Book 7 Queen of Hearts

Queen of Hearts by Kathryn R. Biel fulfills
the “Book I Meant to
Read in 2019” category of the PopSugar 2020 Reading Challenge. I read the first
two novels in the New Beginnings series last year. I enjoy Ms. Biel’s stories
very much. I read Paradise by the Dashboard Lights this fall, then
slapped myself for not reading Queen of Hearts first. The novel also fulfills
the “Book with a Pink Cover” category, but I have another one for that prompt.
Open Queen of Hearts and be whisked away to Montabago,
the imaginary country somewhere Europe-ish with a monarchy that is voted on
every one-hundred years. In the first book of the series, we are introduced to
the soon-to-be princess of the country in Made for Me. The kingdom is
trying to drum up some publicity by having its new princess participate in a
Project Runway-esk reality TV show. She’s not the contestant but the prize. The winner designs her wedding
dress. I won’t say who it was and spoil the story. Needless to say, I felt I
already knew Maryn before the book began.
This novel is what happens to Cinderella after the wedding.
I love a good modern fairy tale and this book has it in spades. Politics,
technology, and real-world issues intrude on Maryn’s fairy tale almost from the start. She must find a way to
keep her happy ending even though she’s locked in the castle half the time. The
other half she’s fighting with her father-in-law, the king who has some
antiquated ideas. The story highlights fairy tale tropes well and pushes the
envelope of modern life in an old-fashioned kingdom.
Another thing I enjoyed about the book was the twist
on romance. Ms. Biel writes both women’s fiction and romance. I could have a good debate about
this book’s “category.” Yes, it’s so romantic with her new hubby, and then her old
love shows. But is it cheating? *Gasp* I’d argue not. The woman has to choose
which life she wants. She needs to consider both men. The story is more than a
love triangle. It’s about couples getting to know each other on a deep level
and finding true love.
It’s
also about finding your place in the world, discovering who you are, what you
stand for, and what you want to do with that life. I was glad to see a
character have false starts, changed ideas, and openness to new things. Maryn
cries, a lot. But that makes her so human. We feel for her deeply with the tough decisions she has to make. But there are some convictions she always
stands tough on, though—her family, especially her brother. I loved that very
much.
So the political stuff.
I’m
glad I waited to read Queen of Hearts. With all the controversy over the
British Royal family right now, it was a perfect tie-in. I don’t know
personally, but I can bet some of the issues inside the heads of the royals are
not so different from Ms. Biel’s characters. I’m not saying Queen Elizabeth
equates to King Franklin, but I could see the old-world thinking clashing with
the new world, like in the story. I mean, we have illegitimacy issues, daddy issues,
and I’m just talking about the book. Royal life isn’t easy. It’s public and
pressed for heirs, and all the rules…I can see why princesses wish to leave the
life when they discover some of the ugly truths.
Enough politics.
I give Queen of Hearts by Kathryn R. Biel Five Votes
for a Republic.

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