When I was a little girl, I’d often dream of being a princess. It seemed like such a simple, but glamorous life. Who could want anything more? Suddenly Royal by Nichole Chase showed my inner child that there’s a lot more to being royal than servants and pretty dresses.
Samantha Rousseau is just your run-of-the-mill grad student. She’s working on her Master’s degree in wildlife biology. She’s also helping to care for her ailing stepfather. She leads a full and productive life and, aside from the fact that her stepfather is battling cancer, Sam wouldn’t change anything about her life. We soon learn that fate has other plans.
Sam is invited to dinner with a duchess from the small country of Lilaria. She assumes the duchess wants to donate to the bird sanctuary she works for. She’s not sure how to deal with someone of noble birth, but she accepts the invitation, only to learn that she is the Duchess of Rousseau. This answers many of Sam’s questions about her family history, but will also force her to make some very difficult decisions. Should she continue living her comfortable life in the States, or should she embark on a journey to reclaim her family’s lost heritage?
Alex d’Lynsal is Lilaria’s crowned prince. He’s used to being written about in newspapers and magazines around the world. He’s quite the ladies man, but a recent scandal has made him vow to change his ways. Meeting Samantha causes him to rethink his every opinion about women. He knows she’s the one for him, but how can he get her to realize it too?
Narrator Caitlin Davies did a wonderful job with this book. Suddenly Royal is told in first person from Samantha’s point of view and Davies captures Samantha’s blend of innocence and intelligence perfectly. Above all, Sam doesn’t want to get hurt, and she’s sure that falling in love with Alex will lead to heartbreak. Davies allows the listener to see the world through Sam’s eyes. Her confusion and vulnerabilities are neatly captured. Later, we hear her give into love, not just for Alex, but also for the country she will now call home.
I was really pleased with Davies’ depiction of Alex. Since she has a voice that is somewhat high, and definitely light, I was worried that she would have difficulty speaking for the male characters. Alex is given an accent that was close to British, and a deeper tone than Davies used for Samantha. This worked remarkably well.
All Lilarians are given an accent similar to the one Davies chose for Alex. However, it was very easy to tell the characters apart. Alex’s younger sister is allowed to sound young and bubbly, while his mother, Lilaria’s queen, sounds regal and quite serious. When we hear Samantha’s father speaking, we hear the toll his illness is taking. His voice is weak and raspy.
I really enjoyed the interaction between Sam and Alex. There’s a certain lighthearted element to their exchanges. Sam wants simply to be friends and, even though we know Alex wants something more, he is patient with her. When she finally gives into her feelings, a certain warmth is added to their exchanges. Davies’ pacing is perfect the first time these two make love. They are cherishing the experience, and Davies allows the listener to do the same.
Even though Suddenly Royal is lighter than the books I usually read, I found it to be an excellent story. It is delightfully fun. So, if you’re looking for a solid, but fun, read with likable characters and a sweet romance, Suddenly Royal is something I wholeheartedly recommend.
Book Content: A-
Steam Factor: Glad I had my earbuds in (things don’t heat up until the book is more than halfway over)
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Harper Audio
Suddenly Royal was provided to AudioGals for review by Harper Audio.