The Swedish Prince by Karina Halle
Publication Date: March 22nd, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance
I never believed in fairy-tales.
Never held out for Prince Charming.
Growing up poor in small-town California as the oldest of six siblings, I knew I would never ride off into the sunset with anyone. That was even more apparent when a senseless tragedy took the lives of my parents, forcing me to become the sole guardian of our dysfunctional household at the mere age of twenty-three.
Then a fateful encounter literally brought Prince Charming to my dusty doorstep.
At first I thought Viktor was just your average businessman passing through, albeit obscenely handsome, six-foot-five, blue-eyed, and mysteriously rich.
But soon I discovered the truth behind Viktor’s façade.
Beneath his quiet, enigmatic gaze and cocky charm, is a man who is running away from who he really is. A role he’d rather not fulfill.
He is Viktor of House Nordin, His Royal Highness, The Crown Prince of Sweden.
Yet uncovering Viktor’s secret was only the first step.
I didn’t expect to fall in love with him.
I didn’t expect to have my whole life turned upside down.
When you’re from two different worlds, can your hearts meet somewhere in the middle?
Or do happily-ever-afters only exist in fairy-tales?
The Swedish Prince is a standalone romance inspired by Roman Holiday.
“Do you need any help?” Callum asks Viktor as he sorts things.
Callum has never asked to help me in the kitchen before.
Viktor smiles at him appreciatively and I’m aware of how charmed they are of each other. It warms my heart.
“Well let’s see,” Viktor says and takes off his suit jacket, hanging it on the back of the chair, and starts rolling up his sleeves. His tanned, muscled forearms pop against the white fabric as he folds it around his elbow. Hot damn. Forget about warming my heart, this is warming up other places.
“What are you good at Callum?” he asks.
Callum taps his finger against his chin in thought. “Math.”
“That’s great. I meant in the kitchen.”
“Slicing things,” he says with a big smile. “Or stabbing things.” Evil giggle.
Viktor’s eyes widen briefly. “Okay, so we’ll keep you away from the knives.” He looks at me for help.
I shrug. “Beats me, he’s never wanted to help me in the kitchen.”
“Because you’re not James Bond,” Callum says.
“Well sorrrrrry,” I tell him. I can’t blame the kid. Viktor in his suit in our kitchen is probably the most exciting thing to ever happen to us.
“Have you ever grated parmesan, Callum?” Viktor asks him while rummaging through the drawers and finding the cheese grater. He raises it up triumphantly while I silently shake my head, no way. A cheese grater is just a knife with scales.
“Nevermind,” Viktor says quickly, placing the cheese grater far away from him. “How about you just sit there and sing me songs. I rather liked your rendition of Dancing Queen.”
Oh god. Now that I know “Dancing Queen” was sung to his actual mother the night before she became queen, by ABBA themselves, Callum’s version seems even more crude.
“I forgot the lyrics,” Callum says with a shrug. “But I can rap.” He clears his throat like he’s about to sing an opera. “I like big poops and I cannot lie.”
I roll my eyes and give Viktor a warning look. He asked for this.
“Can I help with anything?” I ask coming around the table beside him.
“An apron would be great,” he says. His hands are already floured from handling the fresh pasta so I grab an apron hanging in the pantry – one that has chickens all over it, my mother was obsessed with chickens – and bring it over to him.
We smile at each other as he lowers his head so I can slip the top strap over his neck. With his head at my height, I take a moment to run my hands through his hair under the guise of fixing it.
My god. This is what heaven feels like. His hair is so thick and lush and silky, the ultimate sensory experience. I get a whiff of his shampoo, something woodsy and herbal that makes me want to drool. How I want nothing more than to just grab a few strands between my fingers and give it a sharp tug. I want to see the easy-going expression on his face become something raw and wild.
He sneaks a glance up at me and I realize how inappropriate I must be touching him like this.
“Your hair was a little messed,” I say quietly, then I go behind him and tie the straps around his lower back. Damn, if Callum wasn’t sitting right there and watching this whole scene, I’d start running my hands up and down his back, feeling every hard, taut muscle, and then climb him like a jungle gym. He’s just so tall, his shoulders so broad and wide, that I feel like I take up no space at all next to him, like Viktor commands every atom in the room when he’s around.
But Callum is watching, very intently I might add, and whatever intimacy I had conjured up by putting an apron vanishes.
Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of The Pact, Love, in English, The Artists Trilogy, Dirty Angels and over 20 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books.
Halle is represented by the Root Literary and is both self-published and published by Simon & Schuster and Hachette in North America and in the UK.
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|On a side note … I had an eye on this author for a while now – always browsing through her new releases – but no matter which blurb I opened – I always encountered the same “issue”. Not sure why but I always liked the blurb on the first look – but on the second I would always doubt my first impression as there was always something that had me second-guessing if the plot was the right one for me.
Then I saw the plot of “The Swedish Prince” and I thought it was now or never – this plot seemed so different from the others somehow and there was no second-guessing this time. So I went for it … but funny enough I noticed that frequent readers of this author judged this book already as “cheesy romance” – It might be in some eyes I admit but for me it was not. If this book really is unusual for this author – which I can not judge – I now really need to read another older book from her to get a better feeling because I liked her way of seeing things a lot.
I really wanted to finish reading this book in time for its release and as I loved the story I had no issues pulling a night shift and brushing my teeth in the morning while reading the book with the other hand.
It was a brilliant decision to use Sweden for this book. If you have any interest in royal families, you might have come across the fact that the Swedish Queen in fact was “just” a “normal” woman that met the King at a work function. So yeah – knowing that really works towards thinking that “stuff” like this really might happen in reality.
Reading this story I felt like it was placed a more intense version of the movie “Manhattan Love Story”
Viktor really is on the run – just like the Blurb suggests and I cannot dive deeper into the really good reasons he has to do so because of spoiler reasons. Just let me say they had my heart going out to him. And I understood where he was coming from. Being a member of a royal family and in his case especially being the Crown Prince can really be a curse at times. It might look to the outside as a fairytale but in certain circumstances it is anything but that. Just like any other person in the world it means being born in a surrounding that you did not choose and it has its own huge set of problems with one addition … No matter what you do there is always someone watching you and a crown prince will never be able to do anything in private. He is a commodity.
Maggie had almost escaped a life that she never wanted to live. But a tragedy forcer her back home – not that she did not love her family but she never wanted that life. Now she the legal guardian of a dysfunctional family and she is on the verge of breaking while trying to make ends meet
What should be the chances of these two people meeting – ? Slim to none right? But they do meet and the way the author wrote it felt believable. Their relationship develops and while I struggled a little with the “fast forward” of their relationship I still liked how it was done. I would have wished for a little bit more time to actually see them falling for each other – it seemed like they were already in love from the second they laid eyes on each other – but again the way it was written was good.
I am not going deeper into the storyline – again for spoiler reasons but a reader picking up this book will either choose to do so because he reads anything by this author or he will pick it up because he loves novels about royals falling in love with commoners. Either way this reader will have a basic idea how such a story should/would develop.
The only question is … will it be the storyline of the movie “Bodyguard” or will it be “Pretty Woman”. I guess you will have to read for yourself to find out – I can just tell you that the writing was really good and the characters had a lot of depth which made the story feel believable so I hope you will enjoy reading it as much as I did.