Series: The Royals #1
on January 1st 1970
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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From strip clubs and truck stops to southern coast mansions and prep schools, one girl tries to stay true to herself.
These Royals will ruin you…
Ella Harper is a survivor—a pragmatic optimist. She’s spent her whole life moving from town to town with her flighty mother, struggling to make ends meet and believing that someday she’ll climb out of the gutter. After her mother’s death, Ella is truly alone.
Until Callum Royal appears, plucking Ella out of poverty and tossing her into his posh mansion among his five sons who all hate her. Each Royal boy is more magnetic than the last, but none as captivating as Reed Royal, the boy who is determined to send her back to the slums she came from.
Reed doesn’t want her. He says she doesn’t belong with the Royals.
He might be right.
Wealth. Excess. Deception. It’s like nothing Ella has ever experienced, and if she’s going to survive her time in the Royal palace, she’ll need to learn to issue her own Royal decrees.
Paper Princess did not seem like anything I normally read but I thought I’d give it a try. I was looking for New Adult recommendations and this one was mentioned more than once. I figured that must be a good sign and it definitely was. Paper Princess was a little out of my comfort zone but I’m so glad I gave it a chance.
- Characters: Oh where do I even begin with these characters? Ella is my favorite kind of girl. She’s sassy and sarcastic, and badass but also extremely lonely and vulnerable. Erin Watt managed to perfectly capture all these sides to Ella and make me love every single piece of her. As for the boys, I admit that I’m not typically into the rude, arrogant, completely jackass guys but something about Reed Royal (and the rest of the Royals) appealed to me. Reed was the alpha male in the Royal household (except when older brother Gideon was around) and he made that very known. Callum may be the dad but he wasn’t the one in control of the boys. Reed was a total jerk to Ella for a good portion of the book but I still managed to fall for him. Don’t get me wrong, I love that Ella put him in his place but I really do think they worked well together. It also didn’t hurt that the sexual tension between the two of them was off the charts. My next favorite Royal was Easton, for sure, and I hope to find out more about his story in the coming books. And then there was Callum. He was a total sweetheart and really wanted to look out for Ella.
- Story: I read the synopsis for this one and really didn’t think there would be a whole lot to the story but I was wrong about that. Ella is taken in by Callum Royal and given some stipulations about her new life. If she sticks it out, he’ll pay for her college and if she sticks that out, she’ll get even more money when she’s done. Seems easy peasy, right? So wrong. His 5 sons think she’s a gold digger out to get their dad’s money and will not take no for an answer. They do everything to make her life miserable, both at home and school. The Royals have endless supplies of money and they pretty much run the school so it’s easy to get everyone to alienate her. There is more to their hatred for Ella though that stems from what happened with their parents and the role Ella’s dad played in that story. I was intrigued about the Royals’ backstory and how each one dealt with the grief of losing their mother.
- Romance: I don’t even know if I can call what Ella and Reed had between them a romance. For a lot of the book, they hated each other or at least made it seem like they did. Their relationship was more sexual tension than anything, at least at first. As they started to get to know each other I could see where things were going. They tried to fight it but they had some great chemistry and more in common than either would have guessed. I loved watching them give in to each other and see what they could offer one another.
- Ending: I know I really shouldn’t hate on a book just because I didn’t like the ending but this one seemed to come out of nowhere. I actually went back and re-read it a couple times just to see how it would make sense and I couldn’t figure it out. It’s a huge cliffhanger (which has me dying for the next one) but that isn’t what bothered me about it. I’m not going to spoil it but I just felt like it was rushed and really didn’t fit with what I knew of the characters. I’m eager to see how it will all play out in the second book and if things will start to make more sense to me then.
Overall, Paper Princess has been added to my list of New Adult recommendations, for sure. It doesn’t hurt that one half of the writing duo happens to be one of my favorite NA authors (Elle Kennedy!) but don’t think that’s my reasoning behind this recommendation. I actually didn’t find out she was part of the writing duo until after I finished the book. Paper Princess stands on it’s own and while it might leave you with the urge to throw it against a wall, it’s one you should definitely try.