Good morning, bookpups🐾 The little minions are starting school this week and what am I doing? Diving into Christmas books to temper my anxiety at sending them back. Once Upon a Royal Christmas by Robin Bielman is a book I fell in love with last Christmas but didn’t quite get around to reviewing before the season was over. So, as I have started seeing (and participating in) Christmas book tours, I think it’s safe to post this review, for those who are trying to distract themselves from the start of the school year, as well. Enjoy!
QOTD: Do you read Christmas books before Thanksgiving?
Oh my gosh, I am a sucker for Christmas books any time of the year! I absolutely love the Christmas spirit but hate when the weather starts turning colder (as it is now … it’s only September!!) so fun Christmas romance in the middle of the summer would be perfect for me.
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I am a sucker for any type of story where a girl falls in love with a prince. That magic that seems to surround any type of royalty story gives me that feel-good, happily ever after feeling.
Rowan is a strong girl. She’s recovering from a very embarrassing incident in her career and is doing everything she can to get back on track. When she meets Prince Theo, on holiday and meeting his maternal grandparents for the first time, she receives just the opportunity she needs to fix her career as a reporter. As she interviews Prince Theo for her article on him, they fall in love (as happens in all great romances), but Rowan denies the attraction, not willing to tarnish her reputation as a reporter any further.
I absolutely loved the interaction between these two. You can tell that they’re going to fall for each other, almost from the beginning of the story. Embarrassment, friendship, sparks. It’s all there. And seeing everything from the two perspectives makes it that much more fun to read. I would have liked to see the perspectives broken up a bit more, as there were moments when I had trouble following the shift. We would be looking from Rowan’s perspective and suddenly, things would shift into Theo’s head. It wasn’t enough to fall out of the story, but I would have liked a little bit more distinction between the two.
The characters were strong and wonderfully written.
I loved Rowan. She’s headstrong, creative, kind, and always willing to help. Her relationship with Theo’s grandparents was a nice addition, to me. It shows a very family-oriented side of her that really gave her character the extra oomph needed to be one of my favorites.
And Theo. I pictured a handsome, romantic Prince Charming when I thought of Theo. He’s got the manners of a prince, but an attitude and spunk that can rival Rowan’s. As with Rowan, he is very family-oriented, even agreeing to an arranged marriage so he doesn’t upset his father. I really enjoyed how, even though the family recently lost her, the author brought Theo’s mom into the story quite a bit. He’s visiting his mom’s parents, in her hometown, and the entire story seems to center around her.
No rushing, but perfectly paced.
The plot and pacing moved forward perfectly with Once Upon a Royal Christmas. The romance wasn’t rushed, giving Theo and Rowan plenty of time to build their attraction to each other and fall in love. I enjoyed the ending most of all, seeing it wrap everything up the way it did. It’s certainly a book I would like to see get a sequel.
Robin Bielman was a new-to-me author and I will be reading many more of her books in the near future.