Blog Tour Review: A Royal Christmas Quandry by Samantha Hastings

I’m back with another blog tour today with Xpresso Tours for A Royal Christmas Quandry by Samantha Hastings. Thanks to Xpresso Tours for organising this blog tour and to Netgalley and the publisher for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Be sure to click on the banner below to check out the other bloggers on tour!

Goodreads: A Royal Christmas Quandry
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: 06 October 2020
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction
Panda Rating:

When you spend Christmas in a castle, anything is possible.

1860. Lady Alexandrina Gailey is looking forward to a cozy holiday at Windsor Castle with her best friend, Princess Alice, and her long-time crush, Lord George Worthington. But Drina’s plans are all but dashed when Alice’s parents, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, declare that Alice must choose one of two royal princes to become engaged to before Christmas.

There’s just one problem: George, a junior member of the Foreign Office, has accidentally misplaced one of the princes.

Together, Drina and George scour the town of Windsor for the missing prince, desperately hoping to deliver him to the royal dinner party with the queen none the wiser. They might just need a royal Christmas miracle to pull it off.

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Samantha Hastings has degrees from Brigham Young University, the University of Reading (Berkshire, England), and the University of North Texas. She met her husband in a turkey sandwich line. They live in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she spends most of her time reading, eating popcorn, and chasing her kids. She is the author of THE LAST WORD, THE INVENTION OF SOPHIE CARTER, and A ROYAL CHRISTMAS QUANDARY. 

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I think I built this up in my head to be a YA historical romance when it’s definitely more YA historical fiction with a romance subplot. That said, I did enjoy it for the most part, although I thought the pacing could’ve been better. I also have to say that, although this was set in the 1860s, the language is quite modern. Perhaps the author did this for the YA audience to make it easier to read, but it did take me out of the story at times.

The story is told through two main perspectives and in a way it can be said there are two plots although they come together in the end. Drina is a smart and headstrong young woman who faces an uncertain future because she doesn’t want to rely on marriage for security. Her main worry, aside from helping George find her missing cousin, is convincing Queen Victoria to allow her to inherit her family home. On the other hand, George is a young man who’s mired in insecurities and is unhappy with the expectations from his father. He has “lost” a German prince and many shenanigans ensue that admittedly often had me scratching my head at the improbability, but also laughing out loud at the silliness of it all. It’s a bit of a coming-of-age holiday story about finding yourself and being yourself despite what people or society expect of you.

The friendship and chemistry between Drina and George is very sweet–there’s genuine care and affection, and their banter is great. They are both so easy to root for! Hastings has suffused her writing with a humour that made this a pretty entertaining read. Aside from those two, we also get to know a few other young princes, princesses, lords and ladies, who are Drina’s and Georges’ family and friends. I loved all the moments when they came together as the general group banter is fantastic, although I wish we got to know the side characters more. But this leads me to the historical figures that are part of the story which I pleasantly surprised by and really enjoyed!

I initially had no idea that some of the characters were based on real figures, but my curiosity did get the best of me towards the end, and I wound up going down several Wikipedia wormholes reading about Queen Victoria and Princess Alice, which eventually led to me reading about the last Tsar and Tsarina of Russia. But I digress. What I want to say is that I love a book that can spark my interest and curiosity like this and this historical aspect is what made the book most enjoyable for me! At the end the author included details about the historical figures and terms, as well as explanations for the interesting games played in the story!

TL;DR: Overall, this was a very entertaining YA historical fiction that will appeal to all audiences, but especially to those who are interested in historical fiction. Although the pacing was a bit off at times, Hastings did a great job in bringing the historical atmosphere and holiday spirit to life in this story. I loved the inclusion of real historical figures, plus you can even learn how to play like the royals did thanks to the notes at the end of the book 😉

enter the giveaway to Win a copy of a royal christmas quandry (INT)! GIVEAWAY ENDS 15 OCTOBER!

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Have you read A Royal Christmas Quandry or is it on your TBR?

8 thoughts on “Blog Tour Review: A Royal Christmas Quandry by Samantha Hastings

  1. Great review!! I am trying to recall if I have ever read a YA historical fiction. And at first I thought nope, but then I thought surely my brain just isn’t working right. Then I remembered The Infernal Devices. I’m sure I’ve read others, but they just aren’t coming to me at the moment. Oh, and I do enjoy when a book has me googling historical facts and figures.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really love when historical fiction makes me curious enough to want to google all the details because it just brings the whole image even further to life! I don’t read that much YA historical fiction actually but I’ve been doing a bit more this year. I quite enjoy it 🙂


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