Book Review: A Royal Christmas Fairy Tale by Karen Schaler

by Becky
The novel A Royal Christmas Fairy Tale by Karen Schaler on a wooden tray with a cup of hot cocoa with marshmallows.

The Summary

News reporter Kaylie Karlyle loves breaking a story and making a difference in people’s lives. When her latest assignment turns out to be writing a fairy tale for a real-life princess, she has trouble accepting the task. Not helping matters is the princess’ father whose distrust for the media runs deep. With help from the queen, a picturesque village, and countless holiday activities, can Kaylie complete her assignment and possibly find herself a happily ever after too?

All along the lake there were lit-up Christmas trees decorated with bright red ornaments. Even the boat dock was decorated with Christmas wreaths and garland. But the real showstopper was the magnificent castle on the hillside, overlooking the lake, that was lit up with white twinkle lights, looking like something right out of a fairy tale.

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Why I Chose This Book

I’m that person. I have the Hallmark Movie Checklist app, record all the new Christmas rom-coms, and still smile at every tree lighting in every small town in every movie…ever. Seriously. There is ALWAYS a tree lighting.

Despite having watched nearly every Countdown to Christmas movie made in the last decade (there are a ton, friends), I only read my first Karen Schaler novel last year around this time. When the opportunity came up to read A Royal Christmas Fairy Tale, I jumped at it! Karen has that special gift – pun intended – for creating a story with the right blend of believable characters, beautiful settings and holiday magic. It doesn’t hurt that both novels have had an ADORABLE canine companion.

Blixen ran up to them and barked, interrupting the moment. Kaylie laughed when she saw he was also dressed for the occasion, wearing a red satin Christmas bowtie with gold sequins.

My Review

Devouring this book took all of one afternoon. Karen’s writing style is engaging with lots of conversation and the pages fly by! I will say, however, this particular story had me pretty stressed out the entire book. As is the case with many feel-good, rom-com-ish type stories, you have an idea of the challenge the characters will face, and in this case, I kept waiting for the proverbial you-know-what to hit the fan, knowing it was going to be ugly.

I imagine that if I didn’t have such high expectations about this book before reading it, I would have given it a five-star rating. I kept comparing it to Christmas Ever After and while I thoroughly enjoyed it, it fell just short of measuring up for me. Other than being tense about the impending conflict, my only “major” complaint was the conclusion. Not the actual way things turned out, but I felt like we were building to this big blow up and the fall out was glossed over even more quickly than a real fairy tale. To be expected to some extent, and I really did enjoy the book. Just didn’t make it to the top of my favorite Karen Schaler books list!

Now, standing in front of the mirror, wearing her new spectacular Christmas dress, she really did feel like she was living inside a Christmas fairy tale.


Readers looking for a quick, wholesome, holiday-themed novel should add this to their list. It doesn’t have as many romantic scenes or “twinkling eye” moments as other romantic novels in this genre, so if that’s what you’re after, I’d recommend trying another of Karen’s titles first. This is, however, the perfect book to curl up with in front of a fire to enjoy with a cup of cocoa, or to take with you for those quiet moments while traveling for the holidays.

All the trees were glistening in the sunlight with a blanket of fresh snow. It was so peaceful that Kaylie felt a sense of calm that she hadn’t felt in a very long time.

Discussion Questions

  1. Kaylie doesn’t believe that she will be good at writing a fairy tale even though she is a talented writer. When have you doubted your abilities? What would you have said to Kaylie to encourage her?
  2. The queen sees traditions as a way to keep memories alive. The prince avoided traditions because they brought up feelings of loss. Did you find yourself agreeing with one of the characters more?
  3. A history of negative interactions with the media drove the prince to create a bubble in which to raise his daughter, shielding her from journalists and paparazzi. What impact does this have, and how does Kaylie impact his views of the media?
  4. The royal family kept a secret for decades. Did you feel that the townspeople deserved to know the truth? Or would allowing the illusion to continue acceptable in this situation?
  5. What is your favorite holiday tradition? How did it start?

Special thanks to TLC Book Tours for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review!

Tour schedule:

Monday, October 4th: Stranded in Chaos
Tuesday, October 5th: seasaltdaydreams
Wednesday, October 6th: Instagram: @plotsandwine
Thursday, October 7th: Laura’s Reviews
Friday, October 8th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Friday, October 8th: View from the Birdhouse
Monday, October 11th: A Bookish Way of Life
Tuesday, October 12th: The Bookish Dilettante
Wednesday, October 13th: Musings of a Literary Wanderer
Monday, October 18th: What Is That Book About
Wednesday, October 20th: Instagram: @read_with_steph
Monday, October 25th: Instagram: @radusreads
Wednesday, October 27th: Literary Quicksand

About Karen Schaler

Karen Schaler is a prolific and passionate three-time Emmy Award–winning storyteller, author, screenwriter, journalist, and national TV host. In the last three years, she has written five rom-com novels and five Christmas movies for Netflix, Hallmark, and Lifetime, including the Netflix sensation A Christmas Prince and Hallmark’s Christmas Camp. Karen also wrote the Christmas Camp and Christmas Camp Wedding books (HarperCollins). For her next novels, Finding ChristmasChristmas Ever After, and A Royal Christmas Fairy Tale, Karen is also writing the movies and writing three feature films, including a summer rom-com and an inspiring true-life story.

All of Karen’s books and movies have received ongoing national TV, print, and online media attention including two exclusive features on NBC’s TODAY show and features in ForbesParadeEntertainment WeeklyEntertainment TonightThe Wall Street JournalSouthern LivingBustle, and Cosmo.

Embracing the Christmas spirit of giving back, Karen trademarked her Christmas Camp concept and is bringing her Hallmark movie and books to life hosting fun and festive one-of-a-kind Christmas Camp experiences worldwide where everyone is invited! All of Karen’s stories are filled with humor, heart, and hope. For more

Find out more about Karen at her website, and connect with her on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.

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