Return of the Royals: Four Steamy Summertime Reads

It’s been over a year since we celebrated Harry and Meghan’s wedding with some royal reads. But just because the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are married and living happily ever after (especially with the arrival of adorable baby Archie), it doesn’t mean we as readers should stop indulging in fairy tales. In fact, 2019 has already given us some swoon-worthy royal romances. Below you’ll find an almost royal flush of reads, linked to their Booklist reviews when available.


Her Royal Highness, by Rachel Hawkins

After receiving an acceptance letter from Gregorstoun, the prestigious boarding school in Scotland she’d been dreaming about forever, Millie isn’t sure she should attend. That is, until she sees her friend (girlfriend? Definite kissing partner?) kissing someone else. So she jets off to the boarding school of her dreams to get away for the year, only to be paired with a not so exciting roommate, Princess Flora, who does not want to be at the school. But in Flora’s efforts to get kicked out, Millie—and her heart—may end up as collateral damage. Hawkins returns to the boarding school setting readers enjoyed in Royals with her trademark wit, leveraging stressful female friendship dynamics and adding in romance that raises the stakes while also feeling utterly organic.


A Prince on Paper, by Alyssa Cole

Like Hawkins, in A Prince on Paper, Cole returns readers to a familiar world (the contemporary romance is the final installment in Cole’s Reluctant Royals series, which comprises A Princess in Theory and A Duke by Default). This time around, the story focuses on good girl Nya Jerami, who traded in a sheltered life in Thesolo for the excitement of New York City, but must return home to face her past and celebrate the royal wedding of her cousin Naledi (the star of A Princess in Theory). Meanwhile, Prince Johan Maximillian von Braustein, stepbrother of the heir to the kingdom of Liechtienbourg, offers himself up to the paparazzi in order to protect his brother. As it turns out, a fake engagement between Johan and Nya may just be the perfect press distraction for them all. Cole’s entire Reluctant Royals series is full of joy and vulnerability, and this impressive conclusion is no exception.


Red, White & Royal Blue, by Casey McQuiston

Alex is the son of the president of the United States. Prince Henry is the grandson of the Queen of England . . . and Alex’s archnemesis. But when a cake fiasco at a royal wedding nearly causes an international incident, the two royals are required to participate in a publicity tour and fake a friendship for the sake of international relations. Politics, huh? McQuiston’s debut is snarky and steamy and sweet. I feel like I’d been waiting for this book, which published in May, forever, and the enthusiastic reception it’s been getting (it was an instant New York Times best-seller, has received starred reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, and Publishers Weekly, and the accolades go on) proves I’m not alone. As senior editor Susan Maguire writes in her starred Booklist review, “This Blue Wave fantasy could be the feel-good book of the summer.”


Truly, Madly, Royally, by Debbie Rigaud

Activist Zora has big plans for her Walk Me Home community program, a service that provides otherwise unattended children with after-school chaperones. Zora is also enrolled at a prestigious summer program. And though her hyperprivileged peers there judge her for commuting, Zora has bigger things to worry about—like securing another year of program funding. Then her phone gets mixed up with a mystery boy at the library, and the mystery boy—and Zora’s relationship with him—turns out to be something more. If you want a royal romance you can tackle in an afternoon at the pool while rooting for a heroine who may be way out of even a prince’s league, pick this one up.

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About the Author:

Melody’s love of words has taken her on a variety of adventures, beyond the adventures on the page, including librarian, bookseller, literary intern, dramaturg, and script reader. Reading hundreds of books a year, she's constantly seeking that next literary fix.

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