American Royals by Katharine McGee – REVIEW
HRH Princess Samantha has always been a royal rebel. She’s the spare not the heir, so no one minds too much who she dates or how hard she parties.
It helps that her sister, Princess Beatrice, is literally perfect. She’s demure, sweet and beautiful, and she knows that the crown always comes first – no matter what her heart might really want.
But they’re not the only ones with their eye on the throne. Daphne Deighton might be ‘newly noble’ but she won Prince Jefferson’s heart once, and she’ll do anything to get back into the court’s favour – and his bed.
If only she knew that her competition was a common nobody – plain little Nina Gonzalez, the daughter of the king’s secretary.
Together these four young women must navigate the drama, gossip, scheming and sizzling romance of the most glorious court in the world. There’s everything to play for – but there can only be one queen.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Penguin.
Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
“This was the greatest game in the world, the only game that truly mattered: the game of influence at court.”
I love to read purely escapist contemporary books during the summer so requested a proof of American Royals which seemed to promise just that. Thankfully, it delivered exactly what I hoped for – beautiful characters, scheming enemies, scandal, glamour, and heartache. I know some people will dismiss this book as predictable but sometimes you want exactly that. You want to feel comfortable enough to relax and enjoy the ride knowing what the destination will be. It often felt like a TV drama and it would definitely make an addictive show in the vein of Gossip Girl. It’s also perfect for fans of royal films like The Princess Diaries and First Daughter.
“But that was just the way of things at court: until you were someone, you were no one at all.”
In this AU America has a monarchy (I tended to just gloss over this awful thought) and the reader is introduced to Beatrice, the twenty-one-year-old heir to the throne, and eighteen-year-old twins Samantha and Jeff. We also meet Nina, the ‘commoner’ best friend of Sam, and Daphne, the social-climbing ex of Jeff. The chapters alternate between four female POV and I really appreciated the focus on the female experience as it allowed the author to explore the effects of a patriarchal political system and the gender-biased media treatment women often encounter. One person I would like to see fleshed out more though is Ethan, Jeff’s best friend and a kindred spirit to Daphne. He was such an interesting character and allowed the reader to witness another facet to the scheming Daphne.
“Writers got to pick the endings of their novels, but Beatrice wasn’t living a story. She was living history, and history went on forever.”
Beatrice’s story was my favourite and a book just from her POV would have worked brilliantly. We see how these characters might seem to have it all but are playing forced roles due to the pressure from their parents and society. Beatrice’s relationship with her bodyguard Connor left me emotionally drained by the end and I can’t wait to find out what happens next. I would also like to take this moment to say that THERE WAS ONLY ONE BED. If that doesn’t make you want to read this book then nothing will. American Royals is not a standalone so expect a cliffhanger that leaves you desperate for more. I’d definitely recommend this book to readers who want escapist fiction with romantic entanglements, secrets and scheming.