Title: Suddenly Royal (Suddenly #1)
Author: Nichole Chase
Release date: November 26th 2013
Publisher: Avon Books
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
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.
Suddenly Royal is a fun and light New Adult read, and I adored the incredibly lovable protagonists Nichole Chase introduced us to. The premise is very Princess Diaries-like, so fans of that series will eat this one up. I haven't read that series myself, but I've seen the movies, so I know what they're about. Like Mia, Sam is suddenly pulled into a world of royalty, something she never thought could be remotely possible. Thank goodness she has Prince Alex to show her the ropes!
Samantha is a wildlife biologist, and has a soft spot for birds of any kind. She lives a totally normal life, up until a duchess and prince from Lilaria visit her town and invite her for dinner. Sam finds out she's the descendant of the royal Rousseau family of Lilaria, and the duchess wants her to inherit her title. But Sam's got her sick father to take care of, not to mention the fact that her whole life is in America and she's not ready to take on the responsibilities of a country. And the paparazzi definitely isn't helping. But Sam finds support and a good friend in Alex, though she knows he's not content with just that. And if she's being honest with herself, neither is she.
Sam's narrative voice is by far one of the most snarky and hilarious ones I've come across. She's blunt, sarcastic, and really witty. Seeing the story through her eyes made it all the more interesting to me. There was this one point where she kicked a paparazzi photographer in the nuts, which made me burst into laughter! Sam's likeable right from the start, and I began empathizing with her pretty soon. I can't imagine the shock she feels on discovering her heritage, and I admire her strength. She's careful of giving her heart away, though, and I honestly don't know how she managed to hold out against Alex for so long. She's definitely tough, I'll give her that!
Prince Alex is so freaking swoon-worthy, no kidding. Just imagining him in my head makes me feel all melty. I love how he's there for Sam throughout, and in their first meeting, promises not to throw her to the wolves. It's clear that he wants more than friendship with Sam, but she's not ready yet. And Alex, being really patient and sweet, waits for her. Of course, he does everything in his power to hasten her decision! Alex is also so protective of Sam, which I find so adorable. He doesn't want her to deal with the public stuff he had to, and I liked that he wants to protect her from it. Alex does have a huge ego, like Sam keeps saying, but he totally has the right to it.
Another character I really loved is Chadwick, Sam's personal assistant in Lilaria. He's gay, so no issues there, and he's just really funny. Sam feels comfortable around him immediately, and I like him all the more because he's the reason Sam finally gives in to her feelings for Alex. So thank you for that, Chad. I also really liked Catherine, Alex's sister. She and Sam hit it off pretty quick, and she seems really sweet. I know that the next book, Recklessly Royal, is her story, so I'm definitely looking forward to that.
I enjoyed reading about Lilaria and its royal family, as well as all the things the royals have to do. At some points I feel sorry for them because of the lack of privacy when they go out, and I felt so mad at the paparazzi on their behalf. But their amazing castle-like houses filled me with awe! The descriptions are so vivid that I could see the castles quite clearly in my mind, hallways and everything.
This is a great book for New Adult fans - the romance is sizzling, though not as frequent as in other NA books I've read. Which is awesome, because I liked the fact that this book doesn't focus solely on the romance. I loved the light-heartedness throughout the novel, it was perfect for a weekend afternoon read. There was a little preview of Recklessly Royal at the back of this eARC, and it's already made me excited for that book! I'd strongly recommend this book to anyone who loves contemporary, or really enjoyed The Princess Diaries.
*Thank you to HarperCollins for providing an ARC for review*