American Royals II: Majesty is the sequel to the novel American Royals written by Katharine McGee which the author describes as a mesh between Gossip girl and the Crown. It’s in a fictional world where George Washington became America’s first king instead of its president and it is set in what is now the current year, 2020. I know this because somebody’s gravestone was carved with that year (this is still considered the spoiler free zone). I should probably say that this review will be littered with spoilers for the first and second book so if you read from this point on you have been warned.
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Before we start let’s recap the relationships and cliffhangers we got from the first book.
- Beatrice and Connor – Beatrice wants to step down from the throne to marry her Revere Guard Connor, this shock causes her father to have a heart attack
- Samantha and Teddy – Teddy is engaged to Beatrice but Samantha likes Teddy alot, Samantha tells Beatrice and Beatrice says that she’ll call off the engagement and marry the man she loves
- Jeff and Nina – Dating for awhile but Daphne came between them, literally told Nina to break up with Jeff which is what Nina did especially when Nina started to tell Jeff about the true Daphne and he didn’t believe her
- Daphne and Ethan – denying each other. Daphne only has eyes on the crown
We begin the book where we left off, it’s been 6 weeks since the king died and that is the time allocated for mourning. Beatrice has to come out of mourning and assume her duties as Queen, or so she thought. But Robert, the Lord Chamberlain instead tells her that she needs to be married, to give stability and comfort to the nation in this uncertain time. She is not allowed to close congress unless she is Queen, which she can’t be until a year or 6 months after her father’s death. And so the whole arch for Beatrice is set, she is engaged to Teddy whom she does not love and she is busy planning a wedding instead of actually governing. Samantha on the other hand gets very jealous and angry at Beatrice for not keeping to her word and calling off the engagement. In a plot to make Teddy jealous, she gets together with Marshall, the future baron of Orange (the west coast). They pretend to be dating to make each other’s ex jealous. And then we have Nina who is fresh from a breakup and wants to move on, unfortunately Daphne won’t leave her alone and sees her as a threat. To remove this thread Daphne struck a deal with Ethan to distract Nina by dating her or flirting with her in exchange for the title of Earl when Daphne gets what she wants. And finally Daphne, she’s still trying to get Jeff to marry her and will do whatever it takes.
There were two things that stood out to me in this book the first being that the storylines for each girl/point of view were very clear to the point where it could be said to be spelled out for the reader and secondly every girl also had a new love interest which we previously thought would be weird but suddenly feels like the most natural thing. Let me address this in order.
It was very obvious that Beatrice’s arch was about her becoming queen and what that entailed. Samantha was about figuring out who she was. Nina about moving on and being her own self outside of the royal family’s influence and Daphne starts to doubt if she really wants what she says she wants. This are all really good themes and progress in each character but i feel like it was quite a change from the characters they were in the first book. The book was only 300+ pages and at the end the author quickly tied up all these characters and they became very independent women who realized who they really were without needing a man (except for Daphne). Maybe to some the pace of change may be believable but i think it was a bit too quick and it tied up way too nicely to the point it felt rushed. Don’t get me wrong, i like that Beatrice didn’t get married and wanted to be a Queen on her own first before eventually marrying Teddy, i like that Samantha saw her worth in bringing people together and getting them to see who their potential and i like that Nina became a stronger person who didn’t have to depend on a guy no more, but it’s like they all achieved enlightenment in a snap (at the wedding) and then what’s next?
Talking about that wedding, it was very obvious the author was going to use it to stage the whole showdown though I thought it was going to be a lot more dramatic than it was. Sure there was the drama of Beatrice and Connor locked up together, Daphne and Nina part 2 and Sam/Teddy/Marshall but it was more showy rather than an actual good scene. I think this is because there was build up, it looked like things were going to go really bad for Daphne (especially with Mariko waking up and getting her memories back) and then it would all blow up at the wedding but in the end it was Daphne that got what she wanted and it felt like all this expectation was deflated by the quick way the other girls became independent women. I think it’s because the author wants to have a redemption thing for Daphne but there can’t be a redemption if there is nothing to redeem Daphne from. Maybe it’ll be in the third book there certainly is the potential for that but at the end i wasn’t really sure if this was the end for this story. I think the author wanted there to leave a potential for the third book but at the same time if she never got to it this would be a good enough end which i think is why there’s this unsatisfactory ending.
I know this review sounds like i didn’t like the book but honestly it was an enjoyable read. Which leads me to the second part the new love interests. I liked the budding romance scenes between Beatrice and Teddy, Samantha and Marshall and Nina and Ethan. It felt right, it felt nice and it felt natural. Previously you could only see them with whoever they were paired with in the first book but the author did a good job in presenting this new relationships to the reader that we are almost okay with them playing musical chairs with their partners. Connor is all but gone and only used as a device to give doubt to the Beatrice and Teddy relationship whereas Jeff is more like a mentioned character in this book. The guys are very supportive and sensitive which is a bit too good to be true but hey, it’s a love story.
To end this review i would say that this book is a fun read especially if you’re looking for something casual and a no brainer. This means that the story doesn’t have much depth as i believe the author wanted which is disappointing in that sense. I’ll give this book 6/10 stars.