The Royal Runaway by Lindsay Emory (2018)
Princess Theodora is shocked when her fiance doesn't show up on their wedding day, but a visit from his brother (who just happens to be a spy) leads Thea to wonder if this was more than just a case of cold feet.
I thought this book was a fun spin on the books about royalty I normally read - instead of getting her happily-ever-after, Thea's wedding day is ruined and she gets drawn into a web of lies and intrigue (both political and romantic). The story was well-paced, and there were a few twists I didn't see coming - I didn't know who to trust!
I did have some issues with this book, though. I felt like there were a lot of inconsistencies - even after it becomes obvious that something nefarious was going on, Thea still kept saying that Christian dumped her - I mean, the man hasn't been seen in 4 months, no one thought that was weird? Also, there were several instances where other characters described Thea as prone to running away, when actually she seemed the most duty-bound of her whole family. 3.5 stars
The Gown by Jennifer Robson (2018)
Ok, historical fiction, dual timelines, a connection to Queen Elizabeth - this book sounds like it has everything for me. While I didn't expect that there would be a ton of action in a story about the creation of Queen Elizabeth's wedding dress, I also didn't think it would be so... bland. Unfortunately, this one was a let-down.
In 1947, Ann and Miriam are embroiderers working for the designer that would create Queen (then Princess) Elizabeth's wedding dress. In 2016, Heather is going through her late grandmother Ann's possessions when she finds pieces of embroidery that match the Queen's dress, and she sets off on a quest to find out more about her grandmother's life before she emigrated to Canada.
Normally I love dual timelines, but the present-day timeline was almost completely unnecessary. It just served to show how little Ann's family knew about her. The past storyline was... okay, for lack of a better word. There is one unsettling and traumatic event that ends up defining Ann's life, and while I sympathize, I still didn't understand why she had to cut off her friends in England completely and never tell her family about her life in England. I was just frustrated. I wanted better character development, I wanted more of the royal family. There were hints about how the wedding was affecting the country as a whole (was it right to have a lavish wedding so soon after the war, when people were still struggling? or would it be a great reason to have everyone come together and celebrate?), and that I enjoyed. 2.5 stars
Sorry to hear that The Gown didn't really work out for you. The present-day timeline doesn't sound very useful at all though, so I know it would bother me too. The Royal Runaway sounds pretty good though. I like the twist of no happily ever after.ReplyDelete
The Royal Runaway did have some fun twists in it.Delete
Sorry The Gown was disappointing. It sounds so promising. :(ReplyDelete
Aj @ Read All The Things!
I know, I thought so, too!Delete
oh no ): sorry to hear The Gown was a disappointment. I've been looking forward to that myself.ReplyDelete
It was probably just me, I think it's been getting pretty good reviews!Delete
I'm sorry neither of these were amazing reads for you. That's such a bummer about The Gown! I agree that it sounds like it would be really interesting.ReplyDelete
Yeah, it was a disappointment for me! But it has good reviews overall.Delete
The Royal Runaway does sound like a fun read. Glad it was mostly good. :)ReplyDelete
Well, this is a little bit of a "meh" batch. I was looking at The Royal Runaway. From your review, I think it might still be a decent read for me.ReplyDelete
I think a lot of people will enjoy it, it just didn't totally work for me!Delete
Sorry to hear that The Gown didn't work for you! I ended up really enjoying and liked the focus on the daily life of someone who was more ordinary, but I can see why it wouldn't be for everyone.ReplyDelete
Perhaps I just had different expectations!Delete
I love the cover for The Gown and sorry to hear how disappointing the character development. I would get frustrated with dual POV and it make no sense. Ughh. I hope the next read is better.ReplyDelete
I hope so, too, thanks, Mary!Delete
I still kind of want to read The Royal Runaway even if you saw a bunch of inconsistencies. It still seems like a fun ride.ReplyDelete
The Gown isn't really my thing anyways but it sucks you didn't like it... Do you read a lot of historical fiction? I can never get into historical fiction unless it has a fantasy element.
I do read a lot of historical fiction, probably why this one was such a disappointment for me!Delete