Hawkins, R. (2018). Royals. New York, NY: G.P. Putnam’s Sons. ISBN: 1524738239.
Daisy Winters is a quirky sixteen-year-old living in Florida. She and her best friend, Isabel, both work at the Sur-N-Sav, a knock-off Wal-Mart. The girls are counting down the days until their big summer trip to Key West for Key Con; only four more weeks to go. After work, Daisy heads home to discover that her sister, El, and Alex, her sister’s boyfriend and Prince of Scotland, have come for a visit. During their visit, they share the news of their engagement. Daisy is happy for her sister, but also knows things are going to change. Daisy soon finds that to be an understatement. Her ex-boyfriend, Michael, who is her ex because he sold their prom pictures to the tabloids, sells a story that he was dumped by Daisy so she could get together with a royal. Bringing the wrong kind of attention to the royal family and the Winters, Daisy is forced to go to Scotland for the rest of the summer and miss her trip to Key West with Isabel.
Daisy soon realizes that life is very different in Scotland, especially around the rich and famous. Sebastian, Alex’s younger brother is one of the most wanted bachelors in the world and he is going to be her brother-in-law. When Daisy meets him, she thinks he is charming and better looking in person than on magazine covers. However, her opinion of him takes a turn. Her first night at the castle, Sebastian makes his way to Daisy’s room and makes a pass at her. She pushes him away and he ends up passed out on her floor. Fortunately, his friend, Miles, comes to the rescue and helps get Sebastian to his room. Miles hasn’t been very welcoming toward Daisy, but she still appreciated his help until he insinuates, she is hunting for a royal match. She realizes he is referencing the story in the tabloid and is ready to scream. They do not start on the right foot. As Sebastian continues to make poor choices, he drags Daisy into them, leaving the tabloids tongues wagging. The palace is not happy and to fix things, she and Miles are to fake dating. They do as they are told and soon, Daisy sees him in a different light.
Things are looking up until Sebastian reveals to Daisy that he is in love with her sister. Daisy is furious. At a polo match, Sebastian gets drunk and starts running his mouth. It comes out that he is in love with El and his brother, Alex, punches him. It is on the front page of the paper the next day. When the queen calls a meeting to discuss how to fix everything, El has had enough and tells Daisy to come with her. They are going to take a walk. El apologizes to Daisy for being a horrible sister to her, for putting her through all that has happened and lets her know that she loves her. When they head back, Daisy and Miles talk, and she lets him know that their relationship can’t go anywhere. She doesn’t want to cause him any trouble with the royal family and she knows she must go back to the states. She is heartbroken and Miles walks away.
Once Daisy is back home in Florida, she doesn’t want to go out. She wants to be a hermit and hideout at home. Her dad helps her get past it and she goes back to her normal life, working at the Sur-N-Sav with Isabel. Yet, Daisy can’t stop thinking about Miles. Apparently, Miles can’t stop thinking about her either. Miles leaves what he knows behind and follows his heart.
Royals is the first book in Rachel Hawkins series, by the same name. This book’s title has since changed to Prince Charming. This was a funny, laugh-out-loud, story that I thoroughly enjoyed. Daisy’s character was absolutely delightful and full of wit. I never new what she was going to say next. Even though the story including the Scottish royal family, it also shared their flawed, more realistic side, full of drama. Daisy tries her best to do what everyone asks of her, especially her sister, but their relationship is strained. Her sister, El, always seems displeased with Daisy and wants her to be someone she’s. Daisy also sees how El has changed and has lost her spunkiness. Daisy feels sorry for her sister. Finally, El has had enough and takes a stand. She and Daisy have time to themselves to be real with each other. As a reader, you see the beginning of the relationship, where Daisy is trying her best to please everyone, yet stay true to herself. She finally gives in and works hard to do everything “right, based on the palaces standards.” I found myself becoming frustrated and wanted to shake her sister and some of the royals who were extremely snobby and rude. In the end, El misses Daisy. She loves her and wants her to be herself, despite the royal’s opinions. You see the bond the sisters have and how their relationship has grown through all that has happened.
You also get to see the relationship between Daisy and Miles develop. The do not start off on the best of terms, but due to circumstances beyond both of their control, they are forced together. As the story progresses, Daisy starts to see another side of Miles and he starts to come out of his shell. At first, he came off as an arrogant jerk, but he ends up being charming. Prince Sebastian is a whole different story. He is used to the attention as the most wanted bachelor on the planet and you get to see him be put in his place and rejected by several women, which is something he is not used to. His reaction to not getting his way shows his immaturity and how spoiled he is. In the end, he makes a spectacle of himself with a Victoria’s Secret Model, taking the eyes of the tabloids off Daisy and Miles. You see that in the end, he may be growing up a little bit. Rachel Hawkins has written the second book in the Royals series. Her Royal Highness is due out for release May 9, 2019. A book review by Bickering Book Reviews is available on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxBWY8QC2Lw.