A Royal Christmas Gift by LuAnn McLane

Prince Royal Nicholas Worthington is devastated when he learns that his monarchy is being used as a tax haven for the wealthy and drug runners. To protect his people, he flees to Alabama and poses as Nick Worth, an inspector for the National Historical Society.

Anna Lee is floored when Nick Worth shows up on her doorstep to give her grant money to restore her home. She’s charmed by the handsome inspector with his European accent and takes him up on his offer. The two week restoration project turns into something much more, but Nick fears that his presence could put his southern beauty in danger.

As Christmas Eve approaches Nicholas must decide if he can put the woman he loves at risk or disappear from her life forever…

Titles in the Happily Ever After series include:  A Royal Christmas Gift – A Prince In Plain Sight

Title:  A Royal Christmas Gift
Series:  Happily Ever After #1
Author:  LuAnn mcLane
Genre:  Contemporary Romance, Christmas Romance
Published:  October 12, 2015
Publisher:  Tule Publishing
My Rating:  5 stars
Source:  NetGalley

Sometimes a story comes along that simply touches on every single thing that makes a person a reader, a romance addict even.  For me, A Royal Christmas Gift had that ability.

We have a prince in Prince Royal Nicholas Worthington aka Nick Worth, who puts aside his royalty to become just another guy because putting his country and his people’s safety ahead of his own self-interests is more important for him than his crown.

We have a princess in need of rescuing in Anna Lee, a Southern belle who is facing a difficult Christmas season with the recent death of her beloved Gramps – as well as an even more devastating heartache looming should our prince not have stepped in.  Add an adoring sister, and a well intended at times meddling, pure Southern Belle mamma and that charming family is complete.

When Nick comes to Anna Lee’s home it is a reconnaissance type of move in a way.  Yes, it sets up the grant and it gives Nick some time to decide if this is where he will hide in plain sight once the final action of turning his country into a U S Territory takes place.  Yet it is also the beginning of a love between two people who on the surface couldn’t be more different – but in the heart, simply fit like two pieces of a broken heart necklace.  They make each other whole.

I absolutely loved this beginning story in the Happily Ever After series by LuAnn McLane.  In spite of their differences, the characters sparkle on the page from the first meeting.  It becomes so easy to invest ourselves in the happiness of this couple, even when we know more than Anna Lee does about what is to come.  Anna Lee is fiesty, spunky, adorable and likeable.  Nick is charming, handsome, sexy as sin and for a prince quite a down to earth kind of guy.  The love that blooms between them will face some tough challenges in the near future, but with the foundation they have been given I have every expectation that their own happily ever after will arrive just in the nick of time.

Normally I am not a huge fan of the fade away into the next book.  Yet, I have to declare that it works very well for this particular series.  This will be a continuing, ongoing, developing storyline over several books.  And because of that plan, and mainly because of how this story and the characters have been introduced to me, I want, no, make that need to continue to know what happens and how the characters handle what I as a reader know is coming.  It was very well done – I actually care about what happens to Anna Lee and Nick next – and I need to know how Amber’s love life will play out in this epic adventure.  So you see, this is a series that I will lovingly follow to get to the happily ever after that I know is in store for everyone (including me) involved.

I would highly recommend A Royal Christmas Gift for any romance reader.  And while it’s not a true cliffhanger ending because we know there is more to come – I’m almost begging romance lovers to read this first story and let it captivate, spark your interest and touch your heart with well thought out characters and a heartwarming story line.  Lose your heart to a prince and a Southern belle this Christmas, I believe you’ll find the rewarded lovingly touching story will be worth any risk.

This review first appeared on my book blog Keeper Bookshelf.

Available for the Kindle