Cover Image: Romancing the Princess

Romancing the Princess

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Member Reviews

so our options for this love triangle were that one guy our main character has ZERO chemistry with or (spoiler warning), her RELATIVE?? what in the cassandra clare was that??? don’t get me started in the predictability of this book or the clear lack of world building and you’ve got yourself a 1⭐️ book.

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Thanks @netgalley for this review copy!
I am a bit late, but… it is here now 😁

Meg is raised by her adoption parents. One day her adoption parents tell her the truth. She is in fact, the long lost baby princess. But she isn’t a baby anymore, she is 17 now. Then moments after that revelation, 3 men knock on the door. They are there to get her, because her uncle asked for that. Her only living relative.
Two of the guys, Arek and Ky are both fighting for her heart. Who is she gonna pick? And does she pick the right one?

This short book started really well. I liked Meg, she came across as a sweet girl. But the battle for her heart was a bit annoying. Two men fighting all the time with each other and discrediting each other all the time. That was a bit childish.
Later on, I stopped liking Meg. She really acted like a damsel in distress. And a bit naïeve.
And I’m not a huge fan of love triangles. So this wasn’t really my trope.

But it was a short book (150 pages). And for a book this short, the story wasn’t that superficial. There was happening a lot, and although I wasn’t fan of everything, I still can say I liked this one.

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Brooke brings the reader into a brand-new fantasy world replete with revolutions and missing royalty in Romancing the Princess. Following Meg and her band of unlikely friends Lulu, Arek, Knox, and Ky across Elorain, this new novel carries the hallmarks of a fantasy adventure with pirates, spies, revolutionary leaders, and exiled dukes with secret agendas. Brooke’s characters are poised to develop and grow in future books, and Meg, as the primary character, has a strong sense of justice, fairness, and kindness that spreads to the rest of her allies. The setting of Elorain and Swansong Island are also poised for further development in future books, and Brooke’s dialogue, prose, and descriptions enhance the overall story. Romancing the Princess is a fairly strong start to a future series, and the revealed secrets and blossoming relationships place future sequels in a strong position through Brooke’s establishment of characters, relationships, settings, and potential conflicts in the first book of the series. Brooke’s narrative abilities and creative mind make Elorain a fascinating and dynamic location for sequels or spin-offs to Romancing the Princess, and Brooke’s clear storytelling skill draws the reader into the action, characters, and settings from page one.

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This was the perfectly relaxing read. Meg was a wonderfully relatable character in the middle of a delightful adventure. I can't wait to read the next portion of her story to find out what happens with her group of friends on their next adventure!

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3.5 stars This was a cute quick read that any reader of YA romance would enjoy. Was it predictable? Yes, but entertaining. The romance moves fast but the pacing and length of the novel play into that which makes it understandable. This is set up for a sequel, and I would like to read more of these characters.

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This book is a YA fantasy. It was very good and I look forward for more in the series. I was entertained and completely enjoyed this.
I just reviewed Romancing the Princess by C.K. Brooke. #RomancingthePrincess #NetGalley
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This one was harder to get invested in, I wanted to get lost in a swashbuckiling world of fantasy and adventure, but the story didn't deliver for me. It was unique and had promise but unfortunately wasn't my cup of tea.

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I have to confess, I struggled with this one as it felt as though it is not for the read level advertised, rather for someone much younger. The writing could use a little work. It’s clunky in places. The pacing is off, surging and slowing (as much as it did) with certain parts of the plot feeling like add ins from the last round of editing that didn't quite soaked in the flavour of the text around it. The blatant foreshadowing that whacks you over the head. And if you don’t guess the climax before it happens, you’re probably not paying attention. Why are we ‘introducing’ new characters 40+ pages from the end of the book? May as well wave a flag.

But I am getting ahead of myself. Going back to the beginning, the author barely establishes anything about Meg’s life as a fisherman’s daughter. You assume they need money because Meg goes off and sells her hair without telling her parents, but it’s neither proven nor disproven. It sounds like they always had food, despite it being the same food day in and out. But it’s literally only a couple of pages from the start before you are thrust into the storyline of her being a princess so you don’t actually get to learn too much about her family or the life she leads with them. This frenzied pace of the plot lends itself to the feeling that this is a middle grade read. not to mention that not a lot is expanded on. It’s mostly go go go.

Keeping with that theme, the romance is zero to sixty in the course of a handful of pages at the beginning. The description says love triangle, but it is as much of a love triangle as the original Star Wars plot. If you read this and watched Star Wars, you’ll know what I mean. Meg and Arek pretty much hit it off instantly, going so far as to take a swim together, at night, in nothing but a “sheer” night dress and him in…whatever he was wearing minus his tunic. I was immediately uncomfortable with the idea. She seriously went swimming with a handsy person she only just met. Considering it reads like an ‘ye olden days’ book, it’s kind of scandalous. No thanks.

I am assuming the Arek was supposed to be a suave pirate feeling character, like Wesley from Princess Bride, but I found him creepy. His behaviour towards Meg was…alarming. He’s sleazy, not suave. If someone I just met talked to me like that right off the bat I would refuse to be alone with them and probably threaten them with a cast iron frying pan. The familiarity they had together, despite not knowing it each was weird. The fact that she thinks what he is doing is…hot, is disturbing. Why does anyone have to be like ‘uuummm,no,’ to get her to realize that? Not to mention her immediately liking him for showing a little chest. Lol kind of shallow, Meg. And the fact that he uses the same nickname as her father does…ew. Sorry. I don’t like him.

Ky and Meg’s relationship is a dud. Thank God. While the pace is slower, it’s a no. Fortunately it seems more platonic than anything else. Awkward conversations, sudden hand holding when no one else is awake..meh. You could argue that here isn’t a love triangle as a result, but it’s advertised as one and the author tries hard to make it one.

Conclusion?

This reads as a rushed ‘romance’ mostly written at a middle grade reading level. While it seems like a promising start, I don’t think the story was quite polished enough to make its debut as a clean young adult romance. I think a bit more description and development of Meg, her background, the kingdom, her place in it, etc would have gone a long way to help slow the plot a little, fill in the plot holes and make Meg a more believable character. It would also help give it more of a Young Adult vibe.

I loved the premise of it, but it unfortunately lacked in the execution.

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Thank you to NetGalley and C.K. Brooke for giving me an ARC of Romancing the Princess in exchange for an honest review.

"She was thinking of a new adventure, another they could share. She thought of vengeance and redemption for her family, and for everyone who'd lost loved ones and livelihoods to the brutality of the Revolution. She imagined the Kingdom rebuilt, if the citizens of Elorian should desire it."

Romancing the Princess centers around a seventeen-year-old girl named Meg, who was raised as an orphan on Swansong Island, but discovers that she is actually the Lost Princess of Elorian. Her life changes forever when three strangers arrive at her small home, inform her that she still has a living uncle, and convince her to embark on a journey to reunite with him.

This book consisted of a lot of the typical YA tropes, including friends to lovers, found family, and lost princesses, and because of that, the story felt a little bit underdeveloped. The beginning of the book read almost like a middle grade novel or a fanfiction of an already established story. I didn't really start to truly enjoy this book until close to the end because the story started to read as a true YA story that had real stakes. The relationships moved a little bit fast for me. I didn't feel like each relationship was given enough time and attention to develop naturally. They actually felt forced in places so that the story could live up to the title.

Even with all of these factors, the end of the book made me truly interested in reading a sequel if there ever is one.

Overall, I would give this book 3 stars!

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Romancing the Princess is a swashbuckling romantic adventure perfect for fans of Anastasia and The Princess Bride. Despite being tagged as Fantasy, I could not see any element of the said genre and it was more like a historical fiction to me.

Anyway, this book focused more on the romance—a love triangle—of the three characters: Meg, Arek and Ky. Meg discovered a shocking truth about her past, specifically her birthright. So she ventured by sea towards East Belphane to meet her supposed only living relative. Although their journey seemed to be thrilling at first, the excitement died down after the first attack of the assassin. Everything went smooth sailing after that. No further attempts to thwart them of their plans. Like I said, this story focused more on the romance than on the adventure.

I predicted the betrayal and treachery long before they reached Everard's estate so it came as no surprise.

There was no chemistry (romantically) between Meg and Arek or Meg and Ky. Arek was a total creep. I did not like him even at the end when he learned to love Meg. I just couldn't feel that spark or connection. And as for Ky, he was totally not a threat to Arek. What's the sense of a love triangle when there's no rivalry? Meg did not even have to deal with the conflict of her feelings because she had her eyes set on Arek from the start.

⚠️Spoiler alert⚠️

Ky is Meg's brother who everyone believed was dead. So it was strange knowing that they were actually siblings after Ky declared his love for Meg 😬

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Romancing the Princess was very fast-paced. So fast-paced that I didn’t really connect with the characters or understand the world. We learn early on that Meg lives on an island where she and her family live a very simple life. Shortly, and I mean very shortly after, our story really starts which doesn’t leave much time for character development or world-building. I can’t help but feel that it may have been some phrasing I didn’t like and the dialogue between the characters felt a bit clunky. I don’t know that this book was for me but would definitely recommend it to those that enjoy fast-paced reads where there is a bit of predictability.

I would like to thank the author and NetGalley for providing me an ARC.

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