Cover Image: The Royal Game

The Royal Game

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Member Reviews

2.5 Rounded

This was a miss for me. The biggest miss is due to the marketing. This was sold as a royal romance, but it isn’t. We get the whole “whirlwind romance” from first meeting to engagement in a few paragraphs in the opening of the story. Due to this glossing over of the building of their relationship I had zero buy in nor did I believe their love story. If this had been marketed more as a mystery then I think I would have better set my expectations.

The second miss for me was the first half of this book didn’t feel original. Everything that happened felt ripped from the headlines. I didn’t feel like the author was adding anything more to the drama until almost the last quarter of the book.

I enjoyed the narrators for the audiobook even if I wished at times their voices were a little bit more distinct.

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I didn't particularly enjoy this one. I didn't think it was a thriller or a romance. I would have enjoyed it more if it had stuck to one genre. In this case, in trying to do both, it succeeded in neither. It might be a me problem, but definitely not the right book for me

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I will say the beginning of this one was a bit tough to get through for me. The time jumps and POV changes were super abrupt and hard to keep track of but once the book hit its stride it was so good and I could not turn it off. I really enjoyed the narrators and thought they did a wonderful job. The ending wrapped up nicely and I felt like all questions were answered. I would recommend this one for those who like a little mystery not a ton.

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I think this is incorrectly marketed as a romance. We don't actually get to experience them falling in love or even hardly interacting. The mystery is intriguing, but the parallels to princess Di is too close to not detract. I found myself thinking more about what I could remember about Di and Charles and less time thinking about the book except to compare the two.

I will say the moment we heard the pub order my jaw dropped as I made the same connection our FMC did and I did not see that coming.

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Base too closely on Princess Diana and Meghan Markle's stories. The author changed car crash to plane wreck yet the concept is the same. Well written yet the plot is very predictable: Creative mystery for those who enjoy the Royal Families saga.

Thank you #netgalley and #lindakeir for allowing me to listen and review this book!

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Copied from Goodreads:
The Royal Game borrows heavily from the English royal family and it is much the worse for this. The plot is intriguing--a would-be marriage between a pop singer and the Prince of Wales is threatened when the bride appears to be the victim of threatening behavior. I wouldn't say it was a thriller, but the mystery was solid. However, the royal backstories, individuals' initials, the dead mother-in-law, tension between older and younger generations... They were so clearly the Windsor family that I was distracted from the book. Changing the setting or the royal family would have made this a much more interesting and engaging book. Unfortunately, the aped Sussexes of The Royal Game do not make for interesting reading.

The Royal Game was released in the U.S. on January 30, 2024. Thanks to Blackstone Publishing and NetGalley for this audio ARC given in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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I love the royal Romance/celebrity trope. And this book did not disappoint. it was very reminiscent of the English monarchy and Harry and Megan. Overall a good read.

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I love a good royal story, so I was stoked to read this novel. “The Royal Game” did not disappoint. It also features a pop star coupled with a royal, so it was extra entertaining in that regard. It is a bit reminiscent of Harry and Meghan, which is a plus for me. I found this novel to have romance, fun, and intrigue. This book is a 3,5 rounded up to 4 stars ⭐️ for me. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the advanced copy for review.

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This book was a solid 3.5 stars for me.

1. A lot of unnecessary backstory on Princess Penelope.
2. It was more obvious than the author was trying to lead on. Less of a mystery than anticipated.
3. Basic fanfic of the current Royals in the UK.
4. Would have like to had more on the relationship of the prince and future princess.
5. She was a Famous US singer- but it really just kept popping up randomly, and not developed in the plot well. It felt like the author kept throwing it in to remind us at random times vs making it part of the plot - other than how her and MMC met.

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Thank you so much to @netgalley, Blackstone publishing, and author Linda Keir for graciously sending the audiobook to review. Jennie Jensen is an American pop singer who is getting engaged to a prince of England. Hugh was a loveable MMC, and I adored Jennie's character. As Jennie was preparing for the wedding, she is of course, learning new pieces of etiquette, most of which were completely foreign to her. She is hitting some bumps, but then she got an anonymous letter threatening that she would perish the same was her love's mother did - in a mysterious plane crash. She works to unravel the mystery, and I loved her character caught on to so many secrets.

I loved the mix of romance and mystery - so good! My one complaint, as a romance lover, was the abrupt beginning to the story. I would have loved a little more backstory to become more invested their story.

The audiobook was done very well. by Barrie Kreinik and Shiromi Arserio.

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A mystery that centers around the American fiancé to a British prince, and his mother who died in what some thing was mysterious circumstances years ago. While a romance is at the center of the plot, very little time is spent there, which I appreciated because I think that plot can get too predictable. Instead, there is some of the fun of the "plebian fish in royal waters" trope, but it doesn't get bogged down. The mystery element wraps up just a little too quickly for my taste, but overall I really enjoyed the story.

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This royal novel is more of a thriller than a romance. In the lead-up to her wedding to England's Prince Hugh, American singer, Jennie Jensen, is having trouble fitting into the royal family. When she starts to receive death threats, she starts to see the parallels of her life with the late Princess Penelope.

Why We Like it: The female lead is a mash-up of Meghan and Kate, but it's the thriller/mystery element that makes this story stand apart from most royal reads.

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Jennie, a pop singer, and Prince Hugh. A fairytale engagement! Or is it?

Someone isn't happy about this engagement and they are letting it be known. Is it someone inside the royal family's inner circle? Jennie gets anonymous letters. Things in her room get broken. There are some accidents that are near misses.

Prince Hugh's mom, Princess Penelope, died in a mysterious plane crash when he was younger. Jennie hears rumors it was not actually and accident and is determined to find the truth. But someone doesn't want her to find out and this puts a bigger target on her back.

I enjoyed the audio of this one!

This had a very Princess Di and Meghan Markle feel to it!

Many thanks to NetGalley and Blackstone Publishing for an ALC in exchange for my honest review.

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Apparently overly fictionalized versions of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's relationship/time in London are my guilty pleasure because I ate this up. American musician (definitely NOT a famous actress copycat) Jennie Jensen has a meet cute with Prince Hugh (H names huh?), the future King of England, and very quickly they fall in love, have a secret romance, publicly get engaged, and then the horror begins.

We also get flashbacks throughout the book from Princess Penelope"s (cough cough Diana cough cough) diary, where she shares similar horrors she encountered while married to Prince Hugh's dad, prior to her death in a plane crash (NOT a car crash because that would be too obvious, right?). Are these connected? Is someone really out for Jennie? Was Penelope actually murdered? ..... You'll just have to read it to find out.

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I appreciate Blackstone Publishing for providing the opportunity to review this book. While the premise intrigued me with its Megan Markle and Prince Harry vibes, I was disappointed to find it resembling a fictionalized version of their lives. The narrative felt abridged, with abrupt time jumps, and I missed exploring the main characters' courtship and love story. Additionally, the character of Jenny Jensen and the plot seemed unrealistic, and the plot twists didn't resonate with me.

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This was just not a book for me. I did listen to the audio and I wasn’t a super big fan of the narrator so that might be playing into my dislike a little. I just found it a bit boring and predictable. However, If you enjoy the American Royals books I could see you really enjoying this one! Again, not a terrible book, just not a book for me. 🤷🏼‍♀️

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American Jennie Jensen has a meet cute with Prince Hugh, the future King of England while preforming at a concert. Cut to a secret romance, a public engagement and the terror begins. Who is trying to stop their marriage? Could it be connected to the death of his beloved mother, Princess Penelope? When strange, scary and life threatening things happen Jennie starts secretly investigating only to find more questions than answers. Will she find out what really happened before she loses her life as well? So many suspects, terrible people, so many lies, so much deceit and deception behind Palace wall all to maintain what “The Firm” wants the public to know and perceive them all. An interesting mystery within a sweet love story. It had me thinking about Prince Harry and Meghan and Princess Diana through the entire listen. While the plot's intrigue added suspense, the drawn-out royal family speculations felt overwrought at times.
I did enjoy the listening experience and the narrator did a good job.
If half stars were available this would have been a 3.5 star read.
Thank you to NetGalley, the author and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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Fans of the royal family and the monarchy will enjoy The Royal Game by Linda Keir. The Royal Game has little romance and focuses more on a mystery surrounding the soon-to-be princess and a past Queen. Reminiscent of Princess Diana and Megan Markel, the story was good but not necessarily original.

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This story artfully combines elements of romance and mystery, and I also experienced its audiobook version, narrated by Barrie Kreinik and Shiromi Arserio. The story, centered on Jennie Jensen's unexpected royal romance and ensuing challenges, captivated me with its blend of love and intrigue. The narrators brought depth to the characters, enhancing the listening experience. While the plot's swift conclusion felt somewhat rushed, the overall narrative kept me engaged. Although not groundbreaking, this book was a delightful escape into a world of royal drama and romance. It's perfect for those who enjoy tales of love, mystery, and the allure of royalty, albeit without expecting profound depth or novelty.

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I went into this thinking this was more of a romance and I love royal romances. I didn't expect as much of the mystery component which I think took the forefront. I wasn't convinced of Hugh and Jennie's love. They had a whirlwind romance but it felt very superficial. I was invested in what happened back in the day to Hughs mom Penelope and it definitely had a lot of parallels with Princess Diana in real life. It dragged a but in the middle but the audiobook kept me going. I enjoyed the narrator.

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