Something fresh this time!
Author: Emma Chase
Title: Royally Screwed
Release date: 16th of October 2016
Series: Royally #1
Reading level: FICTION – ADULT: Romance, Contemporary
Published by: Emma Chase, LLC
Pages: 294 in Kindle e-book format
Source: Bought from Amazon.com for Kindle
Nicholas Arthur Frederick Edward Pembrook, Crowned Prince of Wessco, aka “His Royal Hotness,” is wickedly charming, devastatingly handsome, and unabashedly arrogant―hard not to be when people are constantly bowing down to you.
Then, one snowy night in Manhattan, the prince meets a dark haired beauty who doesn’t bow down. Instead, she throws a pie in his face.
Nicholas wants to find out if she tastes as good as her pie, and this heir apparent is used to getting what he wants.
Dating a prince isn’t what waitress Olivia Hammond ever imagined it would be.
There’s a disapproving queen, a wildly inappropriate spare heir, relentless paparazzi, and brutal public scrutiny. While they’ve traded in horse drawn carriages for Rolls Royces and haven’t chopped anyone’s head off lately―the royals are far from accepting of this commoner.
But to Olivia―Nicholas is worth it.
Nicholas grew up with the whole world watching, and now Marriage Watch is in full force. In the end, Nicholas has to decide who he is and, more importantly, who he wants to be: a King... or the man who gets to love Olivia forever.
I should have liked the story more. I should have liked it a lot more than I did. I'm still baffled why I didn't love it to bits. Modern Cinderella type fairy tales are as great as it can get with appealing to my ultimate guilty pleasure romance trope. BUT, if the guy is an actual prince, as opposed to any other rich, handsome and sexy guy, then my excitement wavers, because I simply cannot imagine modern princes being hot -- I just can't. I never could and it's a serious turn-off. The more realistic the story, the less I believe in the swoon-level of the hero. Also, I don't find the relationship of Kate and William to be even remotely romantic, so this also helped dampen my mood for the book at hand, since they are the epitome of a commoner-royal romance in our times. BUT, these complaints are solely my personal quibbles and shouldn't really stop me from enjoying the story of Olivia and Nicholas.
I thought the first meeting between the two was highly entertaining, promising and sparks were flying all over the place. I wanted to high-five Olivia for how she put him in his place and brought his ego down a notch or two. She continued to be a heroine with a backbone and an admirable amount of sass for a bit more time. And then... she did a 180 and turned into a doormat for her family, Nicholas and even the plot. I admire characters who continue to be giving and forgiving, but come on, there is a line to everything, and if that line is crossed, I expect my heroines to kick ass and take names. Even if it's family needing the reality check. Olivia didn't and it got boring quite quickly. Then again, she was a generally likable heroine who deserved to get her prince and ride to the sunset. Still, she could have been great, but didn't quite reach as high.
I don't mind cliches and predictable plots and this story had it's fair share. There wasn't anything overly original in it, but there wasn't really supposed to be and it didn't bother me even a bit. There was the big misunderstanding, the grand gesture of love, sacrifice for love, out of nowhere out of place love hurdles, please let's stop with the annoying old flames already!, etc. Nothing new to see here folks! Instead, the heavy lifting was on the dialogue and chemistry between the main couple. Luckily, these aspects of the story were successful in carrying the book. The banter was witty and engaging, the text full of enough snark and spark. Olivia and Nicholas were a pretty electrifying couple together. What also surprised me was my lack of irritation towards the dual POV. I usually prefer having just one POV, because I rarely encounter male POVs who don't sound too try-hard or overly douchey. Nicholas was just the right amount of cocky without being too macho and sounding like what a woman thinks a hot man thinks like.
The story also employed several colorful supporting characters who caught my attention. The bad-boy prince of a brother, who was the right amount of tortured, naughty and endearing. The, too-similar-to-ignore to the actual Queen, scary grandma. Servant Fergus was a hoot with his deadpan teasing comments. I also thought Franny was brilliant with her advice to Olivia to ignore Nicholas for fun, because that would make him upset, since he wouldn't be able to fathom why the sudden attitude. She was a notable support for Olivia in general as well.
The sexy blue blooded hero Nicholas he did in some ways earn my fancy, but he also acted really chaotically at times too. For example, I thought it was skillfully delicate and hot how he handled the crazy deluded fan. On the other hand, his decision in the end, I can only call idiotic and highly irresponsible. He really sold me as being a potentially decent king, but what he did, wasn't romantic, it was a huge misstep. Okey, it might not be one in the long-run, but at that stage, I was really shocked. What was he thinking? I guess, he probably wasn't. Due to that, the ending, while sweet and satisfying to the romantic in me, the rationalist was left shrugging my shoulders and feeling annoyed. Everything was also wrapped up too conveniently, but then again, what else would I have accepted? A happy ending is a must. Maybe there should have been one or two not so sugary aspects as well in the finale, but all in all, I was content.