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The Cost of the Crown

(20 customer reviews)


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By Joy Crain

Missy Hanson never dreamed of falling in love and living happily ever after. In fact, she doesn’t know what she wants to do after she graduates from college; nevertheless, she’s content working as a journalist for her local newspaper and assisting at her aunt’s California bakery. When a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity emerges for her to visit the southeast Asian country of Andelar, Missy is thrown into the world of royalty as the special guest of the king and queen—and it’s clear she doesn’t belong, despite her family ties to the area. But the royal family isn’t without its mysteries. Rumors abound that a secret prince is hiding amid Andelar’s society, and Missy is determined to find out who he is.

Aiden Waverly never wanted a crown or a title. He craves a normal life, but being a secret prince of biracial background is difficult enough and would create chaos amid the tabloids if the press learned about his parentage. After years of traveling the world to help those in the greatest of need, he’s faced with a life-altering decision: take his place as crown prince or walk away as a commoner. With no clear path that will satisfy him and the royal family, the tug between following his heart and doing his duty to Andelar becomes harder every day.

When a chance encounter throws Missy and Aiden together, neither of them are prepared to challenge what they thought they knew about themselves. And when an ancient royal law threatens to tear them apart, they must decide how much they are willing to risk for love.

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20 reviews for The Cost of the Crown

  1. candideweekes

    The Cost of the Crown, by Joy Crain was so good!
    I could not put it down and stayed up late almost every night for four days 🙂

    I really enjoyed the story and the characters were well developped.
    Both the main characters were relatable and Joy Crain did a fantastic job describing them and their feelings/what they were going through.

    Now I can’t wait for the second book in the series to come out 🙂

    — I received a complimentary copy this book from the publishers. I was not required to provide a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone. —

  2. jdoyal

    I am a tried and true historical romance buff and I don’t generally like books with places that I can’t find on the map. So saying that I was a little skeptical reading this book. My skepticism turned to fascination and then avorice. I could not put this book down! The story that Joy Crain spun is not your typical boy meets girl, they fall in love and live happily ever after. The Cost of The Crown is a story of heart-rending emotion, of unforgivable hurts, of duty over desire, of the cost of love! This is a book that you just can’t put down because you are so invested in the characters. Aiden and Missy instantly grab your heart strings and carry you along on the most beautiful love story ever told. If you have a tendency to cry, you better bring a whole box of tissue for this book. It is one love story that you will read over and over again.

    I would like to thank WhiteCrown Publishing for the advanced reader copy. It in no way influenced my opinion of the book.

  3. phillipians4_8

    Amazing! This review is going to be so hard to write without spoilers, but I don’t even want to offer them and ruin the book. This is Joy’s debut book, and her writing style is already so good; I am definitely looking forward to following her writing.
    All the characters were so lovable in their strengths and weaknesses. The plot flowed perfectly and smoothly. Nothing felt too rushed. The beginning was a bit slow for me, but I was easily drawn into it. I loved the setting of the book. It was refreshing to read a book integrating Asian culture.
    I don’t want to write too much here, because I truly don’t want to ruin it, but the ending is so worth getting this book! Like get the book for the ending!!!
    I loved Aiden’s and Missy’s romance…it was so sweet! The ending wasn’t what I expected, but it was perfect. The Cost of the Crown isn’t an average royal read. It has its fairytale moments, but it also has the nitty gritty of life. I cried through parts, and beamed through others. Easily my favorite royal read yet! I highly recommend this book, even if you don’t usually read this genre. Read it, you won’t regret it!

    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.

  4. Kathryn Bochman

    Sometimes taking a chance on a new author is risky. Dare I invest my valuable time with someone untested? Yet I need not have worried when it came to Joy Crain’s The Cost of the Crown. I was quickly delighted with Crain’s storytelling ability, her cast of well developed characters, and the depth to which she explored themes of forgiveness and belonging. Fully of tender romance and complicated family dynamics, this novel packed a punch. I cannot wait to see what Crain comes up with next!

    I received a complimentary copy this book from the publishers. I was not required to provide a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

  5. lanabobana

    A mystery prince, a chance encounter, a visit of a lifetime. All these elements come together to make a story that satisfies on every level. Definitely Hallmark movie worthy romance that the reader will cheer for from the very start. Missy and Aiden have a chance encounter on a life changing trip to Andelar. Missy will be joining her father with the royal family for the whole summer. Who doesn’t dream of a summer of living like a princess? Aiden has to return to Andelar to make a decision that could affect more than just his life. Joy Crain does a wonderful job of bringing the characters off the pages and into the room with you as you read. They spin the reader along with the twists and turns life takes on this unforgettable summer. Throw in royal intrigue and beautiful ball gowns and you have the perfect read, as long as you can make it last for more than 1 day! I look forward to the next installment in the Royals of Andelar series. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  6. heatherbyrd7

    The Cost of the Crown was such a breath of fresh air to read. I loved the main character Missy so much. She was incredibly likable, full of kindness and integrity, while still being relatable. She matched up with Adrian perfectly. He was a true prince at heart, honorable and good, but he was also vulnerable and needed to be loved. I enjoyed the families of each, even though I didn’t really warm up to Missy’s father. I felt like he went way too long without seeing his daughter to still be invested in her. And Adrian’s grandmother was completely horrible, as she was meant to be. The setting was really unique and interesting, being more like a fictional Asian country, like Japan or Taiwan, than the typical England-like fictional country usually seen in princess books. Andelar was a beautiful setting for an entertaining story. I loved the culture shared in the story, especially with both of the main characters being biracial. One element that I particularly enjoyed was that there was a beautiful love story, but it didn’t have the main characters have silly issues keeping them apart as a plot device. They had a hurdle that seemed insurmountable, but true love conquered all in this book, as a great fairytale should. This was such a fun read, and I couldn’t put it down, staying up way too late into the night to finish it! Joy Crain is a promising new author, and I look forward to more books in this series, hopefully about Adrian’s siblings. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publishers. I was not required to provide a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

  7. chosengirl15

    The Cost of the Crown by debut Author Joy Cain is a wonderful book. I read it less than a week. Missy is a writer who lives with her aunt Pru. Her Aunt owns a bakery where Missy also helps out. After not having much contact with her father her invites her to come for a visit. While waiting at the airport she meets Aiden. This book is about Faith, Family and Forgiveness. While reading the author makes you feel as you are walking with Missy. This book was given to me by the publisher. All thoughts are my own. I will be looking forward to reading more by this author.

  8. mackenzieharting

    Such a sweet, clean, and romantic story! I loved it and even laughed out loud at some parts. I enjoyed the flirty banter between characters. I loved Joy’s perspective of forgiveness that one of her characters used to compare how Jesus forgave those who crucified him, and if He could forgive them for everything he had to suffer, it should be easy for us to forgive.
    That has stuck with me.
    I’m excited for her to write more in this series!
    I received a complimentary ecopy of this book from the publishers. I was not required to provide a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
    if you’re looking for a new read, definitely check this one out!

  9. jcays08

    In her debut novel, Joy Crane did a marvelous job of developing the main characters from the beginning of the book. Missy and Aiden quickly came alive and found a home in my heart. They are both down to earth people leaning on God to overcome childhood problems. They made me laugh one minute and cry the next. When I wasn’t reading, I was thinking about them. Even though there a few fairytale moments in their story, with all of the added twists and turns I truly did enjoy this book. I look forward to the rest of the series. Joy Crane has a bright future ahead!

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publishers for my honest review. All opinions I have expressed are entirely my own

  10. gracefulimperfections1110

    This book hooked me from the beginning. I loved getting to know the country of Andelar, but also the people who dwell there. Watching Missy and Aiden’s story grow and unfold was a wild ride. God is an integral part of the story and there is so much depth, which are characteristics I enjoy in my romance books. I was able to connect with the characters, and really feel what they were experiencing, and I was in tears at one point in the story.
    We get to know Missy, Aiden and the Royal family as they all get to know each other. I appreciated the fact that they wanted to get to know each other and while you could feel the chemistry between the characters, it wasn’t focused on the physical. This book was a breath of fresh air and exactly what I needed. I can’t wait to add a physical copy to my shelf.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publishers, I was not required to provide a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

  11. mindyhoung

    “He couldn’t shake his past, but he could shape his future.”

    Bravo to Joy Crain for this excellent debut novel. I love royalty books and this one had it all – grandeur and opulence tied with royalty but also the need for balance between tradition and progress. Missy and Aiden were such lovable characters. Their common bond of mixed heritage and not really feeling like they fit in anywhere was heartbreakingly raw and real. Faith thread and the theme of forgiveness were strong throughout the story and Missy’s spiritual growth was satisfying, even as she struggled against sense of abandonment. Aiden’s backstory made me cry and his journey to finding his true self while battling nightmares, insecurities, perceived failures, and expectations made him a valiant hero and prince.

    I really enjoyed the fictional Asian island country of Andelar in the South Pacific. The island was beautiful and the culture, food, language, and political layout were intriguing and captivating. The author addressed some issues within the Asian culture like stigma of adoption and neglect of the homeless, poor, and orphaned, which broke my heart.

    It’s a book that will leave your heart filled and happy at the end. I received a complimentary copy courtesy of WhiteCrown Publishing and was under no obligation to post a positive comment. All opinions are my own.

  12. paty.hinojosa

    OMG! This book is my new favorite Royal Romance! Joy Crain’s debut novel is amazing, and I’m already yearning for the rest of the stories of The Royals of Andelar!
    The setting is unique in an Asian southeast small Country named Andelar.
    It all starts when Missy lives in California, works as a journalist at the local newspaper, and assists her Aunt Pru in her popular bakery. Her life takes a life changing turn when the father who abandoned her ten years ago, and only calls a few minutes for Christmas day and her birthday, calls her and invites her to visit him in Andelar, where he lives and works as the US Ambassador. Not only that, but he is asking her to spend the summer with him at the Royal Palace with the Royal Family! Missy is uncertain at first, feeling distrust of her estranged father. But it might be the opportunity she has always wished for reconnecting with her father and hopefully reconciling, and living in a Royal Palace is the opportunity of a lifetime!
    Aiden Waverly just wishes he could be a normal guy. But he’s the secret prince, first in line heir to the Crown. His identity is a secret because of his complicated -and unknown to society- biracial parentage. His father the King learned of his existence when he was ten years old and after and his mother died. Having lived a childhood of poverty, Aiden just wants to travel the world and help those in greatest need, but after five years of traveling, his father has issued an ultimatum: decide if he is to be the heir to the throne or abdicate and walk away as a commoner. His heart is torn, especially after he accidentally meets Missy on their trip to Andelar, and he gets to know her incognito, as a normal guy. Missy being a journalist, he can’t be open about his secret. But as feelings start to grow, he wonders if Missy would accept him as the crown prince. Especially after she says that her stay at the Royal Palace proves she doesn’t belong in Royal Society. Ultimately, an ancient royal law threatens to tear them apart, and Aiden must choose between heart and duty. Is he willing to risk everything for love? Or will he have to sacrifice love for his country?
    Sigh! As I said, I totally loved this story! I just fell in love with the characters! Aiden and Missy were the perfect match! And they weren’t perfect at all. Missy had struggles forgiving her father for abandoning her as a teen after her mother’s death and she had trust issues in general. Aiden had panic attacks and nightmares that he couldn’t completely overcome, consequent of the trauma he experienced during his childhood. Both struggled to discover before God what is the right thing to do. There is so much to learn from their personal journeys. A beautiful message of forgiveness, self-sacrifice and true love. The part of self-sacrifice is my favorite since I think we all can feel related to it. Whether we want it or not, true love requires self-sacrifice. If not, it’s not true love. Because true love means thinking before of the other, of the others, happiness, before yours. I think this book contains a beautiful spiritual message that should be shared and I hope it impacts people deeply, like it did me.
    I highly recommend this Royal Romance. Not only it is inspiring, but the characters are completely endearing and lovable. Including the secondary characters, of which I’d love to know more in future books from this series!
    I received a complimentary copy from the Publisher but wasn’t required to post a positive review. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.

  13. mgtnelson

    Joy Crain’s debut novel was very hard to put down! Crain has created a believable location, and I loved the characters. The plot pacing was just right. Having lived in Hong Kong for a number of years, I enjoyed the Asian touches. Themes of forgiveness, grief, finding someone who sees the real you, and finding your place in between two cultures give good depth to a great story. I really look forward to more books by this new author!
    I received a complimentary copy this book from the publishers. I was not required to provide a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

  14. laknermegan

    This was such a sweet and lovely royal romance! I really enjoyed the different angle of having an Asian/American prince and how Aiden connected with Missy since they both are half Asian/half American. It added some depth to their relationship, knowing they both understood what it was like to be caught between two different cultures.

    I also loved the fake country of Andelar that the author created. It would be a beautiful place to visit if it existed. The side characters were all well done and I look forward to reading, hopefully, Alexander and Genevieve’s stories too. You can never have too much royal romance.

    The romance itself between Aiden and Missy was well done. The things keeping them apart were very believable which was greatly appreciated. I really enjoyed this book and getting to live inside the royal life for a brief time. I would recommend this book to fans of Hannah Currie and Rachel Hauck.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publishers. I was not required to provide a positive review. All opinions and thoughts expressed herein are mine alone.

  15. meganschaulis

    Sweet, clean royal romance

    Joy Crain is a new author to me and I was delighted to read her Asian-set royal romance. This sweet love story features genuine friendship that grows into more. It was refreshing to read about two people who are genuinely good for each other. The relationship develops organically. No toxic tropes here.

    Readers who enjoy a “peek behind the curtain” into royal life won’t be disappointed. The story is woven with decorum and protocol as well as the less-than-glamorous aspects of royal life. Andelar is a rich, vivid setting that is 100% believable as a real-life Asian nation. The supporting cast adds fun and depth to the story. I’d love to read future books focused on Ginny or Alexander.

    This is not a high-stakes adventure full of twists and turns. It is a lovely, endearing romance. The characters are adults, but the book would still appeal to teen fans of sweet romance and royal stories. There are no lustful thoughts or sexual tension that would be inappropriate for a teenaged reader. The physical affection and kisses are not “steamy.” The book could even lead to some good conversations about caring for the less fortunate and voiceless or how long-held traditions can morph into prejudice.

    This is Christian fiction but not a conversion story. Both leads come into the story with a relationship with God and they mention Him and pray throughout. That said, the book is not at all preachy. The themes of serving others and giving children a voice should ring true regardless of religious affiliation.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publishers. I was not required to provide a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.



    If you’ve ever wondered what a Netflix royal romance would be like in book form…this is it.

    The Cost of the Crown was possessed all the trademarks of a chick flick—specifically a princely Netflix or Hallmark movie—and as someone who’s more comfortable with period dramas, this sweet story wasn’t exactly my cup of tea. But if you’re looking for something with all the cozy feels, a dreamy prince who loves kids (especially orphans), an exotic setting, and a go-getter heroine—you’ve found it.

    I’ll be blunt: the overall storyline of The Cost of the Crown was cliché. The jury’s still out on whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing—I personally think it all boils down to personal preference. Me? I cringed a few good times, and in the beginning there, I wasn’t having any of this picture-perfect saccharine sweet royal romance. Something about it rubbed me wrong…

    But as the story progressed, I may have begun to lose my heart to it just a wee bit. Guilty as charged! Even though I saw every plot point coming from a mile away, I loved how it wasn’t overly dramatic while still being realistic. In the end, I enjoyed where the story went and how it unfolded.

    80% of my enjoyment is due to Missy, our heroine. If y’all’ve ever read my reviews, you’ll know me and heroine just don’t mix—but there was something about Missy I appreciated. She was just your normal girl—not a hotshot exec or a kick-butt tough gal. She had skills and a typical job, but she was also Missy. She had feelings and wanted a relationship with her father even though she struggled to forgive him. She experienced the world and people around her without being consumed by her job or herself or even her love interest, our princely hero Aiden. She felt genuine, and I admired that. I can’t say she had much by way of a distinctive personality, but she did have growth and she showed some amazing strength and selflessness, which is so rare to see in heroines these days. She put others, even Aiden, above herself, to the point of denying herself the things she truly desired.

    Now that’s true love.

    So while elements of this novel were “silly” and Hallmarky, there were elements that went far deeper and were much more touching than a greeting card message.

    Like Missy, there was genuine faith, and I loved seeing how Aiden and Missy lived out their Christian faith in a way that wasn’t forced but was simply there simply and realistically. I think there was certainly potential for deeper faith aspects and spiritual character arcs, but I ain’t complaining. 😉

    We also had a fantabulous cast of secondary characters. From King Myron and Queen Alicia to Alexander, Genevieve, and Julian, I absolutely adored Aiden’s friends and family and their dynamics! I NEED Genevieve and Alexander’s stories!

    (Random side note: I also loved Florence. She was kind and, well, the perfect princess rather than a brat thrown in for drama. She felt like a real, developed character, and I loved that! So often authors throw in cardboard cutouts that are 100% despicable just to be biased, out of laziness, or to emphasize the angelic nature of our hero/heroine…but not so with Florence! *gives a round of applause*)

    But Aiden. Oh, Aiden. How I wanted to love this too-good-for-his-britches Prince Charming, but alas. He simply paled in comparison to Missy. Whereas she was strong and self-sacrificing, Aiden clung tightly to his dreams and didn’t end up giving up anything. He came off as selfish, even if the things he wanted weren’t. And while Missy had some character growth that I wasn’t even expected, Aiden missed out on growing in the areas he should have. Plus, there were things about him that I just generally didn’t like. He wasn’t my type, I guess, so there’s a good chance someone else might find him to be absolutely perfect! Who knows?

    My main qualm was the culture. I so wanted to explore Andelar’s culture and we didn’t; I wanted to feel immersed in the Asian atmosphere and I didn’t; and I wanted Asian names so badly and there were none. 😭 I felt like I missed out on the element that was supposed to make this story so unique! Andelar as far as worldbuilding (since this is a fictional country) felt under-developed, and so many elements of the culture felt European. Especially the names. Why did everyone have English names??? Maybe I simply missed something…I don’t know.

    (Also, if Aiden is really half Asian and half Caucasian, due to genetics, he wouldn’t have blond hair? Or blue eyes? At least, I don’t think so. If I’m wrong, correct me, but that felt very unrealistic. Surely he would’ve looked more like his father, more Asian.)

    So, yes, I raised my eyebrows a few times throughout The Cost of the Crown. It wasn’t quite what I’d expected; instead, it felt like something I’d seen a dozen times. But it still possessed some qualities that made it stand out from the crowd: great character dynamics, an admirable heroine, and inspirational faith. Once I started reading and let myself get sucked into the story, I couldn’t put it down! Even if I did know how the story would play out. 😂

    If you specifically love Hallmark and Netflix movies (like A Christmas Prince), you’re literally gonna eat this up! And if that’s not quite your cup of tea, I think the sugary flavor will grow on ya after a while. 😉

    Disclaimer: I received a complimentary review copy from the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.

  17. kewkew34

    What a wonderful debut from Joy Crain. I loved this contemporary royal romance set in the fictitious Asian country of Andelar

    Missy lives with her aunt in America and hasn’t seen her father for the past ten years because he lives and works as an American ambassador in Andelar. Then one day her father surprises her by finally asking her to join him in Andelar for the summer. As unexpected as this is, she is even more overwhelmed when she learns she will be staying in the royal palace as his guest.

    Aiden Waverly has been spending the past several years traveling the world, doing what he loves to do, helping others and supporting charitable causes. He has a heart for orphans because of his early years. Details of which we learn throughout the story through flashbacks, nightmares, and times when he shares with others. It’s also obvious early on that Aiden is the rumored hidden prince of Andelar.

    When Missy and Aiden meet they don’t realize who the other is and we get to see a relationship grow between them. But how will this relationship be able to grow once Aiden steps into his rightful role? Will there be a continued romance or broken hearts?

    I loved seeing their relationship grow and greatly enjoyed seeing the fun they had together. But I did find myself in tears at times. There was a lot of emotion throughout the story, but especially toward the conclusion. I love that Missy and Aiden lean on the Lord and seek His will. There is struggle and self-sacrifice and despair. But there is also fun and joy and trusting in the Lord.

    I greatly enjoyed this book and am glad I had a chance to read it and discover a new author.

    I received this book for free from the author as a part of the launch team and was not required to write a favorable review. These are my own, honest thoughts.

  18. 7graftcl

    I thought this was a lovely debut. I don’t typically read a lot of royal romances but I enjoyed this one. A chance encounter at an airport with neither of them saying who they really are leads to obvious secret keeping. Missy is the daughter of the American ambassador to a small Asian country. She’s not seen her father in ten years and is now thrust into spending the summer with him.

    Aiden is the crown prince but because his mother was Caucasian he can get away with no one knowing he exists, outside of his immediate family. Missy is also biracial and she is learning more about the culture that was her mothers. Missy and Aiden are actually both searching for who they truly are.

    This is a royal romance and does have all the trappings of one, but both Aiden and Missy have difficult backstories that impact how they feel in the present and how they try to determine their future.

    I also found I like the secondary characters as well. Aiden’s half-brother and sister. It would be fun to read their stories.

    Even though It’s considered adult fiction I think young adults would like this as well.

  19. dovandobrown

    Lovely contemporary Christian Romance with a twist
    While not my usual genre, it did keep my interest to the end. Two young Christian young people meet while traveling and 1 is a royal of a Asian kingdom. While the whirlwind romance was a bit quick, the beautifully descriptive setting, struggles and family trauma, themes of waiting on God, forgiveness and development of the characters was well done. The realistic look at needing to be authentic, true to values and societal pressures were woven throughout seamlessly.
    Looking forward to the next one!
    I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a positive comment. All opinions are my own.

  20. mgtnelson

    Joy Crain’s debut novel was very hard to put down! Crain has created a believable location, and I loved the characters. The plot pacing was just right. Having lived in Hong Kong for a number of years, I enjoyed the Asian touches. Themes of forgiveness, grief, finding someone who sees the real you, and finding your place in between two cultures give good depth to a great story. I really look forward to more books by this new author!
    I received a complimentary copy this book from the publishers. I was not required to provide a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

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