Review: American Royals by Katharine McGee

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Imagine an alternate world in which the United States established a monarchy after the American Revolution, with King George Washington I at the helm. American Royals re-imagines U.S. history, telling the story of America’s royal (read: scandalous) family. 

Princess Beatrice Georgina Fredericka Louise of the House of Washington is slated to become the first Queen Regent of the United States of America. After 21 years of preparation, Beatrice has accepted that she will soon become the first female heir to throne….including the reality that she will have to marry (and likely not for love). The only issue? She never planned on falling for her hunky body guard, Connor, who also happens to be *gasp* a commoner. In an attempt at royal matchmaking, her parents, the King and Queen, arrange for Beatrice to meet a list of America’s most eligible bachelors. Throughout the novel, Beatrice struggles to come to terms with her destiny and whether she should marry for love or for the good of her country. 

The novel is told from alternating points of view, also telling the story of Beatrice’s twin siblings, Their Royal Heinesses Jefferson and Samantha, as well as Samantha’s best friend, Nina, and Jeff’s ex-girlfriend, Daphne. 

Samantha’s nickname among the palace security staff is the Sparrow. The spare heir to the American throne, Samantha is frequently overshadowed by her prim and proper older sister, Beatrice. Determined to make a name for herself, Samantha develops the reputation as the troublemaker of the royal family due to her outspoken nature and flashy fashion choices. After returning from a whirlwind post-graduation trip, Samantha meets Lord Theodore “Teddy” Eaton at a royal ball. Unbeknownst to Sam, Teddy has made the shortlist of her sister’s potential suitors. Will Sam play second fiddle to her sister yet again, or will she get her happily ever after? 

The third storyline in this novel centers around royal twin, Jeff, his ex-girlfriend Daphne, and Nina, Princess Samantha’s life-long best friend. Spoiler alert: this is most definitely a love triangle…but in the juiciest (and best) way possible. Nina and Jeff have been friends forever, and their feelings for each other come to a head at the twins’ graduation party. The only catch is that Jeff is very much dating Daphne at this time. Flash forward to when Jeff returns to America (single and ready to mingle), leaving Nina to wonder about the status of their relationship. Daphne, however, won’t give the prince up without a fight. After all, she’s been preparing for her role as the future Mrs. Jefferson Washington for her entire life—quite literally. Daphne’s family comes from a long line of social climbers, and marrying off their daughter to the Prince is the last piece of the puzzle. On a mission to win him back, Daphne must fight to win Jefferson’s heart before it is too late. 

Overall, this story is *highly* entertaining. We won’t lie and say the writing is fantastic, because it’s definitely not, but the story-lines are woven together well. Imagine Gossip Girl mixed with The Royals and you’ve got American Royals.

McGee does a fabulous job of engaging her readers, and we found ourselves tearing through the book to unlock the hidden secrets of the royal family. Plus, we always enjoy alternate history. It’s fun to imagine what current times would be like if the United States had a monarchy and how different the world would look. 

Not to mention that the romances were A+. We found ourselves rooting for all the budding romances, though Claire’s favorite was definitely Beatrice and her hottie bodyguard (yummy!). Christy’s favorite was Nina and Jeff. Nina was able to make him understand what normal life outside of the palace looks like.  

Our only complaint would be that we wished the book had better character development. McGee definitely went in depth with Beatrice’s character given her complexities and future status as Queen Regent, but the other characters felt lacking at times. Daphne was total crazy-town, dedicating her life to social climbing. Most of the time, she was very one-dimensional.  However, the scandalous plot line was more than entertaining and made up for this issue. 

Do yourself a favor and snag this book the next time you’re browsing your local bookstore! 

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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