April 01, 2016

ARC Review: Paper Princess (The Royals #1) by Erin Watt

Title: Paper Princess
Author: Erin Watt
Series: The Royals #1
Genre: young adult, contemporary romance
Release Date: April 4th, 2016
“This generation’s Cruel Intentions.” Jennifer L. Armentrout, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author

From strip clubs and truck stops to southern coast mansions and prep schools, one girl tries to stay true to herself.

These Royals will ruin you…

Ella Harper is a survivor—a pragmatic optimist. She’s spent her whole life moving from town to town with her flighty mother, struggling to make ends meet and believing that someday she’ll climb out of the gutter. After her mother’s death, Ella is truly alone.

Until Callum Royal appears, plucking Ella out of poverty and tossing her into his posh mansion among his five sons who all hate her. Each Royal boy is more magnetic than the last, but none as captivating as Reed Royal, the boy who is determined to send her back to the slums she came from.

Reed doesn’t want her. He says she doesn’t belong with the Royals.

He might be right.

Wealth. Excess. Deception. It’s like nothing Ella has ever experienced, and if she’s going to survive her time in the Royal palace, she’ll need to learn to issue her own Royal decrees.


Q: Is this really a YA?

We recommend this for young adult readers, age 17 and up. We think it’s a book that will appeal to older teens and those adults who are in touch with their inner teen, like us.

Q: Is there a cliffhanger? I’ve heard there’s an awful cliffhanger! Why’d you write a cliffhanger?

We promise that we didn’t set out to write a cliffhanger, but Paper Princess does end in one. The good news is that the next book will be released July 25, 2016.

Amazon US | Amazon UK


Paper Princess by Erin Watt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4 **how can you leave us like that?** STARS

“No one wants to be ruined. We all want to be saved.”

What a trip. Angst, secrets, lots of drama, mysteries and forbidden relationships. It turns out Elle Kennedy and Jen Frederick writing together as Erin Watt creates one hell of an explosive combination. I read Paper Princess in one day. Once I got into the story i just had to know where it was all headed and then we were hit with the mother of all cliffhangers...I’m still a little out of sorts. But more about this later.

Paper Princess is the first book in The Royals series. A mix of young adult and new adult. You have to be able to appreciate high school shenanigans with snobby, malicious and back-stabbing rich kids. The setting is most definitely YA, but the subject matter and execution screams at least NA. Think Gossip Girl meets The O.C.

Let’s talk story...

“Fate is for the weak—those people who don’t have enough power or will to shape life into what they need it to be. I’m not there yet. I don’t have enough power, but I will some day.”

Ella Harper has lost everything. She never knew her father. Her mother died recently from cancer and at seventeen she is left to fend for herself. Forging her mum’s signature to stay on her own, go to high school and working as a stripper at night to make ends meet. That is until one day Cullum Royal turns up and claims to be her guardian. Turns out he was her dead father's best friend and is now in charge of her future.

From one day to another she is thrown from complete poverty into the world of the filthy rich, including Cullum’s five sons who are not as pleased as their father to have Ella living under their roof. Especially Reed Royal is out to get her. He is the leader of the pack and what he says goes. It is pretty clear that he is supposed to be her counterpart, but first they have to get over the intense hatred for each other. It's pretty hot to be honest. But nothing is that straightforward. First Ella has try to keep her head above the water in a shark infested ocean.

“You should know whatever game you're playing, you can't win. Not against all of us.If you leave now, you won't be hurt. If you stay, we'll break you so bad that you'll be crawling away.”

It took me a while to really get into it this story, but once I just went with the flow I was very much hooked. I have to say, since I finished my rating has gone up from 3.5 to 4 stars. I guess it is because I rarely read books that involve high school kids and initially I wasn't sure what to make of this. The more I let it set, talked with friends who read it and started writing my review the story and characters grew on me.

If nothing else, Ella is a character who makes this book worth reading. She is incredibly resilient, in control of her life and despite her circumstances, humiliation and devastation she is a survivor and one hell of a fighter. The strength she shows is admirable. Add to that the mysterious Royal boys and their secrets - all bets are off.

If you look for a romantic love story this might not be it. Paper Princess is more than an ensemble cast. There are so many moving parts and the potential lovestory between Reed and Ella is not the center of attention. I even got a little anxious while reading. There is always the feeling of doubt. I was very worried for Ella, if she should trust anyone and where the next blow would come from. Impending doom is very much the constant companion here.

But all in all this an interesting story that keeps you on the edge of your seat, with a lot of fascinating characters who all stand out on their own. I was just a little disappointed with the connection between Reed and Ella. Don't get me wrong the I hate you - I might actually really like you thing was great and hot every once in awhile, but I thought all the surrounding drama and copious amounts of characters overshadowed them sometimes.

Well...and then the mother of a cliffhanger happened.

So many theories. I'm glad I was able to talk with a friend and speculate after I finished reading. She had to talk me down from the ledge. I was so angry and lost. Let's just say we have a few good ideas and I'm pretty sure we haven't scratched the surface of what the authors have in mind for us. Can't wait for Broken Prince.

Seriously. How can you guys leave us like that???

**ARC very kindly provided by authors in exchange for an honest review.

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