Book Review: My Best Friend's Royal Wedding by Romy Sommer
Though this is part of a series about the lives and loves of members of minor fictional European royal houses, I think this one can be read pretty well as a standalone. If you’ve read Phoenix and Max’s book, you’re probably going to love the fact that they get married in this one. In fact, their wedding is why this one happens, because Khara is drawn into royal circles when Phoenix asks Khara to be her bridesmaid.
Khara is a FIERCE heroine, a Vegas barmaid who shoots straight from the hip and takes no crap from anyone. She’s grown up hardscrabble and determined to depend on nobody but herself, because she’s learned the hard way that depending on other people only leaves her open to hurt when they let her down. She has an encounter with Adam, the hero in this book, a year before the main events of the book take place, and he acts like an absolute douche. It’s no surprise that when she meets him again, she’d definitely prefer to keep him at arms’ length. It’s quite simply self-preservation, and Adam’s own inner thoughts, when we’re privy to them, prove she’s absolutely right because he’s the shallowest of spoiled rich boys and most of his thoughts appear to center around how he can get into Khara’s pants.
Through the events of the book, we get to know Adam and discover he’s not completely awful, and in seeing himself through Khara’s eyes, he comes to realize he’s actually a pretty terrible person and consciously makes efforts to change. The problem for me as a reader is that he’s coming back from so far down that I’m not sure I believe in redemption when you haven’t actually paid any price for what you’ve done. Adam seems to have slept with literally every named female character in this book he isn’t related to, with the exception of the heroines of the author’s other books, and every one of those women thinks he’s an entitled scumbag but apparently would still like to marry him and be his princess. All The Other Women Are Awful isn’t a trope I like; it does no service to the heroine who was awesome in her own right without having to put other women down.
I really liked the way Khara took no nonsense from Adam and constantly called him out on his bad behaviour, but it does seem weird to call out ‘rich white male privilege’ when the character doing the calling out is also white. It would actually have created an even more interesting divide between the two of them if Khara was Black or Latinx; it felt like a missed opportunity that she was able to fit in just by changing her clothes and hair. Adam using his privilege to combat social injustice in a way that didn’t involve throwing money at a problem would have made him feel a lot more sympathetic, too. As it was, the only people he got to be nasty to in defence of Khara were other women who saw her as a rival, which wasn’t a good look for him.
If you’re coming into this looking for a light and fluffy read, this isn’t it, because Khara has some (very justified) chips on her shoulder and Adam has an awful lot of issues to work through, but if you’re looking for something a bit more social justice centric I don’t think this quite fits that bill either, because Adam really never has to face any consequences for his past behaviour. Khara’s awesome and he doesn’t deserve her, and I really struggled to root for them as a couple because of it. In the end, I’m afraid I can’t say this was any more than an OK read, and therefore I’m giving it three stars.
My Best Friend’s Royal Wedding is available now.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.