Title: Royally Matched
Author: Emma Chase
Publisher/Year: Ever After Romance 2/21/17
Length: 276 Pages
Series: Royally #2
Some men are born responsible, some men have responsibility thrust upon them. Henry Charles Albert Edgar Pembrook, Prince of Wessco, just got the motherlode of all responsibility dumped in his regal lap.
He’s not handling it well.
Hoping to force her grandson to rise to the occasion, Queen Lenora goes on a much-needed safari holiday—and when the Queen’s away, the Prince will play. After a chance meeting with an American television producer, Henry finally makes a decision all on his own:
Welcome to Matched: Royal Edition.
A reality TV dating game show featuring twenty of the world’s most beautiful blue bloods gathered in the same castle. Only one will win the diamond tiara, only one will capture the handsome prince’s heart.
While Henry revels in the sexy, raunchy antics of the contestants as they fight, literally, for his affection, it’s the quiet, bespectacled girl in the corner—with the voice of an angel and a body that would tempt a saint—who catches his eye.
The more Henry gets to know Sarah Mirabelle Zinnia Von Titebottum, the more enamored he becomes of her simple beauty, her strength, her kind spirit…and her naughty sense of humor.
But Rome wasn’t built in a day—and irresponsible royals aren’t reformed overnight.
As he endeavors to right his wrongs, old words take on whole new meanings for the dashing Prince. Words like, Duty, Honor and most of all—Love.
I think that we had a nice start to the series with Royally Screwed so seeing how Henry now has to step up to his responsibilities because of Nicholas’s decision to abdicate, we see a whole new side of things. No longer can he be the party boy, but that’s not something that’s such an easy thing to change.
The interesting thing though, is that there’s something in the summary that’s just not true – the Queen never went on a safari – they decide that Prince Henry to the public at least should go on a trip, and he then goes to a far away castle to clear his head, learn the basics of being King and at the same time, he schemes to work on this reality show to both have his last hurrah, and hopefully find a wife.
Of course we know that things will never be what we expect, and knowing that we met Sarah and Penelope in the first book, we see that there’s going to be more to the story.
Enter Penelope and Sarah – to ‘Ladies’ who live in Castlebrook, away from the chaos of the capital, and yet while we know a bit of them since we met them in the last book, we don’t know much. When they are approached to be part of the show, Penelope is quick to want to join since she’s looking for her chance at celebrity, and Sarah is quick to say no since she’s shy. Their mother forces them to go together or not at all, and that’s where our story really takes shape.
As expected, the pageantry of the reality show makes things interesting, seeing 20 girls vying for the chance to be the next queen, with several of them with their own colorful reasons for being there. It’s quite amusing to see how that all comes about. Then there’s Sarah, the girl who’s there at her mothers order, as well as finding an out from having to participate in something at work that she’d rather not.
So the journey here is a sweet one. We see Henry doing his best to do what the producers want, while finding calm and solace with Sarah – on a platonic level, or at least that’s how it starts. Feelings start to develop on both sides, and you can see how perhaps the best romances are those that have a true foundation.
Now of course, you have to assume that the challenge of being in a reality show environment will come into play as it does. Sarah finds that she can’t really cope with knowing that he’s dating all these other women, when she wants him to herself. Then there’s Henry who truly wants to get out of the show at this point, and can’t because of the threats of production to out Sarah on a few different things.
There are also a few ‘political’ bits that make things complicated in the sense of what will qualify a woman to be the next queen -being a virgin. So….as you can see, we’re bound for heartbreak.
And if that weren’t enough, the prince reenlists into the army under a fake name so that he’s serving for real, and they are separated for 2 years at least. So, while i think we knew how this story was going to pan out, we’re taking on a path that’s not at all the expected and i think that it was exactly what we needed.
Clearly i’m becoming a fan of all things Emma Chase – she’s got this knack for creating great fiction that’s contemporary but some how built on a tradition of a world that’s so not american. (while kind of making it seem at times that being American is a faux pas). In any even, it’s sweet, and the story has a lot of charm to keep us engaged. I just got a copy of the 2.5 Novella and i can’t wait to see what’s going to happen since i think that it’s around Nicolas and Olivia – since it was revealed that she’s finally preggo. Enjoy!