I might have allowed the cover had I liked the book (it’s not a terrible cover) but since I didn’t, you get the usual.
Genre: New-Adult, Romance
Series: Royally #2 (Can be read as Standalone)
Release Date: February 21, 2017
Publisher: Everafter Romance
BEWARE OF VERY LONG REVIEW
Right after I finished reading, I was beyond pissed off. The review would honestly have just been a really angry, and long, rant. Thankfully, I rarely review books right after I finish reading them, and it was night so I went to sleep. Fortunately, in the morning, I was in a much better mood. Unfortunately, that better mood did not make the book better.
The story is a about Prince Henry, soon to be the king of the small kingdom of Wessco. Henry’s a wild child and, until recently, was second-in-line to the throne. Then his brother kind of… quit, and he was it. His grandmother, also the Queen, sent him away to get himself sorted and prepared, thinking some time alone would help him. Instead, Henry decided that it would be a good idea to hold a royal version of The Bachelor. During the show, he meets Sarah, a shy and sweet girl, and… you know what happens. It’s a romance novel.
Now that I’ve gotten that out-of-the-way. I’m going to take apart various aspects of the book, one by one. Don’t worry, some good parts will be sprinkled in as well.
Lets start with Henry. I thought he was a douche some of the time. He also whined and made horrible decisions. Thankfully, he didn’t claim to be any better and I was willing to overlook his douchiness because the whole point of the book was for him to change and become someone who could rule a kingdom. Where thing went wrong is that barely any part of the novel was actually concerned with his improvement. It was all about the love story, which wasn’t good.
We were told that Henry’s liked how pure (I’ll get to that one later) and innocent and good Sarah was, and Sarah liked that Henry was bold and took risks while she herself wouldn’t even read a book that seemed too strange because *gasp* what if she didn’t like it? I get the two reasons but we need more than that. Most of the conversations and relationship building happened off-page and it was mostly just him wanting to bone her. Then she wanted to bone him too. So they fucked and their was a stupid conflict (get to that one later as well) and they had to get their shit together again. On top of that, Sarah was boring and I hated her narrative.
Henry’s was great. He was funny and entertaining to read about and we got many great lines from him. But not Sarah, and not because of the boring but because she’s an avid reader and Emma Chase managed to completely screw up a reader’s perspective. Yes, reader read a lot and know a lot of characters. Yes, we after think about them. But we don’t try to channel or compare ourselves to a different character three times an hour! Our thought process is not “I am such a [insert character name] and need to be more like [insert different character name].”
And we got another case of snobby-reader. I just don’t understand why modern writers insist on making their character only read, or love, classics. I mean, is it so important to you that your characters only likes the “good” books like every other snob out there and treat all other novels as guilty pleasures? And then you proceed to reference Fifty Shades twice… It’s like you want me to not like your book.
Sarah aside, lets talk about the “later” topics. The “pure” thing. There’s a line:
For reasons I can’t put my finger on, the fact that this pure, unadulterated lass believes it—that she believes in me—makes me think that the day could come when I believe it too.
Honestly, I thought we’d moved past the ‘virgins are better’ thing. And then to find something like this in a book by an author that I really like… When are people going to stop with the slut-shaming? While there’s nothing wrong with being a virgin, could you please stop putting so much stock in an intact hymen. Being a virgin doesn’t make you pure or innocent any more than having sex makes you clever or savvy, or a slut. Your ability to blush isn’t linked to you hymen, get that through you head people.
And before I spend more time on that (this review is getting quite long as it is) let’s get to the stupid conflict (very quickly). Basically, it was stupid. The author needed a conflict near the end of the book and she chose the worst possible type, misunderstanding and miscommunication. I shouldn’t have been surprise because Emma Chase is also the person who wrote Twisted (award for ‘worst plot ever’ goes too…) but I still was.
Lastly, the missed opportunity. I’ve read Royally Screwed so I know that Henry’s brother, Nicholas, is a good character and any focus on the relationship between the two brothers would be a strong point of the novel. This knowledge was proved by the fact that one conversations between Nicholas and the Queen (Henry was eavesdropping) had more depth than rest of the book combined. So the fact that Nicholas didn’t show up after that one scene, until the epilogue, was very bad choice. This relationship could have saved the book like the Queen’s presence could have. But neither of them were there for long and what could have been a great journey for Henry as a character became just a bad romance.
Overall, I’ve trashed the book a whole lot — there was just too much wrong there — so now I’ll say a few positive things. I really did like Henry’s perspective, the book is well-written (objectively), there were many funny and some cute scenes and the moments with Nicholas and the Queen shone. That doesn’t mean I think you should read the book, but I had to mention this stuff.
While writing this though, I remembered another negative and since I’ve already gone on so long… one more paragraph couldn’t hurt.
There was a scene in which Sarah said some harsh things to Henry, things he didn’t deserve. He obviously was unhappy with that. But instead of going from there, the author wrote Henry doing something stupid right after so that the blame could be shifted to him and he’d have to make some grand apology. And it’s just that this kind of thing has happened one too many times in a novel. Female MC screws up, then male MC screws up right after so she doesn’t have to apologise. Stop doing that! Each person needs to be responsible for his, or her, actions! Just because the book is for a female audience doesn’t mean women can’t screw up and then not have to make up for it. Just… stop. Just like I’m stopping the review. Right… NOW!