Review: Broken Prince by Erin Watt

Reviewed by Joanna

This is the sequel to Paper Princess, therefore contains spoilers as that tale left off on a big old cliffhanger. Don’t read on if you like wealthy bratty kids and a rags-to-riches story. Go back and pick up the first book instead.

So, Ella Harper was whisked out of her life of poverty and stripping by her previously unknown guardian, Callum Royal, who had been a friend of her father’s. He moved her into his home with his five sons, and Ella had a rapid adjustment to make to the ultra-rich world she now inhabited.

She eventually befriended the brothers, and fell in love with Reed, the second oldest. The first story was told solely from Ella’s point of view. This book is dual perspective and the better for it, in my eyes.

She gave us a purpose—at first, it was us uniting against her. Then it turned into us standing beside her. Protecting her. Loving her.

Reed opens this second book with a hell of an explanation for why Ella found him in bed with his father’s girlfriend.

He’s being blackmailed by this individual, but of course Ella doesn’t know this and she’s long gone. By the time Reed realizes she’s not coming back, he loses her trail and is forced to tell his father that Ella ran. A search for her then ensues, but angry and unhappy, Reed inexplicably goes about his school life – he’s not a PI and doesn’t think he can help in locating her.

This I found a little frustrating. He knew the bus route she took and was only a few hours behind her. Why didn’t he drive to each town, show her photo, check the hotels? I wanted him to do more than pound on his opponents on the football field then jack off in the shower. Then again he’s an eighteen year old kid so perhaps my expectations of Big Love are too high.

Ella is found and returns to the family, but obviously wants nothing more to do with Reed. The story then progresses with the blackmail and the romance.

The reasons for the blackmail are hard for Ella to forgive, and she has her own stuff going on anyway. Back at school, the hold the Royal sons have on the place has slipped so it is open season for bullies. These kids weren’t nice to start with, now they’re absolute terrors.

A couple of points I disliked about the first book were address directly in this novel. One was Ella being absorbed into the wealthy-people environment and losing elements of herself. I see now that was part of her character arc. The second was Reed committing a sexual act with Ella when she had been doped (by someone else) and was demanding sex. He really should have left her alone – y’know, she could’ve self-served, as there’s no way a person off their mind on drugs can consent. It seems wrong in a book that targets a young adult audience to make out that this is okay. Reed knows he did wrong and Ella forgives him in this story. It didn’t make it okay, but I felt a little better about it.

Reed Royal is somewhat rougher than I’d usually like in a hero. Not being mature is probably the reason why, but I never felt like he explained himself enough or made up for his mistakes enough to make him into a decent match for the heroine.

Ella is awesome, and I still care about her. Just occasionally I wish she’d say the things she was thinking rather than slinking off as it doesn’t involve her. But if she did, the story would have had no drama.

The hijinks center on teenagers getting up to sexy mischief and hating on one another. The stereotypes are all still there, with the bitchy popular girl, the jocks, the poor but nice friend, the thin, young and fake stepmom wannabe.

The book ends on another cliffhanger, spinning on the story to a third in the series. Book two pretty much concludes the romantic arc, leaving only one small element of that open. I expected to have moved on to a different brother by now, but I’ve already grabbed book three and it’s still Ella and Reed. Easton (the slut), Gideon (the oldest brother, broken hearted) and the twins (identical and sharing a girlfriend) must get their own stories. I hope so.

Rating: B-

Click to purchase: Amazon

Broken Prince
by Erin Watt
Release Date: 25, 2016
Publisher: Everafter Romance

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