on April 4th, 2016
Genres: New Adult, Young Adult
From strip clubs and truck stops to southern coast mansions and prep schools, one girl tries to stay true to herself.
These Royals will ruin you…
Ella Harper is a survivor—a pragmatic optimist. She’s spent her whole life moving from town to town with her flighty mother, struggling to make ends meet and believing that someday she’ll climb out of the gutter. After her mother’s death, Ella is truly alone.
Until Callum Royal appears, plucking Ella out of poverty and tossing her into his posh mansion among his five sons who all hate her. Each Royal boy is more magnetic than the last, but none as captivating as Reed Royal, the boy who is determined to send her back to the slums she came from.
Reed doesn’t want her. He says she doesn’t belong with the Royals.
He might be right.
Wealth. Excess. Deception. It’s like nothing Ella has ever experienced, and if she’s going to survive her time in the Royal palace, she’ll need to learn to issue her own Royal decrees.
Paper Princess is the collaboration by the amazing Elle Kennedy and Jen Fredrick, writing together as Erin Watts. I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this book, because honestly the synopsis left me a little confused. Plus I definitely expected more of a YA (young adult) book, but I think Paper Princess is much more of a New Adult read!
Seventeen year old Ella Harper is alone, living in a crappy apartment and stripping just to make enough for rent and food. Never knowing her father and with the recent passing of her mother, she is just bidding time until she turns eighteen and graduates high school.
“I don’t being 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 in a pretty package. It is what it is.”
Then Callum Royal shows up at her school, saying that he grew up with her father, they were best friends, and that he is her new guardian. She wants nothing to do with him, but he leaves her no choice when he plucks her up and takes her back to his mansion and his five sons. Basically bribing her, with the promise of a college education- something she desperately wants, if she stays with him and finishes high school; she sees no other choice. But then she meets the Royal boys, Gideon, Reed, Easton, Sawyer, and Sebastian, who all hate her and want to prove to her how much she really doesn’t belong among their world of wealth and privilege.
“The Royal boys are not what I expected. They don’t look like rich pricks in preppy clothes. They look like terrifying thugs who can snap me like a twig.”
The Royal’s rule the school and Reed Royal is the ringleader to the bullying and his “anti-Ella” decree. His brothers (and most everyone at school) do exactly what he says and if that means torture Ella then that’s what they do.
“You should know whatever game you’re playing, you can’t win. Not against all of us.
If you leave now, you won’t be hurt. If you stay, we’ll break you so bad that you’ll be crawling away.”
Paper Princess had just the right amount of angst, mixed with some laughs, (Easton cracked me up the most) and definitely some HOT love/hate scenes. I love a strong female character and Ella, even though she is only seventeen, showed more than once that she is not one to feel sorry for herself and that she can and has taken care of herself just fine. Although it would be easy to hate the Royal boys, especially Reed, I found myself liking them more and more! Clearly these boys are all hiding something that weighs heavy on their shoulders, and that mysterious side of them just adds to their appeal.
This book kind of reminded me of the movie Princess Diaries but with a bit of a “Fallen Crest High” and maybe “Corrupt” mixed in to it. I couldn’t put it down and have to warn you, it does end in a cliffhanger! The second book in the series releases sometime this summer and I will of course be anxiously waiting to get my hands on it (I want it now!).