A swoon-worthy, sexy & utterly charming STANDALONE romance inspired by the classic film Roman Holiday, from the New York Times bestselling author of Bad at Love and The Pact
I never believed in fairy-tales.
Never held out for Prince Charming.
Growing up poor in small-town California as the oldest of six siblings, I knew I would never ride off into the sunset with anyone. That was even more apparent when a senseless tragedy took the lives of my parents, forcing me to become the sole guardian of our dysfunctional household at the mere age of twenty-three.
Then a fateful encounter literally brought Prince Charming to my doorstep.
At first I thought Viktor was just your average businessman passing through, albeit obscenely handsome, six-foot-five, blue-eyed, and mysteriously rich.
But soon I discovered the truth behind Viktor’s façade.
Beneath his quiet, enigmatic gaze and cocky charm, is a man who is running away from who he really is. A role he’d rather not fulfill.
He is Viktor of House Nordin, His Royal Highness, The Crown Prince of Sweden.
Yet uncovering Viktor’s secret was only the first step.
I didn’t expect to fall in love with him.
I didn’t expect to have my whole life turned upside down.
When you’re from two different worlds, can your hearts meet somewhere in the middle?
Or do happily-ever-afters only exist in fairy-tales?
WARNING: The Swedish Prince is oh-so sweet, enchanting and funny, but it does contain foul language (lots of the F word) and graphic sexual scenes (lots of dirty talk). Reader discretion is advised for those who are sensitive.
I’ve read a lot of Karina Halle’s books, and I always loved them. She has a way of writing that is appealing to me, and I always find humour and great writing within her books, as well as very well constructed stories and plotlines. I don’t know what happened here, but The Swedish Prince didn’t work for me in any way.
I’m going to drop a few SPOILERS, because there were specific situations that made the book less enjoyable for me, and I feel like I want to talk about them. I don’t wanna be mean or anything. I still love Karina and her books, but THIS ONE FRUSTRATED ME TO NO END.
Let me start by saying that the book started out strong. Maggie ‘s parents died and she becomes responsible for her 5 siblings. Viktor’s brother dies and he becomes the heir apparent, with all the responsibility that comes with it. Viktor’s mom decides that he should take some time for himself, so he can go full into his role as future kind when he returns. Viktor ends up in Maggie’s small town, they meet and so the story starts. I liked the initial attraction between the 2 main characters, but then my issues started:
- Maggie finds out Viktor is actually the prince of Sweden, she actually decides to record him during their date, with the intent of selling her story afterwards.
- She know what she did was absolutely appalling, but still, she still gets upset that he doesn’t believe her when she says she never intended to sell the story… yeah…
- Maggie’s 14 yo sister is dating a 19 yo guy, to the point that the girl sleeps at his house. They eventually split up, but this issue is never brought up between the sisters and Maggie never does anything about it.
- Actually, it’s Pike, her 18 yo brother who takes action. Like most things, Pike is actually the one who takes care of the situations like an adult.
- Maggie and Viktor fall fast, and when he invites her to go to LA with him for the weekend, she jumps at the opportunity, leaving Pike (18yo) in charge of their siblings again.
- Then there’s the fact that they have sex without a condom right from the start, without truly thinking about it much. He’s a freaking Prince. She thought about sellings their story. And he risks having sex without any protection?! WTF?
- And let me talk about the sex (without protection). So, Viktor is rough, as in ROUGH, and I’m okay with it, as long as both parties are in agreement with it, and there is a conversation about it. There isn’t. He kind of chokes her on their first time, they never discuss it. Like most things in this book, it’s just swept under the rug.
- Of course, by then they’re IN LOVE WITH EACH OTHER. They’ve known each other for a grand total of 1 week.
- Let me also mention their trip to Disneyland. Out of the blue, Viktor is just smoking weed outside of the park, without a care in the world, like it’s the most normal thing in the world. But the thing is, Viktor’s tendencies to alcohol, pills and drugs are never really discussed. It just comes out of nowhere each and every time, and it didn’t bring anything to the story, it didn’t even make sense in some situations.
- Then let’s get to part 2. Viktor comes back for Maggie, and she just decides to leave for 2 weeks, and leave her siblings with her 18 yo brother again, while she goes to Sweden. At this point I felt like it was a bit ridiculous. Viktor wanted her there forever, and the way they set it up is for her (and then her siblings) to go there on vacation.
- So, the whole time she’s there, she’s saying how she could never a princess, and how his life is not for her, and all the while I’m thinking “WTF MAGGIE?! WHY DO YOU THINK HE BROUGHT YOU THERE?!“.
- Then she blew up when she realised that there was an article about her gossiping about her life?! What the hell was she expecting? She agreed to date the prince, go with him to Sweden, and she was one of the people reading the trashy magazines before, did she think she was not going to be affected by it? Why throw a tantrum?
- Also… I’m sorry… Did Viktor give whiskey to a 14 yo?! Yeah, yeah he did! Okay then…
Throughout the whole book there are several situations and issues that are raised, and are never truly resolved or even discussed. The communication is pretty terrible. And for the life of me, I couldn’t understand the connection between the 2 characters and how or why they were so in love with each other. I just didn’t feel it.
I didn’t like the storyline, I didn’t like the characters, and I felt like the writing was half-assed. This surprised me a lot, because I usually love Karina Halle’s writing, but this book just didn’t feel right to me. The writing felt rushed and incomplete to me, the characters are not fully developed, and though there is some character development in the book, it’s not nearly enough to make up for it. And all the things that go unanswered and unresolved is just too much.
Unfortunately, this book was a huge no for me, and I’m honestly flabbergasted when I go on goodreads and I see so many 5 stars reviews. I get it, we all have different tastes, but there are some serious issues in this book that I can’t just overlook.
So yeah, if you’re intrigued by the title and the blurb, go for it, but I cannot recommend it.