Some men are born responsible, some men have responsibility thrust upon them. Henry Charles Albert Edgar Pembrook, Prince of Wessco, just got the motherlode of all responsibility dumped in his regal lap.
He’s not handling it well.
Hoping to force her grandson to rise to the occasion, Queen Lenora goes on a much-needed safari holiday—and when the Queen’s away, the Prince will play. After a chance meeting with an American television producer, Henry finally makes a decision all on his own:
Welcome to Matched: Royal Edition.
A reality TV dating game show featuring twenty of the world’s most beautiful blue bloods gathered in the same castle. Only one will win the diamond tiara, only one will capture the handsome prince’s heart.
While Henry revels in the sexy, raunchy antics of the contestants as they fight, literally, for his affection, it’s the quiet, bespectacled girl in the corner—with the voice of an angel and a body that would tempt a saint—who catches his eye.
The more Henry gets to know Sarah Mirabelle Zinnia Von Titebottum, the more enamored he becomes of her simple beauty, her strength, her kind spirit…and her naughty sense of humor.
But Rome wasn’t built in a day—and irresponsible royals aren’t reformed overnight.
As he endeavors to right his wrongs, old words take on whole new meanings for the dashing Prince. Words like, Duty, Honor and most of all—Love.
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I absolutely adored Henry and Sarah’s story, and its complexity is what allowed me to fully integrate into their lives and invest the time to truly understand who they are and what they want from life and love. What’s most striking about Royally Matched is that Henry and Sarah have such contrasting personalities and lifestyles that it doesn’t seem possible for them to have a chance at a real relationship, especially due to the outside circumstances that require them to keep what they have and who they are to each other a secret from everyone.
Henry is quite the contradictory hero; as the heir apparent, Prince of Wessco, his responsibilities to his family and his country seem to challenge who Henry is – the fun, crass, and inappropriate man who doesn’t want the responsibilities that have befallen to him. Since his brother, Nicholas, abdicated the throne for love, Henry has had to step into a position that he feels he’s not suited for and one that scares the ever-loving hell out of him, forcing him to play the part of the playboy prince, never taking anything seriously, which, in turn, allows others to see him as incapable and unworthy with a title he never really wanted.
Contrary to what the media and perhaps even the Queen believe, Prince Henry does not need to be tamed; it’s clear in his interactions with Sarah and his genuineness with people, that Henry is a clever, intelligent, and charming man who has the potential to achieve anything he puts his mind to, and with someone at his side who truly believes in him, he understands the importance of his position and recognizes what he needs to do in order to be the man, the prince, and the future king his family and his country need him to be.
Lady Sarah Van Titebottum, according to Henry, is a total nutter, but in all the best ways. She may be reserved and awkward, but she’s also intelligent and witty, and despite her love of literature and her desire to find a love like the characters in her stories, she knows that lie isn’t a novel, and while Henry may be rough around the edges, the way he allows her to set her free and experience a wildness that she’s never felt before gives her more of a life than she’s ever had and helps her to work through her stress and anxiety and no longer be chained by the trauma of her past.
Royally Matched is a marvelous blend of reality and fiction, and while Henry has spent many years playing a part and then for 6 weeks signs on to play another role, every encounter and conversation with Sarah is real…real in a way that Henry has never had before and desperately craves to hold onto despite the expectations that surround his life.
Sarah is an amazing heroine who gives Henry everything that he needs to face his reality, and he gives her the gentle care and worshipping that she deserves and helps her to feel free for the first time.
Henry and Sarah are perfectly matched despite their differences, and I thoroughly enjoyed witnessing them grow as individuals and then as a couple willing to do anything for one another.
4.5 Poison Apples
About the Author
Emma Chase is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the hot and hilarious Tangled series and The Legal Briefs series. Emma lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children and two naughty (but really cute) dogs. She has a long-standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.