Monday, November 16, 2020

Book Review: American Royals Series

What if the United States did not have a President, but instead had a King? What if for the first time, the country was about to have a Queen? What kind of world would that be? The book series American Royals by Katharine McGee.

The first book, American Royals is part of a two-part book series, with the second titled Majesty which was released this year. In the first book, we are introduced to the royal family, particularly the royal siblings Beatrice, Samantha, and Jefferson. The eldest, Beatrice, is in line for the throne as the eldest child and is the first woman who will rule the country. Her younger siblings, Samantha and Jefferson, are twins who have been known as the partying royals, partially since they are “spares” and are not destined to rule.

The book introduces the readers to Beatrice’s dilemma of having to choose a prospective husband from a selection made by her parents in preparation for her becoming Queen. Not only is she averse to the concept of picking someone out of a folder of names and one meeting during a ball, but she is also secretly in love with her own bodyguard. Things become even more difficult when she finds out that the man that she eventually chose, Teddy, is someone who had a connection with and previously kissed her younger sister Samantha. Jefferson’s love life is equally complicated because he is in love with Nina, who is Samantha’s non-royal best friend. Simple? Not quite: his ex-girlfriend, Daphne, is determined to become a royal and will stop at nothing to end up with Jefferson to make it happen.

The first book ends with the death of the King, meaning that Beatrice will now become Queen. How will the siblings be able to resolve the problems with their romantic relationships now that Beatrice will be crowned, and people expect a man by her side? This is what I was hoping would be resolved in the next book.

I was surprised that in the second book, Majesty, it was as if everything that was established with the first book was thrown out the window. Suddenly, everyone is involved with someone else, all the heartache that occurred in the first book notwithstanding. That caught me off-guard. Most of the relationships that everyone ended up in seemed to have worked out in the end (except for Jefferson, I would never be OK with him ending up with someone as fake and manipulative as Daphne -- spoiler!). However, it would have been more acceptable if the first book did not give the readers the idea of who these characters were in love with. All the events from the first book seemed all for nothing with how things ended up in the second one. 

The one redeeming quality that I liked about the books was that Beatrice decided in the end, love life aside, that she wanted to rule without getting married first. While the traditionalists wanted that to be the case, she believed that to be a good queen, she needed to show that she could do it without a man by her side. That was a clever idea that made up for the bad one where she eventually falls in love with Teddy: it was as if they were saying that love is something you can manufacture as needed, that you can learn to love someone eventually. The romantic in me is just not into that.

The second book seemed to be open-ended and I was thinking that maybe there was another book in the series. From what I have read online though, the writer has said that it was only a two-part series, another weird thing since things did not seem resolved in the end. Daphne was not held accountable for the things that she had done and was even rewarded with Jefferson in the end. The whole Nina thing also felt open-ended. It all just seemed like a cliffhanger and now readers will never know what happens next.

It is all too bad. I liked the concept of the books and found myself finishing them to see if it will get better but sadly, it just does not.


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