Monday, January 13, 2014

Mini Reviews: Suddenly Royal + Poison Dance

SUDDENLY ROYAL
Suddenly #1
Nichole Chase
Contemporary New Adult
400 pages
Avon
Available Now
Source: Finished copy from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Samantha Rousseau is used to getting her hands dirty. Working toward a master’s degree in wildlife biology while helping take care of her sick father, she has no time for celebrity gossip, designer clothes, or lazy vacations. So when a duchess from the small country of Lilaria invites her to dinner, Samantha assumes it’s to discuss a donation for the program. The truth will change the course of her life in ways she never dreamed.

Alex D’Lynsal is trying to keep his name clean. As crown prince of Lilaria, he’s had his share of scandalous headlines, but the latest pictures have sent him packing to America and forced him to swear off women—especially women in the public eye. That is, until he meets Samantha Rousseau. She’s stubborn, feisty, and incredibly sexy. Not to mention heiress to an estate in his country, which makes her everyone’s front-page news.

While Sam tries to navigate the new world of politics and wealth, she will also have to dodge her growing feelings for Alex. Giving in to them means more than just falling in love; it would mean accepting the weight of an entire country on her shoulders.


MY THOUGHTS
Suddenly Royal is an adorable mash-up of The Princess Diaries and The Prince and Me; the synopsis suggesting we’re going to get a hugely predictable story wherein a playboy prince falls in love with a normal girl, and while the predictable part is true enough, Ms. Chase delights with a cast of characters who greatly exceed our expectations. We can’t help but anticipate a fun read when we crack the spine, fully prepared for a fluffy, sweet journey that drops us off in happily ever land upon finishing. Instead, we have the pleasure of spending time with genuine and extraordinarily funny characters, the sweetness of them just the perfect amount to fully satisfy our inner romantic without eliciting from us even the smallest of eye rolls.

Sam is a joy from the very first page, possessing a sense of humor that has us pressing our lips together in public so as to not startle those around us with barks of laughter, and making us wish she were real so we could line up to apply for best friend status. She has a level head throughout the story, her relationship with Prince Alex one characterized by the most pleasant of tensions as she struggles to wrap her head around the direction her life has suddenly taken, but neither of them is prone to petty jealousies or game-playing, making their romance one full of anticipation for the moment they finally get together rather than one full of dread for the moment everything falls apart. Once they both decide to commit to the relationship, nothing sways them from their chosen path, and we simply get to sit back and enjoy the two of them together living out nearly every little girls’ dream scenario for when they get older.

This is the first in a trilogy with the next book featuring Prince Alex’s sister Cathy, and it just can’t release fast enough for me.

Rating: 4/5
 

Find Nichole:



POISON DANCE
Midnight Thief #.5
Livia Blackburne
Fantasy
54 pages
Lion's Quill Press
Available Now
Source: From author for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
James is skilled, efficient, and deadly, a hired blade navigating the shifting alliances of a deteriorating Assassin’s Guild. Then he meets Thalia, an alluring but troubled dancing girl who offers him a way out—if he’ll help her kill a powerful nobleman. With the Guild falling apart, it just might be worth the risk. But when you live, breathe, and love in a world that’s forever flirting with death, the slightest misstep can be poison.

MY THOUGHTS
Poison Dance is a very brief introduction to the beginnings of a war between a guild of assassins and a group of noblemen who use their station to get away with all manner of misdeeds, giving us an all-too quick glimpse of something we can’t wait to know more about. Reading this novella is like looking through a telescopic lens at a fixed point – our view is narrowed to a specific moment time and place, but we know that just beyond the periphery lies a much larger word full of shadows and villainy, just waiting for the light of the upcoming Midnight Thief to shine upon them and reveal them to our gaze.

Though the brevity of our time with both James and Thalia limits the complexity of their characters and keeps our understanding of them to a superficial level, Poison Dance is still an engaging read that pings in us a dark note of curiosity, leaving us looking forward with a great deal of anticipation. Though as a stand-alone Poison Dance is an enjoyable albeit average read, it seems likely that the true beauty of it will emerge in retrospect after reading Midnight Thief, when James and Thalia’s actions suddenly have bigger implications and broader meaning once viewed in the larger context of the world than they do for us in this fifty-page novella.

Rating: 4/5
 

Find Livia:


This book was sent to me by the publisher/author free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

32 comments:

  1. Ah Suddenly Royal sounds cute and I admit I love these kind of stories so much! They might have been done already a few times in one way or another, but I still love these:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Suddenly Royal was really cute Danny, but not cutesy at all. Sam was genuine and hilarious and I just loved everything about her:)

      Delete
  2. I do want to read the first but I must say, the cover is very YA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a little younger feeling, but I so enjoyed it. Both of these were great reads I thought!

      Delete
  3. Although both these books are so opposite in their genres and respective subject matters, they both seem like winners - yay! I always love an entertaining contemporary romance and fantasy has always been a favorite of mine, so I'll have to look into these for sure. Great reviews, Jenny!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha yes, they're on opposite ends of the spectrum:) I'm definitely going to re-read Poison Dance after Midnight Thief, I think it will be fun to do so after seeing how the events influenced Midnight.

      Delete
  4. It's exciting to see two such vastly different novels with high ratings from you, Jenny! I don't think I'd normally go for a novel like Suddenly Royal, but the fact that you enjoyed it and that it sounds so fun and inviting has me seriously excited to give it a go! Lovely reviews, lady!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you'll like it Melissa, it's just a book that brought a smile to my face. It's adorable without being irritatingly cute, and I simply couldn't read it fast enough:)

      Delete
  5. I'm so glad you enjoyed Suddenly Royal, Jenny. I thought it was such a fun book. It's the perfect book to bring a smile on your face. I loved the relationship between Sam and Alex. Sam was definitely a character I enjoyed although her constant "I'm not royal" thing made me go nuts. I'm excited for Cathy's story as well.

    I was asked to review Poison Dance, but I refused because I tend not to enjoy novellas and your review definitely shows this won't be something I'll like. I need the characters to be well-developed.

    Great reviews, Jenny!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YES! I can't wait for Cathy's book! I just say it's on Edelweiss now so I'm going to run over there and request it:)

      Poison Dance is a short novella for sure, so we don't get much time with James and Thalia, but I think it's a novella that will work better for a lot of people once Midnight Thief is out. Less of a stand-alone and more of a lengthy prologue to book one:) I was intrigued though!

      Delete
  6. Sometimes we need those predictable reads so that we are sure we are going to get our HEA at the end.

    Great reviews on these both Jenny!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have no problem with predictable in my romances, in fact, I need it. If things didn't work out the way I wanted them too, I'd be hugely disappointed!

      Delete
  7. Lovely reviews Jennifer, I have Suddenly Royal and look forward to reading it :) Poison Dance is new to me and I must admit you have me curious!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Jenny! I have Suddenly Royal and I so want to read it. Glad you enjoyed it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I was tempted to read Suddenly Royal but I felt like it was a bit unoriginal. I am glad though that it has great characters and that it is funny. That is always nice during the winter!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I was reading the synopsis of Suddenly Royal and thought that it sounded awfully like The Princess Diaries so it's good that you mentioned the comparison too, Jenny. I love both The Princess Diaries and The Prince and Me so a mash-up of those movies seems like it would be an entertaining read. I'll have to check Suddenly Royal out.

    As for Poison Dance, I've heard nothing but good things about it and I'm glad you thought so too. It makes me even more excited for Midnight Thief!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'll kinda of skip the first one - well it basically screams "Tanja don't read me". I'm having hard time with NA books lately. But I do need to say that I'm soooo happy you loved Poison. It was great, right? And it promises a lot so I cannot wait for The Midnight Thief. Amazing review, Jenny :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I've been curious about Suddenly Royal, I guess it sounds pretty cute and non-stressful.
    Poison Dance has me curious. It sounds like something I would enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Suddenly Royal sounds completely adorable and perfect for the cold, wintry nights we've been experiencing this year. I'll definitely look into this series and maybe order it for my library. I've also heard amazing things about Poison Dance. I think I'll wait until Book 1 is released and then I can read both back to back. Thanks for the heads up on these titles, Jenny!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hm... not convinced by the Poison Dance, but am actually more convinced to read Midnight Thief. Perhaps if I had that book before diving into the novella all would be right in my world. :) I do think that Suddenly Royal might be a nice light read I think I will be craving soon.

    ReplyDelete
  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Aw, both of these sound good! I'm particularly intrigued by Suddenly Royal, especially since I love both The Princess Diaries and The Prince and Me. Oh, and it's always good when a character makes the reader laugh (even if it's at inappropriate times!).

    ReplyDelete
  17. I want to read Suddenly Royal! Those types of stories are a guilty pleasure for me. And Sam sounds like a character I'd love. Going to go add it now ...

    ReplyDelete
  18. Suddenly Royal sounds great and I loved your review. We all need some LOLz in our lives!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Sudden Royal sounds like a really fun read!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Suddenly Royal is so me! Fluffy, romantic and just so cute! Yeah, it is very predictably, but as long as the characters are fresh and entertaining, I don't really care about anything else. I'm definitely adding this to my tbr. Great reviews, Jenny! :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Ooh Suddenly Royal sounds like my kind of story! I don't mind predictability when the characters are interesting and funny and the story is sweet. I think novellas have been frustrating me too much lately to try Poison Dance. I always feel like my time with the characters is too short. Glad you enjoyed both of these, lovely reviews!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Suddenly Royal sounds just like something I want to read right now! I'll have to check that one out right away!

    Poison Dance sounds good, too. Though familiar. I think I might have it!! As well as Midnight Thief. lol I should probably check on that!

    Great mini reviews!!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Oooh wow. I was intrigued by Suddenly Royal because I love all things royal but I wasn't sure if it would be any good. Now I'm even more interested in reading it.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I want Suddenly Royal NOW! I loved Princess Diaries but I don't think I've watched Prince and Me? Anyway, *runs to amazon* Thanks for the review, Jenny!

    ReplyDelete