Royal Ups and Downs- A March Bride (A Year of Weddings #1) by Rachel Hauck

The blurb reads,

Susanna has found her true prince, and their happily ever after is just around the corner. But when Nate asks her to give up something precious to her, Susanna can’t help but wonder if it’s a sign that their love is not meant to be.
Susanna Truitt (Once Upon A Prince) is three weeks from royalty. She’ll soon marry King Nathaniel II of Brighton Kingdom. But when the government insists she renounce her American citizenship before the wedding, coupled with the lack of involvement by family and friends, her heart begins to doubt whether this marriage is God’s plan for her.
Nathaniel would do anything for his bride-to-be. But he knows his position requires that she give up a lot to be with him. Her life will never be her own — right down to her very identity. When she travels home to St. Simon’s Island, Georgia, right before the wedding, Nathaniel fears she won’t return. Gathering his courage, he devises a plan to win his bride all over again, and together they seek out a kingdom to treasure above all.


One of the best things about these books from Zondervan are the covers. They are so beautiful. It captures the most underrated part of a Christian Bride, the bouquet! Most photos focus on her eyes, her veil or the intricacies of her dress. Few find beauty in mere flowers. In this series, every bouquet stood for something the bride believed in, some memory, or some fantasy for her wedding.

We now get pulled into Susanna’s wedding. She is a commoner who fell in love with a King. And I didn’t know this book was a sequel. Although, until I read a fellow reviewer saying that, I never felt any such indication. The thing with these short novellas is that they never reveal everything about the characters or their romance. It stays hidden. Since the focus of this is the Wedding, that gets the spotlight, often hiding the actual steps that led to the wedding in the first place.

So we dive into the story of how a commoner is getting married to the King. The King feels burdened with responsibility of his new kingdom and faces a threat when he has to convince his bride to be to give up her American Citizenship.

The rest of the book is filled with a lot of weirdness. Somehow I couldn’t connect to Susanna. I mean, I don’t know her story, or how she fell in love. The book is filled with her dramatics on coming to know that she has to renounce her citizenship. Surely, I would be outraged if someone asked me to renounce my Indian citizenship, but I would fight it. I wouldn’t run away from things.

Susanna runs away like a coward, throwing Nathaniel’s plans into a mess. He has to take things in his hands, even go to the extent of wooing her back. This I didn’t like. I mean does the woman always have to throw a tantrum to get her work done? Here I am reading about brave women, like Kateryn Parr and Anne Boleyn who sparred with a king to get their way and get reforms initiated, and on the other hand you have weaklings like Susanna.

This book’s saving grace is Nathaniel, and the way he works to woo Susanna back. It shows how much he loves her and to what extent he will bend to get her back. But in my opinion, no woman should stretch a man so much. And the same works the other way. No man should twist a woman to get what he wants. And I detest characters like that.

I’m probably being more caustic than what this book requires but somehow, this identity crisis didn’t take me in its sway. I often feel my identity is under attack, but I haven’t felt anything for Susanna here and that made me go against her in what I read.

I figure now as I think of it, having characters from a previous novel did not work out in the book’s favour. The book’s characters are half baked and there is a constant feeling of simply reading about strangers acting like total buffoons. Not good and certainly not a good tactic. Don’t take the reader for granted!

This book marks a decline in the general quality of Zondervan’s novels. The April, May and July brides are pathetic attempts at stitching together romantic novels. These books should definitely be avoided.


My Rating: 2/5

2 star


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