Title: The Toad Prince (found in Once Upon a Kiss)Author: Nikki Jefford
Rating: 4/5 stars
“THE TOAD PRINCE: Isabel Ivers’s stepfather will do anything to secure his place as Far North’s new ruler, even if it means marrying her off to the depraved prince of the lowlands.
ONCE UPON A KISS: Seventeen all new, magical stories from NY Times and USA Todaybestsellers and award-winning authors that will warm even the coldest hearts. Inspired by old favorites as well as lesser-known tales, find retellings of Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, Old Rinkrank, King Thrushbeard, The Princess and the Pea, and many more – all with fresh, romantic twists – just in time for Valentine’s Day!” (description from Goodreads)
Fairy (or Faerie) tale retellings have always intrigued me. Most readers know the basics of the major tales out there, and have seen Disney retellings or read some here or there. I’ve read some good ones and some not so great ones. The Once Upon a Kiss collection is likely one that I’ll end up putting in the “good ones” pile. There are many familiar author names in here and I’m looking forward to reading them all. For now, I’ve read Nikki Jefford’s retelling entitled The Toad Prince.
What first jumped at me when reading this was something later confirmed in the author note after the story. There’s a Pride and Prejudice feel in it. While I didn’t love that book, I did appreciate the story and I like how Jefford was able to work in some light elements into her story. I also liked how, while it didn’t feel exactly like a retelling of The Frog Prince, the main event of that one was worked in without doing the obvious.
Another reason I enjoyed the story was the world building. This is set in the world of an upcoming series from Jefford, and she used this story to help introduce it. I may have liked a little more world building, but it’s a short story and there wasn’t much space. It’s more of a teaser and it did what it needed to do.
I’m not sure where this Far North Fairy Tales series will go, but I’ll definitely be reading it. And I’ll be returning to this collection soon, as well.
You can grab a copy of this book from
Amazon | Kobo | B&N | iBooks
About the Author:
Nikki Jefford loves fictional bad boys and heroines who kick butt. Books, travel, TV series, hiking, writing and motorcycle riding are her favorite escapes. She loves meeting people from all walks of life, from around the globe, and wouldn’t trade her French husband in for anyone – not even Spike!
She’s a third generation Alaskan, born & raised in Anchorage, now living in Northern Washington. Crazy about her dog, Cosmo. (Writer’s best friend.) The dark side of humanity fascinates her, so long as it’s balanced by humor and romance.
Her favorite TV heroines are Buffy, Veronica Mars, and Dr. Temperance ‘Bones’ Brennan.
Find out more: