Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins (Review)

No, what surprises me is the sudden, jolting, and undeniable realization that even I didn’t want to, I’ve fallen for an actual princess.

I picked this up because I’m a sucker for royal romance, so when I heard about a f/f royal romance I was all over it. We ended up picking it as our Queer Reads Crew book club pick for May 2020, and I’m so glad we did. I read it in one hungry go and I’m obsessed.

Rating: 4 stars!

Read me for the:

  • Rivals-to-friends-to-lovers
  • And they were roommates
  • Princess and the commoner trope
  • Supportive families
  • The best friendship group ever.

The plot:

Millie Quint is devastated when she discovers that her sort-of-best friend/sort-of-girlfriend has been kissing someone else. And because Millie cannot stand the thought of confronting her ex every day, she decides to apply for scholarships to boarding schools . . . the farther from Houston the better. Millie can’t believe her luck when she’s accepted into one of the world’s most exclusive schools, located in the rolling highlands of Scotland. Everything about Scotland is different: the country is misty and green; the school is gorgeous, and the students think Americans are cute.

The only problem: Mille’s roommate Flora is a total princess. She’s also an actual princess. Of Scotland. At first, the girls can barely stand each other–Flora is both high-class and high-key–but before Millie knows it, she has another sort-of-best-friend/sort-of-girlfriend. Even though Princess Flora could be a new chapter in her love life, Millie knows the chances of happily ever afters are slim . . . after all, real life isn’t a fairy tale . . . or is it?

What did I think?

This was such an easy read that I ended up devouring it in one go. Who wouldn’t, when the world is exploding and there’s fluffy f/f romance to bury ourselves in? The plot was simple and that was fine, because the focus was definitely on character and relationship development, which worked really well for me. This was sold to me as rivals-to-friends-to-lovers and that was exactly the arc we took. I was really pleased when the rivals-to-friends section wasn’t hurried for the sake of romance. We got to see Flora and Millie at each other’s throats in that catty way that only teenage girls at school can manage before their relationship developed in a way that felt very natural, with a slow climb from rivals to friends and an unexpected sudden slide into love. I also liked that there were reasons for the rivalry put in place that made sense, explained Flora’s behaviour and weren’t just disappeared for the sake of romance.

All of the relationships in the book were equally satisfying and solid. Millie isn’t running away from a problem family, she’s got a family and support system that she loves. Flora and her brother have a strong, loving relationship that leads to them supporting each other rather than fighting. I just love to read about characters with healthy families behind them – long gone is the YA trope of getting the family out of the way and forgetting about them. The friendships in the book were equally satisfying and I loved Millie’s relationship with Lee, Saks and Perry. They’re wholesome, supportive friends, and I was feeling warm and fluffy the whole time I was reading. My only real criticism is that the ending felt a little rushed, and I desperately wanted to read about Flora meeting Millie’s family and friends. At least there was one single fanfiction waiting to scratch that itch.

Links:

Add it on Goodreads here!

Buy at Hive if you can and support your local indie booksellers! Also available at Waterstones and Amazon.

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