“It’s not easy to catch a prince, even harder to keep one.”- Corina Del Rey in How to Catch a Prince
Those words, uttered by the main character in Rachel Hauck’s latest novel in the “Royal Weddings” series, perfectly set up the story of wealthy socialite Corina Del Rey and Prince Stephen of Brighton kingdom. This book is a wonderful modern fairy tale whose message is this: love is a choice, and requires selfless sacrifice.
I’m so happy to be a part of Rachel Hauck’s team for reviewing this recent release! Without further ado, here’s a summary of the book and my thoughts.
Book Summary: Prince Stephen came to America to escape responsibility. But what he found complicates his life more than ever.
Corina Del Rey is happy with her life in Melbourne, Florida. She spends her days engrossed in her career as a journalist and has her sights set on climbing the corporate ladder if for no other reason, to distract herself from her dissolving family. But when she is confronted with the past she fought so hard to put behind her, she struggles to make sense of her future.
Prince Stephen of Brighton Kingdom has moved on since the tragic death of his buddies in Afghanistan. A star professional rugby player, he has no intention of looking over his shoulder at what could’ve been.
But when a notice arrives in the mail requiring his and his wife’s appearance before the courts to dissolve their marriage, he must deal with the questions rumbling around in his heart. He thought his marriage had been annulled long ago, but his memories of Corina Del Rey remain close. Does he still love her? Can he even find her? Above all, can he tell her the truth about that fateful night in Afghanistan seven years ago? If he does, he might really lose her forever.
This book has a rare premise – the hero and heroine are already married at the start of the story. The challenge to the characters comes when this is unexpectedly discovered (that they are still secretly married), and they are faced with a possible annulment and external circumstances that reunite them publicly.
Corina’s family has not been the same since her twin brother was killed during war time. Still searching for the truth of what happened, she corners Stephen to help her learn the truth. What she doesn’t know, however, is that Stephen knows more than he’s saying about the events that killed her brother and caused Stephen to run from their marriage. Stephen is still running from the past and has stopped trusting God.
Both of these characters undergo transformations as a result of their experiences and the call of God through this story. Rachel Hauck has used beautiful and endearing secondary characters to speak wisdom to the characters and show them what life lived for God looks like (sometimes it’s intimidating, requiring the faith to step out in love, or requiring a selfless attitude).
The setting of this story in a fictitious Brighton Kingdom is picturesque, modern, and realistic at the same time. It is most definitely a modern fairy tale, with a few mysterious – maybe “magical”? – characters. These characters instead have a hinted Divine origin and purpose, with an unearthly knowledge of the past and Corina and Stephen’s current circumstances. I thought they were a clever way to encourage Corina.
At the heart of this story is a wonderful message of a relationship centered on Christ. With His sacrifice, He makes us worthy of love, gives us value beyond our abilities. In so many ways, Rachel weaves Corina’s and Stephen’s past together to teach them lessons of sacrifice, worth, and forgiveness.
One more thing I loved about these characters is that they realized they were royal or famous by the world’s standards, but they were still called to serve and love others through their positions.
I’m so glad I was able to read this last book in the series! It stands alone, though, as a complete story. (Confession: I’ve not read the other two in the series yet, but I can’t wait to!) A big thank-you to Rachel for inviting me to be on her team! I’ll leave you with one more quote from the book:
“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.” – Archbishop Caldwell in How to Catch a Prince
Thank you to Rachel Hauck and to Zondervan for the ebook copy in exchange for my honest review.