❈ Huge thanks to Gallery Books for providing me with an ARC❈
Royally Roma (The Royals #1)
Author: Teri Wilson
Release Date: March 27th 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance
POV: third person
In this modern retelling of the classic Audrey Hepburn film Roman Holiday, a royal prince tries to escape his hectic and rigid life and ends up leading a young graduate student on a chase through the Eternal City.
Julia Costa is too busy trying to complete her PhD while also holding down a full-time job as a private tour guide in Rome to keep up with celebrity gossip. So when she crosses paths with a real, actual prince, she mistakes him for a client and takes him on a daylong tour of the city.
Intrigued by the idea of spending time with someone who obviously has no idea who he is, and delighted at the prospect of a day free of royal obligations, Niccolo La Torre, Crown Prince of Lazaretto, acts on impulse and assumes the role of Julia’s client. He swears to himself that he’ll return to his royal duties after only half a day…but he’s having the time of his life.
Until Julia presents him with the bill. Since he snuck out of the hotel without so much as a dime, he tries to escape, only to discover that she won’t let him out of her sight until he can pay her back. She’s determined to get her money…and perhaps more from the handsome stranger she’s fallen for.
I have a weakness for modern royalty and retellings, so as soon as I saw Royally Roma I knew I had to read it. Going into it, I had moderate expectations. There was a lot of potential with the Roman Holiday retelling aspect of Royally Roma. Unfortunately, that potential was wasted on a romance that developed too fast.
Niccolo aka Nico and Julia’s relationship fell flat. Their relationship was built upon many common modern royalty tropes, and there was nothing to help prop them up. Nico and Julia’s romance took course over less than 4 days. In a modern royalty setting, slow burn is much more compelling because it allows for characters to have to deal with the class gap that is so common in these stories. All of the issues that would plague Nico and Julia as a couple were not dealt with in story, despite them being mentioned as issues. I might’ve been okay with the ‘we will deal with the problems as we go in the future’ ending if Nico and Julia’s relationship was built on more than shoddy, instant sexual attraction and unrealistic confessions.
I had problems with the world building in Royally Roma. I know, what a picky thing to not like in a modern royalty romance, but I have my taste. For example, Prince William exists in universe. Because Royally Roma plays on the responsible royal heir to responsible spare trope and the dead mother trope, I feel like the story would’ve been served much better if William didn’t exist. I mean, how many responsible royal heirs with dead mothers can we have existing in one world. Also, because Julia Costa fell into the ‘she doesn’t care/notice I’m royalty because she’s American’ card it became reminiscent of The Royal We. Royally Roma and The Royal We are quite different, but The Royal We was such a better read for me that the similarity impacted my opinion of Royally Roma. However, I did like that Nico’s father abdicated the throne. It added in a unique element, which I wish was elaborated more in story.
Overall, Royally Roma wasn’t terrible. It was a nice read during breaks from my hectic schedule, but it didn’t leave me feeling anything other than indifference.
If you want a quick modern royalty fix, then I would recommend Royally Roma. However, if you want something more substantial, but still on the modern royalty front, I would recommend the-one-Kate-Middleton-fanfic-to-rule them-all aka The Royal We.