Out of the books I pre-ordered for September, American Royals was perhaps the one I was on the fence on. When it comes to books about nobility/royalty, they can often be either really good, or just plain cringey, there’s not an in between, so while I was excited for this I was also marginally worried. This is one of those niche genres that just so happen to be one of my favorites, so when I heard about this novel it was like throwing caution to the wind, and boy am I glad I bought this book.
So, what is American Royals about?
American Royals is a multi-POV series (anyone hear anything about how many books??) that follows first the Crown Princess Beatrice as she confronts the full reality of becoming the reigning monarch, and what it will cost her personally. Her brother, Jefferson though not given his POV, has two women vying for his attention, each with different motives; Nina, the childhood friend of his twin Samantha, and Daphne, his ex who hasn’t given up on their relationship, or her dreams of becoming a royal. Samantha, the elder twin, and spare heir has to grapple with the scrutiny of the public, and her family as she tries to find a future for herself.
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
5 stars? It might have a lot to do with just how shocked I was at how quickly I had inhaled this book, and the way it has given me a wicked book hangover. Before getting into the book love section of this review, the only negative thing I have is in relation to the main premise; a monarchy in America. This for me, doesn’t really affect the review score, mainly because it isn’t writing related, but history/constitutional. The book even mocks the idea itself a few times with characters asking what it could have been like to have a democratic America, so I’m pretty sure the author had a good idea of what she was doing. So, what is the deal? Mostly that the founders of the US would be shocked at this concept. The Revolutionary War was fought on the basis of a tyrannical King imposing laws/taxes on the colonists and not giving them any say in what was happening in the land where they lived. You know, the whole ‘ No taxation without representation’ speak. I’m willing to overlook this since the book was really good, and made the monarchy pretty believable too, but it somehow made me crave an actual American Revolution era story.
Getting past the historical precedence/possibility of this story, McGee did an incredible job of piecing together this story and giving as many sides to the events as possible. The main royals minus Jefferson are evenly represented, though we are given some insight into him through Nina and Daphne. Honestly, my hope is that we’ll get his POV in the sequel, especially since I get the feeling that the closing events of Book one will now have him on edge (oooh, but is it really a spoiler??) I’m still impressed that McGee got me to easily go along with a multi-POV plot, multi-POVs typically not faring well with me. I was still hooked more on one character’s story than others, but each character had me interested and each had a connection to the other that also helped bridge that gap.
I really enjoyed these characters, Nina being a quick favorite with everything she goes through when she finds herself suddenly in the public eye after years of being the princesse’s hidden friend. I definitely get real British royalty vibes, though I could be reading too much into it. In this theory I’d say Nina is like an early Kate Middleton, thrust into the spotlight, and quickly surrounded by paparazzi with no security to help protect her for safety or privacy. Beatrice on the other hand gives me a feeling of King Edward before abdication (swear that also isn’t a spoiler!!), caught in a situation of her position being tied not only to her status of being single vs married, but also who she marries being highly important. It’s enough to make anyone stress for them all, and keep you flipping pages until you hit the end and wonder when that next book will come. I’m still wondering how many books are in the series, but altogether I’m beyond happy I picked this book up and gave it a chance. If you love following the British royals, and gasping at the supposed ‘drama’ and ‘feuds’ the tabloids claim then this might very well be your next read! I love stories about royals and the troubles they face, and this book will definitely be a good recommendation to add to my list of royal reads!