Monday, May 20, 2019

Review: Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins

Her Royal Highness
Rachel Hawkins
Release: May 7, 2019
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Millie Quint is devastated when she discovers that her sort-of-best friend/sort-of-girlfriend has been kissing someone else. And because Millie cannot stand the thought of confronting her ex every day, she decides to apply for scholarships to boarding schools . . . the farther from Houston the better.

Millie can't believe her luck when she's accepted into one of the world's most exclusive schools, located in the rolling highlands of Scotland. Everything about Scotland is different: the country is misty and green; the school is gorgeous, and the students think Americans are cute.

The only problem: Mille's roommate Flora is a total princess.

She's also an actual princess. Of Scotland.

At first, the girls can barely stand each other--Flora is both high-class and high-key--but before Millie knows it, she has another sort-of-best-friend/sort-of-girlfriend. Even though Princess Flora could be a new chapter in her love life, Millie knows the chances of happily ever afters are slim . . . after all, real life isn't a fairy tale . . . or is it?

The first Royals book, which was retitled Prince Charming when it became a series, was one of my favorite books of last year. It's a warm fuzzy read that stood out in a month where I read a lot of Royal Romances. So my expectations for Her Royal Highness were pretty high. And it just didn't quite live up to them.

I love the alt-history of the Scottish royals, which gets developed much more in this second book. And I love the supporting cast of students at Millie's boarding school, though it seems as though she only meets four people the whole time so there could have been more of them. I also enjoyed reconnecting with Daisy and Miles and Prince Sebastian from the previous book. But I never really felt invested in Millie and Flora. 

Part of that is that Royals/Prince Charming was so obviously inspired by Pretty Woman that I kept looking for the 80's movie reference. While there are some classic Rom Com moments like the dance lessons and the teaching a skill that requires one character wrapping their arms around the other, Her Royal Highness doesn't seem to be a Julia Roberts retelling (Maybe there's a little Notting Hill in there?) and I really wanted it to be.

I also felt like the book ended abruptly, though it's certainly a movie-worthy ending. Again, that may be partly due to my expectations since I don't read a lot of YA. It's not like I want a 17 year old to get married at the end of the book, but I want to be convinced they've gotten their HFN at least. Maybe Millie and Flora will return in a later book to help with that.

Still Her Royal Highness was quick, fluffy romance good for summer reading. Someone who goes in with fewer expectations that I had will likely enjoy it more than I did. If you've been craving a queer princess story, this might be the book for you.


My reviews of other books in this series:

Growing Pains Place
Read a Young Adult book

2019 Library Love Challenge
Library Love Challenge
Book 16/12

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