In Reluctantly Royal, Gillian Archer works within the trope to make an overall enjoyable story with a few hitches here and there. 3.5 stars.
Prince Lucien of Monaco lost his twin brother and his father last year. Yanked out of a career in the French military, Luc is now forced to take on the role as the “spare” to the crown after his older brother. To give him propose, his brother sends him to Vegas for a gaming conference where he meets the high-spirited Hannah. He is immediately attracted to the gorgeous blond and learns more about Vegas through the eyes of a local. How long can Prince Luc keep his identity a secret? Does innocent, open-book Hannah have secrets of her own?
So I am going to keep it real here. I started this book with trepidation. I have read and enjoyed Gillian Archer novels in the past but this was a whole new series with two things I do not usually enjoy: hero first person POV and contemporary royalty. To be honest, the first is usually a deal breaker. As a woman, I just have no interest in being “inside” a man’s head the whole book. Also, I think think the hero usually comes off as a bit of a douche. This pretty much held true for the beginning of the book.
His Royal Highness Prince Lucien of Monaco or HRH Luc is a bit whiny and a bit unrelatable at the beginning. There is a lot of instalove (or at least instalust) when he finally meets All-American Girl Hannah at a bar in Vegas. The majority of the story only spans a few days and I didn’t really start to believe in the sincerity of either main characters until the end. The intermittent French felt forced and awkward and the funny moments were jilted tended to take me out of the story.
BUT despite all that I would still give this book 3.5 stars. There is something achingly endearing about both characters. Luc is always there for Hannah and Hannah is for the most part relatable and likable. I enjoyed the fact that they were both imperfect characters with imperfect lives. The modern era of paparazzi also adds a subtle twist. Overall, I am very excited about the next installment. If you enjoy modern royalty romance, this is the start of a fantastic series for you. Ms. Archer is a great writer and hopefully Luc’s brother is up next!