Wilson,Teri. Once Upon A Royal Christmas. Hallmark, 2022. 228 ISBN 978-1952210754. $15.99.
Even though I converted to Judaism a few years ago, the magic of the holiday season isn’t lost on me, and a spent enough hours watching Hallmark Christmas movies with my mother to appreciate and groan (at the same time!) at them. This seasonal romance direct from Hallmark publishing reads a bit like a script turned to a novel and has so much descriptive detail it reads like it’s intended for a set decorator and prop master.
Grumpy Prince Nikolas will do anything to save his tiny country and bring in dollars and goes along with his family’s contest to augment their holiday tourism business. Gracie, a party princess who dresses up for sick children and birthday parties, is the winner of the contest, the grand prize of which is just enough money to move her business from her home to an office and provide benefits for her staff of princesses for hire. An identity mix-up ensues, where Grace assumes Nik is the hired fake prince, and he assumes she is a real princess brought in to see if she is marriage material. Lots of wintery events, hot cocoa and so!much!glitter! follow. Some depth is added with Gracie’s vocal trauma to overcome, and color with supporting characters, like Nik’s cool little sister and best friend/staff member.
The romance is sweet and clean and I will be shocked if it’s not already in production for this year or next. If you have skipped decorative gourd and pumpkin spice season and your tree is already up, this is a book for you–it was not my cup of cocoa, er, tea.
I received a free advance reader’s review copy of #OnceUponARoyalChristmas from #NetGalley.