“These Royals will ruin you.”
I’m not sure what I expected out of this book series when it was recommended to me. One of my librarian coworkers had told me that they thought this would probably be “the next big thing” in YA fiction. I guess I thought it would be some magnificent story, but basically it’s just another teen drama.
“The Royals” referred to in the series title are a very wealthy family in North Carolina – a father and five teenage sons. Our main character is Ella Harper, who had been raised by her poor mother, Maggie, up until Maggie fell ill and died of cancer. Before dying, Maggie had contacted Ella’s father, Steve O’Halloran, who hadn’t known that he had a daughter. He planned on finding Ella and taking her in, but he died before he had the chance. Callum Royal, Steve’s best friend, has his private investigator find Ella (who, at 17, has been supporting herself by working three jobs, including stripping, using her late mother’s ID). Despite having nothing, Ella has no interest in being carted off to a much more comfortable lifestyle. Callum offers to pay her $10,000 for every month she stays with them, telling her that she can leave at any point. His sons are skeptical of the intentions of both their father and this girl and make Ella’s life a living hell, until eventually she calls a truce.
I don’t really believe in “guilty pleasures” — why feel guilty about something you like? — but this would fall under that category. It’s a nice quick read, and can be kind of addictive. The third book was too dramatic for my taste, and I found myself wanting to throw it out of a window most of the time, though it was quasi-redeemed in the final 100 pages. There are some books out there that I would blindly recommend to anyone. This series is not the same case. Be prepared for a weird, twisted family dynamic, horrible bitches, and, of course, young love.
Paper Princess, Broken Prince, and Twisted Palace make up the series so far. The first is solely told from Ella’s perspective, whereas the latter two are dual narrative between Ella and Reed Royal.
The fourth book, Fallen Heir, which will focus on another Royal brother, Easton, has a late August 2017 publication date.