Book Review

Book Review: The Royals Next Door by Karina Halle

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 336 pages
Author: Karina Halle
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: August 31st, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

An ordinary summer goes royally awry when a prince and princess move next door, bringing their handsome bodyguard with them, from New York Times bestselling author Karina Halle.

Piper Evans: elementary school teacher by day–avid romance reader and anonymous podcaster by night. She lives a quiet, reclusive life, taking care of her mother, who struggles with mental illness, avoiding her regrettable ex, who bartends in town, and trying to make inroads in the tight-knit island community that still sees her, five years in, as an outsider.

And she’s happy with how things are–really–until British royals rent the property next to hers and their brooding bodyguard decides she’s a security threat. Piper quickly realizes that one person’s fairy tale is an ordinary woman’s nightmare as a media frenzy takes over the island and each run-in with Harrison Cole is hotter and more confusing than the last. But beneath Harrison’s no-nonsense exterior lies a soft heart, one that could tempt a woman who’s sworn off attachments into believing in white knights.

But when Piper finds herself smack in the middle of a royal scandal that rocks the island she’ll need more than Harrison’s strong arms to shield her–she’ll have to do a little rescuing herself. With careers, hearts, and friendships on the line, Piper and Harrison will have to decide what they’re willing to give up for a chance at their own happily ever after.

I LIKED THE ROMANCE.

Which is a positive because this is a contemporary romance. The surrounding plot ended up being meh.

We have the quirky heroine who’s a bit of a hot mess who somehow ends up living next to the fictional versions of Harry & Meghan. While I do like the idea of the royals being a part of this story, I think it played waaaaay too heavily into being clones. So much so the characters from the book aren’t even memorable. I wanted them to feel like their own people.

The romance was charming. I’m not I’ve ever read a body guard trope? So that was definitely new and fun for me! There was plenty of tension and I did think the chemistry was there. I could have used some more time with just them rather than sitting over at the royals house all of the time, but it is what it is. I do like how Piper and Harrison’s story wrapped up.

I just disconnected from this story a lot. Some subjects felt preachy, like the push for not hating romance novels. Which, I mean, I’m reading a ROMANCE NOVEL, so, clearly, not against them (nor am I in general in anyway, romance all day every day). There was this continual by-line that there’s no need to hate romance novels and it came up so often I was getting frustrated. Just give me the romance.

Anywho, I digress, the book was fine. I liked how quick of a read it was and the HEA. I needed more from the surrounding stories and characters (only her Mom had a true personality, everyone else was boring). I am curious what the next in this series will be like!

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses to multiple open door
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: cheating recounted, anxiety, c-PTSD, a parent with multiple mental health disorders

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