Review: Bad Princess by Julianna Keyes

Reviewed by Joanna

This novella was a surprise release for me, and the first I heard of it was via the author asking for opinions on the cover. I love her choice, what do you think?

The story is a new adult fairy-tale-style romance, between Princess Brinley Cantrella of Estau and Prince Finn, a sober and serious man from the neighboring Kingdom who Brinley has loved since the age of five. And who was, until a few months ago, engaged to be married to her sister.

Brinley is the eponymous bad princess. Rebellious and outgoing, she enjoys swords, adventure, danger and exploring. She does not enjoy stuffy princess behavior, and as a consequence is adored/despised by the press for her exploits. She had an affair with a professor while at college, flashed her thong, twerked, accidentally poisoned her sister, and injured a visiting statesman. She despairs of the nations’ low opinion but can’t change her essential self.

Elle, her older sibling and first in line to the throne, abdicates, running off with a lumberjack (also a programmer, as there isn’t much money in chopping wood by hand). When Prince Finn comes to Estau with his parents on what will probably be his last visit now he’s no longer going to become Consort there, he and Brinley get drunk together and are discovered by a palace tour group in a compromising position in the library.

Seems she wasn’t the only one to have an eye for the wrong person.

As Brinley is now set to be Queen one day, there’s only one thing for it. Uh huh, a new royal wedding post-haste. But whether they stay wed is another question. They are so different, yet so similar.

She pictured him as a bird, sitting in a cage, wings folded, patient. She pictured herself as that same bird, squawking and banging against the bars, free but not. She did not know which was better or which was worse. To not know you wanted freedom at all, or to be so desperate for it that you injured yourself constantly in its pursuit?

Brinley is a great character with so much life to her. She’s delightful and you know she’d make an excellent friend and wild drinking buddy. Finn is staid and steady, and just ready to be led astray. He is the polar opposite to his new bride, but tries hard to be what she needs. I wanted to throttle him on a couple of occasions where his conditioning meant he just stood there and accepted a verbal battering, particularly when it was aimed at Brinley, but he made up for it in the end and proved his love. Totally forgivable as she didn’t need a champion, just someone to accept her entirely.

This is light-hearted, non-political and pacey. It’s sexy too, and Finn is highly lickable. If you enjoy royal romps without pretension, this will work for you. At a smidge under 40,000 words it’s a fast and fun read.

Rating: B+

*ARC provided in exchange for a fair review

Click to purchase: Amazon

Bad Princess
by Julianna Keyes
Release Date: November 27, 2017

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