Most of Lori Wick's books are historical Christian romances. This one is set in a modern setting, but in a fictional kingdom she calls Pendaran, in which the royal family are all Christians.
Starting this book, I had the strange sensation it would turn out to be an allegory. It isn't exactly. But it is certainly idealistic in a way that appeals to me. This book especially showcases a lovely young Christian woman, with maturity and grace, as she agrees to an arranged marriage with the widowed prince of Pendaran. She recognizes that love is not guaranteed, yet is willing to risk that for doing what - after some prayer - seems the right thing to do.
As it turns out, we watch a blossoming romance between the Prince and Princess, as they live in rooms next to each other in their wing of the multi-generational palace. While Princess Shelby warms to her prince husband, he seems aloof and continues to grieve for his first wife. By the time he begins to see how special and talented she is at being the public princess, she has resigned herself to just doing her duties, and ignoring him.
How they resolve all this is why you want to read the book. You want to enjoy their discovery of each other vicariously, as you watch their every move.
I know there are some who have never met a woman as sweet and good as this Princess Shelby. I have, but I know they are very rare. A lot of credit has to go to their parents who raise them in a special way. It gives me pleasure to see that Lori Wick gives this woman's family due recognition, without losing focus on the key romantic couple in the story.
I suspect Lori also patterned this tale on a special friend who is like this, for in her dedication she names a young woman, Holly Short, and by the words there, I'm strongly led to believe this story is to encourage and bless and hold up Holly as an example.
It's a special treat to see the characters pray about things, and show concern about others' spiritual welfare, and look for opportunities to witness. This is the kind of lifestyle Christians should be living all the time, and a romance that leaves that out, isn't really about Christians.
Many are about shallow or barely new Christians, but Lori's characters have more maturity and depth than most, I'm happy to point out).
This is something I strive for in my own novel, Ruthe's Secret Roses, and I hope will show up in all my books.
So I'm glad for Holly and grateful to Lori for this fine read. The Princess is the kind of story I love to read, and the kind I most like to write. Thank you.