PAPER PRINCESS (The Royals #1)
Publication Date: April 4, 2016
From strip clubs and truck stops to southern coast mansions and prep schools, one girl tries to stay true to herself.
These Royals will ruin you…
Ella Harper is a survivor—a pragmatic optimist. She’s spent her whole life moving from town to town with her flighty mother, struggling to make ends meet and believing that someday she’ll climb out of the gutter. After her mother’s death, Ella is truly alone.
Until Callum Royal appears, plucking Ella out of poverty and tossing her into his posh mansion among his five sons who all hate her. Each Royal boy is more magnetic than the last, but none as captivating as Reed Royal, the boy who is determined to send her back to the slums she came from.
Reed doesn’t want her. He says she doesn’t belong with the Royals.
He might be right.
Wealth. Excess. Deception. It’s like nothing Ella has ever experienced, and if she’s going to survive her time in the Royal palace, she’ll need to learn to issue her own Royal decrees.
BROKEN PRINCE (The Royals #2)
Publication Date: July 25, 2016
These Royals will ruin you…
From wharf fights and school brawls to crumbling lives inside glittery mansions, one guy tries to save himself.
Reed Royal has it all—looks, status, money. The girls at his elite prep school line up to date him, the guys want to be him, but Reed never gave a damn about anyone but his family until Ella Harper walked into his life.
What started off as burning resentment and the need to make his father’s new ward suffer turned into something else entirely—keep Ella close. Keep Ella safe. But when one foolish mistake drives her out of Reed’s arms and brings chaos to the Royal household, Reed’s entire world begins to fall apart around him.
Ella doesn’t want him anymore. She says they’ll only destroy each other.
She might be right.
Secrets. Betrayal. Enemies. It’s like nothing Reed has ever dealt with before, and if he’s going to win back his princess, he’ll need to prove himself Royally worthy.
I’m such a trash for the Royals.
Captured your attention by my opening line? Then, that’s good because I badly need it for you to hear me out about Paper Princess and Broken Prince by Erin Watt. If you haven’t read Paper Princess, the first book, then you better go look for a copy of it or if you need a lot more of convincing – stay put because I’ll be opening up more reasons why you need to purchase books 1 & 2.
Honestly, I never expected to enjoy and love this series as much as I do now. When I read the synopsis for Paper Princess back in late March, my initial thought was “O-kay, this could turn out to be just a typical love-hate relationship kind of story and this could be one of my guilty pleasures”. Sure, there was the love-hate relationship element to the story but I was not prepared as to how addictive Paper Princess and the Royals are. Hook, line and sinker. You got me there, Erin Watt.
Once I got started reading it, I could not just put it down. I could not get enough of the drama, tension and the feels each of the characters are bringing in to the table.
“This will never be my home. I don’t belong in splendour, I belong in squalor. That’s what I know. It’s what I’m comfortable with, because squalor doesn’t lie to you. It’s not wrapped in a pretty package.”
Ella is a character that you would really admire. She’s suddenly thrust into a world (Thanks a lot, Callum Royal aka her dad’s best buddy and father to five hot dudes.) which is the polar opposite of how she’s been living her life since birth and since her mother died of cancer. It was truly a tough situation which immediately brought on huge changes in her life. But instead of letting her life now in this richy rich world swallow her up – she waddles through it and leave an ‘Ella’mark to it. Obviously, shitty things were thrown her way for being the new girl but Ella being Ella, she doesn’t put up with it. She deals with it – head-on straight.
In which, it only makes her the perfect girl for Reed Royal. Right from the get go, you can already feel the tension and chemistry brewing between the two of them. Reed Royal started out to be a big bully. He makes things difficult for Ella to adjust in their house and in school. He goes out of his way just to acquire a reaction out from Ella. Basically, he doesn’t like Ella’s existence in their lives. He’s an asshole. He’s fucked up. But while Reed’s flaws are out there in the open and he fully admits to it, the story slowly shells out his character. Not that what his doing is acceptable but we learn that on the inside he’s a scarred and broken boy. I hate him but at the same time, I ended up liking his character too.
But Reed’s not taking home the crown for my favourite Royal because it definitely belongs to Easton! Easton was the first one to warm up to Ella and acted like an annoying brother. Once he appears in a scene, you are guaranteed to laugh. He’s just a bundle of joy amidst all of this. Actually when I think of it, he’s the character who balances out the story. When the tension tends to get too crazy – Easton enters and the tension lifts up, for the mean time. To complete the Royal siblings round-up, we have the twins – Sebastian & Sawyer and Gideon. The twins looks up to their older brothers a lot and we see them go through the motions set by Gid, Reed and East. Gideon is mostly away from home since he’s in college already but he comes in to put things into place and warn people. Just being the typical older brother to this bunch. I love that all of them have this distinctive personality or characteristics that you can easily attach on who’s who.
“The Royal brothers are even more screwed up that I am. They’re hurting and they’re lashing out and I’m the most convenient target, but fighting back only makes it worse. It only fuels their anger toward me. I refuse to engage anymore.”
The Royals are a far cry from the almost too-perfect male characters we encounter in books. They are flawed. They are twisted. Really twisted in a lot of ways and you’ll get a taste of that in the second book, Broken Prince.
“We’re poison, East. Every single one of us.”
The writing style and the formula on what constitutes each chapter of PP and BP somewhat remind me of how Wattpad stories are written. What I mean by that is there’s actually no lull in the story. Every chapter, something crazy or shocking is happening. Something gets revealed and a total whiplash of emotions is at play. It is a perfect mesh of the tough reality of Ella’s life and how the Royals made her life stressfully entertaining. It tends to get too angsty or over dramatic at times which frustrates the heck out of me but then someone would swoop in to crack me up or give me a boat load of feels. The crazy banters and true laugh out loud worthy moments (which I dare say is mostly brought to us by Easton) are a gem. I could envision these books perfectly working out for a television show. Like, how Gossip Girl faired.
“Reed broke me. He tricked me. He made me believe that something good could exist in this awful, screwed-up world. That someone could actually give a damn about me.”
Paper Princess perfectly sets up Broken Prince. With an addictive set of characters, entertaining plot and cruel cliffhanger, you just can’t pass up the second book or the third one. You’ll feel like you would want to devour all of those books, if only they are available stat. That’s me speaking from my experience. I want it all. Now. But aside from that obvious reader reasons, Paper Princess delves into Ella’s story and gave us a glimpse on what ticks off The Royals. PP works like a teaser. Here comes Broken Prince and the spotlight to some extent shifts to them.
And that’s the thing I love the most about Broken Prince (or I should probably say it now, as a series). The series as a whole does not only revolve around the complications surrounding Ella or Ella and Reed’s relationship. In Broken Prince, we dig deeper into the roots of the Royals and other named characters in the story. Digging through those could only mean one thing: introducing us to various subplots that could spin the story to another direction. Yes, it actually did. BP shed some light into some Paper Princess shady details and divulged shocking revelations that will be further explored in the last installment, Twisted Palace.
“Eventually I’ll wear him down, convince him that we’re a beautiful fairy tale. But we’re not. We’re nothing. We’re smoke – insubstantial and meaningless. We aren’t even a tragedy. We’re less than nothing.”
In Paper Princess, readers already witnessed some changes in Reed Royal. Ella’s presence has a lot to do with that. But during the early chapters of Broken Prince, Reed’s character was placed under a very unfortunate situation. It brought in fear to me because 1) he could be complacent about it and 2) he reverts to his old ways. I should’ve trusted him more since quite the opposite happened. Allowing him to go through that helped showcase his character development – how far he has come along from the bully I’ve met in Paper Princess. I know, Reed may have done stupid decisions here and there but I love him for really pursuing what he wants, what his heart wants. The Royals were in chaos in this one. Rifts were everywhere. But there was this particular rift that really weighed heavily on my shoulder. It upset me. Big time.
I’ll stop talking now about BP because I’d like to avoid from spoilers spilling out of this review. But can I just say that one of my theories was confirmed to be true with BP’s ending? Despite having that theory formed in my mind already, I was definitely surprised that Erin Watt really went there. I would also like to warn you that there’s a lot of craziness which transpired in both books. Especially, with their last chapters. Consider yourselves lucky if you’re going to read Paper Princess with Broken Prince and Twisted Palace already available.
Get ready to be addicted!