Sunday, September 3, 2023

A Royal Christmas by Melody Carlson: Book Review

 *Book received for consideration. All thoughts are my own.

Adelaide Smith is too busy for fairy tales. She's been working hard to put herself through law school and now that the end is in sight, she's determined to stay focused on her goals. Then she receives a letter notifying her that she has been found through a DNA registry to be a direct descendant of King Maximillian V, the ruler of a small Eastern European principality called Montovia. She's understandably skeptical. This is the stuff of cheesy made-for-TV movies, not real life.

Although the pieces of this surprising family puzzle seem too good to be true, curiosity gets the best of her. At the king's invitation, Adelaide embarks on a Christmas break trip that is chock-full of surprises, including a charming village, an opulent palace, family mysteries, royal jealousies, a handsome young member of Parliament--and the chance at a real fairy tale romance with a happily-ever-after ending.

Spend this Christmas with bestselling author Melody Carlson as she whisks you away to a royal holiday you'll never forget!

Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for teens, women and children. That's a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a "storyteller." Her novels range from serious issues like schizophrenia (Finding Alice) to lighter topics like house-flipping (A Mile in My Flip-Flops) but most of the inspiration behind her fiction comes right out of real life. Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, TrueColors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She's won a number of awards (including Romantic Time's Career Achievement Award, the Rita and the Gold Medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog. To find out more about Melody Carlson, visit her website at

Every holiday season, one of the things I look forward to is reading Melody Carlson's Christmas books. While her other stories are great too (she was in fact one of my very first introductions into Christian fiction), there's just something about her Christmas stories that I cannot get enough of. A Royal Christmas was absolutely no exception. 

Right from the start, this definitely gave me Princess Diaries (the movies) vibes, in both the main character discovering she was a princess and events later in the story that I won't say so as not to give spoilers. Still, it very much was its own unique story as well. There was such a nice mix of holiday charm, faith and royal drama/mystery that kept me very much intrigued through to the end. As a novella, it was a very quick read--- I was able to finish in one sitting. While I definitely think this could have been even better as a full-length novel to maybe have seen more development in the romance aspect of the story, I still felt like the story felt complete as it was. I will say I was a little bit confused about how the line of succession in this country worked and wished there would have been a little more clarity on that... but it didn't take away from my enjoyment of the story. 

If you're looking for a fun Christmas novella and love a good royal story, this is certainly one worth checking out. 


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