I was provided with an eARC of this book in exchange for a fair review, and I can say with lots of conviction that I will NEED a hard copy of this ASAP! American Royals is the newest book by NYT Bestselling author Katharine McGee, and is the first of a new series! I loved the alternate history aspect, and the cast of characters was awesome! Fans of Gossip Girl, The Luxe, and following Will, Kate, Harry, and Meghan in the news will loooove this book! Let’s get a summary, shall we?
Two princesses vying for the ultimate crown.
Two girls vying for the prince’s heart.
This is the story of the American royals.
When America won the Revolutionary War, its people offered General George Washington a crown. Two and a half centuries later, the House of Washington still sits on the throne. Like most royal families, the Washingtons have an heir and a spare. A future monarch and a backup battery. Each child knows exactly what is expected of them. But these aren’t just any royals. They’re American. And their country was born of rebellion.
As Princess Beatrice gets closer to becoming America’s first queen regnant, the duty she has embraced her entire life suddenly feels stifling. Nobody cares about the spare except when she’s breaking the rules, so Princess Samantha doesn’t care much about anything, either . . . except the one boy who is distinctly off-limits to her. And then there’s Samantha’s twin, Prince Jefferson. If he’d been born a generation earlier, he would have stood first in line for the throne, but the new laws of succession make him third. Most of America adores their devastatingly handsome prince . . . but two very different girls are vying to capture his heart.
The duty. The intrigue. The Crown. New York Times bestselling author Katharine McGee imagines an alternate version of the modern world, one where the glittering age of monarchies has not yet faded–and where love is still powerful enough to change the course of history.
Summary courtesy of Goodreads
So let me break down the plot a bit for us. The story follows 4 individuals: Princess Beatrice (heir), Princess Samantha (spare), commoner Nina Gonzales (bffl to Sam), and titled Daphne Deighton (ex-gf to Jeff and total social climber). We see Beatrice as she struggles with the weight of inheriting the crown – the first female to do so in America – and falls in love with her bodyguard in the meantime. Samantha is resentful of the fact that she is the spare, and lets that resent rule her life. Nina and the prince have a secret relationship, and she is torn between love and just wanting to be normal/out of the spotlight. Daphne will do anything to become a princess, and is super conniving and pretty much the worst.
I loooved the intrigue and twists and plotting of this book! I am a huge fan of The Luxe series, and this had all of the same flavors, mixed with some Gossip Girl vibes, with a dash of all the tropes we know and love. Despite being an alternate history setting, it felt very real and contemporary. I really liked how the author worked in real history with her own twist. I got a chuckle every time we met “the Duke of Boston” or “the Baron of San Francisco”. It was very cleverly done!
I loved the multiple POVs and am hardpressed to say which of the characters I liked best – Bea, Sam, or Nina. I can say, definitively – that Daphne is The Worst and I wanted to smack her. I feel for her a little bit, but mostly because she is soooo misguided and broken. Too bad she let’s that manifest by being a total bitch. I don’t want to get into the plot too much, because that will end up being spoilery, but just know it had plenty of heartache and laughter and feels!
Images borrowed from Katharine McGee’s website!