Publication date: March 25, 2014 (today!)
Catherine has spent her life being the perfect princess. She’s kept her hands clean, her head down, and most importantly—men at arm’s length. After all, most men are after only one thing, and for Cathy there’s a lot more at stake than her bed; she has to worry about the fate of an entire nation. But at the rate she’s going, Cathy is afraid she’ll give the Virgin Queen a run for her money. She is tired of waiting for someone good enough to come along. She has a plan, and it all hinges on seducing the one man who seems utterly unimpressed by all things royal. The one man she is tempted by more than any other . . .
When David arrives at the royal wedding of his friend, the newly ordained Duchess Samantha Rousseau, he expected to feel uncomfortable and out of his element, but he wasn’t prepared to be targeted by Prince Alex’s gorgeous younger sister. With Cathy’s giant blue eyes, killer figure, and sense of humor, it won’t take long before he gives in. But when he finds out just how innocent the crown princess really is, will he play the part of knight in shining armor or the dashing rogue?
After I enjoyed Suddenly Royal so much, I knew I had to get my hands on Recklessly Royal – especially after the first three chapters of the latter were included with the former! Two things got me with those first chapters: 1) it takes place just before a very special event involving characters from the first book 2) there’s a pole-dancing class that made me laugh. Just based on those two things, I was definitely raring to go for Recklessly Royal.
Recklessly Royal focuses on crown prince Alex’s sister, Princess Catherine of Lilaria. She’s a very funny, strong character – a little younger and more immature than Samantha from the previous book. In that book, she was a little big headstrong and really interested in having fun and partying, but it’s been a year since she did that, and you can see that she’s grown up a lot. Just in time, too, because along comes David Rhodes, Samantha’s good friend, and a seriously sexy dude.
David is sweet, sexy, and hella passionate, and it’s hard not to fall for him. He’s obviously a really amazing guy who cares a lot about Cathy – and who doesn’t care about her princess title. He’s basically perfect for her…and their relationship is very cute and pretty sexy. But it was missing a little something.
For me, Recklessly Royal fell a little flat. The internal conflict in this book was basically Cathy trying to figure out how to be more herself as a royal. The external conflicts – like dealing with the paparazzi and a new assistant in the midst of someone else getting sick – were more prominent, and weren’t exactly life-altering. For me, these conflicts were dealt with well, but not in a substantial way. They also didn’t really get to me that much because, frankly, Cathy is pretty strong and has had to deal with being a royal all her life.
The other problem for me was that the romantic conflict was kind of fluffy. It stems from the fact that Cathy really doesn’t believe there’s anyone out there who will love her because she’s a woman, not a princess. Throw in the fact that she’s still a virgin, and she’s at an age where she feels like she’s ready to give up her V-card to pretty much anyone – and when David comes into the picture, he wants to wait and make sure she gets to experience everything – not just sex right away. It’s a very adorable and noble gesture, but it makes the conflict pretty silly, because you know in the end they’re going to get to it. It’s definitely not something that drives the story along. I didn’t feel like Cathy really changed or grew as a person because of it.
That said, as a fan of the series, it was still really fun to see what happened to the characters in the last book. It was also great that Chase continued to explore what it meant to be a modern royal – Cathy spends a lot of time trying to get an art program for kids started, and her work life is interesting and meaningful to her. Since I liked her character, it was nice to see her find someone to share her life with, and I liked the continuation of the series. While Recklessly Royal didn’t set my world on fire, it’s definitely a sweet and fun book, and one for fans of the series.
Romance Writing: I gotta say, Nichole Chase does a great job building the tension to a sexy moment. She’s very, very good at making her readers (and characters) wait for the perfect moment for sexy times. She also kind of kicks arse at finding ways to make sexual encounters interesting, and adventurous, but not TOO adventurous, you know what I mean?
The Final Word:
Overall, I enjoyed Recklessly Royal, but I felt like it fit a little too much with the stereotype of a romance novel – fluffy and insubstantial. Even though David and Catherine’s relationship is cute, it’s not quite on par with Alex and Samantha’s relationship in Suddenly Royal, and because of that, this romance wasn’t quite as strong for me. Still, this is a good guilty pleasure read and it definitely left me wanting to go back and read Suddenly Royal again, and waiting for the next book in the series, Reluctantly Royal (due out in August).
RECKLESSLY ROYAL comes out today! Will you be picking it up? Have you read SUDDENLY ROYAL, the first book in this series? Are you obsessed with royalty books like me, or do you prefer real life stories? Hit the comments and let me know!