Title: Royal Games
Series: The Royals of Monterra #3
Author: Sariah Wilson
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: July 5, 2016
Publisher: Montlake Romance
My Rating: 4 stars
Genesis Kelley didn’t just get her heart broken. The aspiring veterinarian had it crushed in front of millions of viewers on the dating reality show Marry Me. Now, just as she’s getting her life and dignity back together, her royal heart breaker, Prince Rafael of Monterra, has landed in Frog Hollow, Iowa. And he’s renting out her aunt’s guest cottage.
Deceiving TV audiences for his brother’s sake cost Rafe the girl of his dreams. But he’s going to fix it, even if it means moving from his mountain-kingdom home to small-town Iowa. A prince doesn’t give up on his rightful princess—especially once he realizes Genesis is in deeper danger than she knows.
Between fixing her truck, whisking her off to Monterra for a whirlwind date, and charming the entire town, Rafe is thawing the ice around Genesis’s heart. Will it be enough to earn back her trust, protect her from her past—and sweep her into a real-life fairy tale?
Read on for my thoughts on Royal Games. No true spoilers, promise.
It’s a risk, going on a television dating program and putting your heart, reputation and dignity out there to be examined, weighed and crushed. Genesis knew the risks, she simply never expected to find her true love in the man she was in competition for… or to have him select another as his bride.
Rafe was in such a difficult position. He was charmed, captivated and in love with Genesis, but since he was taking the place of his twin, Dante, he really had no choice but to break Genesis’ heart and burden his own at least temporarily. He vowed to fix everything he’d damaged by the lies he had to tell, he simply never expected it to be so hard to win back her trust.
Royal Games is a charming story with a bit of suspense woven through the plot. Rafe followed the woman he wanted for his own real life princess to her small home town and set up shop at one of her aunt’s guest houses. He had no idea that he’d be in this battle for the long haul, or that there was real danger to Genesis from her past. At first he simply showed up in the hopes of winning her trust and her love once again. It turns out that his necessary lies did far more damage than he ever thought possible. And the road to winning his princess is going to be a rocky one.
Genesis could not believe the nerve of Rafe showing up in her home town. And explaining his actions? No way did she want to hear one more word from him, besides it would probably just be more lies. She will not be manipulated or controlled ever again. Perhaps he had no idea of Genesis’ history but Rafe soon realized that to win and protect the woman he loved, he’d have to show her his true self and earn her trust once more. He would do everything possible, and even beyond possible to fix what he’d messed up and bring his princess home to him.
There were moments when Genesis’ determination to not listen to Rafe or give him another chance affected my reactions to this character. Yes, she’d had a horrible history, and I could understand why she acted as she did – but Rafe was hurting as well, and I’d hoped that she would see that as proof of his honesty and intentions. Rafe was a perfectly imperfect prince. Yes, he messed up but his loyalty is to his twin first. I got that. Genesis did not. His constant, steady determination to be as much himself as possible, help her aunt, the townsfolk went a long way toward redemption in my eyes for what he’d had to do.
Overall, I enjoyed Royal Games very much and it was a delightful addition to the series. If you love Romance then I would recommend this story and series. It would be an intriguing book to have on your to be read list.
*I received an e-ARC of Royal Games from the publisher, Montlake Romance and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. That does not change what I think of this novel.*
Available in paperback, audio and for the Kindle