Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins || Book Review

“And yes, sometimes you make me crazy, and we’re definitely going to have to talk about the whole high-handed thing, but . . . it’s worth it. You’re worth it.”

Synopsis: Millie Quint is devastated when she discovers that her sort-of-best friend/sort-of-girlfriend has been kissing someone else. And because Millie cannot stand the thought of confronting her ex every day, she decides to apply for scholarships to boarding schools . . . the farther from Houston the better.

Millie can’t believe her luck when she’s accepted into one of the world’s most exclusive schools, located in the rolling highlands of Scotland. Everything about Scotland is different: the country is misty and green; the school is gorgeous, and the students think Americans are cute.

The only problem: Mille’s roommate Flora is a total princess.

She’s also an actual princess. Of Scotland.

At first, the girls can barely stand each other–Flora is both high-class and high-key–but before Millie knows it, she has another sort-of-best-friend/sort-of-girlfriend. Even though Princess Flora could be a new chapter in her love life, Millie knows the chances of happily ever afters are slim . . . after all, real life isn’t a fairy tale . . . or is it?

Source: Goodreads

Title: Her Royal Highness
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Series: Royals, Book Two
Links: Book Depository | Chapters Indigo | Goodreads

Genre / Themes: ContemporaryLGBTQIA+ | Romance
Point of View: First Person

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 274

Sometime last year, I realized I haven’t read many (if any) F/F romance books; I’ve been trying to really get more diverse in my reading selection. Hawkins’ Prince Charming was pretty cute — so I thought why not give the second book a try?

Though the potential was RIGHT there … the execution faltered. I wanted to LOVE this book, especially since certain elements made me REALLY happy. But unfortunately, this YA romance story just didn’t cut it for me.

Pro 1. The love story is actually incredibly adorable. Ahhh … the “average person” falls in-love with “royalty” trope; I have to say, this is DEFINITELY one of the guilty pleasures. The connection between American geologists-in-training Millie and the Scottish sassy-and-blunt Princess Flora’s ABSOLUTELY DELIGHTFUL! A hate-to-love story, Millie and Flora’s initial interactions are priceless! The banter between these two opposing forces makes for a hilarious read. But as they begin to grow closer, their infatuation makes you desire for more. With a fantastic chemistry that balances both comical relief and a wealth of passion, following their story is becomes quite the treat.

Pro 2. There’s an abundance of diversity … even demonstrating some very valuable lessons! Bisexuality, F/F romance, different ethnic backgrounds and cultures, non-traditional families … Hawkins includes it all! Hawkins’ characters bring to life a diverse cast, demonstrating a REALISTIC look at society today rather than making the book completely … well … white-washed, heterosexual and male dominated, to put it bluntly. But there’s even little lessons to be learned by both the characters and the readers about making assumptions, such as sexual orientation and beliefs. Remember folks: never judge a book by its cover.

Woe 1. Though it’s based in Scotland, the content and presence still didn’t give off this vibe. This was a problem in Prince Charming as well, with a number of Scottish individuals commenting on this exact issue. There are multiple references that either aren’t accurate to Scottish traditions or don’t fit in with the timeline now — even character names that were chosen don’t reflect Scottish culture. The other letdown is the lack of description of Scotland … the towns, the beautiful landscape — it’s all missing, which is usually the exciting thing about reading a book so focused on a characters love for that place.

Woe 2. Though the characters are intriguing, there’s little depth to them. Millie’s an absolutely adorable, kind hearted character with a bit of sass to make her more interesting. Even Flora and Millie’s other friends from school really intrigued me … but there’s LITTLE exploration of the characters! They’re borderline FLAT characters, which was extremely annoying. If this was a short story, I would understand. But a novel should explore these characters more … their traits, their hobbies, their lives, the things that make them happy and the things that trouble them … there was VERY little of that. So unfortunately, none of them are very memorable due to this lack of character development.

Woe 3. The content itself is too linear, and that ending so abrupt. Like the characters, the story itself is PRETTY basic. It follows a very simple romance recipe. There’s nothing WRONG with writing a book this way, but the pacing and linear story-line provided LITTLE opportunity to explore Millie and Flora’s blossoming relationship. Everything just … happened … with barely any momentum or build up. And that ending?! WHAT WAS THAT?! It’s not a cliffhanger … but it honestly made me thing I bought a version that was missing pages … it’s so sudden!

Hawkins’ Her Royal Highness is a lovely addition to the Royals series, providing a great amount of humour and lovey-dovey romance. Though the story is rather rushed and linear … and there’s little character development … I don’t believe this story was meant to elaborate on these areas. This is simply a fluffy romance story to bring joy and smiles to those looking for an easy-breezy read, rather than an intense and emotionally strenuous novel. So at the end of the day, Her Royal Highness brings readers a fun and fast read that’s sure to make your heart swoon.

I recommend this novel if you enjoy:

↠ A fluffy F/F romance
↠ Diverse characters
↠ Quick and easy read

Have you read Rachel Hawkin’s Her Royal Highness?

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Author of Bookmark Your Thoughts, both the Tumblr and WordPress book review blogs. I'm a tea drinking, book loving librarian who just loves literature.

9 thoughts on “Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins || Book Review

    1. Oh no! My bad ha-ha! Honestly, it’s a pretty easy and light read, so I’m not upset that I read it or anything. It was still fun … just not what I was expecting? So if you decide to read it, I don’t think you’ll end up wishing you didn’t … if that makes sense ha-ha! A lot of people seemed to really like it as well, so maybe I was just too harsh?

      Liked by 1 person

  1. The cover of this book is so cute, and love that blue color! I’m sorry it wasn’t as good as you expected it to be.

    Last year, I tried to read more diverse books, mainly LGBTQ+, but most of them seemed very “forced” and others I just couldn’t connect with. Idk.. since then I’ve been trying to avoid LGBTQ+ or romance books in general.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know eh?! I don’t mind that I bought it … since it looks very lovely on my shelf ha-ha!

      I know eh? It’s like it becomes overpowered with LGBT that it kinda defeats the purpose that we’re trying to make the world realize it’s natural and normal, not something out of the ordinary. I want something that is just … there. Like, how natural it feels to read a heterosexual based novel but with different sexual orientations. I read a book like that last year (I forget the name), where it was just a common fact that one of the characters was gay …. and I loved it! The author didn’t make a BIG DEAL about it … just natural, as it should be.

      I don’t know if that made any sense ha-ha!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful review, Jenna! ❤ I've been eyeing this book as it sounds like my kind of read, romance and royalty, I'm so in! I'm a little sad to hear it lacks some depth and descriptions of Scotland, such a beautiful country, that's too bad! 😦 I think I'll keep that one in mind for when I'm looking for a fluffy read, but will lower my expectations for it, too. Thank you for the review! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been on the fence about whether or not I was interested in this book, but your review sealed the deal. I’m trying to be better about picking up romances that have depth and complexity to them, since I’ve found that’s what I tend to enjoy. It was a wonderful review! I’m so glad I came across it!

    Liked by 1 person

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