I may have gotten up ridiculously early this past weekend to watch a certain coronation and started thinking about my longstanding love for royalty romances. There are obviously lots of problematic things we could discuss about royalty, but there is also something about escaping into the fantasy of a royalty romance, of dashing royalty sweeping commoners off their feet (or maybe clashing with them), of ballgowns and sparkly tiaras. By the way, there was a distressing lack of sparkly tiaras at the coronation, though there was some other beautiful jewelry. The headpiece the Princess of Wales wore was beautiful and very tiara-like and Charlotte's matching one was adorable. Also by the way, Penny Mordaunt's whole coronation outfit was fantastic, and I'm including the massive sword she held up in a very badass way for the whole thing. Anyway.
I've read a ton of royalty romance. I have no idea what I read first, but I know I grabbed the Cordina's Royal Family series by Nora Roberts off my mom's bookshelves back in middle or high school. They're category romances written in the 80s about the siblings in a royal family and I have no idea how they hold up, but I really liked them back when I read them. The second book in the series was always my favorite because of the tension between the heir to the throne and woman who used to have a schoolgirl crush on him. (I'm going to need to reread it, aren't I?) I spent a bunch of time looking through my Kindle and bookcases and Goodreads to decide what to include in this post, and mostly just realized once more that my TBR is massive and has a ton of royalty romance on it and I have to figure out how to live forever so I can get through it all.
A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole: And really the whole Reluctant Royals series (I'd include the Runaway Royals series too, but I haven't read them yet—they're on my Kindle in the aforementioned massive TBR). I love the premise of the book: Naledi is an epidemiology grad student who keeps receiving emails saying she's betrothed to an African prince and believes they're a scam. But it turns out they're real. He comes to the US to find her and when she mistakes him for someone who is not a prince, he goes along with it. The whole series is delightful.
His Royal Secret and His Royal Favorite by Lilah Pace: In this duet, the Prince of Wales is gay and keeping it a secret, but then he meets a reporter on an international trip. They have a fling, which, of course, turns into much more. I loved the characters and the relationship between James and Ben, complicated by Ben's past and James's family situation. So good. (I'm going to want to reread all these books, aren't I?)
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston: This book has been kind of everywhere (there's going to be a movie!), but if you haven't heard of it or read it, I am recommending it again. The son of the first female president of the United States has to fake a friendship with a British prince after pictures of them having a confrontation are leaked to the press and relations between the two countries are put in jeopardy. Of course, the fake friendship turns into a real (secret) romance just as the president starts her reelection campaign. This book was so fun—sweet, sexy, snarky, uplifting.
The Queen's Game by Carla de Guzman: The scandalous princess and heir to the throne of her small Asian island country returns home when her father dies to ascend the throne and is made to fake date her childhood friend, the quiet prince of the neighboring country. A really lovely story in which a prickly woman is fighting to be her own type of queen and is supported all the way by the cinnamon roll prince who loves her.
The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang: In 19th century Paris, Prince Sebastian is supposed to be looking for a bride, but he is more worried about keeping his secret—that at night, he puts on fabulous gowns designed by his best friend and brilliant dressmaker Frances and takes Paris by storm. This graphic novel is utterly charming. The art is beautiful, the story is lovely, and the ending made me so happy.
The High King's Golden Tongue by Megan Derr: Prince Allen has been preparing for years to be consort to the High King. But when he finally meets the man he is supposed to wed in an arranged marriage, the High King dismisses him as a pretty politician and nothing at all that he needs. I love an arranged marriage story, and this fantasy novel is a good one. A wonderful slow burn romance, great world building, and an excellent plot outside the romance.
The Queen of Ieflaria by Effie Calvin: One more fantasy romance for you, with another arranged marriage plot. A marriage was arranged between Princess Esofi and the prince of Ieflaria when they were children, and now that they're adults, it's time for them to wed. But during her months' long journey to her new home, her betrothed dies. Since Ieflaria needs Esofi and her home country's help, she is offered a betrothal to the prince's younger sister, who is now heir to the throne. Only the new heir doesn't want the throne. The romance is very sweet plus there are dragons and unicorns.
Winter's Orbit by Everina Maxwell: And finally (because I have to stop this list somewhere!), a SF romance that I adored. Which also has an arranged marriage. When Imperial Prince Taam suddenly dies, his widower, Jainan, is rushed into another marriage with his husband's cousin Prince Kiem for political reasons. Then, it comes to light that Taam's death might have been murder and Jainin is a suspect. Kiem and Jainin have to learn to trust each other so they can solve the murder and avert an interplanetary war, all while falling in love with each other.
And if you're looking for some more fantasy romance with royalty, I've written some. You can find them here.
Do you have any favorite royalty romances?