Book Review: Paper Princess by Erin Watt
Author: Erin Watt
Series: The Royals #1
Genre: YA, contemporary romance
Publication Date: April 4, 2016
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.
Romance, in my opinion, is nothing without a little bit of hate and love mixing together. Now, I'm not suggesting that any relationships should be confusing as that is, but for me personally a relationship without it would be very dull. And this book nailed it. I swear to god this book would probably be my forever favorite in the category of well-written hate love relationships. Do not think that a complicated relationship would be easily presented in a book. I've read so many books with hate love relationships that are horrible and basically ruins the book itself. And it's especially hard to grasp the just right timing for the relationship. Remember, the significant part about this kind of relationship is their journey of discovering their "undeniable chemistry" between them. But many of the books I've read that involves hate love relationship are too short, usually they get together and their 'hate' part dissolve not even halfway to the first book (usually of the series), and I'm always like seriously?
Okay I'm off track again! Basically what I was trying to say is that this book had the hate-love relationship written extremely well and the pace is close to perfect (perfect is the Black Mage Series' First Years, see my other posts.)
Let's move on to the characters, and of course we always start with the protagonist, in this case, Ella Harper. Another failure factor for the other bad romance books I've read is their heroine, and their lack of character. Usually they are dull and just simply cringe-worthy. However, Ella is not one of those girls. She is a gorgeous girl with a strong personality a sassy attitude that doesn't give up easily to any bullies. So basically, it's a story about a girl that mother died when she was fifteen (or was it fourteen) of cancer, and a dad and left her mom pregnant and her life of secretly supporting herself and getting education without a legal guardian and any authorities realizing. Unfortunately, when she was seventeen during a school time, she realized she had been discovered by her father's best friend, a rich man called Callum Royal. That is where the story really started. Callum went into the strip club Ella was working in and tossed her over his shoulder(literally) and kidnapped her to his house, since she is unwilling to accept the fact that she has a legal guardian. But Callum(smart man that he is) made a deal with Ella that she could not refuse in order to keep her from running away; and that is to give her ten grands per month until her 18th birthday and she no longer needs a guardian, and he'll be paying for all her school tuition and college, and all the textbooks, life fees, etc. Only an idiot would refuse that. And so her life changes. I wouldn't talk about the place and stuff right now because I'm discussing Ella and don't want to get off topic again, but do not fear, for I would elaborate on that later. She's also a beauty with a brain. Think about it like this: a girl that lived by herself since age fifteen and did everything by herself; supported herself, earned money herself, and got education herself without a guardian. If she's a no brainier she would've been busted or destroyed by now.
Now let's talk about the main male character, Reed. You know, I've noticed a pattern, and that is a guy's always hot when their names start with R-. For example, this book's Reed, Ryder form the Hive Trilogy by Jasmine Eve and Leia Stone, Roman from the book All I've Never Wanted by Ana Huang, and Ryker from Black Diamond by Ali Dean. There is another Ryker but I forgot from where, so I would put it in here if I ever remember it. Now, if you've read the book you'll see that he's.... kind of a dick. Okay, he is a dick and treated Ella like crap, which really, really pisses me off. But he started to change, because he "no longer can denied the chemistry between them”, and like Easton had said, "I see smoke whenever you two are within five feet of each other".
Back to the point (I need to find a new phrase for it, I'm repeating is like, all the time), Reed. He is rich, sexy as hell, athletic, super good at fighting, and ahhh I'm having a crush on him! Seriously you really don't understand unless you read the book and is an emotional reader like me. But nothing is perfect, right? And every family has its problems, you just don't know them. The royals might be royalty at the high school, looks gorgeous and glamorous, but every single one of them is broken on the inside. It basically started with their mother's death, Maria, and how they blamed her death on their father Callum. You see, Ella's father, Steve is also a millionaire genius alongside Callum, and on every single business trips they went together Callum always had to drag Steve out of mild high clubs, and everyone believed Callum cheated on Maria alongside Steve. Now, Callum denied it to Ella, but apparently nobody believed him, which eventually caused Maria's drug overdose death which apparently, is suicide. The family basically fell apart after that, with the five sons (Gideon, Reed, Easton, and the twins Sebastian and Sawyer; age oldest to youngest in that order) turning against him. That's also another reason for Reed's fighting ability, since he often went out to fight in order to "get his emotions out". Reed is actually not a bad person, he's a kind boy that just simply been through a rough time. He could be very protective for his loved ones, and is a natural leader that has an aura that can unite people and get everyone to follow his lead.
So now let's talk about the main story-line. I have discussed and explained many of the back story while I was explaining the characters. But I think that I should elaborate on Ella's background a little bit more and her father, Steve George O'Halloran. Steve slept with her mother, Margaret Harper during high school, and then Margaret had Ella when she's sixteen. Technically, Steve didn't exactly leave Margaret and Ella because he doesn't even know she existed. Margaret found out she was pregnant after he left, and raised her alone since then. They were always moving around, because of rent problems or Margaret's constant changing abusive boyfriends. However, Ella is always positive and Margaret truly loved and care for Ella. They always had each other's backs. It's fascinating and touching how strong their bond and how they support each other both physically and physiologically. This is another great example for how strong Ella is, and how she's not an ungrateful brat that is always complaining. They were moving around so much they had lived everywhere in the US. And while Margaret and Ella lived in poverty, Steve is living a luxurious life with a new wife named Dinah. Steve basically popped out one day with this woman and a ring on her finger, and everyone knew she married him for the money. And then, when Ella was about fourteen/fifteen, Margaret got cancer. Here is a letter Ella found later that Margaret wrote to Steve, informing him Ella's existence and her feeling at the time. I've cut straight to the point, so if you want to read the whole letter, yo have to read the book. But here's a clip:
"...Anyway, straight to the point - you knocked me up in that frenzy we had the month before you shipped out to god knows where. By the time I figured out I was preggo, you were long gone. The Guys at the base weren't interested in hearing my story. I suspect you aren't interested in it now.
But if you are, you should come. I'm sick with cancer. It's eating up my colon. I swear I can feel it inside me like some parasite. My baby girl's going to be alone. She's resilient. Tough. Tougher than me. I love her. And while I don't fear death, I dread that she's going to be along. I know we weren't more than two worm bodies knocking uglies, but I swear to you we created the best damn thing in the world. You'll hate yourself if you don't at least meet her.
Ella Harper. I named her after that corny music box you won for me in Atlantic City. Thought you might appreciate that.
Anyway, hope you get this in time. She doesn't know you exist but she has your watch and your eyes. You'll know the first time you lay eyes on her.
Many things were explained and showed in this letter, how strong Ella is, and Margaret(Maggie's) love for Ella. Later in the book you'll see that after Steve realized that he had a daughter, he immediately went on a mission to look for her, but died before he could find her.
So I suggest to you check this book out! The price is reasonable (at least on kindle), and it's very well written, brought the character's character to live and with realistic romance.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erin Watt is the brainchild of two bestselling authors linked together through their love of great books and an addiction to writing. They share one creative imagination. Their greatest love (after their families and pets, of course)? Coming up with fun-and sometimes crazy-ideas. Their greatest fear? Breaking up.