Royal Holiday Was Charming--But Not My Favourite by Guillory | Review: Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory

9:57 PM

This was honestly not my cup of tea, but it was still entertaining enough. Royal Holiday is not Jasmine Guillory's best.


Vivian Forest has been out of the country a grand total of one time, so when she gets the chance to tag along on her daughter Maddie’s work trip to England to style a royal family member, she can’t refuse. She’s excited to spend the holidays taking in the magnificent British sights, but what she doesn’t expect is to become instantly attracted to a certain private secretary, his charming accent, and unyielding formality.

Malcolm Hudson has worked for the Queen for years and has never given a personal, private tour—until now. He is intrigued by Vivian the moment he meets her and finds himself making excuses just to spend time with her. When flirtatious banter turns into a kiss under the mistletoe, things snowball into a full-on fling.

Despite a ticking timer on their holiday romance, they are completely fine with ending their short, steamy affair come New Year’s Day. . .or are they?

Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory
Rating: ★★★☆☆

As always, a copy of this book was provided by the publisher or author in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.

Listen, we all know I totally adore the warm and fuzzy (see also: steamy) set of novels that Jasmine Guillory has released so far. I may be biased about her but she just gives me all the feels, you know? I adore her balance of tense banter sessions, feel good chick flick vibes and sparkling chemistry between her characters. For that reason alone Royal Holiday was at the top of my list of most anticipated romances this autumn.

It only helped that (a) it was centered around Maddie's mom (b) CHRISTMAS BASED!!!!! and most importantly (c) takes place abroad and there is royalty in it.

Still, I felt a little let down by this one (although, I wasn't let down by Guillory? I THINK THIS ONE JUST DIDN'T CONNECT WITH ME AND THAT'S ON ME, not her) and had an issue with finishing it. It wasn't what I thought it'd be, either, in terms of plotline. A lot of what made Guillory's other books work felt like it wasn't present and that was very, well, dull for me.

This is the first time I experienced that with a Guillory novel. It's completely disorienting because, whaaat? WHO AM I? As a whole, I thought that Royal Holiday was sweet and had more than a few charming moments. It just felt like it was missing something and I couldn't quite put my finger on it. It really didn't have the same light-my-candle spark as the previous books in the series.

I found myself wondering if maybe it was a mood read that I simply wasn't in the mood for.

Admittedly, the second half of the novel felt more lively, and more Guillory, than the first half and I'm glad for it, but I still struggled with it in a way I hadn't with the previous books in the series.

Let's focus on positives:

Vivian is a great character and I would 10/10 die for her. To be honest, I probably would have given up on Royal Holiday sooner if it weren't for Vivian. SHE DESERVES THE WORLD, OKAY? And I love the interactions between her and Maddie. We stan a mother-daughter duo. I was excited when I saw that she was the main character because she was definitely a standout minor character in Maddie's story.

The setting was fun! All the royal elements. I loved the fact that we not only got a holiday romance, but a charming romance. While I felt that it lacked the chemistry that Guillory is known for, it still made my lips tug upward into a smile. There's something undeniably cute about the relationship between Malcolm and Vivian, I just felt like some of it was underdeveloped and that disappointed me.

Royal Holiday felt a lot less angsty than the other books in the series which was a nice change of pace. Ultimately, though, it was my least favourite of the series thus far. While it had potential to be a favourite, it fell short. 

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