Title: Broken Prince (2016)
Series: The Royals – Book 2
Author: Erin Watt (Elle Kennedy, Jen Frederick)
Publisher: Everafter Romance
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary
Extent: 370 pages
Release Date: July 25, 2016
Reed Royal has it all—looks, status, money. The girls at his elite prep school line up to date him, the guys want to be him, but Reed never gave a damn about anyone but his family until Ella Harper walked into his life.
What started off as burning resentment and the need to make his father’s new ward suffer turned into something else entirely—keep Ella close. Keep Ella safe. But when one foolish mistake drives her out of Reed’s arms and brings chaos to the Royal household, Reed’s entire world begins to fall apart around him.
Ella doesn’t want him anymore. She says they’ll only destroy each other. She might be right.
Secrets. Betrayal. Enemies. It’s like nothing Reed has ever dealt with before, and if he’s going to win back his princess, he’ll need to prove himself Royally worthy.
Did reading Paper Princess set off a new-found obsession with NA for me? Well… I wouldn’t say obsession, per se, but I am definitely enjoying it more now. I picked up Broken Prince almost immediately after finishing the first book and can safely say that it’s just as addictive and easy to read. This review will contain spoilers for Paper Princess, so please don’t read further if you haven’t read that book yet and plan to. 🙂
Broken Prince starts off right where its predecessor ended: Ella walking in on Reed and a naked Brooke in his bedroom and taking off because of the betrayal she felt. This time, it is told through Reed’s eyes, who walks us through what happened moments before and in the days after, as the Royals search for Ella. The bulk of the story after that is dedicated to Reed trying his best to make it up to Ella and prove to her that he is worth a second chance.
“I’m done playing games, Ella. No other girls exist in the world for me. If you see me talking to one, know that I’m talking about you. If you see me walking next to someone, I’m wishing it was you… You’re the only one for me.”
There’s no other way I can really put it: this book is drama, drama, drama. The plot is no longer similar to Hana Yori Dango, but the characters are still jerks who engage in self-destructive behaviours and are unapologetically unashamed about it. Are they likeable? Not to me, not really — but I was able to watch them through a filter of “this is complete fiction and I need to not think”, ignore my usual reservations, and enjoy this book.
A lot of the things that happened were over-the-top to the point of ridiculous, but reading them was admittedly pure fun. Broken Prince takes the whole “high school leader” thing to the extreme — once Reed loses his focus on Astor Park Prep, his school, a little bit, students suddenly step out of line and bully each other. It isn’t until a friend reminds Reed of the power that he and his family have:
The Royals have ruled this school since Gid was a sophomore. I don’t know what happened, but one day we woke up and everyone looked to Gid. If a kid stepped out of line, Gid was there to set him straight.
Now, I didn’t go to a preppy high school full of really rich kids, but I just can’t see this happening in real life. It feels… unrealistic, though that being said, that’s exactly the kind of thing I was looking for when I picked up this series, so in that sense, Broken Prince more than delivered. There were quite a few twists and turns that left me just completely agape because I did not see them coming at all.
I have to say, though, the main romance is not one that I particularly care about. I feel like Reed, despite how much he grovels, has tons of issues to work through, and Ella probably deserves better at this point in time. The side characters were what brought this book to life for me — I loved Easton, Wade, and Val and delighted any time they were on the page, all the while secretly hoping that they’ll get their own stories each. 😛
Compared to Paper Princess, Broken Prince was less addictive, though still so, and less interesting, though also still so. Overall, though, I enjoyed this book — it’s perfect for when you can suspend disbelief, not think, and just tag along for the ride.