Review: Royally Endowed

Review: Royally EndowedRoyally Endowed (Royally, #3) by Emma Chase
Series: Royally #3
Published by Emma Chase, LLC on August 14th 2017
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 275

FINAL DECISION:  Sweet and enjoyable, this is the story of two people who have known one another for years until the time for their passion to be brought out into the open.  I found the characters likeable and I found the book a fun read.

THE STORY:  Logan St. James and Ellie Hammond met when her sister became involved with one of the royals that Logan is sworn to protect.  Set as part of a security detail to protect Ellie, Logan takes his job seriously, but over the years he has taken to liking Ellie — perhaps too much.  Now that Ellie has graduated college, she is looking to find someone and wonders if it is time to put aside her crush on her bodyguard.  Although Logan feels something for Ellie, he knows that the sister of a member of the royal family is not right for a boy from the wrong side of the tracks — especially a woman he is supposed to work to protect.

OPINION: For me, the highlight of this book were the episodes between Logan and Ellie which occurred over the years.  There was such a gentleness and sweetness that existed between the two from the first.  Unlike other books where the entire sequence of events occur within days, I completely fell into the relationship between these two which happens over the course of years.  For me, that made their eventual passionate relationship both more realistic and more satisfying.

I loved Ellie as a character.  Spunky and determined, I knew that Logan was doomed once she decided to make her move. Their relationship always felt destined — but like they were always waiting for Ellie to make her move.  I liked that both characters were good people who just trying to do the right thing.

Chase has a wonderful ability to present the male point of view. Logan’s narrative felt different than Ellie’s and I appreciated how their alternating points of view still felt cohesive and drove the story forward without feeling duplicative or conflicting.

This book also rewards fans of the series since there are lots of updates on the couples from the previous two books of the series.  I finished this book was a heartwarming feeling about the entire series.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This story is told in alternating first person points of view.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  ROYALLY ENDOWED is the third book in the Royally series.  This romance is independent of those books, but characters are overlapping and this story might be better if you have read the other books first just to be familiar with them.  In fact, the beginning of this story happens in the gaps of the first story in the series.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4 stars.


Review: Royally Raised

Review: Royally RaisedRoyally Raised (Royally, #2.5) by Emma Chase
Series: Royally #2.5
Published by Emma Chase, LLC on June 2nd 2017
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 36

This is a short, short story that takes place 20 years after the events of ROYALLY MATCHED and gives an update on what is going on with Henry and Sarah and their family.  There is a little bit of a plot involving their eldest, but that isn’t particularly resolved (perhaps there might be a book in the future about their child!)  It is really nice to see how Henry has matured and grown into his role.  I really enjoy these stories which are just a glimpse in the lives of these characters after the pages of the book are done.  The story was free to download so I think it is perfectly appropriate as a gift to fans.

Rating: 4 stars.


Review: Royally Matched

Review: Royally MatchedRoyally Matched (Royally, #2) by Emma Chase
Series: Royally #2
on February 21st 2017
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 276

“I have an hour before I need to leave, so it’ll be tea and …Sense and Sensibility for a bit. It’s the perfect read. Just enough drama and angst to be interesting, but mostly light and entertaining, with the happiest ending. Colonel Brandon is my favorite–the ultimate book husband. He made good and upstanding look sexy as all get-out. Someday, I’ll meet a man just like him–romantic, steady, and reliable–and I don’t give a damn how silly that sounds. How immature or fanciful.

“Because I have a theory.

“If nightmares can come true, and sometimes they do…then so can our happiest dreams.”

FINAL DECISION:  Intensely romantic, this book feels a little more like a fairy tale than real life, but that’s one reason it is so good.  A shy librarian who falls in love with the future king of her country and tames the wild rake.

THE STORY:  Prince Henry is having trouble adjusting to being the heir apparent after his brother abdicated his position as next in line for the throne of their country.  Now, after a lifetime of fun and games, Henry is feeling the constant pressure to be perfect.  Temporarily banished to a distant estate, Henry agrees to participate in a matchmaker reality show to find a wife (think The Bachelor).  While beautiful women are all around him seeking fame and perhaps him, Henry is drawn to the sister of one of the contestants — Sarah Von Titebottum, a shy librarian who has agreed to accompany her sister to avoid having to give a presentation.  Despite his participation in the show, Henry has no intension of finding the love of his life — but Sarah changes all that.  But how can a man who has always been considered a shallow party animal and womanizer convince a woman looking for serious and responsible that he is man for her?

OPINION:  Funny, romantic and sweet was not what I expected when I read the description of this book, but that is what I got.  Henry is simply adorable. He’s a man who has placed in a position that he never expected to inhabit.  Now he is struggling to figure out how to be himself as heir when everyone else seems to be trying to tell him who he should be.  While his grandmother, the Queen, wants and expects Henry to be circumspect and proper, he instead decides to agree to a matchmaking reality show to find a bride. He doesn’t actually expect to find a bride — just relief from his boredom and internal fears of not measuring up.  He doesn’t expect to find Sarah.

While the two had met before, this is the first time that he has spent any significant time with her.  And he finds that she gives him the opportunity to be himself — a man — rather than a prince.  Their interactions are funny and sweet and while Henry is challenging Sarah to come out of her shell, she is allowing him to be responsible and serious in his own unique way.

Sarah was a particularly interesting character.  She has an air of innocence worthy of any potential bride of a prince, but she also has spunk and quirks that make her fun and modern.  I genuinely liked her and I loved how she is willing to see the man and not the prince.

This story is willing to be blatantly romantic.  There is a gauze of fairy tale over the entire story, but I thought that worked well for this story (which is different from the reality in the first book in the series).  I loved the book and if I had one complaint it is that I would like to see more of this couple together and happy because they have work to do in the world.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This book is told in alternating first person point of view.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  ROYALLY MATCHED is the second book in the Royally series.  While the romance is independent in this book, I think it is better to read the first book to understand more about Henry.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4.5 stars.


Review: Royally Screwed

Review: Royally ScrewedRoyally Screwed (Royally, #1) by Emma Chase
Series: Royally #1
Published by Everafter Romance on October 18th 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 276

“But we can’t change who we are — not a queen, a prince, or a girl from New York. Like he told me once…royalty is forever.”

FINAL DECISION:  Romantic, funny and sexy.  I love this book.  Its tone, its humor, its intense emotional and romantic underpinnings.  The entirety seems like a modern fairy tale and I enjoyed every page.

THE STORY:  Nicholas Arthur Frederick Edward Pembrook is the Crowned Prince of Wessco. Women around the world are obsessed with the sexy heir to the throne. While Nicholas has thoroughly enjoyed his bachelor ways, his grandmother, the Queen, tells him that it is time for him to marry.  Nicholas, always aware of his position knows that he needs to comply, but he is going to make the most of the time he has left.  He first has to go to New York to handle his younger brother who is acting scandalously.  In New York, Nicholas meets Olivia Hammond who is running her family’s failing coffee house.  When Nicholas propositions her Olivia tosses a pie in his face and thus Nicholas has met the woman who can resist him.  In the months before his aristocratic bride will be announced, Nicholas and Olivia agree to have a temporary affair.  The question is what happens when a temporary affair becomes love that can’t lead to marriage.

OPINION:  I have become a real fan of Emma Chase’s style. I’ve only sporadically liked first person narratives, but I’ve always loved getting in the heads of Chase’s characters.  This book typifies why I like Chase’s style.  Her characters are flawed with big personalities and quirky senses of humor.  The obstacles that the characters face here feel insurmountable until everything falls into place for a happy ending.

And that is another thing I really liked about this book.  Somehow this book manages to walk the line between completely feeling contemporary and realistic and yet there is a fairy tale quality to the story that reaches it height at the ending (which I absolutely adored).

As we meet Nicholas in this book, he is the golden child.  Next in line for the throne of his country, he has tried to live up to the expectations of being royalty.  He’s tried to keep his relationships in their proper place and avoid scandal at all costs.  (In comparison his younger brother is the scandalous hellion). When Nicholas’s grandmother informs him that it is time to marry, Nicholas is unhappy, but he knows he needs to do his duty.  The acceptance of the reader that Nicholas is truly a man of duty is important to the story because that duty is what ultimately is going to keep Nicholas and Olivia apart. If Chase did not so deftly embed Nicholas’s duty into the very fiber of his character, the central conflict of the book would not have any power.  Instead, the real sense is that Nicholas is caught in a net from which he cannot escape no matter what he might emotionally want.

I absolutely adored Olivia.  She is a woman living on the edge.  Trying to support her family by operating the coffee shop, Olivia is not making ends meet.  Things are becoming desperate.  Yet, Olivia never wants to take advantage of the possibilities for money that could come from knowing Nicholas. She is moral and honest.  She also knows that Nicholas will be marrying the appropriate woman but is willing to enjoy all the possibilities in the meantime.  She knows there is no future for them but will take every moment that she can have.

I like books that make me cry and then rejoice and this book does that.  As things appear hopeless for Olivia and Nicholas, the emotions of the book were so strong that I teared up.  There seemed to be no solution to the dilemma — and then there was.  The sacrifice was huge, but that is the beauty of the book.  Love can be worthy of sacrifice.

WORTH MENTIONING: Oh, I can’t wait for Henry’s book.  I’ve always like the scoundrel.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  ROYALLY SCREWED is the first book of the Royally series.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4.5 stars.