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Returning to the Alphabet Challenge

For this latest attack on my TBR pile, I decided to read Emma Chase’s Royally Screwed, published in 2016, covering the “C” for Chase.

I had read, and generally enjoyed, a couple of books from Chase’s earlier series such as Tangled, and Twisted, but I’m not sure her style fits this “Royal” series.

Royally Screwed concerns the crown prince of the small (fictional) European country of Wessco ruled by a monarch and a parliament. The country appears to be somewhere off of the U.K. The immediate royal family is made up of the Queen and her two adult grandsons, Nicholas and Henry. Henry, being the rascal of the two, has gotten himself into some embarrassing trouble. In fact, he often does. So, the Queen uses that problem to lay down an ultimatum to Nicholas: in the next six months, find someone to marry from the list of nobles provided to you which will ensure the throne’s rather wobbly, political future and distract from your brother’s antics. Nicholas knew this was coming at some point, but having the noose around his neck tighten overwhelms him. To distract himself, Nicholas heads to the U.S. to make some royal appearances and retrieve his brother who has been partying it up in Vegas. Nicholas, himself, is no angel and within days he ends up drunk and staggering into a New York City coffee shop/cafe. There he meets, Olivia Hammond, whose family owns the business and who’s been running it, barely keeping it afloat. Nicholas is immediately attracted and proposes a sexual encounter. Olivia is indignant. She learns, pretty quickly, who Nicholas is and is aware that most women would jump at the chance to share the royal sack, but only when Nicholas sobers up and acts like a gentleman does she see beyond the playboy prince facade. However, although the two of them know that all they might ever have is a memorable affair, can Nicholas tell Olivia about the Queen’s ultimatum and what happens if they fall in love?

As mentioned earlier, this series has the same general style as Chase’s first series. Through alternating chapters, we get into the heads of both Olivia and Nicholas, so we know what the hero is thinking as much as the heroine. And, of course, the hero is thinking of many raunchy, naughty things which was kind of fun in Chase’s other series, but in this one, with the politics, demands of state, and potential consequences, I just found it a bit of a mismatch. Not that Nicholas needed to be a regal stiff to make this work for me, but I really felt the author could have changed things up a bit to reflect the different circumstances and not just slap the same risqué style onto a story that should’ve had a bit more depth. Instead, the seriousness of the politics was only slapped on here and there and really not fleshed out — no pun intended — when it clearly could’ve been a bigger part of the story. I’d give this book a B-.


The Cocktail Challenge – 7 down, 3 to go.

Alphabet Challenge – 6 down, 4 to go. (B, C, G, H, J, & M)