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Description⎮Reviewed Mar. 2017
4.25★ Audiobook⎮ When I finished Royally Screwed, I wasn’t sure if I was going to continue on with the Royally series. I enjoyed Royally Screwed, but it was still outside of my typical interests. I decided to give Royally Matched a shot when I saw that it was centered around two completely different characters. My curiosity was piqued.
Even in Royally Screwed, I found Prince Henry to be a much more interesting character than his brother. Emma Chase has taken a side character from Royally Screwed and developed him into a protagonist. I love it when authors fully developed their minor characters into main characters. The end of Royally Screwed left Prince Henry in a surprising predicament. I’m glad that Chase allowed her readers to witness part of Henry’s journey from that point.
Henry’s romance with Sarah was definitely more insta-love than Nicholas and Olivia’s and a lot more cheesy. There wasn’t enough resistance to make Henry’s transformation seem plausible. But I still enjoyed him as an independent character and found him very funny.
However, I never quite warmed to Sarah. Her character didn’t feel as fully formed as Olivia’s, possibly because she wasn’t as relatable (being of noble birth). We are only ever told of Sarah’s family and don’t meet them as we did with Olivia. And this entire story takes place in one setting, the palace, and it was a setting that didn’t exactly bring out the best side of Sarah. She is always on Henry’s turf.
It felt like Sarah’s disabilities were used as convenient ways to make her stand out as an even more “unlikely” choice for Henry, when the emphasis on her shyness, love of books, and relationship inexperience already did that. In my opinion, Sarah’s abusive background and her disabilities should have been given more weight (further development) or left out altogether, not treated as convenient character “traits”. There’s a deepness there that wasn’t realized.
Again, I found myself drawn to a sibling in the story. In this case, it was Penelope, Sarah’s younger sister. Penelope’s character felt full of potential and I’m hoping Chase will explore it at some point. I know the next installment is centered around Olivia’s younger sister, but maybe there will be a Penelope story somewhere down the road.
Royally Matched was basically a naughtier version of Keira Cass’ The Selection. It was romantic, sexy, and funny, but it still didn’t pack the emotional punch of Royally Screwed. Even though Royally Matched has a slight case of the “second book slumps”, it’s still an easy and worthwhile read (or listen), especially for those committed to the series.
Narration review: What is there left to say about Andi Arndt and Shane East that I haven’t already said in my review for Royally Screwed? They were excellent. Although I did initially have slight problem removing Shane East as Prince Nicholas from my head in order to wrap it around Shane East as Prince Henry. But that was nothing that a few weeks in between installments didn’t fix. I think Shane may have out-edged Andi in this one, but only because Andi’s prolonged accent sounded slightly strained the more I listened. But honestly, I shouldn’t even complain. This production was very well done with two top narrators. ♣︎