Rivals by Katharine McGee Review

59447047._SY475_Summary (from the publisher): The third book in the New York Times bestselling American Royals series is here, and a meeting of monarchs will test everyone’s loyalty to the crown…and their own hearts.

Beatrice is queen, and for the American royal family, everything is about to change.

Relationships will be tested.
Princess Samantha is in love with Lord Marshall Davis—but the more serious they get, the more complicated things become. Is Sam destined to repeat her string of broken relationships…and this time will the broken heart be her own?

Strangers will become friends.
Beatrice is representing America at the greatest convocation of kings and queens in the world. When she meets a glamorous foreign princess, she gets drawn into the inner circle…but at what cost?

And rivals will become allies.
Nina and Daphne have spent years competing for Prince Jefferson. Now they have something in common: they both want to take down manipulative Lady Gabriella Madison. Can these enemies join forces, or will old rivalries stand in the way?

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

I don’t’ read too many series nowadays, but if there’s one YA series that I MUST pick up as soon as the next book comes out, it’s Katharine McGee’s American Royals series. Picture Princess Diaries meets YA contemporary goodness in this series following the Washington family, aka the monarchs of America. While I’d say that book #2, Majesty, leaves in a characters in a fairly good place, Rivals, the third installment, heightens the tension and drama as Beatrice leads an international conference in Orange, the home territory of her sister, Samantha’s boyfriend. Meanwhile, Nina and Daphne unexpectedly join forces as a common rival threatens to ruin their futures. Warning that there will be spoilers in this review for American Royals & Majesty, but not Rivals

I have much love for book #1 in this series for introducing me to their world & setting the stage, but Rivals might have stolen my heart as my favorite book in the series so far. While anticipating it, I thought that Rivals was going to be the final book in this series, but found out via Instagram that there will be a book #4 before jumping into Rivals. Sidenote that I also loved the challenge at the very end of the book to try to find book #4’s title within certain chapters of Rivals – I do admit that I was lazy and instead following readers’ predictions via the hashtag. That being said, I was so happy to feel that Rivals didn’t fall into ‘middle book syndrome’ – yes, there is a cliffhanger or two that of course makes me want book #4 NOW, but I still felt very satisfied by the plot and character development in Rivals.

Beatrice will forever be my favorite perspective of the four female leads. She has had so much happen to her over the past three books, but I think she grew the most in book #3. I loved seeing her grow into a much more confident leader, while also seeing a new side of her as she socializes with the group of young rulers, including Princess Louise of France. I do recommend reading the American Royals prequel novella before reading Inheritance for Beatrice’s mini storyline there alone. I also was the biggest Connor fan in books #1 and even a little bit of book #2, but after doing a reread of Majesty and then reading Rivals, I am totally here for Teddy as a love interest. Maybe blame it on the Elin Hilderbrand fan that I am, but I want some more of Teddy and Beatrice at his family home in Nantucket! Again, trying to avoid spoilers, but I am the MOST invested in seeing what happens to Beatrice in the next book…

I also think that Samantha majorly matured in Rivals. Many of the conversations surrounding politics and race that are relevant in both her world and our reality revolved around her relationship with Marshall. And of course, there’s Daphne. She’s definitely not my favorite, but at the same time, I love her as the antagonist or likable villain in this series and I think Katharine McGee got most of us to even have the slightest amount of empathy for her in this third book. While awful, I LOVED her cliffhanger near the end – it’s the most Daphne book ever! Nina and Daphne’s relationship (do I say friendship??) in Rivals reveals Daphne’s soft side and makes the reader believe that she is capable of changing.. On the other hand, Nina is definitely the most consistent character in this series, especially for having the most normal/common background of the four – yes, there is some drama in her plot line in Rivals, but I kind’ve wanted the stakes to be upped her in the next book?? I think I hinted at in my review of Majesty, but I also just want the slightest more from Jeff? The four female leads are such dimensional characters, but Jeff comes off as so aloof & gullible…but given book #3’s ending, perhaps we’ll see a major change for him in the next book..

Overall, if you haven’t yet picked up the American Royals series, you absolutely NEED to before book #4!

Have you read Rivals? What did you think? Have you read the American Royals series or the Thousandth Floor? Share in the comments! 

3 thoughts on “Rivals by Katharine McGee Review

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