Series: Suddenly #1
Published by Author on April 17, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Amazon • The Book Depository
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.
Well, I suppose it was inevitable that I would eventually find a new adult novel that I resolutely do not enjoy. While Suddenly Royal is largely inoffensive, it’s also so cliché-ridden that I wanted to cry. Billed as a Princess Diaries for an older audience and having received decent early reviews, I was resoundly disappointed with my experience here. If this is The Princess Diaries, then it’s the sequel, The Royal Engagement only without the random musical numbers, Julie Andrews, and hair that makes a boy moose go WAAAAH.
The highest praise I have to offer is that the cover matches the book perfectly, and is actually directly from a particular scene. Rather than my usual review, I’m going to list some bullet points of what let me down about Suddenly Royal.
The Writing – Given that Suddenly Royal has been out for a couple months, I was not thrilled to note quite a few typos as I read. Even the well-edited parts aren’t impressive, full of telling rather than showing, and repetitive diction. Perhaps even worse than that are the occasional odd word choices, like “perfect rump” or the supposedly flirty conversation where Sam points at a word that means “stuffed,” which is apparently sexy but noooo. Everything that wasn’t awkward was cheesy as all get out.
Characterization – We’re told that the characters are a lot of things, but they really don’t exhibit any depth at all, just one or two surface characteristics. Sam does not exhibit her apparently vast intelligence or cutting wit pretty much ever. Alex at no point comes off to me as anything more than a smarmy playboy prince, and I basically found him incredibly not attractive. Both gay characters are very stereotypically gay. All the other girls besides Sam are very girly, to showcase how different and special she is since she hates shopping. Also, expect every single woman but Sam to unbutton her shirt in front of Alex, and for Sam to slut-shame her for being scantily clad. The hired help adore being hired help; “Life is so unnerving for a servant who’s not serving,” after all.
Banter Fail – The flirting in Suddenly Royal leaves so much to be desired, probably because the characters lack personality. The conversations Alex and Sam have are stilted and skim only the surface of incredibly mundane subjects. Their intense attraction to one another never made any sense to me.
Sexiness Fail – Once they finally fall into bed together, the sex is entirely uninspiring. There’s basically no foreplay, some quick thrusting, and then, quicker than you can say “why the hell am I reading this?”, spontaneous orgasms.
Plot – My problem here is that there really wasn’t one. She learns she’s a duchess and the goes to be a duchess. That’s about it. There seems to have been some effort made to make Suddenly Royal deeper and not just about the romance, only it was still totally just about the romance, only with endless stretches of book where nothing happened at all.
Pacing – What was the timeline? I have no clue. The time seemed really drawn out and then would skip weeks or months without warning. For the most part, the pacing was mind-numbingly slow as things continually failed to happen.
On the plus side, there’s no instalove, though the banterless writing and lack of deep connection does make it feel that way. However, props are due for the characters not rushing into the “I love you” stuff.
I am not impressed, and I will not be reading any more of this series. That’s it. I’m done. Why are you guys still here? I said GOOD DAY, sir.