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By Tegan Wren
Curiosity Quills PressCopyright © 2015 Tegan Wren
All rights reserved.
Suck it up, Hatty. You can totally do this. It's a bar full of booze hounds. No one's going to remember this tomorrow. My mental pep talk tore a small hole in the fabric of my fear as I squeezed past the people who had front row seats to Kamikaze Karaoke.
Eyes hungry for another disastrous performance peered over beer steins and wine glasses, waiting for me to trudge up the stairs at the side of the stage. On Saturday nights, Finn's attracted close to one hundred people eager to gape at tipsy singers crashing and burning as they fumbled through whatever tune the random song generator selected. I was the next victim, a prospect that was as exhilarating as it was terrifying.
At least Plato was the DJ tonight, sexy as hell in his fitted black shirt and jeans. Yep, he'd have my back. Extending his hand to me, he smiled broadly and ushered me into the spotlight.
"Go easy, okay?" I hissed at Plato, careful to stay back from the mic.
He raised his eyebrows, shook his head, and spoke to the crowd. "Let's see what the karaoke gods have lined up for Hatty."
Dear karaoke gods, please choose "I Will Survive" because I know it, and therefore I will, indeed, survive the next five minutes. Amen.
I held my breath, watching the zigzag lines scroll across the screens positioned around the pub.
My stomach sank when I saw the title flash in big black letters: "I Wanna Have Your Babies." You've got to be kidding me — not this stupid pop song.
Plato guffawed. "Hatty, are you ready to Kamikaze Karaoke?"
People in the audience stomped their feet and clapped, cracking a whip that set my heart at a full gallop.
I cleared my throat and stepped forward, determined to kick this ridiculous song in the ovaries. Someone whistled from one of the green pleather booths lining the wall. Thanks buddy. As the bouncing intro started, I focused on the cheesy music.
While I waited to sing, Plato grabbed me, pulling me to the side of the mic. He whispered in my ear, but the noise from the crowd made it hard to hear. "Princess, set the bar!"
"I'll set it sky high," I whispered back. His words of encouragement propelled my lips to the mic where I tasted the metallic screen moments before launching into the first line.
When I paused to grab a breath, some guy wearing a hot pink sombrero shouted unintelligible words while giving me a big thumbs up. Emboldened by this visual reminder of how hammered people were, I yanked the mic out of the stand and pranced — yes, pranced — across the stage. I'd learned a simple rule during my childhood in the Missouri Ozarks: when tackling a challenge, go whole hog. Wagging my finger and shaking my hips, I was damn near hog wild.
After I finished with the mmm-mmm-mmm's at the end of the song, applause thundered through the room, rewarding my gutsy performance. I exhaled, full of relief that I'd kicked butt and taken names. Riding my wave of success, I blew a kiss, eliciting more cheers.
"Whoomp, there she is!" The Irish accent and early nineties hip hop reference told me it was my friend Sara shouting her approval from the back of the room.
Instead of joining her at our table, I strolled toward the bar for a fresh drink. Plato's beau, Sam, met me halfway. The tall Frenchman wrapped me in his arms.
"That was aces, Hatty! You're the queen of Kamikaze Karaoke."
"Be sure to tell Plato you've upgraded me from princess." I smiled, thinking again of Plato offering me that last-minute confidence boost.
Sam gave me a peck on the lips before heading back to his table. I swaggered to the bar and plopped down on a stool.
The young, eager bartender in his neat apron came over. "Riesling?"
"Actually, I'd love a chocolate kiss."
He nodded, then turned away to make the pub's famous hot drink.
"That wasn't bad ... for an American."
My head snapped toward the guy sitting next to me. It was hard to see his face; he wore a scruffy brown cap and black horn-rimmed glasses that sat halfway down his nose. With his beat-up jacket and tattered maroon scarf, he looked like he rolled out of a field. Probably a farmhand from outside the city, though his accent was too formal. He kept his eyes glued to his beer.
"I'd like to see you get up there and sing that stupid song," I said, grabbing a napkin and dabbing the sweat that dampened my hairline.
"I'm bad news on a karaoke stage."
"You're in luck. I'm a reporter and I love bad news." Out of the corner of my eye, I saw his full lips turn up in a slight smile. It was gorgeous.
"Here you are, Hatty." The bartender slid a steaming mug in front of me.
"A reporter?" Farmer Joe sounded skeptical. People always thought I was younger than twenty-two. Maybe it was my wavy brown hair that fell past my shoulders.
"That's right. I'm an intern at The Morning Dispatch. I graduate in May from Toulene's Royal University with a degree in journalism."
"What kind of stories do you write?" He pulled down on the frayed bill of his cap, making the shadows darken across his face in the dimly lit pub.
"My last story was a brief on road work in Roeselare. I do a lot of short pieces, which is fine. Gotta pay my dues before I can cover politics." My head buzzed with leftover energy from my performance, giving me above- average courage to chat up this handsome stranger.
He looked up at the TV behind the bar, the only one showing rugby highlights. The glow from the screen chased away most of the shadows obscuring his features. His eyes were big, alive. Underneath the accessories, his face had near-perfect symmetry, and I gave him extra credit for having lips that weren't chapped. Lots of guys in northern continental Europe got chapped lips the moment the weather turned cold. He pushed his glasses higher on his face, then raised the off-white stein. I studied his lips perched on the edge of it, ready for a drink of dark beer. So kissable.
"What's so exciting about politics?" he asked.
I gasped loudly, raising a hand to my heart in melodramatic horror at such a ridiculous question. "What's so exciting about politics? Everything! Legislatures determine spending priorities and set public policy. We all have to live by their rules." I leaned toward him and lowered my voice. "You know, everybody likes to focus on the executive — the president in the U.S. and the monarchy here. But they're just a distraction. Sure, they have a role to play, but it's comparatively boring. I'd rather cover the passionate debates among lawmakers." I paused, embarrassed by my effusive nerdiness. "I can't help it. I love the idea of being a statehouse reporter. I really want to stick up for people who don't have a voice."
"Now you definitely sound like an American. Also, the charming accent gives you away."
Charming? Eek! He grinned, and my hands turned sweaty. But something was off. Maybe it was his accent. Definitely upper class Toulene.
"Can't help it. I grew up in Nixa, Missouri, about four hours southwest of St. Louis. It's a small town, as American as they come." For the first time, he rotated on his stool, and there was his face. Holy cuteness. His eyes reached inside me with a searing intensity, and I inhaled sharply.
He leaned closer and sang softly. I recognized the opening lyrics to Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'." His singing voice was soulful and sexy, and something deep inside me responded, making my heart beat a little faster.
He stopped and looked me in the eyes. "That song's about someone who's alone. But that's not you. You're too lovely to be lonely."
A nervous laugh escaped my lips. "Are you kidding? Aren't we sitting in a sanctuary for the lonely?"
"I don't feel lonely right now."
"Me either." I blew into my mug, then took a sip. "Have you had one of these?"
"I don't think so. What is it?"
"It's called a chocolate kiss. It's peppermint schnapps and hot cocoa."
He reached over and picked up the steaming mug. His movement conveyed authority while his neat fingernails screamed uppity. They looked better than mine, damn it. After taking a long pull from the cup, he handed it back. Our fingers brushed together, sending a flash of heat through my body.
"Thanks for sharing a kiss with me," he said, reaching over and lifting my chin.
Our eyes met, and I couldn't tear myself away from his gaze. Yowza. Was he going to kiss me? Did I want him to?
"You guys know each other?"
I flinched at Plato's words — I hadn't seen him coming toward us — and pulled back. I sloshed a healthy dollop of my drink onto Farmer Joe's pants. We both reached for the stack of napkins, but I got there first.
"Sorry. Here, let me," I sputtered, dabbing at the wet patch.
I blotted along his pants, and my hand moved a little too close to the inside of his leg. A burning sensation rose up behind my ears. "Umm. I'll just let you do it."
I dropped the wad of damp napkins onto his open palm. Glancing at his face, I saw a half smile. I closed my eyes and touched my forehead, gently rubbing the area above my eyebrows as I always did when embarrassment overwhelmed me.
"Hatty, this is John. John, this is Hatty," said Plato.
With a click, the last piece of the puzzle fell into place, explaining why he looked all wrong in this bar and wearing these clothes. He was Prince John Meinrad, Toulene's most popular royal. Sitting in my favorite dive. Drinking from my mug. Listening to me babble.
No. Freaking. Way.
"So nice to meet you, Hatty. Thanks for letting me distract and bore you for a few minutes." He emphasized the words I'd used earlier to describe the monarchy.
"Nice to meet you too," I choked out, mortified by my dismissive comment about his family. I cleared my throat, nervous and not sure what to say to a prince. So, I spoke to Plato instead. "You guys are a thing? Have a thing? You met how?" Ladies and gentlemen, my sudden inability to put together words.
Before Plato answered, Prince John spoke up. "We met a couple of weeks ago at a poker game. Plato's helping me brush up." He removed a white handkerchief from his back pocket and wiped his glasses.
"Yeah, well he has a great poker face." I turned to my friend. "I can't believe you didn't tell me about this."
Plato held up his hands. "I gave you a heads up when I saw him walk in and sit at the bar right before you sang, but I don't think you heard me." Oh. The prince is at the bar. That's what he'd said.
"I asked him to keep it quiet," John said. "It gets a bit dodgy when too many people know who my friends are." Even after more than three years of going to school in this country, Toulenians' intermittent use of British slang still delighted my ears. It revived my middle school thespian aspirations and I wanted to respond, "Eh, guv'nah?"
"We'd better head to the back before anyone notices you're here." Plato reached over and grabbed my mug. In a couple of swallows, he erased the intimacy of the earlier moment — evidently my beverage was community property. "A couple of other guys are coming and we're going to play a few hands. Do you want to join us?"
"Maybe." Translation: Spend more time with a hottie prince? Yes, please.
Plato scuffed the toe of his shoe against the bar rail. "But just so you know, Jack's coming." My stinking ex-boyfriend ruins everything.
"In that case, no thanks. I don't want to bring any drama to your poker game." I looked at the prince. "I don't know if you're friends with Jack but he's a real jerk." My fingers fidgeted with the edge of my sweater. I wanted to end this uncomfortable stroll down Relationship Lane, but I also longed to stay by the prince's side a few more minutes. I coughed into my hand, again finding it hard to know what to say. "So, take care John. Or is it Prince John? Or Your Highness?" Awkward like a boss.
"Just John. Have a good night, Hatty."
My name in his mouth awakened more butterflies in my stomach. John slid the glasses back into place as he and Plato moved quickly toward the back room.
I made my way to Sara, stopping to say hello to two reporters from my newspaper. They made no mention of the prince — it seemed his disguise was effective.
When I got to the table, Sara was putting on her coat.
"You're not going to believe who I just met."
"Prince John. I saw you talking to him," Sara said with a wink. She was a world literature major and tireless romantic. "I can't believe you got a private audience with His Royal Highness. Did he stare into your eyes and steal your soul? He has a reputation for doing that, you know."
"Nope. My soul's still intact. Wait, how did you know it was him?"
"Please. Someone photographed him two weeks ago wearing a similar disguise at a bar in Paris."
"Umm, you need an intervention because you're spending way too much time reading Xpress. Did you know Plato's friends with him?" It still hurt that he'd kept it a secret.
"No, but I saw him walk with the prince to the back room."
"Did someone say my name?" Plato sidled up to Sara holding a couple of drinks. "Hatty, these are for you. Have a good night, my loves." He handed me a mug and martini glass containing a sloshy pink liquid before heading toward the rear of the pub.
"What's that all about?" Sara took the mug and sipped from it.
There was a napkin wrapped around the stem of the martini glass. I set the drink on the table, but kept the napkin. It was folded, not quite in half, and there was my name written in neat cursive. What the what?I flipped it open and read it. Feeling out of breath, I stuffed it in my pocket. "I guess Plato wanted to buy us another round. You drink up. I'll be right back."
I darted to the bathroom, slammed into a stall, and opened the napkin. My heavy breathing is all I heard as I read the words again:
I'll see your chocolate kiss and raise you a flirtini. John
Heat blazed across my cheeks. Digging in my purse, I pulled out a pen and a clean napkin I'd tucked away earlier and drafted my own note:
Hope you have an excellent hand because I've got a royal flush.
I texted Plato and asked him to meet me at the door to the back room. I trusted him to do me a solid and deliver my response to the prince.CHAPTER 2
Here." My editor, James, shoved an advisory for a press event across his desk.
"What's this?" So much for a work-in-the-newsroom kind of Wednesday.
"The queen's going to be at a preschool today. Heidi's already there to cover the press conference. I want you to leave now and stake out a spot behind the building. Get as many photos as you can as she walks to her limo afterward. Got it?"
Just the mention of the royal family revived all the freakalicious feelings I'd had since Saturday night. Though I'd left the bar on a buzz-filled high after our coy napkin exchange, my euphoria faded in the harsh sunlight of Sunday morning. It was probably no big whoop for the prince to flirt with me. If the gossip magazine headlines were any indication, he was a ladies' man. Every week, reporters photographed him with a different woman on his arm.
"Get the snapshots with your phone. Do a good job and I'll help you sell the ones we don't run to the tabloids."
I nodded. James offered because he was a merciless mercenary, not because he wanted to do me any favors.
His phone emitted a sharp buzz from its spot on the desk. Snapping it up, he stared at the screen. "Heidi says the prince is there instead of the queen." My nerves flared in a frenzy, but I tensed my muscles, hoping to hide my reaction. James raised his eyes. "He never takes questions from reporters during his press conferences. See if you can get a quote from him afterward. Anything unscripted is better than whatever bullshit he'll spew during his official remarks. Can you handle that?"
"Absolutely." I reached into my pocket and touched the napkin with the prince's note on it, savoring the tangible takeaway from our brief flirtation. I confess: I'd slept with it under my pillow every night. My ability to nurse a crush was epic.
On the short drive through Roeselare, I focused on taming my stomach, which refused to be quiet and still. Show the prince you're a professional, not a spaz. Just do your job.
* * *
Standing along the press line clutching my phone, I reeked of rookie. The more seasoned journalists had shiny black cameras mounted atop poles. We all prepped for a photo finish; the winner would be the journalist whose image of the prince got the most shares on social media. Smiling photos were good. Awkward snapshots were better. Much better. Catch him wiping his nose or making a weird face and you'd snag the grand prize: a fat check from Europe's biggest gossip rag, Xpress. The tabloid forked over thousands of euros for the best worst photos of the royals. Faux pas means full pay, baby.
Excerpted from Inconceivable! by Tegan Wren. Copyright © 2015 Tegan Wren. Excerpted by permission of Curiosity Quills Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Original review @125Pages.com Inconceivable! was not what I was expecting. I was expecting a fun romp with a dreamy prince, a naive young American woman and some royal hi-jinks. What I got was the dreamy prince, a strong woman who speaks her mind and, of course the required tension and hi-jinks. Hatty is an American journalism student in the small European country of Toulene. She then has a meet-cute with heir to the throne Prince John and shenanigans ensue. The world building was a little shaky at the start as I was unsure of where it was supposed to be set; but once resolved was quite good. The plot and characters were well done and well detailed. I really enjoyed that Inconceivable! was not a typical cookie-cutter romance. Yes the first half was devoted to the romance, dating and family drama, but it story really came into its own in the second half. I am not sure if I have ever read a book detailing the struggle with infertility so candidly as Inconceivable! does. It painted the struggle in realistic strokes; and the pain felt by the characters was palpable. What I enjoyed most about Inconceivable! was the ending. I am a spoiler free zone, so I will just say that it was not at all what I expected in the best way. It did not wrap up the story in a neat bow but rather wrapped it in shades of reality; and for that I must applaud Tegan Wren for such an honest and heart-felt book. I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I went into reading Inconceivable thinking that I would be reading a fun, lighthearted book that would take one sitting to get through. While it had many lighthearted and funny moments, Inconceivable delved much deeper into the politics of monarchy, ethical journalism, and struggling with infertility. Tegan Wren is a debut author, but her writing felt like a seasoned pro. I wanted to stay immersed in her world of Toulene (a fictional English country) and inside Hatty’s head. Wow. I was completely and pleasantly surprised at how much I loved this. My gut reaction to Hatty’s initial compliance to all of Prince John’s demands regarding their relationship and giving up her journalism career was “nuh uh,” but Hatty learned to stand her ground and fight for what she believed in. Including blackmailing the future king of Toulene into letting she and John stay married. She grew from a passive, love-stricken college student to a strong leader with the power to reform laws with her writing. While Inconceivable had been pitched as royals who could not conceive an heir, I had no idea how in-depth and heartbreaking reading through the second part of the novel would be. It felt so real and I empathized with Hatty’s character even though I’d never personally gone through what she had. Tegan Wren stated in her acknowledgements that half of the proceeds for this novel would go to charities helping women with infertility. Though I read this book as an advanced reader’s copy, I will be so happy to purchase it in November and help her to support this cause.
Reviewed by Bea Flores for Readers' Favorite Inconceivable! by Tegan Wren takes place in a European country. It follows Hatty, a college student from Missouri, and the heir, Prince John Meinrad’s life. They met at a bar accidentally. It didn’t take long for them to fall in love with each other. Soon, when they realized they were both ready for a bigger responsibility, they decided to get married. However, like many other couples, they experienced a problem that would challenge their relationship — infertility. Hatty was unable to conceive and this caused John’s father and grandmother to file an annulment for them. Will John give in to his father and grandmother’s decision? Or will he fight for Hatty? Will they stay together? This book was intense. I loved the way the author wrote it. It was very touching though at the same time funny. I loved the idea and the concept. It’s unique: a royal couple battling with infertility. Despite the awesomeness of the idea, I somehow felt bad knowing that there are many couples out there experiencing the same thing. I loved this book because it can open the minds of others. It can raise awareness of infertility. I also enjoy castles, princes and princesses. Though it may seem a lot like a fairytale, it’s great read if you want to be temporarily distracted from reality. The book’s ending made me feel happy but at the same time sad. I was hoping for more. The cover is fantastic. It really gives readers the emotion and expression the book contains.
Inconceivable! tells the story of Hatty, an American journalist student currently working in a small nation in Europe. Here she meets John, who turns out to be the prince of Toulene and also the future heir. From this moment we follow Hatty in what can only be described as a quite interesting love story. I think the story quickly develops the main characters and they are easy to follow and they feel real. Hatty also has a lot of wit and independence about her that makes it a fun read. For the most part I also find the dialogue to be realistic, but there are a few part where I feel like it doesn’t read right, especially in arguments where someone can be really mean and then say “sorry” and get a “of course I forgive you” as an answer and then everything is peachy keen again. Somehow things like that puts me off a bit, arguments and other emotional conversations usually don’t end with and “ok” and then all is forgotten. One can obviously say things like that, but then I would have liked to see more of the characters inner thoughts and feelings afterwards so that I (as a reader) also can get some closure. As I wrote before, the characters were well developed and I liked following their journey in this story, but I would have liked to see a little more consistency in some of the characters. Some of them seemed to change a lot without any reason and that sort of put me off a little bit. First in this list is John, who started out as a fun guy that seemed to do what he wanted and wasn’t afraid to go against his family, but as soon as he officially started dating Hatty he turned into a strict and boring guy who at times was sort of rude. The same goes for his family (granny and his father) who started out as rather nice people and then seemed totally heartless and cruel. I do get where they are coming from, but perhaps it would have been better to have them be kind of strict and rude from the start considering the direction they went. The best part for me was the last half of the book when the couple actually was starting to struggle with their infertility, and I think Tegan Wren did a great job describing the feelings and the stress that infertility brings. I do however think she could have used even more time for this part of the book and made it even more in-depth in a way and still keep that light-hearted tone of the story. I did feel like it was rushed and I really wish it would have been more of the struggles and the emotions that this problems brings. I do like this book and I can recommend it to anyone who likes to read romance novels. I do, however, feel the need to point out that I do not think the description of the book fully portrays the inside. Reading the back makes me think that this will be a story mostly focused on infertility and this couples struggles with this and how a “scandal” like this can affect a royal family. When reading the book, this storyline is more secondary than anticipated and the novel focuses more on their initial romance. It takes a lot more than halfway through before this child issue is even brought up. Definitely not a bad thing, but since the initial information about the book told a different story I was slightly disappointed and I found the first half to be very slow to get through. I would personally have preferred getting into this story at a later state, maybe right before the marriage proposal and then spend a lot more time developing the emotions the characters go through in all this.
Inconceivable is a touching story that was both realistic and romantic that would ultimately leave you wanting for more. What immediately attracted me the most was the beautiful cover and the synopsis. I'm a sucker for these types of books that I just couldn't wait to read the book. From the start we get to meet Hatty, she is a reporter who has absolutely no filter when it comes to the things she believes in. She is at a karaoke bar when she stumbles upon a mysterious stranger who ends up been Prince John. His fun personality is magnetic and they both flirt with each other, until is time for them to go their separate ways. When she is assigned to cover the royals, Hatty doesn't know what to do, especially since the royals don't always react well with the press. But it is after they spend time together, that the two start to realize that they are meant to be with each other. Soon their relationship blossoms as the two start dating, but the pressure and rumors that they start to get thrown into starts to shake their relationship. Now Hatty is forced to make a choice of whether to keep pursuing her career or marry the man she loves and leave everything behind. The real thing that starts to make things worse is after they get married, and that is her inability to produce an heir. There were a lot of things that I liked about the story, it's one of the books that has a very realistic feel to it that makes it that much more intriguing to read. The characters have a lot to overcome and their struggles as individuals and partners is what keeps them stronger. John is your typical charismatic character that is full of live when he first meets Hatty. On the other hand, she is confident and has no filter saying what she thinks. Overall their personalities brings them closer, but it is when they start dating that everything changes. The pace of the story becomes rushed and the characters change very quickly. We get playful at the beginning and serious later on that for me changed the mood of the book. Having to read the struggles that Hatty went through were touching and sad. The theme of infertility was well written in the story that I applaud the author for bringing a sensitive subject to the book. Though I wished some things that happened in the book were better answered at the end, I still liked how the author ended the book. It's not what I expected and that made it even better. I would highly recommend the book to those that are looking for something different in your typical romance books. It's worth picking up. : ) ***ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.***
What a deeply emotional ride this book was!!! And, what strong messages it helps pass to the readers about true love and kindness! This story follows the footsteps of Hatty, an American Journalist intern who studies abroad, and her life-changing meeting with Prince John. I've always loved anything that has to do with royal families and such, and so, it wasn't very difficult for me to get really into the story! This book is divided to three separate parts, following the different life-stages Hatty, John and their relationship go through. In Part I, Hatty meets Prince John in a Karaoke bar where the attraction between them is fairly apparent! Soon, they start seeing each other and eventually dating, after the signing of official documentation by Hatty, of course! I loved the way their attraction increased gradually, with every passing moment it getting stronger and stronger! The decision of Prince John to not consummate his love with none other than his wife, also added to the sexual intensity between them! There were also some misunderstandings, like it happens in real life couples, something I greatly enjoyed! The Second Part revolved around their married life, and Hatty's anxiousness to get pregnant! They were loving with each other, trying every night for their heir to be conceived! The intense emotions felt by the heroine were pretty clear and described in a way that makes the readers empathize with her! Some tension started building between the Duchess and the Prince, especially after his younger brother's wife got pregnant and then gave birth herself. Part III, finally, was the epitome of love of all kinds! With threats and accusations flying towards Hatty and the couple's inability to conceive, Prince John is called to make up his mind. The Queen and her son have presented him with a dilemma, he will either divorce his wife, or he will have the marriage annulled. What will Prince John final choice be? And, how will that choice effect the couple's lives? The answers to these questions are the strongest messages passed by the author! All in all, 5 stars for all the deep emotions and powerful messages sent through this story!
*I received an ARC of Inconceivable in exchange for a fair and honest review. Inconceivable! is part sweet romance, part gritty drama. Hattie and John’s love grows under the scrutiny of an entire country- but they still face many of the same struggles as us commoners. Hattie deals with hurtful friends and stubborn in-laws, all while struggling to hold on to her identity in her marriage. When she gets the baby-bug and decides she is ready to be a mom- at first everyone is ecstatic. Pressure mounts, however, when it becomes obvious that it may not be as easy as it should for 20-something newly weds to conceive. Add to it the fact that Hattie is supposed to birth a future king? Things get tense. Without giving too much away- I will finish by saying that though some scenes are tear-jerkers, Hattie and John do find their happily ever after- and it is one that will leave you with the warm fuzzies. I recommend this book for anyone who likes their fairy-tale romance with a heaping helping of real life thrown in for good measure. I thoroughly enjoyed INCONCEIVABLE! and look forward to Ms. Wren’s future books.