*I received a free copy of Royal from Tantor Media via . This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *
Warning: This book includes mature content such as: sexual content, and/or drug and/or alcohol use, and/or violence.
Narrator: C.J. Bloom, Eric London
Series: Rixton Falls #1
Published by Tantor Media on July 20, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Length: 8 hours
His name is Royal, but he's no prince charming. He's not even a prince-though you could say I loved him once upon a time. He was my older brother's best friend. Growing up, he sat at our dinner table every Sunday, teased me mercilessly, and pretended I annoyed him. When I was old enough, he took me on my first date. Royal taught me how to drive. Escorted me to my junior prom. Gave me my first kiss . . . amongst other things. He was my first taste of toe-curling, all-consuming, can't-sleep love. We had our whole lives ahead of us. There was never anyone else for me but him. And then he disappeared. No letter. No explanation. Not even a good-bye. I've spent the last seven years trying in vain to forget my first love, but just when I think I've finally moved on, guess who's back in town?
Royal marks the first time I’ve tried Renshaw and while the story wasn’t perfect, I enjoyed the introduction.
Royal introduces us to the Rosewood family and the small town of Rixton Falls. When we first meet Demi, the eldest of the Rosewood girls, she’s head-over-heels for her older brother’s best friend, Royal, and they’re making plans to spend their lives together. Flash forward 7 years later, Demi is reeling from her former fiance’s accident which has left him in a coma – reeling because he and she are the only ones who know he called things off. She, therefore, is having to play the part of dutiful fiancee. On top of all that, Royal appears at her front door wanting a second chance but not quite ready to explain why he disappeared from her life.
- The premise
I liked Demi from the get-go and as I got better acquainted with Royal, I liked him too. So I totally bought into his story and wanted them to have their second chance.
I liked all the Rosewoods and understood the close-knit family they were. I was particularly fond of the dynamics between Demi and her younger sister, Delilah. Their relationship felt the most genuine.
Both C.J. Bloom and Eric London were able to portray the characters well, keep the pacing smooth, and convey all the emotions required. London’s delivery of Royal’s mom was excellent and spot-on. I was very impressed!
What Could Have Worked Better:
- Plot Lines
A few of the plot lines were a bit far-fetched. One in particular could have made more of an impact and felt more realistic if it’d been handled differently. Instead it felt contrived.
In some ways the secondary characters felt inconsistent with how I thought Renshaw was trying to portray them. For example, the Rosewoods had essentially raised Royal and yet Mr. Rosewood didn’t believe his version of the events that took Royal away.
I liked Royal well enough to continue the series. I’ve already started book #2, Bachelor.