Age Appropriate For: 13 and up (thematic material, romance)
Best for Ages: 15 and up
Description: Susanna Truitt never dreamed of a great romance or being treated like a princess---just to marry the man she has loved for twelve years. But life isn’t going according to plan. When her high-school-sweetheart-turned-Marine-officer breaks up instead of proposing, Susanna scrambles to rebuild her life. The last thing Prince Nathaniel expects to find on his American holiday to St. Simon’s Island is the queen of his heart. A prince has duties, and his family’s tense political situation has chosen his bride for him. When Prince Nathaniel comes to Susanna’s aid under the fabled Lover’s Oak, he is blindsided by love.
I am going to start this review with the one thing I didn’t like about this book: the cover. For me, the cover gave me pause. It made it look like the book would have content that might not be appropriate It isn’t so much what is shown as what is implied. Thankfully, the cover had nothing to do with the story. I hope this type of cover doesn’t become a trend for Zondervan books.
Thank goodness I chose not to judge this book by its cover, because it was an amazingly wonderful story. The romance in it was so clean and so God honoring that even younger readers might find themselves liking it. Seriously, I don’t think I have read a romance from a traditional publisher that made me jump up and down saying “That is the kind of romance I want!” until I read this book.
Both characters like each other from the beginning, but feelings are not the center of the romance, only a factor. Most of the time Nate and Susanna spend together is spent talking, often about faith. When they are apart, they don’t spend all the time dreaming of kisses, hand-holding, and such, the miss each other’s advice, thoughts, and presence.
Nathaniel was so amazing. There are not many heroes in books who think more about duty and honor than their hormones. He was the type of guy I am looking for – the type who treats girls with respect and honor; the type who cares more about a girl’s heart than her body. That isn’t to say he wasn’t attracted to Susanna. Let’s be honest, it would be weird to have a romance where there was no attraction. It is simply that he thinks more about who she is than the fact that she is pretty.
The fairy-tale aspect was so fun. So maybe it wasn’t 100% believable, but who cares. It was so fun! The settings were so lovely that I could hear the accents, and the history of the fictional country was well presented. Some of the political aspect was murky, but not too bad.
The faith message was awesome. It was well-constructed, not too heavy, and central to the story. Both Suzanna and Nate helped build each other’s faith.
I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a clean fairy tale, God-honoring romance, and characters that are strong of faith and character.
I received this book from Zondervan through Booksneeze in exchange for my honest review. I was under no obligation to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are entirely my own.