Series: The Royals (TW) #1
Published by Pocket Star on March 27th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Retelling
In this charming, modern retelling of the classic Audrey Hepburn film Roman Holiday, a royal prince tries to escape his hectic and rigid life and ends up leading a young graduate student on a chase through the Eternal City.
Julia Costa is too busy trying to complete her PhD while also holding down a full-time job as a private tour guide in Rome to keep up with celebrity gossip. So when she crosses paths with a real, actual prince, she mistakes him for a client and takes him on a daylong tour of the city.
Intrigued by the idea of spending time with someone who obviously has no idea who he is, and delighted at the prospect of a day free of royal obligations, Niccolo La Torre, Crown Prince of Lazaretto, acts on impulse and assumes the role of Julia’s client. He swears to himself that he’ll return to his royal duties after only half a day…but he’s having the time of his life.
Until Julia presents him with the bill. Since he snuck out of the hotel without so much as a dime, he tries to escape, only to discover that she won’t let him out of her sight until he can pay her back. She’s determined to get her money…and perhaps more from the handsome stranger she’s fallen for.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I really wanted to love this book. I enjoyed Ms. Wilson’s Unleashing Mr. Darcy and absolutely adored Roman Holiday, so I was hoping the best for Royally Roma. Unfortunately, it fell short for me.
Before I talk about why it didn’t work for me, I’ll say why it would have. My 3 Rs.
First, Roman Holiday. It was such a sweet classic film about an innocent princess who meets Joe, a reporter looking for a scoop. As they spend time together in Rome, Joe softens up to Princess Ann, and the scoop is forgotten. It was a whirlwind romance that happened in a span of a day. Second, Rome. It’s easy to fall in love with a book that highlights one of the most romantic cities in the world. Third, Royalty. A prince falling for a commoner? I’m usually putty in the author’s hand.
Now, why it didn’t work for me.
Like Roman Holiday, Royally Roma is a fast-paced romance that happens in a span of a day or two. Almost half of the book covers their tour in Rome where we’re shown how instant of a connection Prince Niccolo and Julia have. As some of you might already know, I’m more of a slow burn kinda gal. I would have enjoyed the story more if there was more build up. They pretty much started lusting over each other the moment they met.
And there was Prince Niccolo’s deception. Not only did he lie to her and got her fired, he failed to pay Julia. She should’ve brought him to the police. And when he promised her he’d have her money the next day and he still didn’t, POLICE. Instead, he hired her again and promised to pay her triple, and do you know what Julia did? She said yes despite her conscience telling her to say no.
If I were in Julia’s shoes, I would have despised the man who lied to me and got me fired, regardless of how hot he looked. Once he’d remedied that situation and paid me my due, that’s when I’d jump the sh*t out of him. I think. It still depends.
I also didn’t like how susceptible Julia was to Prince Nico’s charm. Her gut has been telling her to do one thing and her libido another. Guess which one she listens to.
Don’t get me wrong. It has a well-written narrative, not different to Ms. Wilson’s other works. Some people might still enjoy it, but it just wasn’t for me.
Royally Roma is a standalone novel told in alternating POVs. If you like fast-paced insta-love with a royal theme, you might enjoy this. But if you’re like me who prefers slow burn, this might not be for you.
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