I really wanted to love American Royalty by Tracey Livesay. I adore romance novels, and I’m always here for a royal romance. Add in the twist of a prince falling for an American rapper and I was sold. Unfortunately, this one wasn’t well-researched enough to live up to my expectations. Still, if you like your romance with a healthy dose of erotica, not to mention memorable characters, it could be the perfect read for you!
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The summary, from Amazon:
In this dangerously sexy rom-com that evokes the real-life romance between Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan Markle, a prince who wants to live out of the spotlight falls for a daring American rapper who turns his life, and the palace, upside down.
Sexy, driven rapper Danielle “Duchess” Nelson is on the verge of signing a deal that’ll make her one of the richest women in hip hop. More importantly, it’ll grant her control over her life, something she’s craved for years. But an incident with a rising pop star has gone viral, unfairly putting her deal in jeopardy. Concerned about her image, she’s instructed to work on generating some positive publicity… or else.
A brilliant professor and reclusive royal, Prince Jameson prefers life out of the spotlight, only leaving his ivory tower to attend weddings or funerals. But with the Queen’s children involved in one scandal after another, and Parliament questioning the viability of the monarchy, the Queen is desperate. In a quest for good press, she puts Jameson in charge of a tribute concert in her late husband’s honor. Out of his depth, and resentful of being called to service, he takes the advice of a student. After all, what’s more appropriate for a royal concert than a performer named “Duchess”?
Too late, Jameson discovers the American rapper is popular, sexy, raunchy and not what the Queen wanted, although he’s having an entirely different reaction. Dani knows this is the good exposure she needs to cement her deal and it doesn’t hurt that the royal running things is fine as hell. Thrown together, they give in to the explosive attraction flaring between them. But as the glare of the limelight intensifies and outside forces try to interfere, will the Prince and Duchess be a fairy tale romance for the ages or a disaster of palatial proportions?
Buy American Royalty here.
Dani, who goes by the stage name Duchess, is a rapper who unfairly needs to clean up her image to sell her beloved skincare line, Mela-Skin, to an elite beauty company. An up-and-coming popstar has started a feud with her, making Duchess out to be the villain. When the British royal family invites her to perform at a charity concert in honor of the Queen’s late husband, she sees the perfect opportunity to shine.
Meanwhile, Jameson, a prince not set to directly inherit the throne, is living a quiet life as a philosophy professor. But after a number of royal scandals, the Queen decides he needs to become a working royal and help run this star-studded event. Part of his duties means choosing a performer to invite. Jameson has no idea who a good choice would be, and goes with a student’s suggestion of Duchess, a woman hew as unfamiliar with before.
When Dani has to stay on Jameson’s estate during preparations, sparks fly, at first through butting heads and then between the sheets. (Let’s note that this doesn’t happen until 27% way through the novel – oof!, IMO.) But the two know this has to be a secret, short-term fling. Jameson’s family will never accept Dani, and he doesn’t want to be in the spotlight for too long anyway. And Dani can’t afford to get wrapped up in another scandal. Of course, in the weeks leading up to the concert and its surrounding events, feelings develop, and the secret becomes harder and harder to keep. Can these two really walk away from one another after all is said and done?
While I loved the concept of American Royalty and was drawn to the gorgeous cover, the execution left something to be desired. I struggled with the writing style, which often omitted dialogue tags, making it hard for me to tell who was speaking during scenes with three or more characters. I also could tell this wasn’t the most well-researched. I’ve read other royal romances before where the authors really know their stuff, so I went in with high expectations and a little knowledge myself. Finally, I am all for extra horniness in my romance, but there are times when sexiness fits better than others. I had trouble emotionally connecting to Dani and Jameson’s romance, even though I adored them as individual characters for their drive and strong personalities, because of the juxtaposition of extreme emotion with sexy thoughts. Sure, emotion and sex can go hand-in-hand, but every time I was feeling the characters’ joy or sadness, they’d be ready to start going at it again, seemingly driven more by hormones than the emotional intensity of their connection. It really made it difficult for me to care if these two had their HEA.
All in all, this was a fun read, and I think if you like your romance extra steamy it might be worth a shot. The characters are memorable and Dani especially shines. Unfortunately for me, I was impervious to the steam and this one did nothing for me, making it a 2 star read.
Find out more about how I rate books here.
American Royalty by Tracey Livesay
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This was a fun read, but it wasn’t as well researched as other royal romances I’ve enjoyed. A consistent lack of dialogue tags also left me confused as to who was speaking. The hero and heroine don’t meet until 27% of the way in, too. This one is spicy, but I had a hard time connecting to the love scenes quite often. I am all for heavy erotica in my romance, but when an emotional moment gets overshadowed my horniness, it makes it difficult for me to connect with either the joy/sadness or the sexual attraction. The cover is gorgeous and the MCs are memorable and well-fleshed out, though! Dani in particular shines.
Book Club Questions
- Book blurbs relate this novel to the relationship between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. How are these two relationships similar? Different?
- Explain the relationship dynamic between Jameson and Dani.
- Which of the characters was your favorite? Why?
- What do you see in the future for Dani and Jameson, both as individuals and as a couple?
Interested? Buy American Royalty.
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@daily.manifestationx My first disappointing read of the year… This one is released in June & it is spicy so keep an eye out. #booktok #book #romancebooks #romancebooktok ♬ original sound – Marissa