stephen. You are my true prince.”
An American heiress and a crown prince seem destined to be together. Will the devastation of war keep them apart forever?
American heiress Corina Del Rey caught her prince once. But the tragedy of war kept her too long in a fog of grief. Now she’s shifting her life forward, reigniting her career as a journalist. Still, nothing can relieve her of the secret and the love she carries in her soul.
Prince Stephen of Brighton is one of the world’s most eligible bachelors and a star rugby player, trying to make sense of his life. His days in Afghanistan with the Royal Air Command will mark him forever. And he can’t seem to shake their dark shadow.
But when his brother, King Nathaniel, confronts him with a document the prince thought long buried and forgotten, Stephen is forced to face the pain of his past and the love he left behind.
With a little heavenly help, Prince Stephen and Corina embark on a journey of truth. But when the secrets are revealed, can they overcome and find love again?
I was not prepared for how much this book was going to wreck me.
While it’s a given that the story is full of will-they-won’t-they romantic tension, it is really about so much more than whether or not the hero and heroine will get together. It is about how to love others well, no matter the outcome. It is about forgiveness of self and those who have hurt you. It is about reconciliation, redemption, and acceptance of God’s love and grace.
Stephen and Corina both carry emotional wounds from an event that happened five and a half years ago. Corina, on some level, has dealt with hers and is beginning to come out of a fog of grief when Stephen comes back into her life and mixes her up again. Stephen has pushed everything away, ignoring the pain and channeling his grief into his rugby games. When an injury forces him off the field he is forced to deal with everything he thought he had banished from his life, including Corina.
What I love about Rachel Hauck’s storytelling is that, even though she writes modern-day romances, there’s always a mystical spiritual thread weaving through the story that infuses it with a magical feel. Not in a shallow way, but in a way that has you looking at your world differently and wondering what you might be missing out on. Her stories are filled with such rich characters, people that you would want to be friends with, people that remind you so much of that ONE person in your life that gets under your skin, and the occasional odd-ball who randomly spouts deep wisdom. Even her supporting characters demand attention when they enter a scene.
This story was WELL worth all the hours of sleep I lost struggling alongside these two characters as they moved towards healing.
All of the stories in this series are fantastic, but this one was my favorite, by far because of how much the two characters go through emotionally and spiritually to get to where they end up at the end. No spoilers, but trust me. It’s worth it.
If you are looking for a modern-day fairy tale with realistic characters, check out Rachel Hauck’s Royal Wedding series!
“You can play it safe if you choose, but it’s the brave, those who face their fears, who tame the world, who win the day. Walk on waves.”
“If one wanted to love well, learn from the Master. Corina understood that life was a journey and if she’d trust him, Jesus would carve out her way through the wilderness. Be her light in the dark.”
“Your worth is not determined by who you are or what you do, even what you don’t do. It’s determined by the work of your Savior. If our Lord bore the cross to declare you worthy, then indeed you are, and nothing – not war, nor death, regrets, injury, broken hearts, or tabloid headlines – can change it. Only if you choose not to accept it.”
“He was unworthy. On his own. Jesus made him worthy and that was a sacrifice he could accept.”