HOLIDAY CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE: Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory

Summary (from the publisher): 

Vivian Forest has been out of the country a grand total of one time, so when she gets the chance to tag along on her daughter Maddie’s work trip to England to style a royal family member, she can’t refuse. She’s excited to spend the holidays taking in the magnificent British sights, but what she doesn’t expect is to become instantly attracted to a certain private secretary, his charming accent, and unyielding formality.

Malcolm Hudson has worked for the Queen for years and has never given a personal, private tour—until now. He is intrigued by Vivian the moment he meets her and finds himself making excuses just to spend time with her. When flirtatious banter turns into a kiss under the mistletoe, things snowball into a full-on fling.

Despite a ticking timer on their holiday romance, they are completely fine with ending their short, steamy affair come New Year’s Day. . .or are they?

 

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

My Thoughts: 

You might know that I read The Wedding Date companion series way out of order. I started with the latest release & book #5, Party of Two, then went back to beginning and read book #1, The Wedding Date. Then, I skipped book #2, The Proposal (for now), and then jumped to book #3 and #4, The Wedding Party and Royal Holiday.  I can say that Jasmine Guillory’s storytelling gets stronger with each installment. I enjoyed The Wedding Date and The Wedding Party, but they just felt like they were missing something. I absolutely loved Party of Two and consider that to be my favorite in the series, but Royal Holiday was such a strong installment and is now a go-to holiday romance recommendation! 

Royal Holiday follows Maddie’s mom, Vivian, who joins her daughter on a Christmas work trip to England. Maddie, who appears in The Wedding Date and is the female lead in The Wedding Party, is styling the Duchess of England –  you better believe I had the IRL royals pictured in my head- for the holiday and has her mom accompany her on the trip. Vivian instantly has chemistry with Malcom, the private secretary of the Queen, and the two spend the holiday getting to know one another. With a new job on the line at home in California for Vivian and Malcom busy working for the royals, the two know this relationship can’t possibly work out, but dread the end of the time together. 

Based on friends’ reviews on Goodreads, I actually think I’m in the unpopular opinion category based on how much I enjoyed Royal Holiday! Royal Holiday is definitely a quiet read and doesn’t have a ton of action, but to me, it’s such a quintessential, cozy holiday read. I loved the England and royal setting, as Maddie and Vivian stay at one of the royals’ country estates. There’s scones, tea, horse-back riding, nights sitting by the fireplace, aka everything you could possibly want in a Christmas -themed read. Blame it on my current extreme wanderlust, but I also loved when the book transitioned to London. I loved escaping into holiday London and watching fireworks over the Thames. I’m someone who tends to like quiet and more character-driven reads, as long as I connect to the writing style, and I thought Royal Holiday was well-written. I loved Vivian’s charm, and her and Malcom’s flirting was so fun to read. Read More »

A POTENTIAL FAVORITE ROMANCE AUTHOR?: Party of Two Review

Summary (from the publisher):

Dating is the last thing on Olivia Monroe’s mind when she moves to LA to start her own law firm. But when she meets a gorgeous man at a hotel bar and they spend the entire night flirting, she discovers too late that he is none other than hotshot junior senator Max Powell. Olivia has zero interest in dating a politician, but when a cake arrives at her office with the cutest message, she can’t resist–it is chocolate cake, after all.

Party of Two follows Olivia, a lawyer who’s just relocated from NYC to LA to run her own law firm with her best friend, and Max, a California senator who spends his time between LA and DC. When Olivia first meets Max, she has no idea that he’s a politician, let alone one of the most eligible and attractive bachelors in DC. Olivia soon figures out who Max is and has to think about if she wants to date a politician, while Max considers what it would be like to finally have a partner. As Olivia and Max spend more time together, both have to consider what it means to put their relationship in the spotlight. I know, I know, some readers might want nothing to do with politics in their reads at that moment, but Party of Two doesn’t have political conversations every other second and it doesn’t feature an election, which was really refreshing because I feel like any contemporary book I read involving politics tends to take place during an election year. Read More »

Olivia is surprised to find that Max is sweet, funny, and noble–not just some privileged white politician she assumed him to be. Because of Max’s high-profile job, they start seeing each other secretly, which leads to clandestine dates and silly disguises. But when they finally go public, the intense media scrutiny means people are now digging up her rocky past and criticizing her job, even her suitability as a trophy girlfriend. Olivia knows what she has with Max is something special, but is it strong enough to survive the heat of the spotlight?

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

My Thoughts: 

2020 has been the year of contemporary romance for me, which means that I finally had to pick up a Jasmine Guillory book! I went with Party of Two, the fifth book in The Wedding Date companion series. It was so unlike me to pick up a latter installment in a companion series, but I was really intrigued by the synopsis and heard rave reviews from other bloggers. I’m so glad I went with Party of Two because it is now one of my favorite contemporary romances of the year. My weeks are busy between internship, grad classes, and job duties but I still managed to read this one under 3 days. Okay, some homework and TV watching may have been set aside but it was SO worth it! 

Party of Two follows Olivia, a lawyer who’s just relocated from NYC to LA to run her own law firm with her best friend, and Max, a California senator who spends his time between LA and DC. When Olivia first meets Max, she has no idea that he’s a politician, let alone one of the most eligible and attractive bachelors in DC. Olivia soon figures out who Max is and has to think about if she wants to date a politician, while Max considers what it would be like to finally have a partner. As Olivia and Max spend more time together, both have to consider what it means to put their relationship in the spotlight. I know, I know, some readers might want nothing to do with politics in their reads at that moment, but Party of Two doesn’t have political conversations every other second and it doesn’t feature an election, which was really refreshing because I feel like any contemporary book I read involving politics tends to take place during an election year. Read More »