I’ve never read a Jasmine Guillory book before, and before this year, I wouldn’t have even said I liked reading “romances” but Royal Holiday caught my eye on NetGalley, I read the book in like 2.5 days, and here I am, writing a four-star review of it. Color me shocked. Before I get into the plot, while some characters in Royal Holiday we apparently have met before (in her previous three books) I didn’t feel like I missed anything by not having read them. I was still able to catch onto the hook of the narrative quickly and I enjoyed the ride.
Vivian Forest’s daughter, Maddie, asks her to join her on a jaunt to England for Christmas one year for work. Maddie, lucky little one, is going to be filling in for a friend on bedrest and styling the Duchess. While there is no naming done, it appears to be the British monarchy we know today, so let’s just assume it’s Meghan Markle but that’s never written explicitly. Anyway, Vivian, a social worker, has never traveled like this before, so she’s in awe at being able to stay at Sandringham for the holidays. There’s beauty all around, great food, and oh yeah, the Queen’s private secretary, Malcolm Hudson, who happens to be on the estate for a few days without much to do. He and Vivian hit it off immediately and he takes to showing her around, but when he presents her an offer to stay with him, alone, for a few days in London, the ante gets upped real fast.
This book of an older romance (50ish protagonists) still felt compelling to this 23-year-old, and I giggled and swooned and pumped the air when things happened. It’s not TOO graphic, which I appreciated, but it’s got heart. Vivian’s dealing with some stress about her job as a social worker, and I really appreciated seeing her thought process on that. It felt very authentic. Malcolm’s job was way less fleshed out and realistic to me, but that’s fine, because he works for the Queen, and therefore I probably wouldn’t understand anyway. I’d heard some mixed reviews about The Proposal and The Wedding Party, which is where we meet Vivian’s daughter Maddie, but I enjoyed this book for what it is. A Hallmark movie channel Christmas book with a royal theme without it expecting us to believe Vivian was going to fall for Prince Charles or something.
Overall, I was a fan. I might go and give her other books a read and see if they do it for me too or if it was the royal undertones of this one that drew me in.
Royal Holiday is on sale everywhere October 1, 2019.