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Nov 8, 2022

It all began with maple cheesecake. I don't know if it was actually in the book, or if she just got me thinking about it, but when I read Buying Love by Toni Shiloh it not only made me hungry for something I'd never had before, it also introduced me to an author who would become a dear friend. For five years we worked together in an annual Christmas collection (we're still weeping the loss of her this year!), and so like many of her friends, I CHEERED when I heard she got her dream contract with Bethany House... and then... drooled with the rest of the world when the cover for In Search of a Prince came out.

Well, her second book in that series is here, and well, it's time to talk about it, don't you think? 

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If You Love a Good Cinderella Story Here's One with a New Twist

Not all Cinderella stories have to feature downtrodden, unwanted girls with stepsisters with big feet (seriously, cutting off toes and heels?  Ugh!) Sometimes it's just an ordinary woman in an ordinary job discovering a secret that transforms her life into the extraordinary! Add to that an unusual setting (West African Island Nation!!!) and intriguing customs and... whew! All the things!  Let's just say I've been hoarding that book for ages, waiting for the "right moment" and even after all that... I still haven't read it.  However, while editing this episode, I DID put it on my "Currently Reading" shelf on GoodReads.  #BecauseDuh!

Fun fact: I wasn't the only one who got Princess Diaries vibes when she described the story. I mean, it's not the same at all, but there are elements that, if you pulled them out away from the rest are similar. One of those being... The best friend who goes with her when Brielle from In Search of a Prince goes to assume royal duties. Sound familiar?

Yeah, after talking to Toni--not so much. I mean, remember Lily?  Bubbly? Optimistic? Empathetic?  Not hardly!  I love that Toni wrote Iris' story in To Win a Prince, and while it's still languishing in my Audible library, I'm eager to get started. WOOT!

To Win a Prince by Toni Shiloh

Can she stop herself from falling before she's too far gone?

As a fashion aficionado and best friend of the queen of the African island country Ọlọrọ Ilé, Iris Blakely dreams of using her talent to start a sustainable clothing line to help citizens in impoverished areas and honor the country's resources. But when she discovers that Ekon Diallo--the man who betrayed her best friend--will be her business consultant, the battle between her desires and reality begins.

Ekon Diallo has lost everything: his princely title, his material possessions, his friends, and the respect of his fellow Ọlọrans. To pay for his actions against Ọlọrọ Ilé, he's forced to assist the charismatic Iris Blakely--but he can't allow his heart to distract him from regaining his status.

Though they come from vastly different worlds, Iris and Ekon are both determined to reach their goals, and the only way to do that is to work together--if they can just keep their hearts from getting in the way . . .

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