Title: Suddenly Royal
Series: Suddenly #1
Author: Nichole Chase
Genre: New Adult; Romance
Synopsis: Samantha Rousseau is used to getting her hands dirty. Working toward a master’s degree in wildlife biology while helping take care of her sick father, she has no time for celebrity gossip, designer clothes, or lazy vacations. So when a duchess from the small country of Lilaria invites her to dinner, Samantha assumes it’s to discuss a donation for the program. The truth will change the course of her life in ways she never dreamed.
Alex D’Lynsal is trying to keep his name clean. As crown prince of Lilaria, he’s had his share of scandalous headlines, but the latest pictures have sent him packing to America and forced him to swear off women—especially women in the public eye. That is, until he meets Samantha Rousseau. She’s stubborn, feisty, and incredibly sexy. Not to mention heiress to an estate in his country, which makes her everyone’s front-page news.
While Sam tries to navigate the new world of politics and wealth, she will also have to dodge her growing feelings for Alex. Giving in to them means more than just falling in love; it would mean accepting the weight of an entire country on her shoulders. (Goodreads)
When I first heard about this, I thought that it sounded a lot like The Princess Diaries. Indeed, it was like that but a lot less enjoyable. The characters in this book fit so neatly into their little slots as reluctant royal or perfect prince or giggly little sister, and they just seem so flat. No big character flaws that drive the conflict in the story, no wonderful character development, just a story that cruises along and hits all the points that you think it might. Basically, it’s like cotton candy. Sweet, but not too much substance, and will probably make you queasy in large amounts.
I love it when books have multi-dimensional characters, and this book was just a disappointment in the character department. It started out pretty well, a smart and capable protagonist and a charming prince. Then all the sexual tension sets in, and a lot of their interactions become “You look so sexy, I wish to bed you,” which gets old REALLY fast. I found myself skimming a lot of these. In fact, they even do this in the presence of others. Prince Creeping doesn’t care if he’s in the room with his aunt or his sister, he’s going to tell Sam that he wants to take her. Everyone else also seems so flat! No huge character flaws, nothing that really affects the narrative, just exactly the characters you think you’d see in this kind of story: the lovely queen, the giddy fashionable BFF, the kind but sickly father, etc.
Now, if the plot and conflict of the story was done better, maybe I would have enjoyed this. However, there is no real conflict. Sam does get hounded by the paparazzi, there’s a lot of royal stuff to be done, but there’s not much political tension and no action (besides the one in the bedroom #sickburns). The closest thing that would get to real conflict was Sam’s father’s sickness, it did tug at my heartstrings because of the nature of the disease, but it was nothing new. Honestly, the book just felt like “Sam & Alex meet, with sexy results and occasional plot.” Or maybe “How many ways can Alex say he wants to give Sam the D?”
Overall: Like I said, it was like The Princess Diaries, but aged up and more adult. If you want to read about a reluctant royal, I would just go with Cabot’s works. This book felt like too-sweet cotton candy compared to a rich and decadent cake that is TPD. Two out of five stars for flat characters, a predictable plot, and a dragging pace.