At the end of July, I realized I was in a serious reading slump. Between moving and little man’s impending start to school, I had zero drive to read. A group read with some fabulous ladies changed that. We read the first two books in The Royals series. Being in the YA contemporary genre, The Royals is as different from my normal read as night is from day. In fact, it contains everything I usually dislike in a YA contemporary novel. Maybe because it was so different from my normal fantasy/sci-fi reads (I honestly don’t know) but I LOVED the series so far and am dying for Twisted Palace, which hits shelves in October. Plus it got me out of my slump. *celebratory dance* If you’re looking for a quick, hot read that’s been compared to Cruel Intentions by several readers (alas I cannot make this comparison as I am one of the few from my generation to have never watched said movie), grab a copy this weekend!
Series: The Royals #1
Published by Self Publish on 2016-04-03
Length: 370 pages
Reviewing eBook from My Book Shelf
Reading Challenges: 2016 New Release Challenge, COYER 2016 Summer Vacation
From strip clubs and truck stops to southern coast mansions and prep schools, one girl tries to stay true to herself.
These Royals will ruin you…
Ella Harper is a survivor—a pragmatic optimist. She’s spent her whole life moving from town to town with her flighty mother, struggling to make ends meet and believing that someday she’ll climb out of the gutter. After her mother’s death, Ella is truly alone.
Until Callum Royal appears, plucking Ella out of poverty and tossing her into his posh mansion among his five sons who all hate her. Each Royal boy is more magnetic than the last, but none as captivating as Reed Royal, the boy who is determined to send her back to the slums she came from.
Reed doesn’t want her. He says she doesn’t belong with the Royals.
He might be right.
Wealth. Excess. Deception. It’s like nothing Ella has ever experienced, and if she’s going to survive her time in the Royal palace, she’ll need to learn to issue her own Royal decrees.
I just….I have no words!!! Paper Princess by Erin Watt was nothing like I expected. I personally intended to not like it. I’m not a fan of YA contemporary, like at ALL! But the book kept popping up in my newsfeed on social media and the more I saw it, the more intrigued I became. Now that I’ve finally read it….WOW!!!! I mean, seriously, no words can describe just how much I enjoyed this book. I enjoyed it so much that I immediately bought and read Broken Prince, the second book in the series.
Ella Harper is just trying to survive and make a life for herself when she is introduced at the beginning of the book. Her mother is dead and has been for a while now. Seventeen and on her own, Ella does what she needs to do to stay independent. Then Callum Royal shows up, claiming to be her guardian and turning her life upside down.
I felt for Ella, I really did! From the first words, I knew she was a character that would grow on me. She’s tough to like at first, but I immediately respected her. How could you not?! The girl worked three jobs to pay her mother’s medical bills and continued to work them after so she could sustain her apartment, feed herself, and live alone at seventeen!!! I don’t know many that would work like that, or take the jobs she does in order to survive. When Callum whisks her away to his mansion, she is completely and utterly lost. For the first time since her mom died, she’s able to reflect and grieve. She can relax a little, but she knows she doesn’t fit into that world. Ella’s vulnerable side made me love her. She is an incredibly strong, stubborn character, but when she lets others in she can also be caring and fiercely loyal.
Then there’s her “stepbrothers,” five to be exact, who hate her and want her gone. They believe she is mooching, taking advantage of their father, or (even worse) sleeping with their dad. Ewe!!!! Gideon is the oldest and is away at college. He’s pretty absent, not really the leader of the boys any more at home and he avoids Ella. Reed is the oldest in the house and he makes it known she is not welcome, he does not like her or want her there. Easton is the middle child and my favorite, he’s broken and I want so badly to just reach through the pages and love on him. Then there’s the twins (and for the life of me I cannot remember their names because they are SO similar). They follow Reed’s lead, but for the most part just ignore Ella.
The book really centers on Ella and how she came into the Royals’ world, how she is adjusting to suddenly being rich and having someone care for her, and the forbidden feelings that crop up for Reed. Personally I don’t see how those feelings could develop, they are both pretty cruel to one another, but they fit, like two pieces of the same puzzle.
Overall I really enjoyed this book! I started and finished it in one sitting, staying up to the wee hours of the morning. Who needs sleep when you have the Royals to keep you company?! My only complaint, and really it is minor, is that this story, while billed for young adults, is NOT young adult. Yes the kids are in high school, but seriously: strip clubs, the language, ummm….sex AND drugs are all featured prominently in the book. I would not want my 14 or 15 year old getting their hands on this book. Personally it should be mature young adult or even classified as new adult, 18+ is my recommendation. Despite this though, it is a fantastic read, keeping my attention from the first word to the very last….and that cliffhanger. Erh-Ma-Gah!!!! I can’t handle it. I started book two immediately after. Friends, if you’re looking for a quick, steamy read, full of drama, this is it!
Series: The Royals #2
Published by Self Publish on 2016-07-25
Length: 370 pages
Reviewing eBook from My Book Shelf
Reading Challenges: 2016 New Release Challenge
These Royals will ruin you…
From wharf fights and school brawls to crumbling lives inside glittery mansions, one guy tries to save himself.
Reed Royal has it all—looks, status, money. The girls at his elite prep school line up to date him, the guys want to be him, but Reed never gave a damn about anyone but his family until Ella Harper walked into his life.
What started off as burning resentment and the need to make his father’s new ward suffer turned into something else entirely—keep Ella close. Keep Ella safe. But when one foolish mistake drives her out of Reed’s arms and brings chaos to the Royal household, Reed’s entire world begins to fall apart around him.
Ella doesn’t want him anymore. She says they’ll only destroy each other.
She might be right.
Secrets. Betrayal. Enemies. It’s like nothing Reed has ever dealt with before, and if he’s going to win back his princess, he’ll need to prove himself Royally worthy.
I only have one thing to say about this book….DUAL POV!!!! Yep that’s right! Broken Prince by Erin Watt is told from both Ella’s and Reed’s perspective, alternating every few chapters. Perfection my friends!!!
So I’ve been struggling on how to write a review for Broken Prince as I do not want to spoil anything from either this book or its predecessor. There are SO many twists and turns and then that cliffhanger at the end of book one, so I figure it’s been a while since I’ve just gushed about a book, you know, since I’ve truly fangirled over a character or plot. Consider this your warning. This review is simply me, fangirling over the Royals, Ella and Reed, and my Easton (yes I said MY, none of you other girls can have him….just kidding….sort of).
The Royals are seriously one screwed up family. I mean that. There is so much drama under one roof I had a hard time wrapping my brain around it all, not to mention keeping it straight. While I wasn’t overly surprised by some of the twists in the storyline, I was still shocked when/how they came to pass. Nothing is sacred in this house and the author does a fabulous job of reeling the readers in.
Reed, poor broken prince that he is. I really, really enjoyed getting his POV in this installment. I mean, seriously it made all the difference. I love Ella, but being in Reed’s head was just what this story called for! I loved watching his character grow and develop during the course of this book. He is so different from the callous, arrogant boy we meet in book one. He’s still arrogant and can be callous, but he’s also loyal and loving. What he has done is atrocious, don’t get me wrong, but I love him all the same….not sure what that says about me!
Ella is a very strong character that I’ve truly fell in love with. Despite all the teen drama/angst, she is the character that is the glue to the story. She holds the family together and I love how the author subtly shows it through the interactions of the Royals and her. It’s so easy to see their love for one another and how she fills the void their mother left behind.
And my Easton. I just wanted to reach through the pages and give him a hug. He is so lost and so broken and NOT coping at all. Ella has become his friend, his confidante. She’s his light in the darkness. There’s nothing romantic about their relationship, it’s a brother/sister love and it’s so sweet. I want more Easton…maybe he can get his own story?
The drama ratchets up several notches during this book as Dinah and Brooke enter the scene. While they aren’t exactly present, the threat they pose to Ella and the Royals hangs like a shadow over the entire story. I can’t say I’m sorry either about the outcome.
Overall I think I liked this one better than the first. It’s just as steamy, has just as much angst, but the tone and character development add to my overall enjoyment. And that cliffhanger!!!! Seriously the author is trying to kill me. Two game changers occur, one I suspected was coming, the other not so much. *whines* October is so far away!!!!