REVIEW: Paper Princess by Erin Watt

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Blurb

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.

Review

On the surface and in society’s eyes, Callum, Gideon, Reed, Easton, Sawyer, and Sebastian Royal have it all – money, women, toys, and power. The Royals run this town and the Royal brothers run Astor – the prep school where a Royal decree is as good as law. But if anyone was to look beyond their good looks, charisma, and attitudes, they’d see a group of young men so destroyed by their mother’s death and their father’s disinterest that they screw up and lash out in a multitude of ways, proving that status and money are not synonymous with good people. And when a “casual” like Ella Harper invades their home, their school, and their lives, the Royal brothers will do whatever it takes to break her and prove to her and themselves that she’s nothing but another one of their father’s whores who will never matter to anyone in this town because she’s insignificant and doesn’t belong in their world.

When Ella Harper is thrust into everything Royal, she knows that the Royal boys have already decided who and what she is before even giving her a chance to prove otherwise. She knows she doesn’t fit in, and for the most part, she doesn’t want to because she wants nothing to do with pretentious people who get their kicks degrading other people. But Ella doesn’t have a choice but to immerse herself in her new life and learn to deal with the dirty looks, nasty comments, and deplorable pranks that are done to her simply because the Royals deem her unworthy, so their minions follow their lead and treat her like the interloper they believe she is.

Paper Princess is a perfect name for the first book in Erin Watt’s Royals series because that’s the only way Ella’s deemed a part of the Royal family and a valid member of a world that is about as opposite of her life so far than it could be. No one, but Callum and Valerie, treat Ella like she belongs even though the town knows who her father was. Ella doesn’t act like the rest of society nor does she aspire to, which means that she’ll never fit in and while that’s okay with her because she doesn’t want to be someone she’s not, it also solidifies everyone’s perception of her as an outsider.

The Royal men are royally messed up…Even Callum, the patriarch of the family, has his own demons to contend with that lead him to make bad decisions, one of those being his girlfriend Brooke! Gideon is the quietest of the Royal brothers, which tells me that he’s hiding some pretty big demons because he’s the only one who doesn’t broadcast his issues for the whole town to see. Reed uses his fists to lash out and Easton copes by self medicating with booze, pills, and women. And then there’s the twins – the only thing that’s obvious about them is that they share the same girlfriend, which opens up a whole different set of concerns.

Erin Watt has created an amazingly complex and intricate society of the rich and powerful. There’s a lot of players to contend with in this world, but none as commanding as the Royals. Nothing is what it seems to be and secrets and deception rule in this place because everyone seems to have something to hide as well as lose.

I was told the Royals would ruin me, and they absolutely have in the best possible ways and knowing that there are still some big revelations headed my way, I’m sure when I finish Broken Prince, I’m going to need to take a valium to continue in a society that seems to want to ruin everyone and everything in it.

A complimentary copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

5+ Poison Apples

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