Special thanks to Meghan Quinn and her team for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review!
Royally Not Ready
Publication Date: 09 August 2022
Genre: Contemporary Romance
So there I was selling bikinis out of my truck in South Beach Miami, getting ready to kick off a wet t-shirt contest when the world’s biggest grouch approached me – Keller Fitzwilliam.
The man had the sultriest British accent I’ve ever heard. And he looked like he just walked off a Viking boat and into a suit tailored specifically for his impressively muscular frame. Only problem is, he had the warmth of an ice pick and he kept telling me he was here to take me back to his home country.
Of course, I didn’t follow him. I might be up for a good time, but I’m also educated enough to know leaving with a stranger isn’t smart. Well, that’s until he mentioned my mom’s name. My mom who passed away several years ago.
So after some serious fact-checking, my bikini-clad bum went with him to a sub-arctic country I had never heard of just north of the British Isles, where I found out my grandpa was the king of said freezing country, and I was the one and only heir.
Desperate to learn more about my mom, I decided to give this princess thing a chance. Good idea, right? Wrong.
Because Mr. Ice Pick was put to the task of training me and he’s not just cold as ice, he’s pompous, aggravating, and possessive. And did I mention we have to share a bathroom in a tiny castle?
We are oil and water every single day and even though he’s training me to be queen, I have this simmering desire to kneel before him.
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TL;DR: I don’t know why every time I read an MQ novel I’m surprised all over again by how well she not only brings the heat but comedy and great characters that you can’t help but root for. This is, after all, the reason why I keep reading her books and I always have such a good time with them! If you love a bit of angsty pining, intense sexual tension, light kink, and a simp hero who loves to eat 😉 then you’re in for quite the treat! This was the adult version of The Princess Diaries that I never knew I wanted and I had such a fun time reading it—so much so that I couldn’t stop once I picked it up!
Holy hell, I was not expecting things to get so steamy in this book but Meghan Quinn BROUGHT THE HEAT and honestly, I’m not mad about it. 🤷🏻♀️
As usual, the comedy in Quinn’s romcoms is great. There was a lot of cheeky banter that had me laughing throughout the read but she does balance it well with the more emotional and serious elements. I loved how well this fictional island was brought to life! The island itself was so beautifully picturesque in its landscape and the island’s inhabitants and their culture and quaint traditions, as well as the royal family, were so well described! The whole environment, aside from the ‘villain’ of the story, had such a cosy and happy vibe to it and if this place was real, let’s just say I’d hop on the next flight out without question.
Lilly and Keller were so well-suited for each other and I loved their slightly forbidden frenemies-to-lovers romance. Lilly breezed through life in Miami but has always felt a sense of incompleteness ever since she lost her parents. I admit she’s a character that will either grow on you or will drive you batshit with her somewhat childish personality. As much as she purposefully pushed Keller’s buttons, I have to admit that she did a great job of pushing my buttons too! 😂 Thankfully, she did grow on me and I came to appreciate her incessantly playful demeanour—she’s truly incorrigible at times and I couldn’t help but laugh my ass off at the levels of cheekiness. To be fair, for all the new and sometimes shocking things she had to learn and come to terms with, she handled all of it pretty well and I definitely admired that about her. I also really loved the relationships she forms with Lara, Rona and her grandparents King Theo and Queen Katla. Legit everyone seemed like such great people on this island and please, can I move there too?
In total contrast, Keller is a man who takes his duties as King Theo’s (Lilly’s grandfather’s) right-hand man very seriously. He’s not just unflinchingly loyal to Torskethorpe but to the royal family who he sees as his own family too, and would literally do anything to protect his beloved home from harm. He’s a grumpy guts that’s gruff and keeps himself closed off but inside he’s a sweetheart who loves to protect those he loves. His job was to train Lilly and make her see that this was also her home but what he didn’t anticipate was the wild attraction between them! This was much steamier than I expected, and dare I say even steamier than many other MQ books out there. Their chemistry was palpable and undeniable and so fire! I loved how Lilly fully embraced her sexuality and I loved how Keller made her feel seen and safe. He is literally the definition of a gent in the streets and a total alpha-dom in the bedroom—it worked. 🥵
Emma Wilder and John Hartley narrate ROYALLY NOT READY in duet, and their performances are perfection! Grab your earbuds and dive into this aural sensation today!
While I do get why the third-act conflict unfolded as it did, I did feel like it was a bit out of character for Keller. That said, the separation gave them room to find their own feet without each other and face their insecurities, which I appreciated. It also gave Keller the chance to let his romantic side flourish and I gotta admit, he really excelled at wooing Lilly—it was swoontastic! It helped bring that touch of soft sweetness to an otherwise pretty steamy read (which is also not at all a complaint).
Overall, I thought this was another fun and steamy rom-com by Quinn and I’m wondering if we’ll get another romance set on the island of Torskethorpe featuring some of the side characters that we came to know well because I’d so be down for that, please!
USA Today Bestselling Author, wife, adoptive mother, and peanut butter lover. Author of romantic comedies and contemporary romance, Meghan Quinn brings readers the perfect combination of heart, humor, and heat in every book.
Have you read Royally Not Ready or is it on your TBR?