I always saw Danielle Steel’s books everywhere I went, but it never occurred to me to pick one up. For starters, it didn’t seem my like my cup of tea. That’s where judging a book by its cover came in. When I saw it for review, I took a chance and requested it. When it arrived, I did not know my mother and grandmother were so fond of this author. So, it intrigued me not only to see why they liked Steel’s work but why the entire world knew of her and I didn’t. Long story short, I loved this book and immediately requested another one of her releases.
In this spellbinding tale from Danielle Steel, a princess is sent away to safety during World War II, where she falls in love, and is lost forever.
As the war rages on in the summer of 1943, causing massive destruction and widespread fear, the King and Queen choose to quietly send their youngest daughter, Princess Charlotte, to live with a trusted noble family in the country. Despite her fiery, headstrong nature, the princess's fragile health poses far too great a risk for her to remain in war-torn London.
Third in line for the throne, seventeen year-old Charlotte reluctantly uses an alias upon her arrival in Yorkshire, her two guardians the only keepers of her true identity. In time, she settles comfortably into a life out of the spotlight, befriending a young evacuee and training with her cherished horse. But no one predicts that in the coming months she will fall deeply in love with her protectors' son.
She longs for a normal life. Far from her parents, a tragic turn of events leaves an infant orphaned. Alone in the world, that child will be raised in the most humble circumstances by a modest stable manager and his wife. No one, not even she, knows of her lineage. But when a stack of hidden letters comes to light, a secret kept for nearly two decades finally surfaces, and a long lost princess emerges.
Thank you to Pan Mac Millan, who sent a proof copy for a review. In no way does this influence my opinion. Curious about their other releases? Checkout their website here: Home (panmacmillan.com.au)
Where to begin on a story of a timeline that comprised about forty - fifty years? A lot happened, but Steel did an excellent job of making the story flow to a point where it didn’t drag a certain time period or felt rushed. Of course, with all her writing experience, she’d have it mastered. I admit, the chapters were long, but they were enticing every step of the way. I didn’t want to put the book down once I started it. The pacing was steady enough for readers to grasp the time skip and adjust to continuous changes. However, a bit of repetitiveness was a turnoff at times, but I understand why Steel did it. The writing itself was simple and thorough enough for any reader to get hooked. I liked the way Steel presented conflicts / resolutions so casually as to continue the story. It was the moment of ‘wait… there’s more’ that really kept me reading.
Goodness, there are so many characters to delve into, but I’ll keep it brief since they weren’t all fully explored. First, the people who brought this story to life were Charlotte and Henry. The princess who was sent to Yorkshire because of the war. There she met Henry, and they both had a strong liking to horses. They instantly fell in and Charlotte became pregnant before Henry went to fight in the war. Charlotte, unfortunately, died when the child was born and so did Henry in the war. I almost cried because they were so young and in love. So innocent yet had many responsibilities at such a dire time.
Lucy, who also stayed with them, raised the child. She always loved Henry, but he was too blind by Charlotte to ever see it. She took baby Annie and married a man named Jonathan. After that, they had twins. Years later, before Lucy dies, she tells Jonathan who Annie really belongs to. That she’s royalty. It leaves Jonathan with the burden after Lucy passes, to tell Annie her heritage. I have to say, Lucy was smart throughout the years. Maintaining and building this new life, which she’s successfully done. I only wished she’d say something sooner. Although, if she’d been alive around the time the royal family knew—who knew what they would’ve done with her. Also, the way characters acted to the revelation of Annie was done superbly. There wasn’t any drama or immaturity. Pure understanding and support throughout the entire story. It made the timeline realistic because people often acted that way—way back then.
Annie’s world changes for the better as the royal family welcomes her with open arms. She faces a few obstacles—hahaha see what I did there? Her love for horses and racing? Obstacles? No? Okay. She builds relationships with her aunts, cousins and friends. Yet what made Annie different was that she didn’t forget her other family. She didn’t forget Jonathan or the twins. Kudos to Steel, who made this a beautiful story to the last page. There weren’t common tropes involved, and it was simply enjoyable.
I’m happy to say that I’ll definitely be picking up more Danielle Steel books in the future. Keep a lookout on my social media for any new books of hers! With Royal receiving four golden stars from me, who knows about her other books?