I needed something sweet and wholesome and full of royalty, and wow, I found it with Truly, Madly, Royally by Debbie Rigaud. Real life NJ meets the fictional land of Landeral with this story about a black girl from Appleton falling for a prince at a summer college prep course and there’s community service, cute picnics, a media circus, and a royal wedding to boot. Seriously, I flew through this book because it was sweet and had a good heart and I just wanted the best for everyone.
Zora Emerson is a rising senior who is attending a summer college prep course on community organizing at the elite Halstead University (think Princeton, I’m guessing) and she’s commuting in from her hometown of Appleton, which means she hasn’t made a lot of friends yet. But one day in the library, she exchanges confessions with a mysterious stranger and accidentally walks off with his phone. Oops, right? Well…it’s a little more serious because some Men in Black show up at her door that night. That phone she accidentally took? Belongs to a prince…Prince Owen of Landeral. Cue the awkwardness, and while attempting to apologize and make it up to her, Owen and Zora start spending more time together and sparks fly, because of course they do. There’s cute little dates around campus, meeting the family, everything you could ask for in a meet cute. Owen’s older brother is getting married at the end of the summer, and of course Zora gets invited, but how will she fare among the royals?
This is definitely a Meghan Markle-inspired retelling of The Prince and I and while the stakes were super low, I still really enjoyed reading it. I said “awww” a lot and kept burying my face in a pillow because it was so sweet. I have zero complaints, haha. Seriously, the romance was adorable and sweet and clean and Zora actually has interests and does great work for the community and is smart and has a good family and I love spending time with her. Would I read more books in this world? 100% yes. Please. Take my money. I’m so glad my library system got multiple copies of this because I think it’s great to have girls see themselves reflected on the cover of a book in all their natural beauty. Also, a Netflix movie? I await it.