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
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.
I highly recommend reading Katharine McGee’s American Royals before reading this review because EVERYONE needs this YA royal contemporary read in their lives and while I will not be including spoilers for Majesty, I will be getting into spoilers for American Royals. Majesty is the second book in the American Royals series.
Summary (from the publisher):
Power is intoxicating. Like first love, it can leave you breathless. Princess Beatrice was born with it. Princess Samantha was born with less. Some, like Nina Gonzalez, are pulled into it. And a few will claw their way in. Ahem, we’re looking at you Daphne Deighton.
As America adjusts to the idea of a queen on the throne, Beatrice grapples with everything she lost when she gained the ultimate crown. Samantha is busy living up to her “party princess” persona…and maybe adding a party prince by her side. Nina is trying to avoid the palace–and Prince Jefferson–at all costs. And a dangerous secret threatens to undo all of Daphne’s carefully laid “marry Prince Jefferson” plans.
A new reign has begun….
My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Majesty was among my MOST anticipated reads of 2020 – honestly, it might’ve been my most anticipated YA release! – especially because book #1, American Royals, was among my top 3 favorite books of 2019. American Royals spoke to the lifelong Princess Diaries fan that I am, as the book takes place in a present day America that is a monarchy instead of a democracy. Majesty takes place a few weeks after the ending of American Royals, with the Washingtons back in D.C.
I really didn’t know what to expect from Majesty, given American Royals’ slight cliffhanger. Beatrice was my favorite lead in book #1 and she remained so in this sequel. There’s just so, so much to explore about Beatrice, between her love triangle and her future as the first queen of America. Katharine McGee has created my favorite kind of, but most tormenting love triangle, aka the type where I adore both love interests and don’t know who I should be rooting for! Beatrice’s storyline was well-balanced between her love interests and determination to be the best leader she can be, while grieving over arguably the most significant person in her life and trying to sustain a better relationship with Samantha. I wish we saw more interaction between Beatrice and Jeff, but at the same time, Beatrice and Samantha’s sibling dynamic is my favorite. We really get to see Beatrice coming into her role as queen while also getting to see more of her personality shine, partially because of her growing bond with a certain someone and also because she just seems to be growing more and more into her confidence. I loved the messages surrounding female leadership.
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. Like most royal families, the Washingtons have an heir and a spare. A future monarch and a backup battery. Each child knows exactly what is expected of them. But these aren’t just any royals. They’re American. And their country was born of rebellion. 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.
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Not only have I found my favorite royal fiction book, but I have found one of my favorite books of 2019: Katharine McGee’s American Royals!
American Royals takes place in a world where the United States became a monarchy instead of democracy, with George Washington as the first king. Present-day, twenty-one year old Beatrice is not only in line for the throne, but she’s set to become the first Queen of America. There’s a ton of pressure on Beatrice because of this, not to mention the pressure of having the perfect king-consort. Yes, this is where The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement vibes come in, as Beatrice is expected to marry an acceptable man when she becomes Queen. There’s no political pressure on Beatrice’s younger twin siblings, Jefferson and Sam, but there’s plenty of stress in their love lives. Sam finds herself falling for the one guy she can’t have, while two very different girls, including Sam’s best friend, Nina, have captured Jeff’s heart.
American Royals is perfect for fans of The Princess Diaries and YA and NA fiction. There isn’t a heavy emphasis on the politics, but it was so interesting diving into the world of America as a monarchy. Katharine McGee definitely did a ton of research to pull this off, and I loved her unique spin. Like many readers at the moment, I am a sucker for anything royal. Can I have the Queen’s wardrobe please? If not, catch me finding a reason to buy myself a royal-worthy ball gown.