Chad Charming is a police officer who has recently moved to the town of Apple Grove and he has been assigned to cover Apple Groves’ annual fairytale parade. He is enjoying his apple smoothie in the relaxed atmosphere when a small child runs into the street behind the Snow White float. Chad reacts and rescues the child safely, but turns to find himself face-to-face with a prince on horseback. Unfortunately, the horse spooks, rearing and kicking Chad in the stomach.
The ‘prince’ riding the horse is school drama teacher, Jeff Garner. He visits Chad in the hospital, initially out of guilt, but then when Chad is released the two become friends as Jeff stops by every night, usually with dinner.
Is it possible for Jeff, who believes in love at first sight, to convince Chad, who does not believe in love at all, that fairy tales really can come true?
When I read the blurb for Officer Charming and the Prince Who Wooed Him, I was assuming that the story would be a sweet romance. Yet, this is not exactly what Sarah Hadley Brook delivers to her reader. Sure, there are moments of romance, like Chad and Jeff’s official date, but Brook develops both mens’ characters as they get to know one another. Oh, and also there are several very steamy episodes between them! For me, the sex scenes fit within the story. Both men are passionate and Brook makes Chad’s sexual attraction towards Jeff is very clear. Importantly, this adds to the character profile we have of Chad. He has never been in love; he is used to dating without strings and even wonders “if love was real or something manufactured by humans to convince themselves they belonged to someone.”
It is the first time the men have sex that Brook gives her reader an inkling that Chad may have deeper feelings and though I was certainly not surprised by the outcome of Officer Charming and the Prince Who Wooed Him, I did enjoy the characters and Brook’s story-telling.
Fairy tales are a common element for many readers and Brook draws on some popular tropes and elements of these traditional stories. I really liked the romantic setting of Apple Grove and the fairytale parade. The parade was started by Ralph Garner, the founder of the town who had created the first float to propose to his love, Aurora — named after Sleeping Beauty. Even Chad admits to loving the romance of Ralph and Aurora’s story, and the fact that Jeff is related to Ralph Garner — and there is a family history of falling in love at first sight — just makes Brook’s novella all the more enchanting.
Officer Charming and the Prince Who Wooed Him is tender and sexy and Chad and Jeff are endearing characters. This is not a holiday story, but at this time of the year, I really appreciated the happiness and positivity Brook conveys. This is definitely one to read!