Cover Image: Royal Holiday

Royal Holiday

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Member Reviews

As a romantic nut case, any book Jasmine Guillory writes, I'm buying a copy for me and a whole lot for the store.  This is my kind of book. Woman, older and over 40, finds romance with funny characters, beautiful settings, traveling to Europe, falling in love with her self and with him, who shall not be named right now.  What more can you ask for and what are you waiting for?  Buy the book from your local independent bookstore.  You will be back for more.
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*DNF @ 20%*

Just gonna get straight to the point with this one. This book is not holding my attention and there's something about the writing that's very off to me. I'm not exactly sure how to describe it but the transition from one scene to another is rather choppy and it's causing me to have to re-read parts which is something yo girl just doesn't have time for right now. I'm sure fans of Guillory's other books will enjoy this one but it just ain't working for me.
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This is the second book I've read by Jasmine Guillory and I think I have a new favorite author. I loved the story of Vivian and Malcolm. This book is wonderfully descriptive and wonderfully written!
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This whole series has been fun. They're meant to be cute, mostly fluffy romances and that's exactly what you get.
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Although I didn't enjoy this one as much as some of the other's by Guillory, it was a delightful and easy read.  It took place in England, and hit some good notes.  Romance, a happily ever after, English royalty and some good scenes with good settings.  It also took place over the holidays so that was another bonus for reading it over the winter months.
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FULL REVIEW ON FRESH FICTION
While the setup is very cute for the upcoming Christmas season as well as featuring protagonists in their mid-50s, ROYAL HOLIDAY by Jasmine Guillory falls flat. Between the near-constant mentions of scones and cutesy notes delivered by footmen, the quick romance between Vivian and Malcolm felt superficial. Additionally, for a character who had never been to the UK, aside from intricately describing royal jewels, the sights and sounds of Great Britain were glossed over and not given a chance to shine. It was also hard to tell the difference between Vivian and Malcolm's points of view - their internal voices sound almost identical. Once Vivian does return home to California, she and Malcolm begin sending each other postcards, and that’s the only way they communicate once they are on different continents, even though they had sent text messages earlier in the novel. There are a couple of side plots - a possible job promotion for Vivian after years of hard work and a seemingly rash decision made by Malcolm's nephew that throws his family for a loop - that were cute but read like filler. After Guillory’s stronger earlier novels (namely The Wedding Date and The Proposal), ROYAL HOLIDAY does not have as much yuletide sparkle as readers will expect.
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Adorable contemporary romance! Loved that the characters weren't the typical ages for a romantic=comedy.
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Vivian Forest's daughter Maddie will not take no for an answer when she asks her mother to spend Christmas with her in England while she is on assignment to design and dress a Duchess. Facing a possible promotion that will tie her up time-wise, Vivian plans to take full advantage of her stay in England. What she doesn't expect is to meet the charming Malcolm Hudson, the Queen's Private Secretary. The two hit it off right away and the more time they spend together, they closer they become. However, they both know their any relationship they have will be short lived. They both have their own lives to live--and an ocean between them. 

Royal Holiday is a sweet holiday romance between two middle-aged people (yay!). Malcolm and Vivian are such nice people. Although I enjoyed their time getting to know each other at the Sandringham Estate, it felt like something was missing. I wanted a tad more complexity--to the characters and their overall story. I think the author attempts that toward the end of the novel with Malcolm and his nephew, Vivian and her promotion and then their sudden realization that their time together is coming to an end--something they hadn't even talked about before then. And yet, I still found Royal Holiday to be a delightful read in it's own way. It made me smile and I wanted to keep reading. I enjoyed my time with Vivian and Malcolm (and especially wish I could sample Julia's cooking!). I have heard the author's earlier books in the series are better, and I look forward to finding out for myself.
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This was INSANELY adorable! Featuring two people of color, and both older than the characters I usually read about in romances, this British/American Christmas romance was a breath of fresh air. My first Jasmine Guillory, but not my last. Recommended!
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This author deserves all the praise people have been giving her. Her novels are sweet, emotional, and perfect for a rainy day stuck at home. This book features an older couple than ones typically seen in modern romance novels, and that's part of why I wanted to read it. While it does a fair job, I'm just not sure this one hits as strongly as her previous books, and what she has managed to put out since. That said, this author/series continues to be popular in my library system, and I definitely made sure to purchase this title.
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***This ARC was provided by Netgalley for a honest review***
This book was so good! I have read her other 3 in this series and love not only her character development but the flow of the books.  She does a great job of keeping you wrapped up in the story.  Vivian Forest is Maddie’s mom. She’s been out of the country a grand one time.  Maddie is headed to England to dress the Duchess for their Iconic Christmas walk to the church at Sandringham estate. While Maddie works away on outfits, Vivian meets Malcolm who works as the Queens personal secretary. They get to know each other better by taking walks around the grounds meeting the horses and having lunch in a pub. As their trip wraps up on Christmas Day, Malcolm invites Vivian to stay with him through the New Year. They spend tons of time together but as they’re getting ready to say goodbye, they decide that the vacation fling was all that it was. A few days after she’s home in California she received a postcard from Malcolm and their snail mail relationship begins. After lots of back and forth Vivian confesses via post card that she has fallen in love with him.  Malcolm has no idea what to do in this situation. Will they be able to have a relationship an ocean apart.?
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This book was very sweet and enjoyable. I think readers will enjoy how quickly Jasmine Guillory gets into the romance at the heart of the novel.
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Jasmine Guillory's books are PERFECTION. Her characters are so well-rounded and the love story unfolds perfectly. Like Helen Hoang's books, I love how each story is a standalone romance, but characters from the other books pop into the story here and there, which gives the books some cohesion overall. I read Red, White, and Royal Blue shortly before this book and I loved being back in England with the royal family, albeit in a different way. Vivian and Malcolm had the sweetest love story and they were probably one of the most captivating of Jasmine's stories. Actually, scratch that, I can't pick favourites - all of her books have been delightful in their own way and I love them all.
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Guillory's romances are always sweet and well written. I love her diverse cast of characters and the story line pulled me in, without being too cheesy.
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This book has all of the best parts of the British Royalty- prim and proper characters and of course lots of jewels and crowns. Really enjoyed this HEA. Thank you NetGalley for the Advanced Reader Copy. I will be recommending it to everyone.
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I’m an elementary school librarian so obviously I cannot purchase this book for my library but if I had a library for adults I would. Love everything by this author. Love the stories & the strong female leads!  Such a sweet story & I will continue to read the rest of the books in this series. Listened to this via audio and appreciated the narration.
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I loved this Groundhog Day inspired story.  The characters were great and her family made me laugh.  She figures out pretty quickly the extreme consequence of not going along with the whatever force is making her repeat this day and I loved her giving in to that.
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As with all Guillory books, this is a story about two delightful people who fall in love but with few of the usual complications.  This features the mother of Maddie, the heroine from The Wedding Party, who is a stylist improbably invited to spend Christmas in Britain assisting a Meghan Markle-inspired character with her clothes.   When Maddie hesitates about leaving her mother alone for Christmas, her mother is invited as well, and falls in love with an attractive man who works in a high level position in the Queen's household.  A romance about two well-educated Black professionals in their 50s is appealing, although they fall into bed a little too quickly, given the potential for their relationship to embarrass their hosts/employers.
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I received an eARC of Royal Holiday via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I’ve really enjoyed all of the other Guillory books I’ve read but this story just fell flat for me on a number of levels.


 
I really liked Vivian as a main character, but I honestly never got the romance with Malcolm. He held back so, so much that it felt like he was barely a part of the romance. When he was part of it, he was being a massive jerk – either to his nephew, to Vivian, or to them both. Every time he fought with his nephew, Vivian was the one that fixed it by telling him to stop being a jerk and using all of her work skills to make him come out of his shell.


 
It was great seeing Maddie thrive in her personal life and career after spending the last book with her. I did really enjoy the tour of London and how real that felt because it made me feel like part of the vacation alongside Vivian.

You might like this more than I did, but it didn’t work for me. If you want to give it a shot, you can pick it up on Indiebound, Amazon or The Book Depository through our affiliate links.


ABOUT ROYAL HOLIDAY
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Perhaps one of her best books yet, Jasmine Guillory’s Royal Holiday left me with a smile on my face and joy in my heart! Guillory continues to push contemporary romance into showcasing diversity in the genre, while still maintaining the steamy, fun, sassy, and heart-warming moments that make you forget you are also learning a valuable lesson. Lovely!

Jasmine Guillory’s books are some of the ones I most look forward to. Each book somehow ties loosely to the book before it through the characters. Last year’s The Wedding Party starred Maddie Forest, a stylist in California who is probably my favorite protagonist of Guillory’s books to date. Maddie was tough and vulnerable, and wholly easy to adore in my opinion.

In Royal Holiday, Maddie’s mother Vivian is center stage, and I didn’t realize how excited I would be to read a wonderful, charming story about love over 50. As if that is shocking? But somehow, it is. We rarely see women in contemporary romance older than mid-30s, and a black woman over the typical age range seems almost unheard of.

But as with every book Guillory writes, the diversity is as important as the romance itself. She manages to constantly remind us that love is universal, but the way society treats love stories is not always equal depending on surface characteristics. All of this combines to have me both loving the rom-com of her books, and also feeling more tolerant, accepting, and educated about the struggles faced by people of color.
Let’s get to the story!

When Maddie is hired as the stylist to the Duchess for the Christmas holidays, she and her mother travel overseas to spend holidays in royal fashion (pun intended!). The queen is also at the estate with her private secretary Malcom Hudson (whom Vivian calls “Hot Chocolate” to my delight!). When a holiday romance heats up between Vivian and Malcolm, the attraction is much deeper than just physical.

Of course, with Vivian living in Oakland, CA and Malcolm’s duty to the queen, the romance seems doomed to be not much more than a holiday fling. But perhaps, as they say, love will conquer all—even those pesky thousands of miles keeping them apart!

I felt like this was the type of book that you could love just on the surface, and also for the brilliance of Guillory’s writing. The diversity didn’t feel like it took precedence over the story, but it also didn’t take a backstage to it. It was as much a part of their identities as their hilarious banter and their hearts. I felt that the book both showcases the inherent lack of diversity in the genre, while also making it seem almost silly that we don’t see more age and racial diversity historically in romance books.

And then of course, in addition to all of that, is the message that we should always allow our hearts to be open to love!

Thank you to Berkley Publishing for my copy. Opinions are my own.
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