Title: The Christmas Princess (The Wedding #5)
Author: Patricia McLinn
Published: October 15, 2014 by Craig Place Books
A Princess for a few weeks …
The coming Christmas season isn’t looking great for April Gareaux. Her job is uninspiring, her engagement is off, and she has nowhere to live. Certainly her family would take her in, especially Leslie and Grady Roberts and their circle of friends who have become her extended family. But it’s time she stops relying on them.
Then comes an extraordinary offer – spend the holidays in Washington, D.C., with King Jozef of Bariavak as his possible long-lost granddaughter. Even more extraordinary is the man behind the offer and the one who will be beside her through the coming weeks, Hunter Pierce.
This is the last assignment Hunter would pick. Determination and grit have moved him beyond his past in Bariavak. Yet, here it is standing in front of him again, refusing to be ignored. … Just like his reactions to April. How can he fight what he’s feeling when they’re together all the time.
King Jozef has known tragedy in his life. Now, comes this lovely young woman bringing joy to his holidays. How can he resist dabbling in some royal matchmaking. Wouldn’t it be delightful if he could give April a Christmas gift she will never forget …
… Her Prince for a Lifetime
Yes, this is book 5 in the series, I haven’t given up the bad habit of picking up books in the wrong order but that’s ok (in this case). I was looking for some Christmas romance books, just to help me get into a more festive mood. “The Christmas Princess” was free as an e-book on Amazon and about a princess, so why not? Well, there is much more to it than that.
April finds herself in an unpleasant situation, so close to Christmas, when her fiancée’s mother informs her of her immediate termination of the engagement. Struggling to find a place to leave, she accepts a deal with the US Government (yup, you’ve read that right) to pose for a short while as the lost granddaughter of King Jozef of Bariavak. She is thrown in sessions of “princess lessons” and Bariavakian history, held by her detail, Hunter Pierce. The stiff bodyguard takes all his assignments seriously, but especially this one. April’s life appeals to him in a strange way and her kind heart starts to warm his as well.
While I am writing this review, I find myself in a conflicting situation. I enjoyed the story more than I was anticipating, but there were sections that made me cringe a little. I still don’t know what my rating will be…
April is a lovely person. She is kind, with love to offer to those who receive none. Lying to the king does not seem like such a good idea, especially when she realizes he is a nice person, but at least she will make sure his Christmas will be happier. The author created a character easy to like, who brings happiness wherever she goes. There were moments where I thought she lived in a bubble. Her world is full of love, no room for hatred or bad words. I like her bubble…
Hunter is like a wall. Nothing seems to affect him, nothing takes him away from his professional conduct. He serves the country that has given him a future and he does it so well. However, his past cannot be ignored. He will have to make peace with his demons and he will have to stop running.
I loved the Christmas atmosphere and how all the characters were at some point convinced to decorate, to prepare presents and to find time for family. April is the one that brings people together. Now, because I started with book 5, it was a little difficult to know all the side characters and to understand the role each family member had. This didn’t affect my liking the story, but having the full picture would have been better.
We’ve arrived at the things I did not enjoy as much. It took me a while to get into the story. In the beginning, the writing felt difficult and I pushed myself to get through the 30% limit. I whish I had more background on April’s education. She is stuck at a job she does not like, advocating for a vegetable she does not eat (are there such jobs? …having a moment of ignorance now…). Then, there is the romance. I am sorry, but I did not like it. Whenever Hunter acted like a jealous boyfriend, it felt off. The brief love making scenes were not great. It seamed to me the author was shy in writing them and kind of forced herself to spice up their intimacies. There was no need for that at all. I for one, don’t need hot scenes, especially if the book has a cozier and family kind of vibe.
Cover Review: It definitely gives me the winter chills. I like how the snow globe is the focus point on the cover, given that it has a certain importance to our main characters. It doesn’t give me royal or Christmas vibes but I like it. Also, it keeps consistency with the other books in the series.
Humility does not suit you. But beware of arrogance
Words spoken by the wise King Jozef to Hunter, they stuck with me for some reason. To be honest, in that particular scene didn’t perceive him as being humble or arrogant. But it’s a nice quote.
I’m still not at peace with the rating, but it would not be ok to increase it either. “The Christmas Princess” was a lovely story, with a beautiful atmosphere and perfect to put you in that holiday spirit. It left me wanting to know the full story of Bravakia (past and future books). As my fist read for the Christmas season, I declare myself satisfied. But despite all the positives, the romance and some elements from our MCs’ past did not stand well with me.
Let me know in the comments if you’ve read any books from the series and what are your reading plans for the rest of the year. Until next time, happy reading!
About The Author
USA Today bestselling author Patricia McLinn’s novels—cited by reviewers for warmth, wit and vivid characterization – have won numerous regional and national awards and been on national bestseller lists.
In addition to her romance and women’s fiction books, Patricia is the author of the Caught Dead in Wyoming mystery series, which adds a touch of humor and romance to figuring out whodunit.
Patricia received BA and MSJ degrees from Northwestern University. She was a sports writer (Rockford, Ill.), assistant sports editor (Charlotte, N.C.) and—for 20-plus years—an editor at the Washington Post.
She has spoken about writing from Melbourne, Australia to Washington, D.C., including being a guest-speaker at the Smithsonian Institution. She is now living in Northern Kentucky, and writing full-time. Patricia loves to hear from readers through her website, Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter.