Review: The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

June 22, 2015 Reviews 3 ★★★½

The Royal We by Heather Cocks, Jessica Morgan
Published by Grand Central Publishing on April 7, 2015
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 454
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Goodreads
three-half-stars
American Rebecca Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister, Lacey, has always been the romantic who fantasized about glamour and royalty, fame and fortune. Yet it's Bex who seeks adventure at Oxford and finds herself living down the hall from Prince Nicholas, Great Britain's future king. And when Bex can't resist falling for Nick, the person behind the prince, it propels her into a world she did not expect to inhabit, under a spotlight she is not prepared to face.

Dating Nick immerses Bex in ritzy society, dazzling ski trips, and dinners at Kensington Palace with him and his charming, troublesome brother, Freddie. But the relationship also comes with unimaginable baggage: hysterical tabloids, Nick's sparkling and far more suitable ex-girlfriends, and a royal family whose private life is much thornier and more tragic than anyone on the outside knows. The pressures are almost too much to bear, as Bex struggles to reconcile the man she loves with the monarch he's fated to become.

Which is how she gets into trouble.

Now, on the eve of the wedding of the century, Bex is faced with whether everything she's sacrificed for love-her career, her home, her family, maybe even herself-will have been for nothing.

The Royal We might not be the Prince William/Kate Middleton fan fiction we wanted, but it’s the Prince William/Kate Middleton fan fiction we got.  Let’s be honest.  William and Kate aren’t the most exciting couple in the world.  They’re very attractive, they’re very well-mannered and composed, they’re probably wonderful parents, and while that’s great for real life, it doesn’t make for a juicy novel.  This lack of juiciness is especially surprising since this book was written by the bloggers from Go Fug Yourself.

William and Kate are played here by Nick and Bex.  Instead of being an upper-middle class British girl, Bex is an upper-middle class American girl.  Oh, the horror!  Bex goes to Oxford as an exchange student, and Prince Nicholas is the first fellow student she meets.  He greets her, he shows her around, and get this – Bex HAS NO IDEA WHO HE IS.  Now, come on.  Is there any American college girl, even one who only has a passing knowledge of the British monarchy, who would take the time to investigate the Oxford student exchange program, move to England, but then have no clue that the heir to the throne was one of her classmates?

Let’s get back to Kate Middleton for a minute.  One of the things the gossip-loving, Daily Mail-reading part of me loves is that she and her grasping family supposedly worked their asses off for years to get her claws into William and to raise their own social status by association.  Who cares if it’s true or not, because it would make for a delicious novel.  But none of this royal stuff even phases Bex, and this makes her attraction for Nick baffling, because his main characteristic is his constant moping.  He complains about his duties and responsibilities and his family.  He doesn’t trust anyone.  He can’t have fun, because it might get into the tabloids.  So, since we are constantly told that Bex has no interest in Nick’s royal status, why does she want to have anything to do with this buzzkill of a guy?  Later on, when someone points out that Bex could become queen, Bex is shocked.  Shocked, I say!  She’d never even thought of that!

Since it became clear early on that Bex was going to be an angelic character with the purest of intentions, all that was left was to enjoy a purely fictional look into the inner workings of the monarchy and how they must attempt to groom this American girl to be a princess.  New clothes!  Hair extensions!  And keep that Pippa-ish sister of yours in line.  Bex’s sister, by the way, is awful, and she seemed designed to take on all of the negative qualities that have been ascribed to Kate and her family.  Also awful?  Nick’s father, who seems to hate both of his sons.  For you Harry fans (and you can count me as one), he is here in all his glory as Freddie.  The queen is a heavy and somewhat frightening presence throughout the story, but she’s rarely seen or heard by Bex, which seems right.  She’s got better things to do than to socialize with her grandson’s American girlfriend.

And now, the authors were faced with a dilemma.  Bex is so wonderful and so purely and innocently in love with Nick, but every good story needs a scandal.  The one they chose passed way over the line and into gross territory.  It was like they wanted to pick a scandal so outlandish that no one could possibly think that it could be inspired by something that Kate herself did.  But it wasn’t just gross – it was also resolved in a completely unbelievable fashion.

If you have no interest in the British monarchy, I wouldn’t recommend this, because you will likely be bored by Bex and Nick.   But for the rest of us, there are some fun side characters and some delightfully blue-blooded snobbery to keep things interesting.

 

Stephanie

3 Responses to “Review: The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan”

  1. Trish @ Between My Lines

    I haven’t come across this book before but it sounds like fun! Pity that it wasn’t a little jucier and so silly that Bex wouldn’t recognise Nick. I mean come on even walking though the airport, he was probably on the cover of at least one tabloid or magazine! All that aside, I still think I’d enjoy reading this for a little trashy fix 🙂
    Trish @ Between My Lines recently posted…Book Review : How I Lost You by Jenny BlackhurstMy Profile

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