Truly, Madly, Royally by Debbie Rigaud
“Zora Emerson is not here to play. She’s enrolled in a prestigious summer program, and is ready to use what she’s learning to change the world (or at least her corner of New Jersey, for now).
Zora’s not expecting to vibe with any of her super-privileged classmates. So she’s shocked to find she’s got chemistry with Owen Whittelsey, who is charming, funny, undeniably cute…and turns out to literally be a prince. As in, his parents are the king and queen of a small European country. What?
Suddenly, Zora’s summer is looking a lot more complicated — especially when Owen asks her to be his date at his older brother’s wedding. Can her feelings for Owen, not to mention her sense of self, survive the royal chaos?”
If you like:
- A Quick Read
- Royal Love Interests
- Diverse MC
Then you might like this book!
Going into this book, I had VERY high hopes (so maybe that’s why I’m might be looking into this to much) because a) the cover is adorable and full of promise and b) Owen’s a prince (and we all know how much I love a good story with royals). So to say that I needed this book in my life is an understatement. I don’t know about y’all but I haven’t seen any reviews or thought about this book, but that didn’t stop me from picking it up.
I liked this book, but it’s not one that I would foresee myself rereading often (if at all). It’s not a really complicated read that makes you have flip back throughout the book to recall certain events or even make you feel 50,000 different emotions at once (although it does give you some feels). I love a good book that has some predictability and some awww moments probably more than the average person, but I do like to see some depth to the plot with out it being so step by step predictable.
I felt like the characters were very one noted or not represented very well. Like they had one main character trait and rarely showed any other emotion except during really intense moments even then it wasn’t much of a change.
In the beginning of the book, we find out that Owen is he youngest of his family and is the ‘wild child’ of the group who has a reputation of having fun (it put me in the mind of Prince Harry). So when we see him in America, at college in New Jersey, he’s this really polite, well mannered person and I’m like are we even talking about the same person here! Then as the story progresses, it turns out that Owen does a lot of humanitarian work like building houses and helping children in poorer countries. From the couple hundred pages that I’ve seen of him he seems like a great guy who’s loyal and caring. So is he not this playboy prince that his homeland of Landon perceive him as?
Then there’s Zora. I like her because she single handily started an after school program from the children in a neighborhood in New Jersey and she has these great dreams of spreading the knowledge of African American history, but she has a lot of unresolved emotions that deal with her dad leaving the family and acting as if the world is at his disposal and some of the things her brother did when they were younger. And it’s obvious that she hasn’t forgiven them truest because she felt like Owen was going to walk away from her or hurt her because she keeps these negative emotions in her subconscious all the time. Plus it keeps her from building her current relationships with her dad and brother to something worth keeping.
I also felt like the way that time passed was very odd. For some parts of the book, it was a day by day thing then we’d skip days or a week before the story picked up and made it hard to tell how time passed.
Then there’s the ‘side characters’. And when I say side character I mean Zora’s family and friends and the real side characters of Owens family. I think none of Zora’s family really got any of the on page time they deserved. They were brought in when needed with a few little details and faded to the back when it’s convenient to the plot line. It never felt like they were a constant part of Zora and her life.
And don’t even get me started on Owen’s brother’s wedding because it was literally the last 30 pages of the book. So the brother that’s getting married is the 2nd in line to the throne and is getting married to a biracial women. I love the fact that they are looking past skin color and getting married for love. But because This is the big thing that Owen is looking forward to at the end of the summer and is hoping to bring Zora (the quite girl on campus with her headphones in never seeing him) with him to the wedding with him. Still doing good right now. And, it’s a big deal on who the next in line relay sibling brings to the wedding because it shows that this could be the person that they could marry (no pressure right). BUT, what I don’t understand is how Owen didn’t see that his mother didn’t want Zora near him because she was black until the very end. Like couldn’t her see that his mom conveniently called for him when he had a free moment. I just can’t.
Is this book on your TBR? Have you read this book? Did you like it or did it have things that you couldn’t seem to grasp like me? Let me know below!
Happy reading until next time,