Title: Christmas Prince
Series: The Christmas Angel Collection
Author: RJ Scott
Publisher: Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 146 Pages
Category: Contemporary, Holiday Romance
At a Glance: While not a favorite holiday offering from this author, if I found myself, in the end, wishing I’d had the chance to get to know Marc and Raphael a bit better, to see them get to know each other a bit better, that’s owed to how much I appreciate Scott’s writing and am familiar with her talent for crafting a lovely romance.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Prince Raphael, the youngest son of the Montaunoit royal family, is the custodian of his country’s history. At a Sotheby’s auction, he outbids Marc on an item he doesn’t even want. Just because he can.
Meeting the museum curator turns Raphael’s world upside down, and when lust turns to love he knows he has to change.
Can Marc be the one to show Raphael that he doesn’t have to stay the lonely prince forever, and that love is always an option?
Review: Author RJ Scott is, and has been for years, my go-to author for holiday romance. She’s penned some of the loveliest Christmas stories in the genre, including two of my all-time faves, The Christmas Throwaway and Love Happens Anyway. This year’s offering (one of them, at least), Christmas Prince, has all the earmarks of a heartwarming romance, though I must confess I didn’t find the storyline to be quite as robust as I’ve become accustomed to, which I can’t attribute to its length so will fall back on my opinion that the elusive and intangible connection we call chemistry between Marc Chandler and Prince Raphael-Alessandro of Montaunoit was not equal to what I know Scott can deliver, and has delivered so beautifully, time and time again.
This novella is part of the Christmas Angel collection of stories, obviously. Chronologically speaking, it is the last and while it is independent of the others, each of the novels/novellas focus on a single item: an angel ornament carved in the 18th century. The angel has, for reasons inexplicable, changed hands across generations, and how she plays a role in each romantic storyline is their key unifying element. There is a blend of magical realism along with a paranormal undercurrent in Christmas Prince which is subtle but still factors into the building of the relationship between Marc and Raphael, and is encompassed within a love story from the distant past.
I wouldn’t classify this novella as an enemies-to-lovers story, in the strictest sense of the trope, although Marc most definitely sees Raphael as an adversary after losing an auction lot to the prince that Marc had been handpicked to bid on as a representative of the British Museum. Raphael didn’t even want the box of miscellaneous items—books, notes, and other antique whatnots, one of which happens to be that enduring angel—he simply enjoyed parrying with Marc on the bidding field. When Raphael unintentionally wins Lot Eighty-nine and then realizes, after a bathroom encounter, how livid Marc is, because the contents of that box is important to him, Raphael quickly commits to making things right by hiring Marc to curate a special project in Montaunoit, not only as a means of making amends but also because there’s something about Marc that draws the Prince in, and thus begins their push/pull attraction. What was supposed to be a short-term opportunity for Marc, one that would be quite the feather in his career cap, finds him instead being charmed by the prince as well as by the country, its people, and by Raphael’s family too.
One of the things I appreciated about the way Scott lays this all out is the misperceptions of Raphael on Marc’s part, for sure, but also the intent that went into making Raphael the antithesis of what Marc, and I, for that matter, was expecting. Raphael is far from the aloof ‘let them eat cake’ sort of royal. Marc gradually discovers that his prince is generous and truly cares for his country and its citizens as Raphael interacts and does things that begin to endear him to Marc, and to me as well. RJ Scott creates a magical setting in this story, not only in the supernatural sense but in the wonder of Montaunoit itself. From the snowy landscapes to the palace overlooking the ocean to the historical treasures within the palace walls, the holidays create the fairy tale backdrop for the two men to fall in love. And if I found myself, in the end, wishing I’d had the chance to get to know Marc and Raphael a bit better, to see them get to know each other a bit better, that’s owed to how much I appreciate Scott’s writing and am familiar with her talent for crafting a lovely romance.
You can buy Christmas Prince here:
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