(ARC) - Shy Queen in The Royal Spotlight - Natalie Anderson

She didn’t see her own beauty…

Then he unmasked it!

Royal assistant Hester knows playboy Prince Alek is totally out of her league. Shockingly, out of the blue, he proposes a marriage of convenience! In return, she’ll have millions to help disadvantaged women. Warily, Hester agrees…

To retain the throne he’s sacrificed everything for, Alek must choose a bride. It’s Hester’s quiet discretion that catches his attention…until their unstoppable chemistry reveals her startling beauty and inner fire. Alek sees the queen that Hester could truly become—but the real question is, can she?

Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Romance, I received this novel the day after it came out (19th May release date) and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

One of my first forays into the world of romance novels was the Harlequin Presents series, started when I was 16 or so, and quickly fell in love. I tend to find that now, I either read 10 day after day and nothing else, or leave them for a few months and come back to them, and Natalie Anderson has always been one of my favourites.

We're quickly thrown into the plotline and characters, and some familiar tropes, but dissimilar enough to not make me feel like I'm reading the same book again. I found the line that our male-lead straddled intriguing with his internal reflection over whether the makeover the female-lead goes through is what results in his attraction, or is it something more. I was a bit underwhelmed by our heroine's changes of heart throughout, it didn't seem quite enough build-up, but it was interesting.

I do usually really like Harlequin novels, but I did find this one just a little sad for my liking. I usually like my romance novels to be overwhelmingly happy, and yes, there are obstacles to overcome, but nothing that really detracts from the happy arc. With this novel, I felt that the sadness that the characters both bring detracted from my enjoyment of the book and did make me a little sad.

Overall, an interesting novel and a good read that flowed, but just a little sad for my liking.

Rating: 3/5

Click here to purchase from Amazon, available 28th May.


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