A Royal Pain
Bronte Talbott has loved the British Royal Family her whole life, following their exploits and tracking their choices (fashion and otherwise). Until her hotshot Texan boyfriend leaves her in a lurch, and she swears off love and other foolish notions. Determined to take all her hard-learned lessons to heart, Bronte decides to transform herself into a modern woman - able to have a no-strings-attached relationship with any hott guy she wants, without getting her heart tied into knots or shattered to bits. Enter Max, a handsome, charming - British - PhD student who agrees to go along with Bronte's "just have fun, no questions, no attachment" demands until his dissertation is completed at the end of the summer.
Everything seems to be going great - Max is the perfect "non-boyfriend" - and Bronte is pleased with the success of her plan. Until the one thing she never counted on happens, and she falls in love. When faced with the choice to go with Max to England, Bronte panics (on an epic scale), realizing too late that letting Max go was quite possibly one of her biggest mistakes. So she does what any girl does: she Googled him, discovering that quiet doctoral student Max is actually royal. No, really. His grandmother was a princess, and he's a Duke -- and subsequent highly-eligible-match -- back in merry old England. To bury her shock (and unspoken heartbreak), Bronte buries herself in work, making a successful name for herself in boutique PR. And then, Life plays a trick on her still raw heart, letting Max cross Bronte's path in NYC a year later. What happens next makes their previous quasi-relationship seem cold and impersonal.
A Royal Pain is more than a feel-good love story ((with quite a bit of sexy-times, consider yourself forewarned, as it's a bit more sexed up than I expected)), it's also a story of personal growth as Bronte learns to come to terms with the ghosts of her past. Especially the distant specter of her father, and the role he played in shaping her character. Fighting to maintain her identity of a "modern, independent woman" while yearning to give in to the romantic dreams in her heart. It's a real struggle, and Bronte is a character I could relate to -- and whom I'm sure other young women can as well. Her personal journey is a nice balance to the sparkle of the love story.
eARC provided by publisher for review.