American Royals (Review) // Forbidden romances, a new royal family, an absolute whirlwind

What if America had a royal family?

When America won the Revolutionary War, its people offered General George Washington a crown. Two and a half centuries later, the House of Washington still sits on the throne.

As Princess Beatrice gets closer to becoming America’s first queen regnant, the duty she has embraced her entire life suddenly feels stifling.

Nobody cares about the spare except when she’s breaking the rules, so Princess Samantha doesn’t care much about anything, either . . . except the one boy who is distinctly off-limits to her.

And then there’s Samantha’s twin, Prince Jefferson. If he’d been born a generation earlier, he would have stood first in line for the throne, but the new laws of succession make him third. Most of America adores their devastatingly handsome prince . . . but two very different girls are vying to capture his heart.

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American Royals is an exploration of an alternate universe where America has a royal family, the Washingtons. Told from the perspectives of Beatrice, Samantha, Nina, and Daphne, this book will bring you on a journey of Washington as you don’t know it. Beneath the carefully maintained public personas lies a much darker world of blackmail, gossip, and scandal. Filled with intrigue, secrets, and forbidden romance, American Royals is sure to have you enchanted to your seat…

Something about this book is just so wholly Katharine McGee. I couldn’t stop reading, I was completely and utterly caught up in the world of the Washingtons. It felt like I was hurtling toward the edge of a cliff the entire time? All of the main characters are at war with themselves and their constant internal conflict is a subtle undertone that’s brought up to the surface at times to amplify the tension. In essence, the story is about the differences between the image and the person, public expectation and private life. The ending was a classic cliffhanger that reminded me of The Thousandth Floor, at risk of bordering on spoilers I’d like to think the King would’ve told Beatrice to follow her heart?

Maybe it’s something about feeling the weight of expectations, but I really like Beatrice (also she reminds me so much of Avery but also isn’t a carbon copy?), and seeing her reconnect with her younger sister was special. There’s a spot in my heart reserved for Connor as well, I’m almost certain Katharine McGee isn’t done torturing him yet. Plus, he makes me think of The Selection series. While Daphne was my least favourite (which I’ll explain more later), there were parts of her that reminded me of Blair Waldorf. Teddy is a gem and I’m interested to see what he gets up to in the next book with his unique position in the character hierarchy.

I didn’t really realise how similar American Royals is in some ways to The Thousandth Floor until after I finished reading. The characters have an innate likeness to them, but regardless I loved the Washingtons and the way Katharine McGee presented their story. I do think the story could’ve benefitted from less perspectives; I felt that Daphne’s was the least developed and the attempts to make readers sympathise with her confused me a little as I wasn’t sure what direction her story was headed in. Despite his status as Jefferson’s best friend I didn’t really see them have any close interaction; perhaps that’s because neither of the two got a perspective, but it felt like a purposefully placed friendship of convenience rather than a bond like that of Nina and Sam.

This book is a must-read for fans of The Selection, forbidden romance, and royal stories. The characters are multifaceted and alive in their struggles between the two sides of themselves. The world of the Washingtons is well constructed and historical facts integrated expertly into the narrative. After that ending, I absolutely can’t wait for the second instalment of this magnificent series.

Do you like stories about royals?

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