Warning – possible spoilers! (Tiny ones, though, and I’ll try to avoid even those; I swear I’ll give my best not to ruin it for you… :-))
Once Upon A Royal Christmas by Teri Wilson – Book Details
TITLE – Once Upon A Royal Christmas
AUTHOR – Teri Wilson
CATEGORY/GENRE – romance, contemporary, Christmas
YEAR PUBLISHED – 2022
PAGE COUNT – 288
MY RATING – 3.5 of 5
RATED ON GOODREADS – 4.26 of 5
A huge thank you to Hallmark Publishing and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of Once Upon A Royal Christmas by Teri Wilson in exchange for an honest review.
What It Is About
She counted to ten in her head so she wouldn’t say something she might regret later and repeated a favorite mantra— the one she always relied on for times like this. Chin up, princess, or the crown slips.
Gracie Clark is the Princess Snowflake. Well, she pretends to be her at children’s parties. The children love her, and Gracie loves her job. But her business could use some financial aid.
Luckily for her, she has just won a contest. She is to go to San Glacera kingdom, spend the Christmas with the royal family and perform during their annual Ice Village festivities. That, of course, should bring a ton of publicity for her business.
But there are a couple of problems with the plan. One, Gracie can no longer sing in front of people after a very public and very humiliating debacle from when she was in college.
And two – Prince Nikolas of San Glacera could not be any less thrilled that a pretend princess who likes to play dress-up is to be so closely involved in San Glacera’s most precious traditions.
Themes and vibes:
- pure Hallmark at its Hallmarkiest
- a royal romance during Christmas
- a pretend to be princess meets an actual prince
- picture perfect Christmas setting
- cute, fun, lighthearted romance
- 2 POVs
Once Upon A Royal Christmas by Teri Wilson – My Review
She was Princess Snowflake— winter royalty, friend of reindeer, daughter of Frost and Spring, granddaughter of Father Christmas. Frozen, fearless… ready to melt if that’s what it took to find her happy ending.
It’s finally December, the Christmas reads season again, and if you need a holly jolly read to put you in the spirit, here’s a powerful contender. Out of all Christmas reads I’ve ever read, Once Upon A Royal Christmas by Teri Wilson was without a doubt the most Christmassy one.
So far, I’ve only read one other holiday read this year, and it was a novella. So I was in the full mood to get some more of the magic, and luckily so – Once Upon A Royal Christmas does not kid when it comes to holiday vibes.
This book was published by Hallmark Publishing. It has the Princess Snowflake on the cover. It is a modern day fairytale-esque royal romance. And it is set in a winter wonderland.
All that should prepare you for what kind of read you should expect – it was just one cute and fluffy romance scene with the Christmas backdrop after the other.
Regal square jaw? Check. Dreamy gray eyes? Double check. Dark, slightly tousled hair that could only be improved upon by the addition of a crown on his head? Triple check.
The whole read was festive and charming. But considering the publisher and all the tropes, it just had to be quite a bit over the top, so be prepared for that.
It might be too much for some of you. But if you don’t mind the cheesiness and predictability that goes hand in hand with most Hallmark movies, this might be your perfect Christmas romance for this year.
Many people choose this type of stories specifically because they want that comfort the predictability brings. So I’m sure Once Upon A Royal Christmas will have many happy readers.
Here, Gracie drank chocolat chaud with a secret surprise nestled in the bottom of her cup. Here, she’d sleep in a whimsical chalet that looked like it belonged in a Christmas card. Here, there were sparkling, chiseled ice sculptures on every street corner and the air smelled like gingerbread and romance.
To me personally, the premise and the setting took the spotlight from the characters. The winter wonderland setting, snowball fights in a Christmas tree maze, hot cocoa with kisses at the bottom, snowy carriage ride, the Living Advent Calendar, caroling in the square…
It almost felt too much at times, but I liked it overall.
The protagonists were also incredibly sweet and kind, which only added more on the Christmas spirit. Both Gracie and Nick cared passionately for their loved ones and their communities.
There was something adorable about the fact that Nick had to rebrand his image as an abominable prince. And to his dismay, he needed a fake princess covered in glitter to help him do that. The whole situation was so endearing and it added a lot of fun and lightness to the book.
It was also probably the biggest long shot since Santa chose Rudolph to guide his sleigh one legendary, foggy Christmas Eve.
And the rest of the characters were also just nice and wholesome. Again, like with the setting, it felt a bit too much at times. There was not a single bad person in the entire book, except an ex-boyfriend who’s not even there on page. I kind of needed something to counter all that sweetness.
But all in all, Once Upon A Royal Christmas delivered exactly what it promised. The only way you can get disappointed by it would be if you expected something different from what the cover and title and blurb are screaming at you.
I thought it was really cute, and if Hallmark adapts this into a movie, I’d definitely watch it. I might even pair the book with the movie every year around the Christmas time.