A Royal Christmas Fairy Tale
by Karen Schaler
Publisher: Hawk Tale Publishing
Release Date: October 5, 2021
Reviewed by PJ
A charming Christmas village, a storybook castle, a royal ball, and a gorgeous prince are the last things New York City reporter Kaylie Karlyle expects to find on her holiday freelance assignment to Europe. But when the family she’s interviewing turns out to be the royal family of Tolvania, Kaylie has a meltdown when the quirky queen wants her to write a Christmas fairy tale for the spunky, young princess. Kaylie must battle the princess’s father, who doesn’t trust the media, and her own insecurities about writing anything beyond the news.
To spark inspiration for the fairy tale, the queen recruits the prickly Prince Alexander to show Kaylie the family’s most spectacular royal holiday traditions. And sparks definitely fly when the only thing Kaylie and the prince agree on is that they’re both more “bah humbug” than “ho, ho, ho.”
But somewhere between sleigh rides and snow angels, merrymaking and mistletoe, upside-down Christmas trees, and a legendary Christmas crown, Kaylie and the prince open their hearts to Christmas and start believing in themselves and each other. It’s a real-life fairy tale in the making until Kaylie discovers a secret about a royal Christmas heirloom that jeopardizes everyone’s happily ever after. Can the magic of the season save this holiday happy ending?
Every winter I look forward to snuggling up in a cozy blanket, dimming the lights, and losing myself in one of the 150 new Christmas movies on the TV. Okay, maybe not quite that many...but a lot. Going into each movie, I already have a good idea of the mechanics of the plot. There will be slight variations here and there but, overall, no big surprises. And you know what? I don't care. I still watch every movie with anticipation, still feel my gut clench when one of the lead characters accidentally breaks a promise to the other, still swoon at the grand romantic gestures, still cry happy tears when all obstacles are overcome and our couple pledge their love and lives to one another. :::Sigh::: What can I say? I love a happy ending. I love the whole process of reaching said happy ending. I love a book that unrolls like a vibrant, colorful movie across my mind. And that's exactly what I got with Karen Schaler's A Royal Christmas Fairy Tale.
Schaler has created a cast, a setting, and a story worthy of Christmas Fairy Tale status. She brought a small European village to life, filled it with lively characters, introduced us to a grumpy, widowed, over-protective Prince and his precocious daughter, a loving, matchmaking Queen, a cynical New York City reporter, and a dog who darn near stole the whole show. Then she sprinkled the story with beautiful snow-packed forests, upside down Christmas trees, divine chocolates, custom-made snow globes, family traditions, and more. Were there surprises? Not really. Was it predictable? Yep. Did I care? Not in the least.
If you're looking for a sweet Christmas romance that whisks you away to a fairy-tale castle in Europe, makes you laugh, touches your heart, reminds you of the joy to be found in family and friends (and dogs), then serves up a feel-good, fairy-tale ending, give Karen Schaler's A Royal Christmas Fairy Tale a try. Best served (in my experience) with a mug of hot chocolate and a tissue (for those happy tears).