by Katharine McGee
What if America had a royal family? If you can’t get enough of Harry and Meghan or Kate and William, meet American princesses Beatrice and Samantha.
Two princesses vying for the ultimate crown.
Two girls vying for the prince’s heart.
This is the story of the American royals.
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.
The duty. The intrigue. The Crown. New York Times bestselling author Katharine McGee imagines an alternate version of the modern world, one where the glittering age of monarchies has not yet faded–and where love is still powerful enough to change the course of history.
I was lucky enough to meet Katharine McGee at Apollycon 2019. At the time, I hadn’t read any of her books but my friend knew her editor so we stopped to chat. To my delight, her new book, American Royals, was right up my alley. I don’t usually read YA and I’m actually hesitant to really call this YA. However, I love anything royalty related, either fictitious royals or real. Katharine and I actually chatted about various royalty while at Apollycon (I’m pro Camilla for Queen all the way!) Needless to say, when she described her new book, a what-if American established a monarchy, I was immediately hooked. Years ago, MaryJanice Davidson wrote a romance series centered around Alaska forming a monarchy and I loved every crazy second of it. After Apollycon, my friend in publishing who totally rocks, was able to get me a review copy of American Royals! And I dropped everything else I was reading and started it!
American Royals centers around the concept that George Washington decided to accept the title of king allegedly offered to him after the American Revolution. By changing that historical event, other revolutions and ends of monarchies, such as the French and Russian Revolutions and the end of the German monarchies, just didn’t happen. And now, in present day, American has it’s first female heiress. American Royals has multiple point of views and follows Crown Princess Beatrice, her sister Samantha, Samantha’s best friend Nina, and Prince Jefferson’s ex-girlfriend, Daphne. That last POV was a surprise but became more necessary as the story progresses. The book follows the young royals and the people around them as they navigate a world with inescapable duty, unending paparazzi, and trying to find love.
Of the characters, Beatrice is my favorite. As heir to the throne, and more so, the first female heir, the pressure on her is enormous. Every little moment of her life is scripted and planned. She seems like the perfect princess but underneath that facade is an insecure woman who wants to make everyone happy but doesn’t know what she wants for herself. Her willingness to sacrifice what she does want for the good of the country is heartbreaking and I waiting on tenterhooks to see how if it is resolved the next book.
The strength of this book is in the growth of the POV characters. Samantha learns how to be more than just the spare to the throne and what she can bring to the royal family. Nina begins to step out of the shadows of Samantha and starts to go after what she wants, i.e. Prince Jefferson. While the end of the book is heartbreaking and I totally cried, I’m anxiously awaiting book two to see how the issues are resolved and if the American Royals can balance life in the monarchy with what they need from life.
Received free copy in exchange for an honest review.