An arrangement made when Elizabeth was just a babe ties her to someone she has never met, never spoken to, never loved. Now she desires freedom—a way to choose her own path—her own husband. The moment Elizabeth meets Patrick she knows he is her soul mate. But when you are bound to a crown how is any choice your own?
As a longtime fan of Hallmark Channel original programming, there’s a part of me that’s an absolute sucker for all of the classical romantic tropes. The accidental meeting, an arranged marriage that leads to a love match, a healthy amount of swooning and pining … it’s like the best kind of literary comfort food.
Reading “Once Upon Two Kingdoms,” the latest book by award-winning author Ana del C. Dye, is like enjoying a heaping plate of some of my oldest favorites. If you like your good guys great, your bad guys satisfyingly evil, and a happily-ever-after as sweet as honey, this is the book for you.
Elizabeth, the story’s heroine, falls more into the traditional “princess” gender role but still shows off plenty of spunk. Patrick is courtly in all the ways we want princes to be, and the duo’s romance hits all the right notes. I particularly like when the two first lay eyes on each other – I’m a sucker for meet-cutes that involve weaponry, however briefly – and a nicely dramatic moment near the end. (I’d tell you more, but the last thing I want to do is spoil the book for you.)
Though the setting is general medieval – princesses, etc. – Dye never lets herself get bogged down in period details. She has a good, simple style, where everything that’s going on is easy to understand and the emotions of the characters are clear at all times. The story offers a smooth, easy read from beginning to end, just the right kind of book to devour in a single afternoon.
“Once Upon Two Kingdoms” is available through Dye’s website, www.anadelc.com.