Jasmine Guillory is an author that I thought would be a go-to for me after I read her first two books (The Wedding Date and The Proposal). Her third book was a bit of a miss for me, but I figured that would be a one off. Sadly, I find that Royal Holiday is also a miss – making me question if the rest of this authors books will also flop and if I should continue reading them as they are released.
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?
The worst part about this book is about the plot – it was a series of non-events that in hindsight added up to a whole lot of nothing. In fact, I’m writing this review only a few days after I read the book, but I couldn’t tell you one thing that happened in this book. Reading it, any scenes outside of those where Vivian and Malcolm interacted felt tedious and boring. Nothing outside of their romantic interactions really carried the plot. Even the scenes with Viv and Malcolm got repetitive and lacked a spark that I’ve come to expect from Jasmine Guillory’s books.
The characters were what saved this book from being a 1 star read for me. The two leads had incredible chemistry together right off the bat – their quick romance was the only thing that kept me reading, though the ending wasn’t as satisfying as I would have hoped. Vivian was the definition of a workaholic who was taking her first vacation in years. Malcolm was the exact same, a workaholic who rarely thought of his own needs. Together, they complimented each other and learned that there was fulfillment to be found outside of their respective careers. The secondary characters were basically treated like objects – they only made appearances to briefly talk to the main characters and then disappeared completely. I wish they would have been given subplots at least – instead they were one dimensional and boring.
Overall, this book was just a let down for me. I went in with high expectations due to the author’s other books, but this was definitely a departure in quality from her previous works. It wasn’t the worst romance book I’ve ever read, but boy was it dry and tedious. If you want a better holiday romance, check out One Day in December by Josie Silver. 2/5