It seems very appropriate to post my review of the Fug Girls‘ most recent book (their baby, so to speak) on the same day that the Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to her second baby.
This book starts the night before American Rebecca Porter is about to marry the heir to the British throne, as she’s trying not to freak out about the fact that she’s being blackmailed and her twin sister isn’t speaking to her at all.
Cut to many years previous, when she arrives in Oxford in the rain, and the handsome young man who opens the door for her and helps her with the luggage turns out to be none other than Prince Nicholas, eldest grandson to Queen Eleanor and heir to the throne of Great Britain. Unlike her twin sister, Lacey, who used to dress up as a Disney princess and who obsessively reads gossip magazines for royal gossip, Bex (oh dear Lord how I hate that nickname) was never all that concerned, and despite sharing a corridor with Nick (or Steve as he is called when supposed to be incognito) doesn’t impact her life overmuch in the beginning. She does realise that with the exception of his loyal inner circle of friends, most people are trying to gain something from their association wit the prince and his loyal friends frequently plant fake stories with different people just to see who can’t be trusted not to blab to the press.
When Night Nick (the prince has insomnia) and Rebecca (I REFUSE to call her Bex) start bonding over the supernatural soap opera Devour (which I need to become a real thing in the worst way. My life is empty and meaningless without it), they gradually grow closer, until the weekend when Rebecca visits Windsor Castle where Nick has recreated her mother’s Thanksgiving dinner exactly, so she won’t feel so homesick, and they fall into each other’s arms. Of course being the girlfriend to the heir to the throne, especially when you’re an American to boot, isn’t easy, and for years there is a lot of sneaking around in secret, until they are caught on camera by a paparazzi. Then things get even more difficult.
Since the book starts with Rebecca about to marry Nick, it’s really not a surprise to the reader that although their romance is far from easy, and they even spend quite some time broken up, they are eventually going to get back together, and Rebecca will clearly be accepted by the Royal family – or there would be no wedding. I’m not sure if the authors intended the identity of the blackmailer to be a surprise, it seemed pretty obvious to me from fairly early on who it was going to be.
I read this book during the Spring Read-a-thon, and I suspect reading it over so many hours made me more a bit more frustrated with some sections of the book than if I’d read it over a few days. The extended section where Rebecca and Nick are broken up, and Rebecca goes on an extended bender got boring pretty fast and the complications that lead to Rebecca being blackmailed in the latter half of the book felt very forced to me. I’m not sure if that subplot was entirely necessary and it weakened the ending of the book for me.
Mostly, this was a highly entertaining romp, even more fun than the Fug Girls‘ YA books Spoiled and Messy. I must admit that their Royalty coverage is among the posts I skip during my weekly visits to the Go Fug Yourself website, because the older I get, the more convinced I am that monarchy should be abolished and that the royals are useless parasites draining an obscene amount of taxpayer money in the countries that they represent (including my own home country and that of my birth). I also had the dubious pleasure of going to St. Andrews university when Prince William enrolled there in my fourth year, so housing prices in town rose virtually overnight, due to the huge influx of rich Americans and Europeans enrolling at the Uni to get a glimpse of his highness. Now, a decade later, there are little signs up all over the place purporting to be coffee shops or pubs where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spent time.
While I think the monarchy is an outdated idea, it doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy this book which is pretty much Will and Kate fan fiction. Playboy prince Freddie and the more and more preposterous names of his many girlfriends – a true delight, as are most of the supporting characters in Rebecca and Nick’s circle of friends (my favourite may have ended up being Bea, Lady Bollocks herself). I suspect Rebecca is a more down to earth and grounded person than the woman she’s modelled on (because while she may be a commoner, her father was one of the richest men in England even before his daughter married a prince) and from some of the stories I heard from friends and acquaintances, Nick in his student days kept a MUCH lower profile than William did. If you like celebrity gossip, pretty clothes, soapy intrigue, a modern fairy tale romance between a girl from Iowa and the heir to the British throne might be just what the doctor ordered. Personally, I’m going to try to figure out how to convince Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan to pitch Devour to the CW so it can become a real thing. Vampires, witches, minotaurs, werewolves, shapeshifters, a private investigator who can smell the future, and panthers who seem like they know to much – how is this not on my TV already?
Crossposted on my blog.