Friday, February 23, 2018

Royally Endowed by Emma Chase

Royally Endowed by Emma Chase
Release Date -  August 31, 2017
Publisher Website - Everafter Romance
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  350 pages
My Rating - 3.5/5
**borrowed for review**


Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Logan St. James is a smoldering, sexy beast. Sure, he can be a little broody at times—but Ellie Hammond’s willing to overlook that. Because, have you seen him??

Sexy. As. Hell.

And Ellie’s perky enough for both of them.

For years, she’s had a crush on the intense, gorgeous royal security guard—but she doesn’t think he ever saw her, not really.

To Logan, Ellie was just part of the job—a relative of the royal family he’d sworn to protect. Now, at 22 years old and fresh out of college, she’s determined to put aside her X-rated dreams of pat-downs and pillow talk, and find a real life happily ever after.

The Queen of Wessco encourages Ellie to follow in her sister’s footsteps and settle down with a prince of her own. Or a duke, a marquis…a viscount would also do nicely.

But in the pursuit of a fairy tale ending, Ellie learns that the sweetest crushes can be the hardest to let go.
Logan St. James grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, in a family on the wrong side of the law. But these days, he covers his tattoos and scars with a respectable suit. He’s handsome, loyal, brave, skilled with his hands and…other body parts.

Any woman would be proud to call him hers.

But there’s only one woman he wants.

For years he’s watched over her, protected her, held her hair back when she was sick, taught her how to throw a punch, and spot a liar.

He dreams of her. Would lay down his life for her.

But beautiful Ellie Hammond’s off-limits.

Everybody knows the bodyguard rules: Never lose focus, never let them out of your sight, and never, ever fall in love. 
The bodyguard who falls in love with the person they are supposed to be protecting trope is one of my favourites so I was thrilled when the next book in the Royally series promised this sexy sounding scenario. I was happy to discover that this book more than delivered on that premise, even if I wish some elements had been fleshed out a little more.

This novel is different than the other two as it spans over a few years of Ellie and Logan's relationship. We see it progress slowly which makes it feel more realistic. This narration style allows us to see events from the previous two books from a different perspective and it also allows the author to fill in some details that were not include in those first novels. It's pretty much a love letter to fans of the series, which I appreciated.

Logan St James is focused, determined, and loyal. He's presented as a sort of 'alpha male' who presents a tough exterior but loves fiercely. His loyalty was something that defined his character for me. It is present in every decision he makes. I typically do not enjoy the alpha male character trope. I find plenty of them problematic and infuriating, but Logan manages to walk the delicate balance between sexy and douchey. He's protective without being stifling or controlling which was my concern going into this novel. 

Ellie is the character that I felt we got to see grow and change the most. We meet her when she is just on the cusp of adulthood and see her mature into the young woman she is by the end of the novel. It is her that I predict readers will feel the most connected to as a result. She's more bubbly and outgoing than Logan which makes them an excellent match. I especially enjoyed the teasing banter that was built into their friendship and eventual relationship.

Those interested in the sexy parts of this novel will have to be patient. It is the slowest of slow burns and really only heats up in the latter part of the novel. This unresolved sexual tension is the only tension that really worked for me in the novel. It makes the eventually payoff all the sweeter and ensures that the reader is fully invested. It also allows the two characters to be on more equal footing. Ellie is technically still a teenager when she first begins to have a crush on her sexy bodyguard. She needs that extra time to grow up and become an adult herself before anything can happen. Logan also needs this time to see her has something other than the teenager who has a crush on him. The age difference is handled perfectly, and nothing really happens until they are both mature enough for it to.

The ending is what the novel has be building towards, but it didn't hold quite the power I expect it was supposed to. The earlier part of the book was more tightly paced and engaging. Getting to see Ellie and Logan's novel story evolve through the years he was her guard was endearing and ensured that we cared about both of them. The love story wasn't the issue. There is a side plot that is meant to provide the  main stakes of the story and it doesn't quite have the payoff I wanted because it wasn't spread out enough throughout the book. The raising tension that should be felt just is not there as a result. It could have been woven in better and it would have resonated a little more. The good thing is that the rest of the novel is done really well that it was only a minor blip in my enjoyment of this novel.

The Royally series is perfect for those wanting their reads to be both sexy and fun. They are also perfect for fans of books that feature royalty and everything that ensues from being related to, or falling in love with, one. I can only hope that Emma Chase plans to return to these characters again in the future, because I don't think I am ready to fully leave them behind just yet.

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