The Royals #1
I've had this on my Kindle since release day so I finally decided to put on my big girl panties and jump into this thinking I could handle the cliffhanger that I knew to expect. I couldn't have been more wrong. I'm realizing now this would have been incredibly painful if I hadn't know that Broken Prince would be waiting for me.
Once upon a time there was a beautiful girl...
Ella Harper has lost everything she ever cared about in her young life. Her mother might not have won the "mother-of-the-year" award but for all intents and purposes she kept her fed and clothed and loved her the way only mothers can. After two years of reversed roles of Ella taking care of her mother, her mom passes away and for the first time in her life she is completely alone to fend for herself. To avoid being introduced into the foster care system she forges her mother's signature and works as stripper. One day entrepreneur Callum Royal enters her life claiming to be her late father's best friend and now her guardian. She is thrown into a world of luxury, superficiality and loathing for those who weren't born with a silver spoon in their mouth.
This will never be my home. I don’t belong in splendor, I belong in squalor. That's what I know. It's what I'm comfortable with because squalor doesn't lie to you. It's not wrapped up in a pretty package. It is what it is.
Callum has five sons and they aren't thrilled meeting their new family member. Reed, however, is the worst and he makes sure he knows that he doesn't want her around. On a daily basis they go head to head. He does what he can to rid his family from the perceived leech but he didn't factor in Ella's resilience.
“You’re poking a tiger.”
I shrug. “He poked me first.”
Ella is everything I could ever ask for in a heroine. She is tough as nails, has a quick wit and bravely takes on the Royals when they make her life hell. Despite her resentment for everything they do to her she is compassionate and tries hard to find her niche in a world where wealth, privilege and entitlement are the only things that count.
Reed Royal is the leader of the Royal gang and the asshole we all love to hate. He and his brothers antagonize her and don't let her forget that they think she's scum. There were lots of times I wanted to flick Reed's dick for being such an ass. It didn't help that Callum didn't have an ounce of control over his boys out of guilt. Ella, though, doesn't roll over on her back and let them walk over her, she gives as good as she gets.
And Reed? Despite his despicable behavior towards Ella you feel how he is reluctantly impressed with her and with each day his ability to resist this brave girl shrinks. There is also a deep sense of care for his family, these Royal boys stick together like glue.
“You want me to say it?” he whispers. “Fine, I’ll say it. I want you. I fucking want you.”
The sexual tension that rolls off of Ella and Reed is tangible and you can't help but think "geez, fuck and get it over with". It's that lust-hate relationship that is so addictive that you just need to continue reading. It's potent and delicious and once they give in it pulls you with them like a current and you start rooting for them. Romantic, however, it is not.
I'm Reed the Destroyer." He sounds sad. "Didn't you know that?"
"I don't like that name."
"Yeah, and what would you call me instead?" I open my mouth and say, "Mine.
In the 80s there was a tv show called Beverly Hills 90210. With this book I felt thrown back into that time when I gobbled up every episode and couldn't wait to see how the relationships would pan out. There is so much going on in the span of 300+ pages that I now have a severe case of emotional whiplash. You get the sense that every single character in this series has a story to tell and a purpose to fulfill, they are that well fleshed out. I would really like to know more about ALL of them. The cliffy at the end adds to that emotional whiplash and I can't wait to see how the Royals are going to fare.
“Reed Royal has broken me. I’ve fallen from the sky and I’m not sure I can get up. Not this time.”
This story? Pure genius.