Broken Prince is the second book in the young/new adult trilogy, The Royals. I have to admit that I enjoyed book 1, Paper Princess, more than this second installment. In particular, I think book 2 suffered a bit from middle book syndrome. I felt like the plot line somewhat stalled throughout most of the book in one of my least preferred tropes, “the big misunderstanding.” It really wasn’t until nearly the end that I felt that the plot moved along with an interesting twist which should make Book 3, Twisted Palace, hopefully more riveting and likely different from the first two books. Fortunately, the narration was solid, which generally enhances the experience – that makes audio a good format to enjoy the story.
The story picks up where book 1 leaves off. Ella storms out of the Royal palace, after catching Reed, who she thought was her boyfriend, with his father’s girlfriend (Brooke) in his bedroom in what appears to be a compromising position. Heartbroken Ella runs away and disappears for a while.
Meanwhile, Reed is devastated. Not only is he being blackmailed by Brooke (who is threatening to pin him with her pregnancy if he doesn’t convince his father to marry her), but he is also missing Ella, who he has come to truly care for, notwithstanding their rough beginning in Paper Princess.
When Ella finally returns, however, she refuses to believe Reed’s version of what happened, instead believing that he has been playing her all this time. Things at the pretentious private school they all attend begin to get even worse for Ella as Reed’s depression and apathy leads to him to stop trying to police the school’s inhabitants. The power vacuum basically gives them a green light to start disparaging Ella again.
Can Reed somehow find a way to get Ella to believe that his feelings are true? Even if he does, will Ella give him a second chance? Moreover, will they be able to stop Brooke in her plot to convince Reed’s father to marry her?
Angela Goethals returns to narrate book 2. Additionally, as a few of the chapters are now also told from Reed’s perspective, Zachary Webber joins the cast to narrate Reed’s chapters. This approach works well to differentiate the viewpoint being shared in the narratives. As both narrators have youthful sounding voices, the casting works well in this high school-aged romance.
Both narrators also do a good job of differentiating the speaker in the dialogues by appropriately varying their pitch to either higher or lower pitches to differentiate the characters based on gender and personality. I also thought the delivery was well paced to allow the listener to sit back and enjoy the book.
All in all, if you like high school romances with lots of drama, and don’t mind “the big misunderstanding” trope, then Broken Prince is worth a listen if you have already listened to Paper Princess. Although I had hoped for more in this second book, my curiosity has been piqued with that unexpected twist and cliffhanger at the end of the book, so I am considering moving on the third and final installment, Twisted Palace, to see how this story finally ends.
Book Content: C+
Steam Factor: Glad I had my earbuds in
Violence Rating: Bullying/Verbal Abuse; Minimal Violence (underground fighting)
Genre: Contemporary Romance - Young Adult
Publisher: Audible Studios
Broken Prince was provided to AudioGals by Audible Studios for a review.