Publication date: August 26, 2014
Reluctantly Royal is the last of Nichole Chase’s Suddenly series, the first of which was such an enjoyable romance for a royalty sucker like me. The first book, Suddenly Royal was originally self-published, and did so well that Harper Avon picked it up for another two books.
I really enjoyed the first book, which was steamy and kind of like The Princess Diaries. The second book, Recklessly Royal, was a bit disappointing, because I felt like it didn’t live up to the beautiful fairytale of the first book. This last one falls somewhere in the middle. I enjoyed it more than I did Recklessly Royal, but there were a few hiccups that stopped me from really loving it.
First, the good: I liked the feistiness of the female characters, especially the MC, Meredith Thysmer. One thing Chase does very well is create women who aren’t afraid to stand up to their male counterparts, and who are strong enough to take some tough times. Meredith has an alcoholic father, her mother died, and she grew up fairly poor. Before the book starts, you know that she’s the grand-daughter of one of the recently found dukes of Lilaria, the country where the whole series takes place. Meredith sees her newfound royalty and wealth as an opportunity for her to pursue her dreams of being a musician, while being comfortable enough to take care of her son Marty.
Unfortunately, Meredith’s grandfather has recently passed away and it’s up to Prince Max of Lilaria to deliver the bad news. Max is known as the slacker prince because he avoids the limelight at all costs. He’s a painter who tries to stay away from the media, and because of that, he’s been a bit isolated and cold. In this book, you see how close he is with his family, though.
Family is a big theme throughout the series – Lilarians believe family comes first no matter what – and I liked that this book was really about both Max and Meredith trying to find a place for themselves as royal family members. I also liked that Meredith had a son – it was a different take on romance than the other two books because of Marty, and I enjoyed how Max developed a relationship with him.
Unlike the other two books in the series, which were narrated by the female MCs, this book alternated between Max and Meredith’s point of view. I thought that worked pretty well, and they had fairly distinct voices, although there were a few times I got a bit lost in the book and unsure of who was narrating.
I did have a big quibble with the the insta-love/timing of the romance. It’s very quick and very intense, and while I get that they’re dealing with extenuating circumstances that bring people closer…it’s just a little too fast. I didn’t find it believable. The entire book lasts approximately three days, and since it’s a romance, you know that the “L” word is going to be uttered, and it’s just too soon.
I also found it hard to believe that Max, being the slacker prince, seemed to change so instantly from being a no-commitment guy to full-on committed to Meredith. We are told many times that Max is not into commitment, but the second Meredith needs help, he’s there. It was a little baffling.
Still, there was definitely some chemistry between Meredith and Max. This book isn’t going to knock your socks off, but it’s a fast romp (har har!) when you’re looking for a quick romance.
Sexy Times: The romance was definitely upped a notch from the second book in the series – there are quite a few sexy scenes, and they’re pretty smoking.
Cameos: If you enjoyed the other two books in the series, please indulge, if nothing else but to get an update on the other characters’ lives! Samantha, Prince Alex, and Princess Cathy are all instrumental to bringing Meredith and Max together, and it’s very cute and I enjoyed the family ribbing alot.
The Final Word
Reluctantly Royal is a cute romance, and it’s definitely a beach read. I am glad I read it to find out more about the rest of the characters, but I don’t know if it has a lot of reread potential. Still, a fun escapism read that I recommend for days when you need to believe in love at first sight.
RELUCTANTLY ROYAL comes out today! Are you interested in reading it? Have you read the other two books in the series, Suddenly Royal and Recklessly Royal? Do you read romances? Are you obsessed with reading royalty books like me? Hit the comments and let me know!