Piper Evans: elementary school teacher by day–avid romance reader and anonymous podcaster by night. She lives a quiet, reclusive life, taking care of her mother, who struggles with mental illness, avoiding her regrettable ex, who bartends in town, and trying to make inroads in the tight-knit island community that still sees her, five years in, as an outsider.
And she’s happy with how things are–really–until British royals rent the property next to hers and their brooding bodyguard decides she’s a security threat. Piper quickly realizes that one person’s fairy tale is an ordinary woman’s nightmare as a media frenzy takes over the island and each run-in with Harrison Cole is hotter and more confusing than the last. But beneath Harrison’s no-nonsense exterior lies a soft heart, one that could tempt a woman who’s sworn off attachments into believing in white knights.
But when Piper finds herself smack in the middle of a royal scandal that rocks the island she’ll need more than Harrison’s strong arms to shield her–she’ll have to do a little rescuing herself. With careers, hearts, and friendships on the line, Piper and Harrison will have to decide what they’re willing to give up for a chance at their own happily ever after.
Title: The Royals Next Door
Author: Karina Halle
Publication Date: August 31, 2021
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
This book was alright. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it.
There were plenty of things that I appreciated about this book, starting with the mental health presentation. Some mental health illnesses are specifically mentioned and others are shown or hinted at, but not specifically discussed. Although I do not suffer from any of these illnesses and therefore am not basing my opinion on experience, I think Halle did a great job with this representation. It felt authentic and still spoke to the heart of the issue.
Moving on to the characters, I, again, didn’t love them and didn’t hate them. I think Harrison was probably my favorite character in the book. He and Piper have some good banter throughout the book and he has the whole brooding, rude bodyguard thing going for him so that’s a plus.
I did really enjoy Piper’s development throughout the book. I didn’t love her as a character, but she did start to grow on me towards the end, especially as she became more confident and self-assured.
Overall, I wouldn’t read this book again, but I’d be open to another book by Halle. I’ve seen lots of great reviews about this one so if you’re on the fence about reading it, maybe you should!
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed a gifted and advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.