K.C. Sunshine’s Princess Awakening is a romance story full of love, terror, loyalty and healing.
When Annie and Johnnie meet at a seminar near Annie’s hometown in Georgia, Annie is immediately taken with the dignified and handsome stranger. Johnnie feels strongly for her and realizes that he wants to spend the rest of his life with her. Annie does not reciprocate those feelings at first, sensing Johnnie is keeping a secret from her. She is right: Johnnie is an Australian prince.
When he reveals his secret, she is shocked but intrigued, and soon their affections deepen. When it’s time for Johnnie to leave, he asks Annie to go with him, as his wife. After much thought, Annie accepts his offer, and they are married in Paris. By the end of their honeymoon, Annie is pregnant with a royal heir.
But their seemingly perfect romance cannot last forever, and immediately after returning to Johnnie’s kingdom in Australia, Annie is brutally attacked by an enemy of the king. In a sickening and terrifying scene, she is violently raped and mutilated. Annie survives, but the mental and emotional damage is irreparable. The unborn baby survives the attack but, sadly, dies shortly after birth. Annie no longer speaks, and Johnnie is devastated. They embark on a long and emotionally harrowing journey to find their way back to each other.
The story moves quickly past their extremely romantic courtship to deal with issues of sexual abuse, alcoholism, and mental illness. The concept of the plot, though horrifying, has the potential to be riveting. However, the author fails to create an emotional connection to the characters or the plot: the writing of this potentially remarkable story comes off as distant and clinical. That’s unfortunate. There is much promise in Johnnie and Annie’s story, which could be a truly beautiful, though shockingly dark romance.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.