I picked up American Royals last year on a whim after reading the synopsis and realizing it was focused on modern day royals. I’m not a big follower of the Royals and their everyday lives, but occasionally I do get interested in their stories. From the Queen’s adapting to a changing world and its expectations to Crown Princess Mary who was originally Australian, these stories just grab my attention. Hearing there was a series delving into the harder aspects of a public life, I was all in. This is a sequel review so there will be spoilers ahead, and in this one in particular I’m going to go over details of the book in order to explain what went oh so wrong for me. This is my opinion, so if you loved this book then keep on loving, this one just didn’t do it for me.
Majesty is the sequel to American Royals, following as Beatrice, Sam, and Jeff lose their father, and Nina runs away from all the attention that follows royalty. Now terrified that her admission was what killed the King, Beatrice returns to doing what was expected of her with a zeal while Sam tries to cope with losing Teddy all over again. Last, but not least Daphne returns to her goals of having Jeff, but a secret threatens to thwart even her best laid plans.
Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars
I feel like I should preface this with how much I genuinely looked forward to this book. When I finished American Royals last year I immediately wanted the sequel, and it killed me all the way into me buying Majesty this year. American Royals had left off on an amazingly torturous cliffhanger as Nina left Jeff and vowed to separate herself from the spotlight that had brought Daphne upon her. That’s all that was circling in my mind as I began this book and slowly realized it was going to turn the tables on all the great plot work we had been introduced to in book one.
I guess let’s start with the big thing that still keeps me questioning myself on this, how many books are in this blasted series? It wasn’t clear after American Royals, and it still doesn’t seem clear after Majesty. I almost would like to say I’d give this another star if there was another book, but there were so many “endings” in this book that I just can’t deal if there were another. This question has made this book even harder to take, and somehow I don’t think even the publishing company knows with this one. It’s a weird point to make in a book review, but it really made me struggle with how this book went.
The real things that started to tick off the rating for me were the character’s growth, choices, and even the consequences to some of those decisions, on top of just strange and not quite logical pairings. This is where there will be spoilers, so last warning before the rant begins.
To start with the character growth/choices were all over the place. As the synopsis stated Beatrice believes her telling her dad who she truly loved was what killed him. This is maybe the one thing that made sense to me in the scheme of things. Tortured by her guilt she refuses to call off her wedding with Teddy, and subsequently hurts her sister again. In what I would call a movie cliche style Sam finds another man to make Teddy jealous. This is seriously where all my confusion began. I feel like I can sort of say Sam and Beatrice changed, Sam maybe growing in some way, but frankly it felt like Beatrice devolved. I get it, she blames herself, and the crown is a big decision maker (the object, not the person) in life events, but she gets cowed into doing what was expected of her from the beginning and starts to love Teddy in doing so. I started to get on board with this couple, but it feels like this went against everything the first book had been pushing us to believe; that being royal and having love could both happen. Sam on the other hand somehow realizes that she had just thought she loved Teddy, and falls in love with her new man, Marshall. The two are cute together and seem to form a good pair, so I’ll let that one pass.
The real crime? The love triangle (ugh-new pet peeve) of Jeff, Daphne, and Nina. For one thing, Jeff is like a rare presence in this book; he hardly comes up, which is strange. Why? Well, he is the prince and also Nina just broke up with him and that was a big plot point, but nope the big talk I had been expecting/hoping for never happened. In fact, they speak maybe one or two times at most in a 370 page book, and the two conversations revolve around awkward small talk, and oh why didn’t you tell me you were dating my best friend. Yep, that happened. Nina, who has loved Jeff forever, and at the very least has been friends with him longer than that dates his best friend Ethan. It begins thanks to another Daphne scheme, and somehow takes off, but even after she learns why he was first interested in her she forgives him. I think this just killed me because there really was never any real closure to her first relationship, Jeff just went on with his life, and Nina had her heartbroken time period in between the books. It just never led to anything for either character, instead becoming kind of forgotten.
What made it so much worse though is that all the crap that happened because of Daphne never gets brought up except to make her nervous when Himari wakes back up from her coma. The tension that came from this reveal was great a first, but somehow even Himari who had been drugged and nearly killed ends up forgiving her (these people are just crazy). For Jeff, this just adds to the questions for his story as Daphne cuts him off from his friends and makes herself the one person he can rely on. It left me feeling like Jeff’s ending is to be with this crazy lady, and also like his story/viewpoint didn’t matter. Daphne in her own way is robbed of any chance at redemption and just gets all she wanted even though her feelings have started to change.
Like I said, part of me hopes that’s not the end to the series, but the amount of endings here in this book just make me doubt another book is coming, and at this point I’m not really looking forward to any possibility of a follow up to this. I had fallen in love with the characters in American Royals, but this just messed with everything I had liked about them. I expect character growth any about any book, but this was the weirdest kind I’ve gone through, and it just didn’t do it for me. This may end up being an unpopular opinion, but at least I finally got this out of my system. Have you read Majesty? What were your thoughts on this sequel? Let me know in the comments below!