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Review: Once Upon a Royal Christmas

Updated: Dec 3, 2022

Teri Wilson gives us a Hallmark movie on the printed page.


by Teri Wilson

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"Then again, if Gracie had been in possessionof actual fairy dust, she wouldn't need a business loan, would she?"

The story centers around Gracie, a princess -- party princess, that is. She trying (and failing) to come up with the capital to expand her princess party business, which she runs with her best friend, Clara. Not having much luck securing loans by traditional means, Clara enters Gracie into The Royal Winter Wonderland contest. The winner gets a stay in the fairytale-esque kingdom of (the fictitious) San Glacera and $30,000. Once she arrives, she meets the frosty Prince Nickolas, who is less than thrilled with the idea of the contest.

On the surface, this is a cute Cinderella retelling. It's predictable fluff, but there was more than that. The part I truly loved was how unrepentant Gracie was about being a character actor for children's parties. Too often, things geared toward women and children are viewed as not valid. Yet, she loves her job and sees her work as meaningful. Nick isn't the type of grumpy that leaves you having to put aside how awful he was initially to root for them as a couple.

The writing style is simple and straightforward, but the descriptions are picturesque. It was so easy to envision a snowy kingdom sitting foot of the Alps, complete with hot cocoa and a cozy chalet. The pacing was fine, although the ending came on very quickly. I would have liked to see a couple of loose ends wrapped up.

If you are the type who rolls their eyes at cheesy romcoms, skip this. However, if you look forward to over-the-top scenarios, snowy wonderlands, and happily ever after, this book is perfect. As this was published by Hallmark, it should surprise no one that this is a clean romance, so if you are searching for spice, look elsewhere.

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