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.
4 out of 5 ‘Always more, never less’ Stars
I’m a forever fan of Karina Halle and all that she writes. She has this way of pulling you into a story so that you feel like you can turn your head and actually see the scene, see the characters that are being portrayed.
This is a classic tale of the prince who is on hiatus and he ends up falling for the housekeeper in the hotel he is staying at. Now of course there are spins to this story….like Maggie’s tragic past and the circumstance in which she finds her life at the moment. Viktor was a cheeky character who was overwhelmed with his new role as the prince apparent of Sweden. He also had a tragic past and it is in their tragedy that they form a connection.
From Viktor’s standpoint, I can see why he needed to get away from his new role; his new responsibilities. To have your entire life on display and nothing is sacred is extremely anxiety inducing. Even though he grew up in that life, his role was never destined to be king. His older brother, Alex, was always the one that was supposed to take over the throne, so Viktor never really had to deal with the fanfare that came with being the next in line for the throne until Alex tragically passes away. Even thinking about all that he had to do (which I’m sure didn’t even come close to what he actually had to do) gave me a sour stomach. Ugh…always being under a microscope…no thank you.
As an avid reader this is not the first time I’ve encountered a member of royalty that falls in love with a commoner. So I expected the disaster of paparazzi and reporters. It’s disheartening when people start to have their lives pried into without their permission. And Maggie expected every single bit of this but when it starts to happen it’s a bitter pill to swallow and then when it starts to involve her younger brothers and sisters, well, she has to draw the line somewhere.
It takes a big person to realize when to fight and when to let go. I enjoyed this story immensely. The push and pull between Viktor and Maggie magical love at its finest and I’m intrigued on whether Prince Magnus will get his own story. Hmmmm. Just a thought.
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.
Connect with Karina:
Join her Reader Group: https://goo.gl/wpCBSS
Stay up to date with Karina by signing up for her newsletter here: https://goo.gl/Ve4eCh