Cover Image: The Royal Game

The Royal Game

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Member Reviews

Note: This book is a domestic thriller, not a romance.

American popstar Jennie is engaged to marry England’s Prince Hugh—but her fairytale dreams run into danger from a hidden adversary. Facing attacks reminiscent of the scrutiny and threats that tragically ended the life of Hugh’s own mother, Princess Penelope, Jennie races to uncover the truth of Penelope’s mysterious death before her own future as princess unravels.

This book is not a romance, or even a romantic suspense, since it skips from the meet-cute to the engagement. There’s little emotion or bonding between Jennie and Hugh. It’s a domestic thriller, rather than a mystery, since it’s not clear for most of the book whether a crime has been committed.

The story is well-written and the plot is solid. There’s no real character development, but Jennie is likable and smart. The inspiration from the lives of the Duchess of Sussex and the late Princess of Wales is clear. I enjoyed the audiobook narration.

Thanks, NetGalley, for the ARC I received.

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This was such a fun and interesting listen! With obvious nods to the *real* Royals, Keir manages to craft a story that is dishy and intriguing, with definite parallels to actual events but enough novelty to feel original. The characters are easy to fall in love with - even the "villains" - and figuring out the secrets behind Princess Penelope's tragedy and Jenny's dangers leads readers/listeners on a merry chase. I am not always a fan of dual narration, but it really worked here. I will definitely be looking for more audio stories from Keir!

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Thanks NetGalley for the ARC of this audiobook. This book gave me Harry and Megan vibes. Which isn’t bad. It felt familiar the entire time. It was entertaining and a great take on a modern royal family and flashbacks to the prior generation with the death of the prince’s mom. An American moving into Royalty has its challenges and this book was showing how the public eye is only a show. I thought this book was very entertaining and enjoyed the story.

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3.5 Stars
This novel took a lot of inspiration from Princess Diana and Megan Markle

Imagine being a successful pop star and suddenly getting engaged to a prince! It sounds like a fairytale, doesn't it? However, the reality may not be as perfect as it seems. Meet Jennie Jensen, an American pop singer who is engaged to England's Prince Hugh. But not everyone is happy with their engagement. As she prepares to become a royal and the wedding, her happiness is threatened by an anonymous letter. The letter ominously warns her that her life will meet the same fate as Princess Penelope (Prince Hugh's mother), who tragically perished in a mysterious plane crash. Jennie is now on a mission to uncover the truth behind Princess Penelope's death and find out who sent the threatening letter. Will Jennie succeed in finding the truth before it's too late?

This book is more of a mystery than a romance novel but is still an entertaining read. If you enjoy fictional stories inspired by Princess Diana and Meghan Markle, then you should give it a try.

***Thank you to NetGalley, Linda Keir, and Blackstone Publishing for graciously sending me the audiobook to review. As always, all thoughts are my own.***

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The Royal Gane
By: Linda Keir
Publisher: Blackstone publishing - Audio
Pub date: 1/30/2024
Read by: Barrie Kreinik & Shiromi Arserio
Jennie Jensonan American singer/songwriter, meets England's future King, Prince Hugh of Wales at one of her gigs. They both fall head over heels in love. In order to stay with Hugh she’s going to have to learn to be a princess and the future Queen of England. As she becomes more familiar with her new role she begins to learn more about Hugh’s mom Princess Penelope's death. Penelope was flying on her lover's plane when it crashed. Up until Jennie begins to dig… where she shouldn't, everyone believed it was all an accident but was it? She was going to ask for a divorce and The Prince of Wales at that time was having an affair too. He knew he couldn’t remarry while Penolpe was still alive.
The more Jennie finds out what really went on back then, the more she begins to worry about her own safety. She’s fairly sure someone was trying to poison her. As the wedding draws closer she believes she’s found the truth. Can she share the truth and still keep her relationship? You’ll have to read to find out!
Anyone who loves the modern royal family would love this story. It seems to be the perfect mix of Princess Diana’s and Meghan Markle Duchess of Sussex experiences.

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"The Royal Game" by Linda Keir, featuring American pop singer Jennie Jensen and England's Prince Hugh, navigates the challenges of their love story. While the plot's intrigue adds suspense, the drawn-out royal family speculations at times may feel excessive.

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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.

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3.5 rounded up

This was an entertaining Royal romantic suspense story steeped in the Prince Harry/Meghan Markle experience. Prince Hugh falls for an American singer and while they eventually fall in love, the media and a mysterious force threaten to derail their plans. I really enjoyed that the story was interspersed with letters from Hugh's mother. It lent to the double timeline mystery and kept the reader on their toes. Perfect for fans of authors like Tracey Livesay and anyone who enjoys British Royals drama. Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an early digital and audio copy in exchange for my honest review!

Steam level: kissing only/closed door

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