Paper Princess (The Royals, #1) by Erin Watt
Publisher: Everafter Romance
Publication Date: April 4th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 370
Format: e-ARC
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From strip clubs and truck stops to southern coast mansions and prep schools, one girl tries to stay true to herself. These Royals will ruin you… Ella Harper is a survivor—a pragmatic optimist. She’s spent her whole life moving from town to town with her flighty mother, struggling to make ends meet and believing that someday she’ll climb out of the gutter. After her mother’s death, Ella is truly alone. Until Callum Royal appears, plucking Ella out of poverty and tossing her into his posh mansion among his five sons who all hate her. Each Royal boy is more magnetic than the last, but none as captivating as Reed Royal, the boy who is determined to send her back to the slums she came from. Reed doesn’t want her. He says she doesn’t belong with the Royals. He might be right.

Wealth. Excess. Deception. It’s like nothing Ella has ever experienced, and if she’s going to survive her time in the Royal palace, she’ll need to learn to issue her own Royal decrees.

*Note:  This book was provided to The Book Hookup by the Author but that did not in any way influence this review!

The struggle is real!

You know that feeling of excitement and terror you get when you pick up a new book by an author you love – the hope that it’s once again the best thing you’ve ever read…the fear that it won’t be?!?  Now double that feeling!  Why?  Because this book is written by two of my favorite authors, Elle Kennedy and Jen Frederick, writing as Erin Watt.  My hands were sweaty, my heart beat rapidly, and my anxiety was cranked to the max!  But, thankfully, it was all for naught!  Once again, these authors have created a story that filled my heart with tremendous joy, blew the top off my angst meter, and had me obsessively sneak-reading at work.  Yes…it was one of those!!

This book had me hooked from the very first page.  And, no matter how quickly I wanted to devour it, there were parts of the book that made me stop to think and pieces of the story that required my undivided attention.  The authors held up a mirror here and showed me two very distinct ways of dealing with grief…and, maybe I’m slow, but I didn’t actually see that until I was well into the book.  Ella loses her Mother and takes charge of her life.  She struggles and does things she definitely doesn’t want to do, but, ultimately, she stays strong.  She’s not afraid to play the “Ella against the world” role because she knows what she wants from life – stability, education and control.  On the other hand, the Royals lose their Mother (and wife) and let it tear them apart.  They give in to the sorrow and give it control.  So when Ella moves in with the Royals it sets the stage for an amazing battle between fierce girl and broken boys.

You can cut the tension (both sexual and otherwise) with a knife here.  Every interaction between Ella and the boys, especially Reed, the second oldest, is ripe with anger, stress and strain.  More often then not, I was left anxious…yet strangely hopeful.  You see, I don’t know how they did it, but the authors managed to ensure that I never hated these boys even when they were being total jerks.  Somehow, I was shown just enough possibility for redemption that the Royals managed to burrow themselves into my heart – especially Reed and Easton.  And, ultimately, I couldn’t help but love them.

Book Rating Breakdown
Writing
Characters
Plot
Swoons
General Book Feels
Brooding level of the hero
Degree my heart was ripped out
Overall:

This story has all the feels.  Get ready for a roller coaster of emotion!  From page to page I never knew how I would feel next but I always knew that I would support Ella and the Royals…as if we were family.  This is the beginning of a really great series!  I definitely have a book hangover…and the ending was a killer (read: cliffhanger) so I’ll just be sitting here, rocking in the corner, waiting for the next book.  And I’ll clear a spot right beside me – you can join me when you’re done!!

***SPECIAL NOTE:   Check back next week…we have an interview with Erin Watt that you won’t want to miss!!

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