The Royal Runaway by Lindsay Emory
Publisher: Headline Eternal
Publication date: 09 October 2018
Genre: Contemporary romance
Page count: 288 pages
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This review is spoiler-free.
Despite living in the UK now, I’m not a huge Royal Family person. However, I’ve always loved a good princess story and grew up on Disney films. The Royal Runaway sounded like my exact cup of tea — like The Princess Diaries, but all grown up. I threw myself into Theodora’s world and drank it up.
I enjoyed the heck out of this book. I was hooked immediately and it was the perfect escape during a particularly stressful time. It combines so many things that I love: princesses, a cosy mystery, handsome Scotsmen, spies, and romance. As someone who has been reading almost exclusively science fiction and fantasy lately, it was the perfect departure and I flew through it.
‘World building’ is a term that is often associated with fantasy novels, however it is such an important tool in any book. Emory really nails the world building in The Royal Runaway. The fictional European country of Dreiden feels so incredibly read. Emory created history, architecture, language, customs, politics, and traditions that lend this book such an incredible flavour. Dreiden feels like such a real place, you’ll be tempted to book your next European holiday there.
The Royal Runaway is such a character-driven book and Princess Theodora Isabella Victoria of Drieden of the Royal House of Laurent, or Thea for short, is a gift. I absolutely loved her and although she’s a strong and thoughtful woman at the beginning of the book, she still manages to have some excellent character growth. Her knowledge of Dreiden’s history, her deep care for her people, the dedication to her duties, and her snarky inner monologue made her such a fun character to read about. I feel like with princess stories, regardless of age range or genre, you often see the same princess character over and over again. Thea is a fresh twist on the princess trope, one who creates her own storybook ending. Nick, our hero, took some time for me to warm up to. This all comes down to personal preference — he’s a bit too alpha for my tastes. If I were Thea, I would have pushed him in the river and been done with him pretty early on. However if you like your alpha romance heroes, I think you’ll enjoy the romance in this book — even I warmed to Nick in the end.
I really enjoyed The Royal Runaway — it is the perfect escape for cold autumn nights! Whether you’re a longtime romance reader or looking for something new, I’d recommend picking this one up. This was my first book by Lindsay Emory and it certainly wont be the last.
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