I read the entire series in the space of about two days, so I thought I’d just make a single post on my thoughts for all three books.
The series is a romance story featuring royalty of a fictional country, Lilaria. Each book revolves around two people, one who is from the royal family and one who is not.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading this series. While it’s not the best written literature out there, there were many aspects I enjoyed, the main one being how easy they were to read and get through within a short amount of time.
Warning: There are minor spoilers for each review, so I suggest you go and read the books first, and come back if you don’t like spoilers.
Book One: Suddenly Royal
Samantha Rousseau is a master’s student studying wildlife biology. When she receives an invitation for a meeting with a duchess of Lilaria, she finds who she is and her world turned upside down. Alex D’Lynsal on the other hand, is the crown prince of Lilaria and is trying to keep his name clean when he visits American, but quickly finds himself hopelessly falling in love with Samantha.
Out of all the books, this one is my favourite. Although I don’t think the plot lives up to the expectations set by the official blurb, it was enjoyable nonetheless.
I found that there were aspects of the plot that were highlighted by the summary did not have as great significance as the summary made out it to be. Alex’s “playboy” status for one – there was literally nothing about him mentioning he was trying to keep a clean image, and it was probably only mentioned twice or three times by Samantha at most in the entire book. This is more of a criticism at the summary, rather than the book, but I don’t like how the blurb is a little misleading towards the readers who are interested in the book and then go to read it and have their expectations unfulfilled.
Besides this though, I really liked the characters. Sam is just your very average girl working towards her masters in wildlife biology, when she has her world flipped upside down. Her nonchalant attitude towards Alex in the beginning is refreshing to see, and greatly contrasts her love and caring attitude towards her friends and family. Alex is also an interesting character – for starters, he’s hot and he’s a prince, but above that, he has an eye for detail and really notices the little things. There’s one scene where he’s at the bookstore with Sam, and he buys a vintage copy of Pride and Prejudice for ‘a friend’ but later gives it to Sam because he knows that she would have never bought it for herself otherwise. I would have liked to see more depth in Alex’s character, as well as some other characters, like Sam’s father, and Bert.
There was no love triangle, which was also something that was super refreshing as there was already enough drama going on in Sam’s life to keep the plot going without a second love interest. I liked how the main themes were just dealing with life as things get thrown at you. There are some mature scenes which I thought wasn’t completely necessary, as it didn’t really contribute much to the plot or character arcs.
Overall, I think this is a good book if you’re in the mood for something easy and quick to read that’s enjoyable – perfect for getting out of a reading slump or procrastinating real-life responsibilities.
Book Two: Recklessly Royal
This is the second book in the series, and focuses on the story of Princess Catherine, aka Cathy, who is unwilling to date and very focused on her duties, and David, who came to Lilaria to help out a friend and not to expecting to be attracted to the princess.
This book is different from the other two as it’s only told from one perspective – Cathy’s. While I really liked getting to know Cathy and how she thinks, especially with how she deals with anxiety and personal identity, I thought that there wasn’t really very much page time with David, despite him being the second-most important character. Despite all the intimate moments there were between Cathy and David, I still feel like I don’t know him that well, compared to some of the other characters.
I was also a bit disappointed that we didn’t get to see Alex and Sam, who were on their honeymoon, but seeing as they weren’t the main protagonists, I guess that’s fine. I also think the character development of side characters weren’t as strong as they were in the first book. Tabitha is just portrayed as someone who is overly keen at her job and exploits her position for money – basically, she’s your typical bitch in a rom-com setting. Revealing a motive about why she was inclined to act that way would’ve justified her actions and made her a more well-rounded character.
The plot was similarly structured to the first book – there’s not many major plot twists or anything, but it is pleasurable to read. Again, there are no love triangles, but the book basically revolves around one issue which takes forever to resolve. In saying that though, the book did have it’s good moments, like David doing the opening speech during the press conference for Victory Hall, and also later in the book where Selene, David and Cathy are all full of sass.
I think if you’re still not satisfied after reading the first book, and want to see more of the characters, or just need something relatively relaxing, this would be a good read. If you’re not interested in something that has a very similar plot or lack of character development then I think this may not be the book for you.
Book Three: Reluctantly Royal
Reading this in succession of the other two made me realise that all three books are essentially the same, with names and characters swapped out for others.
Max is the middle child who has always disliked being in the spotlight, especially after his father’s death. He avoids doing his royal duties whenever he can – that is, until Meredith comes into his life. Meredith lives for the spotlight – she was born to sing on a stage, and so when she is informed of devastating news, she finds herself going back to Lilaria with Max, putting all her dreams to a halt.
I kind of guessed that Max would end up with Meredith after a subtle hint in the second book during the wedding scene, so it wasn’t really a surprise when this story ended up being about Max and Meredith (after all, he’s the only one in the family without a lover).
I think my issue with this series in general is the writing. While it is quite well-written, there’s not very much showing – most of the character’s internal monologue is told through their words in their perspective, and thus while it’s nice that we get to see what both characters are thinking, it can get very frustrating. We know that Max and Meredith develop feelings towards each other, but they don’t openly express it for a good while, and the whole time I was wondering when they were just going to spit it out.
Max is an interesting character for someone who adamantly does everything he can to avoid his royal duties. He doesn’t hesitate to offer help to Meredith with all her problems, and keeps on insisting even when she refuses. We don’t really know much about Max up to this point besides the fact he hates the media, and also does everything he can to avoid his duties. Meredith on the other hand is someone who thrives at being in the spotlight. It doesn’t really surprise me that they end up together because as the saying goes, opposites attract and these two are literally at the opposite ends of the spectrum.
I liked reading about Max and Meredith’s story, but to be honest, I mostly enjoyed the bits where Alex and Sam are featured, and bonus points when Chadwick was also involved too. For me, the stories of Max and Meredith and Cathy and David (which was barely mentioned in this book anyway) were just not as strong as the first book, which was about Alex and Sam, as the character development is just not there.
Despite my issues, I think it’s a nice read if you just want something easy to get through, or if you’re in the mood for a steamy romance. Otherwise, I think that you might be better off finding some other book series to read, or just stopping at the end of the first book.
I really hope you enjoyed reading my review of the series in this format! If you liked it, let me know in the comments and I’ll try to do more series review like this so I can get some more content up on this blog.