Book Review: Suddenly Royal by Nicole Chase

Synopsis: Samantha Rousseau is used to getting her hands dirty. Working toward a master’s degree in
wildlife biology while helping take care of her sick father, she has no time for celebrity gossip, designer clothes, or lazy vacations. So when a duchess from the small country of Lilaria invites her to dinner, Samantha assumes it’s to discuss a donation for the program. The truth will change the course of her life in ways she never dreamed.

Alex D’Lynsal is trying to keep his name clean. As crown prince of Lilaria, he’s had his share of scandalous headlines, but the latest pictures have sent him packing to America and forced him to swear off women—especially women in the public eye. That is, until he meets Samantha Rousseau. She’s stubborn, feisty, and incredibly sexy. Not to mention heiress to an estate in his country, which makes her everyone’s front-page news.

While Sam tries to navigate the new world of politics and wealth, she will also have to dodge her growing feelings for Alex. Giving in to them means more than just falling in love; it would mean accepting the weight of an entire country on her shoulders.

Pages: 464

Rating: 8/10

Overall: I really enjoyed this book, perfect for a lazy summer's day by the pool or in the back garden. Modern royalty versus the prying eyes of the media works really well as a backdrop to a sizzling love story.
Suddenly Royal (Suddenly, #1)

I apologise for the lack of posts recently... but summer. Going to try and pick up the pace again. Thanks for sticking with me!

The cover for Suddenly Royal is slightly misleading, if you ask me. From the cover of this book, I thought I was going to be reading a book about a teenager or very early twenties woman discovering some sort of royal ancestry. Basically, I thought it was a young adult novel.

It's not.

Basically, it is like The Princess Diaries but for grown-ups. Yes, I mean there are sex scenes. Yay!

Ahem... anyway.

Suddenly Royal is a great summer read, especially considering the recent little-reported birth, I'm sure you've not heard about. It is about Samantha Rousseau, a grad student working towards her masters, and supporting a stepfather getting chemo. She discovers that she is actually a descendent of a noble family from a country called Lilaria.

Lilaria is in Europe from what I can gather from passing comments of proximity to France, but disappointingly, Lilaria as a fictional country is not given much description. I came to think of it much like Monaco, possibly Belgium. Chase did bestow Lilaria with its own language: Lilarian. Lilarian, much like the country itself, is ignored in terms of what it might be like, apart from it being similar to French. I felt like we could have seen some more of this language, apart from the word for lettuce. But that might just be the language lover in me.

I found Samantha to be really likeable. Her no-nonsense attitude and pragmatism made watching her deal with being thrown in at the deep end of royal life both believable and amusing. She felt like a strong character who could and would take on this terrifying new life and deal with whatever came her way.

And the chemistry with, wait let me get this right... Crown Prince Alexander Patrick Fitzwilliam, Duke of D'Lynsal, was electric. From the first meeting, there were sparks flying. And Prince Alex could have been a someone who is good-looking enough to get away with just being a dick. However, his undoubted good looks aside, Prince Alex has some layers of his own, and respects Samantha's boundaries though he liked to push those boundaries right to the limit! He turns out to be the classic chivalrous prince to sweep a girl off her feet. To be fair, I wouldn't mind being swept of my feet by him.

Due to Samantha's worries and Alex's pushing of the boundaries, there is quite a build up of tension, and when they finally do the nasty, it is a great release/relief. Definitely a great couple.

The way Chase shows the transformation from grad student into a member of the extended working royal family felt natural and very believable. Initially Samantha is sort of reluctant, feeling like she has little to offer in this role, but slowly she finds her feet with the help of new and old friends. It felt right that she insisted on eating dinner in the kitchen of her new house, but didn't force other American sensibilities where they didn't belong (if that makes sense).

While it showed, quite subtly, the advantages of her new position (money, being able to help others less fortunate etc.), it also showed the disadvantages: the paparazzi and the media; being used by others; constant need for security; etc.

This could have turned into a really cheesy take on a Cinderella story, but I think it worked really well, incorporating the modern royal way of life against the struggle with privacy in today's prying media storm.

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