Saturday, March 9, 2024

The Head That Wears the Crown by Mariah Stewart – Book Review


From South Philly to Fairy-Tale Castle

A Princess wearing a crown

Mariah Stewart's writing career has included more than 45 books in six different series, plus several stand-alone titles. Most of her novels are in the Women's Fiction/Contemporary Romance genre, plus her FBI series of Romantic Suspense stories (my favorite series). 

I own most of her series books. Recently, I found her latest non-series novel published in  2023 ~ The Head That Wears The Crown.

What little girl doesn't dream of growing up to be a Princess and live in a castle? 

What if it came true?


Annie (Annaliese) Gilberti is an ordinary divorced mother of two teenagers, living in South Philadelphia.  She works a nine-to-five job, takes care of her kids, socializes with her friends and her two sisters; in other words, living a life similar to many others.

Suddenly, what was just another average day, reveals a shocking discovery that turns her world upside down. Annie learns that her late grandmother was the exiled ruler of a small European country, and she is next in line to wear the crown and restore the monarchy. 

The country, Saint Gilbert, is a tiny little land located between Switzerland, France & Italy. It was invaded first by the Germans, then taken over by the Russians. After many years, the land is finally free and the monarchy reestablished; hence, the next-in-line ruler was searched out and found to be the oldest granddaughter – Annie Gilberti. 

After a week-long trip to St. Gilbert to find out what this was all about, Annie commits to moving there. She does so with her two children and her two sisters. Annie then becomes European Royalty ~ Her Royal Highness, Grand Duchess Annaliese Jacqueline Terese of the Grand Duchy of Saint Gilbert. The family moves into the ancestral home, Castle Blanc (a  beautiful white castle with many rooms) and are looked after by the castle staff and guarded by the castle guard. The Castle Guard Captain – Maximilien Belleme (very handsome and dashing, of course) – makes sure the family is always looked after. 

The country is beautiful and the villagers friendly. But the country needs to be brought into the modern age and Annie has never been one to walk away from a challenge. She is determined to be worthy of the crown and the throne that has been offered and take her rightful place as the Grand Duchess of Saint Gilbert and carry on her grandmother's legacy. 


The Head That Wears The Crown is a delightful contemporary romance story I thoroughly enjoyed. I recommend it to all fans of author Mariah Stewart and those who enjoy sweet, romantic, stories. 

Links to More Reviewed Books by Mariah Stewart:

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*Book Review by Wednesday Elf

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. Elf, this sounds like a thoroughly delightful romance that I would enjoy reading. A modern-day fairytale sounds like a wonderful fantasy escape!

    1. Everyone would love being able to step into a Fairy Tale. Thanks for visiting my book review, Margaret.

  2. Can you imagine this actually happening to someone! You get a call and find out you're Royalty and needed to step into your role. Thi book sounds like a fun way to travel off this planet for a little while :)

    1. The storyline is delightful, Barbara. And the concept is really a fun one. It's one of the nicest stories I've read in a long time, with just a hint of danger to peak your interest (not everyone is happy to have this 'American' come out of nowhere and take over ruling the country). But the new Duchy takes a tiny country that had been depressed for many years with no Gross National Product and finds ways to turn it around in a delightful way.

  3. This sounds like a book I would really enjoy reading. I have never personally had a desire to be royalty and can imagine how much of a life change that would be for anyone who was not raised/prepared to ascend to the throne. Definitely a unique plot for a book!

    1. Most definitely a unique plot indeed, Mouse. I wouldn't be comfortable being royalty either, but what was that old TV program "Queen for a Day"? Now THAT might be interesting. :)

  4. What a lovely unique plot for a novel. It sounds like a novel you can really escape into and I think I would enjoy reading it. Thank you for your review and recommendation.

    1. It was a delightful novel. I think you would really love it, Raintree. Especially since you live in a country that gets to enjoy Royalty first-hand.


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