From strip clubs and truck stops to southern coast mansions and prep schools, one girl tries to stay true to herself.
These Royals will ruin you…
Ella Harper is a survivor—a pragmatic optimist. She’s spent her whole life moving from town to town with her flighty mother, struggling to make ends meet and believing that someday she’ll climb out of the gutter. After her mother’s death, Ella is truly alone.
Until Callum Royal appears, plucking Ella out of poverty and tossing her into his posh mansion among his five sons who all hate her. Each Royal boy is more magnetic than the last, but none as captivating as Reed Royal, the boy who is determined to send her back to the slums she came from.
Reed doesn’t want her. He says she doesn’t belong with the Royals.
He might be right.
Wealth. Excess. Deception. It’s like nothing Ella has ever experienced, and if she’s going to survive her time in the Royal palace, she’ll need to learn to issue her own Royal decrees.
I have to admit, I didn’t expect to like this book, but it has a Hana Yori Dango (Meteor Garden, Boys Over Flowers, whatever you call it) sort of vibe.
“…all it takes is one word from him and you’ll be nothing here. Insignificant. Invisible. Or worse.”
This is no brilliant work of literature, believe me, but what it was is utterly entertaining. The reason I compare it to Hana Yori Dango (HYD) is the premise. It’s a bit different, but the similarity is still there.
Ella Harper is plucked from poverty and a hard life to live with her “guardian,” a wealthy man with five sons. She is smart, strong, a survivor, and is plopped into a chi-chi world and ultra-rich school where four of the sons attend, all of whom are determined to make her life a living hell.
The school she attends is straight out of HYD.
“Astor Park is a prep school with a P.” Savannah keeps walking. There’s no quit button on her. “Every family in the state wants their kids to go here, but it’s exclusive. You can’t just have money to get in. Everyone that attends, even the scholarship students, are here because they have something special to offer.”
I don’t like New Adult, I can tell you that, but this book was surprisingly fun. It always takes a lot for me to overcome my prejudice of the genre, and what surprised me about this book was the fact that there are other female characters in the book.
The difference between this book and HYD is that all the guys are asshats. If you’re expecting a bunch of flowery boys, you’re gonna be disappointed because all of them are alpha male assholes of the Jericho-fucking-Barrons sort. I hated their asses, and to be honest, I still sort of do. Violence and intimidation is never something I approve of, but at least this book doesn’t try to make excuses to portray these boys as anything but major douchebags. There’s no quiet, sweet moment with violin-playing Hanazawa Rui here. This being NA, of course there is redemption, and it’s realistic enough to be believable.
The star of the story, Ella, was surprisingly likeable. She’s strong, but not over the top. She yearns for love and acceptance, hiding it behind a hard exterior, and her character was well-developed throughout the story.
Again, don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the next great American novel, but it’s a soap opera and it’s damned entertaining.