Avon, $5.99, ISBN 978-0-06-231749-0
Contemporary Romance, 2014
Nichole Chase mercifully brings her series on the most boring and vapid royal family ever to a close with Reluctantly Royal. Unlike the previous two books, this one is more serious in nature, but don’t worry, the heroine still displays the mental capacity and psychological profile of a fourteen year old girl – quite likely the very kind of audience this book is targeted at.
Lady Meredith Thysmer was from London, until her useless father got too useless for her to play the martyr for, so she lives with her grandfather with her son. Oh yes, she was once in love, got knocked up, and was dumped the moment the pregnancy kit told her, “Surprise! Told ya you should’ve paid attention during sex ed!” The author wants so desperately for me to think of Meredith not as a skank that she assures me that Meredith had never let any man touched her female parts since she popped out the brat Marty. Instead, Meredith strung men along with promises of sex until she had what she wanted from them – getting them to pay her rent for her, et cetera – and then she dumped them. Hey, don’t judge. The most important thing here is that her womanly parts have been kept clean and polished for the royal visit of the heir of the kingdom of Leeleelalahaha… wait, is that right?
Whatever. His name is Prince Maxwell Jameson Trevor, and he is going to tell Meredith that her grandfather has died. She basically acts so blue and forlorn, her father shows up to make her look even more like a victim, so naturally it’s up to Max to wag his princely wand and make all the bad men go away.
Meanwhile, Marty shows signs of demonic possession, if you ask me. He’d go one moment from tearfully telling his mother that he dreamed of his great-grandfather coming to tell him goodbye, his “big eyes” “shimmering with understanding”, only to exchange wisecracks a few seconds later with Max, wisecracks that usually come from one’s awkward uncle who’d make all these jokes when drunk to a room where everyone’s stunned into silence, rather than from a realistic boy his age. When the author wants the kid to pull a Michelle Tanner, Marty would do it, only to sound like a creepy old man inhabiting a kid’s body a few seconds after. Maybe Nichole Chase is that awkward uncle in the room, because I cringe so often at her attempts at humor here. She tries, reaches like Mr Tickle, but always invariably falls flat on her face.
The author doesn’t fare much better in other aspects of her writing here. Clumsy phraseology is everywhere. “Pointed at me with disdain” doesn’t sound right, and I can’t figure out how it is that the heroine’s lip can “plump around her teeth” when she bites on it, unless the lip in question is inflatable. I can’t imagine how the hero can find that sexy either, since he’s not a dentist who has developed some kind of fetish for periodontal diseases.
Now, if it was just me, Meredith, and a little raspberry jam… Fuck me. I was hard.
I’m impressed by such elegant poetry, but… just a little? Either she is very tiny or his penis is even tinier.
I can go on and on about all the awkwardness in the narrative, but I think it’d be overkill by the time I’m done and everyone would accuse me of being a hater, so I’d just stop here. Group hug, everyone, and let’s pose for a selfie!
Maybe the clumsy writing is by design, to make me laugh because heaven knows, the plot is dire. It’s the same crock – the heroine tries very hard, with increasing desperation, to insist that she’s no good for Max, Max is the one-dimensional trophy boyfriend who remains patient all this while as the heroine works herself up into a frenzy of self-debasement, and the kid continues to talk like a 50-year old trying way too hard to be cute with all those tears and eyes and dreams of dead people. Who is that brat kidding? It’s just a matter of time before he chops up everyone and pickles the bits in jars that he lines in alphabetical order in the cellar.
Oh, and I still have no idea by now the culture of this Looloolalahaha land. Members of the royalty apparently spend all day lolling in luxury, having sex non-stop with their beloved, and the ladies sign a check for charity now and then while the men glower and secretly practice their 5 Seconds of Summer pose in front of a mirror. No Molly, no orgies, no rehabs, no sex scandals, nothing. Like I said, these are the most vapid and boring bunch of twits ever. When Meredith squeals that it is so horrible that her father is selling exclusive interviews to a local tabloid, I can only wonder why the tabloid even bothers. What story is there? Oh, she got knocked up at 17 and spends the rest of her life being a man-hating hag. Move over, Katie Price and Peter Andre, there’s a new tabloid staple in the UK!
Now that the series is over, maybe the author can now spend some of her time learning how to write less like a teenage girl who is writing her first fanfiction? Surely that can’t hurt.