"Royal Brides" by Traci Hunter Abramson isn't simply a tale of idyllic enchantment; instead, the recent novel, the third in Abramson’s Royal series, includes intrigue, secrets and a host of real-life challenges.
It’s set in a small kingdom on the peaceful island of Meridia, where two royal weddings are soon to take place. At the center of it all is Noelle, whose role as a servant and assistant wedding planner becomes the perfect spy cover when she is pulled in to help secure the palace after a bomb is discovered at the first of the two weddings. She keeps this all from Jeremy, the man who is beginning to capture her heart but who has secrets of his own. Noelle also grapples with not having told her parents that she has joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Then, there’s the bigger mystery of who planted the bomb and how Noelle and the rest of the security team can keep something similar from happening at the second royal wedding.
While some aspects of the story may be a bit predictable, Abramson maintains the overall intrigue. Her characters are interesting, each of them demonstrating a range of emotions, and she makes the make-believe world of Meridia seem very real. Abramson, who is a member of the LDS Church, weaves in references to the church, even referring to a new temple being dedicated in Meridia.
The romance is well done and doesn't include references to anything inappropriate or suggestive. As the mystery unfolds, some violence is alluded to, but the author uses minimal details and isn't gruesome as she tells about a woman going missing and her body being discovered later, and about a man who is shot in the head but survives. There is no swearing or other foul language.
All told, "Royal Brides" is an interesting book that adults and young people can enjoy.
Abramson previously worked for the CIA and is an alumna of Brigham Young University. She is also the author of 18 other books and is a Whitney Awards winner. The awards recognize novels by LDS authors.
Cecily Markland Condie is a freelance writer, editor, publicist, owner of Inglestone Publishing and author of 'Hope: One Mile Ahead' and "If I Made a Bug." She produces The Latter-day Signal, with articles of interest to Arizona LDS Church members.