Review: ‘Royal Holiday’ by Jasmine Guillory
Royal Holidayby Jasmine Guillory
Series: The Wedding Date #4
Published by Berkley Publishing Group on October 1, 2019
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: AudioBook, Hardcover
Source: the publisher
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From the New York Times bestselling author of The Proposalcomes a dazzling new novel about a spontaneous holiday vacation that turns into an unforgettable romance.
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 is the fourth novel in Jasmine Guillory’s The Wedding Date series. I’ve meant to read this book since I read the first three books when they were released. I read it this summer (2023) and am glad I did. I don’t just read paranormal and dark romances. I enjoy sweet contemporary romance stories too.
Storyline/My Thoughts: If you read The Wedding Party, you’ll immediately recognize Maddie in this book as a secondary character this time. Her mother, Vivian Forest, is the main character now, and she’s about to find love in England when she’s on holiday with her daughter. Maddie is there for work, which gives Vivian time to enjoy her vacation in a place, she’s never been before. She never thought she would find the Queen’s assistant good-looking and great to be in company with, especially when he showed her around while her daughter was busy with the Duchess. Malcolm Hudson is intrigued by the beautiful woman from California, and he can’t seem to stay away from her. Both characters are mature-aged, which was different for me since I tend to read books with characters in their twenties or thirties. I loved that both characters were older and had similarities, such as being divorced from their previous marriages. They weren’t really looking for love at first, but they found it in one another. The issue was they both lived and worked thousands of miles away from each other after Vivian returned to the States.
I loved that this was a holiday romance story where the characters find love internationally and learn from each other different traditions and such. Still, unfortunately, it won’t be my favorite in the series from Jasmine Guillory. It was an okay read, and I wish the story would have been a little longer, such as learning more about the main characters. I had to agree with Vivian, too, towards the end of the book, where she confronts Malcolm about why it wouldn’t work between them since they live in separate countries. Then, the ending felt more like an HFN and not a HEA.
Also, I’m used to reading spicy scenes in books, but this was not spicy, unlike other books I’ve read. It had some steamy to it, but definitely not spicy. (Reminder, I read a lot of Dark and Erotic romance.)
If you enjoy listening to your books instead of reading them, check out the audiobook for this one. I’m picky about audiobooks, but I definitely enjoyed the narrator, Janina Edwards, who brought the characters to life.
Story Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️.5
Steam/Spice Rating: 🌶 .5
Would I recommend this book? I recommend this to readers who have read Jasmine Guillory’s books and enjoy sweet contemporary romance books. I also recommend it to readers who love Hallmark Christmas stories/movies, which this book reminded me of when I read it.
Genre/SubGenre(s): Romance | Contemporary Romance
Trope(s)/Element(s): Holiday/Christmas Themed Romance | Mature Aged Characters | Divorced MMC | Divorced FMC | Social Worker FMC | MMC works for Queen