How To Catch A Prince Review

"How To Catch A Prince" by Rachel Hauck introduces us to Corina Del Rey, struggling to come out of mourning over her brother who died five years ago in war, and the subsequent dissolution of her marriage to Brighton's Prince Stephen.  But when Stephen finds out their marriage was never properly annulled, he shows up in Corina's life again and awakens old feelings.  Stephen never wanted to leave Corina, but felt he had no other choice because of the secret of how her brother died.  But then Corina travels back to Cathedral City, and they must face their past as their secrets come to light.

I have mixed feelings about this book.

On the one hand, how can I not appreciate a good princess story?  The story was interesting, and progressed nicely through the book.  I thought the character growth was good, and the author has a way of transporting you into the places she describes.  The scenery in this book was beautiful, the gowns were gorgeously described, and there were many romantic moments.  The girl in me enjoyed it.
On the other hand, there were several things about the book that I didn't like.

When in Cathedral City, Corina ends up staying at "The Manor", an old inn that no one else seems to be able to see.  The proprietors know things about her that they couldn't possibly know, and Corina just chalks it all up to God guiding her.  If I were her, I would have been more suspicious.

The proprietor of the inn (who I am assuming is supposed to be some sort of angel?), makes a comment about how Jesus prays for Corina.  That just doesn't make sense, biblically.  Jesus did pray in John 17 for all future believers while he was here on earth, and He intercedes for us in Heaven now (Hebrews 7:25), but Jesus "praying" for us now?  To whom would He be praying?  Jesus is God, and the author even says that in the book, so I just didn't get that.  Maybe she interprets "interceding" as "praying", but it's not the same thing. I didn't like the choice of words.

There was a reference to God interacting with Corina by "brushing her skin" or "tapping" her forehead, and I found that all very odd.

There were references to "auras", and I thought the characters' "encounters" with God were too mystical.  In one scene God's presence is described as a "heavy, oily presence".  I didn't like that.  All of this adds up to a New-Age-y, mystical version of Christianity that I don't agree with.

In the discussion questions, the author says that to her, the proprietors of the inn symbolize God's interaction in our lives.  I don't think that is sound.  While there are some situations where I do believe God sends His angels to earth (there is that verse about entertaining angels in Hebrews 13:2), I don't think semi-creepy people who know way too much about our personal lives, who live in houses that no one can see and that suddenly disappear, are the way God interacts in our lives.  Nor do I believe that we should be looking for God to guide us through brushes or taps that we feel on our skin.  And though sometimes we might hear His still, small voice (1 Kings 19:12), the primary way He interacts with us now is much more simple, and perhaps less "romantic".  He interacts with us through His written Word.  He has told us everything we need to know to follow Him through the Bible, and that was one thing (that is generally rather important to Christians) that was never mentioned in this book.

And on a more frivolous note, I also thought Stephen's reasons for wanting to call the marriage off were selfish.  He didn't want to be around Corina because she brought back painful memories, and while I can feel bad for the character's pain, that is not a good enough reason to break up a marriage.  I don't feel like he really thought about Corina's feelings much throughout the book, except to assume she would feel the same way as he did if she knew the truth.  He never even acknowledges the pain he put her through.  He only really thought about his own pain.  I don't think that is very princely.

Overall, even though the author might have been just trying to make the story a little more "magical", and even though I thought the plot by itself was interesting, I couldn't get past all the mystical nonsense.  I don't really recommend this book.

Note: I received a free copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for this review.  This is my honest opinion.
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