Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept
Date of publication: January 16, 2016
Genre: Romance, Humor
Number of pages: 250
POV: 1st person
Reluctantly Royal – Book 1
Book synopsis (from Goodreads):
A bad-boy prince is tamed by a vivacious American beauty in this charming love story.
Officially, the world knows me as His Royal Highness Prince Lucien of Monaco, but you can call me Luc. A long time ago, I vowed never to let my heritage stand in the way of a good time. Now the party’s over.
With the death of my father and my twin brother, I’ve lost a part of my soul—and my freedom. My heartless older brother tells me that not only do I have to settle down, but I also need to marry a girl with the right bloodlines. AKA, a princess. Yeah, I’ll get right on that . . . after one last trip to Vegas.
That’s where I meet Hannah. Not only is she gorgeous and down-to-earth, but she also reminds me what it’s like to live completely in the moment. Plus she has no idea who I really am. Hanging out with the locals, I feel like I can just be myself again. Besides, our chemistry is undeniable—especially after we take things to the next level.
What happens in Vegas is special, and I don’t want it to stay there. But I’ve been keeping a secret that will tear us apart. The last thing I expect, though? Hannah’s been keeping a secret of her own . . . one that might just bring us together.
Trigger Warning: None
So this book didn’t rank up there on my expectation scale. By reading the blurb, I thought it was going to be one of those books where sex is prevalent and the plot is nonexistent. Well, color me surprised because Reluctantly Royal wasn’t that. Nope, not at all. This book had a depth to it that I wouldn’t guess from reading the blurb. What I also liked is that Reluctantly Royal was told only from Luc’s viewpoint.
Reluctantly Royal starts off with His Royal Highness Prince Lucien being called back to Monaco. That was at the request of his brother, Sovereign Prince Sebastien. The Sovereign Prince is getting engaged and he expects Luc to do that same. In that same conversation, Sebastien asks Luc to take over his duties at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas. Luc reluctantly agrees to go. He decides that if he is going to be in Las Vegas, then he needs to live it up. He goes to a local karaoke bar and meets Hannah. Expecting their relationship to last a week, Luc is surprised when he starts to fall for Hannah. Luc hasn’t exactly been truthful with Hannah. He hasn’t told her who he was. But Hannah has secrets of her own. It is those secrets, once revealed that rocks Luc’s world.
I felt awful for Luc. He was reeling from the death of his twin brother and father the year before. The grief that was portrayed affected me so much that I actually got teary-eyed when Luc talked about his twin, Julien. I also felt awful about his alienation from his family. He felt that he was to blame for Julien’s death. It didn’t help that his mother would burst out into tears when she saw him. It also didn’t help that Bastien treated Luc like he wasn’t capable of making his own decisions.
I could understand Luc’s reluctance to go to Las Vegas. All Luc wanted, since his brother’s death, was to be a normal guy. To blend in with the other people and not to have security up his butt all the time. To be the keynote speaker at the Expo was the opposite of that. When he gets there, he finds out that his brother has him meeting with interested parties who want to do business with Monaco. Luc flips out and I don’t blame him. So when he meets Hannah, he thought that he could be a foreign tourist hooking up with a hot American. What he didn’t expect is to actually fall for her.
I liked Hannah and I thought she had a great sense of humor. The official first date that she picked out with Luc was a museum of porn. My only issue with her is that she was almost a pushover. She would get ripping mad at Luc and then stop. A couple of times she actually went to leave and she stopped when he showed up. Other than that, I loved her. I thought that she was perfect for Luc. She grounded him.
The sexual tension between Luc and Hannah was immediate and thick. I like that the author chose to not to have them have sex right off the bat. Instead, they waited. There were a few close encounters. One in the porn booth (you need to read the book!!) and the other in the indoor carnival. So when they actually had sex, it was explosive. And every single sexual encounter after that was the same way.
What sold me on the book was that the author didn’t end the book with Luc and Hannah having sex or with them moving to Monaco. Instead, she added another layer with Hannah’s big secret and Luc’s dysfunctional family. It made the book more relatable to me.
The ending was your typical HEA but it did have a few heart-wrenching scenes thrown in. The epilogue was fantastic. I am looking forward to reading Bastien’s story!!
Reluctantly Royal was a great read. It had a good plotline with relatable characters. I also liked that it was told only from Luc’s viewpoint. I haven’t read a lot of books where the author does that and it was refreshing.
Will I reread: Yes
Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes
Age range: Adult
Why: Sex, language, and mild violence
I would like to thank Gillian Archer, Random House Publishing House, Loveswept and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Reluctantly Royal.
All opinions expressed in this review of Reluctantly Royal are mine
**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**