New York Times Bestseller
What if America had a royal family? If you can't get enough of Harry and Meghan or Kate and William, meet American princesses Beatrice and Samantha. Crazy Rich Asians meets The Crown. Perfect for fans of Red, White, and Royal Blue and The Royal We!
Two princesses vying for the ultimate crown.
Two girls vying for the prince's heart.
This is the story of the American royals.
When America won the Revolutionary War, its people offered General George Washington a crown. Two and a half centuries later, the House of Washington still sits on the throne. Like most royal families, the Washingtons have an heir and a spare. A future monarch and a backup battery. Each child knows exactly what is expected of them. But these aren't just any royals. They're American.
As Princess Beatrice gets closer to becoming America's first queen regnant, the duty she has embraced her entire life suddenly feels stifling. Nobody cares about the spare except when she's breaking the rules, so Princess Samantha doesn't care much about anything, either . . . except the one boy who is distinctly off-limits to her. And then there's Samantha's twin, Prince Jefferson. If he'd been born a generation earlier, he would have stood first in line for the throne, but the new laws of succession make him third. Most of America adores their devastatingly handsome prince . . . but two very different girls are vying to capture his heart.
The duty. The intrigue. The Crown. New York Times bestselling author Katharine McGee imagines an alternate version of the modern world, one where the glittering age of monarchies has not yet fadedand where love is still powerful enough to change the course of history.
"The lives of the American royal family will hook you in the very first pages and never let go. Relatable, believable, fantastical, aspirational, and completely addictive." Sara Shepard, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Pretty Little Liars and Perfectionists series
|Publisher:||Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.10(w) x 5.90(h) x 1.20(d)|
|Age Range:||14 - 17 Years|
About the Author
KATHARINE MCGEE is the New York Times bestselling author of The Thousandth Floor trilogy. She studied English and French literature at Princeton University and has an MBA from Stanford. She now lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband. Visit her online at http://katharinemcgee.com/. Follow her at @katharinemcgee.
Read an Excerpt
Beatrice could trace her ancestry back to the tenth century.
It was really only through Queen Martha’s side, though most people refrained from mentioning that. After all, King George I had been nothing but an upstart planter from Virginia until he married well and then fought even better. He fought so well that he helped win America’s independence, and was rewarded by its people with a crown.
But through Martha, at least, Beatrice could trace her lineage for more than forty generations. Among her forebears were kings and queens and archdukes, scholars and soldiers, even a canonized saint. We have much to learn by looking back, her father always reminded her. Never forget where you come from.
It was hard to forget your ancestors when you carried their names with you as Beatrice did: Beatrice Georgina Fredericka Louise of the House of Washington, Princess Royal of America.
Beatrice’s father, His Majesty King George IV, shot her a glance. She reflexively sat up straighter, to listen as the High Constable reviewed the plans for tomorrow’s Queen’s Ball. Her hands were clasped over her demure pencil skirt, her legs crossed at the ankle. Because as her etiquette teacher had drilled into her—by hitting her wrist with a ruler each time she slipped up—a lady never crossed her legs at the thigh.
And the rules were especially stringent for Beatrice, because she was not only a princess: she was also the first woman who would ever inherit the American throne. The first woman who would be queen in her own right: not a queen consort, married to a king, but a true queen regnant.
If she’d been born twenty years earlier, the succession would have jumped over her and skipped to Jeff. But her grandfather had famously abolished that centuries-old law, dictating that in all subsequent generations, the throne would pass to the oldest child, not the oldest boy.
Beatrice let her gaze drift over the conference table before her. It was littered with papers and scattered cups of coffee that had long since gone cold. Today’s was the last Cabinet session until January, which meant it had been filled with year-end reports and long spreadsheets of analysis.
The Cabinet meetings always took place here in the Star Chamber, named for the gilded stars painted on its blue walls, and the famous star-shaped oculus overhead. Winter sunlight poured through it to dapple invitingly over the table. Not that Beatrice would get to enjoy it. She rarely had time to go outside, except on the days she rose before dawn to join her father on his run through the capital, flanked by their security officers.
For a brief and uncharacteristic moment, she wondered what her siblings were doing right now, if they were back yet from their whirlwind trip through East Asia. Samantha and Jeff—twins, and three years younger than Beatrice—were a dangerous pair. They were lively and spontaneous, full of bad ideas, and with far too much power to act on them. Now, six months after they’d finished high school, it was clear that neither of them knew what to do with themselves—except celebrate the fact that they were eighteen and could legally drink.
No one ever expected anything of the twins. All the expectation, in the family and really in the world, was focused like a white-hot spotlight on Beatrice.
At last the High Constable finished his report. The king gave a gracious nod and stood. “Thank you, Jacob. If there is no further business, that concludes today’s meeting.”
Everyone rose to their feet and began to shuffle out of the room, chatting about tomorrow’s ball or their holiday plans. They seemed to have temporarily set aside their political rivalries—the king kept his Cabinet evenly divided between the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans—though Beatrice felt certain those rivalries would be back in full force come the new year.
Her personal security detail, Connor, glanced up from where he stood outside the door, next to the king’s protection officer. Both men were members of the Revere Guard, the elite corps of officers who devoted their lives to the service of the Crown.
“Beatrice, could you stay for a minute?” her dad asked.
Beatrice paused in the doorway. “Of course.”
The king sat back down, and she followed suit. “Thank you again for helping with the nominations,” he told her. They both glanced at the paper before him, where a list of names was printed in alphabetical order.
Beatrice smiled. “I’m glad you accepted them.”
Tomorrow was the palace’s annual holiday party, the Queen’s Ball, so named because at the very first Christmas ball, Queen Martha had urged George I to ennoble dozens of Americans who’d aided the Revolution. The tradition had persisted ever since. Each year at the ball, the king knighted Americans for their service to the country, thereby making them lords or ladies. And for the first time, he had let Beatrice suggest the candidates for knighthood.
Before she could ask what he wanted, a tap sounded at the door. The king gave an audible sigh of relief as Beatrice’s mom swept into the room.
Queen Adelaide came from nobility on both sides of her family. Before her marriage to the king, she’d been set to inherit the Duchy of Canaveral and the Duchy of Savannah. The Double Duchess, people had called her.
Adelaide had grown up in Atlanta, and had never lost her ethereal Southern charm. Even now her gestures were touched with elegance: the tilt of her head as she smiled at her daughter, the turn of her wrist as she settled into the walnut chair to Beatrice’s right. Caramel highlights gleamed in her rich brown hair, which she curled each morning with hot rollers and wore encircled by a headband.
The way they were sitting—a parent to either side of Beatrice, boxing her in—gave her the distinct sense that she was being ambushed.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A read you won't be able to put down! I kind of prefer this family to our current situation (ahem).
this should be marketed as a young adult read
It’s present day, and America is ruled by a monarchy. That’s right! In American Royals, written by Katharine McGee, we see what America would be like if a king or queen ruled. Princess Beatrice is on her way to becoming the first queen of America, but she’s beginning to question if this is what she really wants. Princess Samantha, her sister, knows she’s just the spare, the backup if something were to happen to Beatrice. When she falls for a guy she can’t have, she realizes that maybe she does care about some things. And her twin, Prince Jeff, has two very different girls vying for his attention. Who will he choose? I loved this book, mostly for the insanely cool concept of America as a monarchy, but I also love a good young adult drama. This book had all the characteristics of a young adult drama: forbidden love, arguments amongst friends, and secrets being kept from each other. I could totally see this book turned into a movie or a television series (Netflix, get on it)! It was super entertaining and was fun to see the lifestyles of American royalty. American Royals hooked me from page one until the end and I can’t wait for the sequel to come out, I just have to wait an entire year!
4.5 stars! I think it is a great accomplishment when an author makes me care about teenage drama, when normally I would hate hearing about it. It reminds me of The Selection in a way, because I thought I would hate the story of girls vying for one guy's attention, but I ended up loving it. I experienced the same feeling with this book; I wouldn't normally care in real life, but oh do I care about what is going on with these characters! Sam, Nina, Beatrice, and Daphne provide the four points of view, and I loved everyone I was supposed to love and utterly HATED and DESPISED Daphne for being a cruel, conniving, insidious, b-i-t-c-h. She is the girl every guy needs to steal clear of, and yet I still occasionally felt sorry for her, and for the guy who is more like her than anyone else, but whom she ignores in favor of gaining a title and crown and prestige. I loved the intrigue, even though I thought I wouldn't. Although Beatrice's love interest was cliche, the relationship didn't feel forced or unnatural. Nina is the most "normal" of the girls, and yet I found myself frustrated with her for not going after who she wanted more, especially when she actually cares about Jeff as a person, unlike Daphne. This book was a roller-coaster ride, and I loved that all these girls' lives are intertwined whether they realize it and want it or not. I think the only POV that could have been more polished was Sam's, because everyone kept talking about how strong of a force she is, but her own POV didn't feel that way. It felt like she was on the sidelines for a lot of the book, and so her infatuation and "relationship" with Teddy didn't make sense. Their meeting and interactions felt too superficial for me to understand why Sam suddenly fixates on him, especially when she has been known as the flirty one. And Teddy being drawn to her wasn't fleshed out enough for me to understand why they are so desperate to be together. I almost wish we could have had a POV from Jeff, just to see what he is thinking about the two very different girls he is entangled with. I am not surprised by how the book ended, but it is still a doozy of a cliffhanger in my opinion. I want Beatrice to follow her heart instead of her mind, and to not ruin her relationship with her sister by the choices she makes. I do not know how I am going to be able to wait however long for the next book!
Beatrice Georgina Fredericka Louise of the House of Washington, Princess Royal of America is to be the first reigning Queen of the United Colonies of America. Quite naturally she is under unrelenting scrutiny, of a kind never witnessed in the two hundred fifty years of the monarchy. Thus far, she has been equal to the task, her intelligence, training, and sense of duty make her an icon in the eyes of her family and countrymen. But now, something has changed, her parents are forcing her to "interview" possible husbands at the Queen's Ball tomorrow night! "American Royals" is an excellent YA romance filled with the pomp and circumstance of a ruling monarchy intermingled with the trials and tribulations of young men and women in the searing spotlight of public attention. The wins, Samantha, and Jeff, Beatrice's immature and wilder siblings play the wildcards, adding complications and contrast to the story. While a good girl commoner, Nina Gonzalez, Samantha's best friend, is juxtaposed against her royal friends' excesses. A social-climbing harpy, Daphne by name, circles through the lives of Nina, Sam, and Jeff, adding a frisson of danger. Her sole aim is to marry into House Washington; she will stop at nothing to achieve it. This fantasy will interest those who enjoy reading about the British Royal Family and all their activities. The writing will not disappoint. The characters are well developed and conflicted, while the twisty plot moves at a rapid pace. Left out are the harsher realities of American history like slavery and the civil war, but it is a fantasy after all. At this point I am wondering if there will be a sequel, there certainly is room for a series of them. I recommend "American Royals" for those looking for something unusual. My thanks to NetGalley and Random House for the opportunity to read an advance copy.
I was so excited about this book when I first found out about it. I just feel like this had such potential and really didn't live up to any of it. I was expecting a salacious, scandalous, juicy story but it fell flat. Not a single character was well-rounded or felt fully fleshed out, and I never understood why they did the things they did. I can sacrifice characters having literally any personality if they're doing messed up things or at the very least are remotely interesting. Unfortunately, I didn't get that either. I will say the second half of the book was a minor improvement on the first, but I wanted to DNF about halfway through. I'm definitely disappointed, as I had high hopes and was sure I was going to love this.
My Rating: 3.5 Stars! Mostly a fun read, imagining a royal family for America and getting an insider’s view of how truly human and flawed they are with their rather “unroyal” behavior behind closed doors and even in the eyes of their “people.” A bit of a soap opera, tangled webs of desire, duty and deceit abound as Katharine McGee takes us into the world of the AMERICAN ROYALS. From George Washington I to the current day George, there had always been a king, until now when Princess Beatrice is being groomed to be the first queen. As her younger brother and sister live their lives in her shadow, the family intrigue grows when hearts become entangled in affairs that can never be allowed. From the typical sibling squabbles to the fawning deceivers, who can be trusted? Some beautifully quirky and fun moments, some heart-wrenching moments and moments that will leave readers scratching their heads. This family is as real as any commoners, all while having to keep a regal public persona. I really enjoyed most of this tale, but the part of the conniving teen got to be a bit much, the nastiness too over the top and the hopes that love could conquer all too questionable for me. The cliffhanger at the end was definitely unexpected. A nice read, a fascinating concept, but maybe just a little too fluffy for me in parts that deserved more pages. I received a complimentary ARC edition from Random House Books for Young Readers! This is my honest and voluntary review.
My expectations for this book were a lot different than what I actually read. Unfortunately, it wasn't in a good way and I ended up not enjoying it as much as I thought I was going to. The plot is quite unique and one that hasn't been done before, as far as I know. Its one reason why I was intrigued by it. The book was more plot driven in my opinion and the characters seemed to lack because of this. The plot twists were obvious and didn't make me feel anything for the characters that were involved. I thought that there would be some type of political talk or something of that matter but the plot is really all about the drama. There are four point-of-views that this book follows: Beatrice, Samantha, Nina, and Daphne. There was nothing that really set them apart and I didn't find myself enjoying reading about them. There wasn't any character development and sometimes I can overlook this but since the plot didn't keep me interested it was just hard to get through it. Overall, I liked the idea for this book and the creativity of it but to me it was just lacking in certain areas. I am sure that others will enjoy it more than me so definitely check it out if it piques your interest! eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Have you ever binge watched a season of a completely addicting TV show (like Gossip Girl or The O.C.) and been hooked until the final credits roll? American Royals was the book equivalent of one of these teen dramas for me, with a delightful royal twist. With so many royalty themed book releases of late, McGee’s latest book is a standout addition filled with relatable characters, swoon-worthy romance, and of course, lots of drama! American Royals introduces an alternate version of America, in which George Washington became the country’s first monarch instead of the first President. McGee’s story begins years later, where we meet George’s royal descendants in this version of modern day America. Told from multiple POVs, American Royals intertwines the stories of Beatrice (the heir apparent), Samantha (the spare), Nina (the commoner), and Daphne (the social climber). As someone who often struggles with reading books with differing POVs, I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed the alternating narratives in American Royals. Beatrice’s chapters were easily the highlight of the book for me. The royal heir storyline is frequently told in today’s entertainment; however, McGee made Beatrice’s story feel fresh and emotionally authentic. Plus, her forbidden romance was hands down my favorite romantic storyline in the book. Based on the plot description, I went into American Royals expecting a quick, lighthearted read. This expectation could not be farther from the truth; the plotlines in McGee’s latest book were melodramatic enough to rival a soap opera, and at times, really packed an emotional punch. I was surprised to find myself reaching for my tissues several times, especially towards American Royals’ dramatic final pages. With Katharine McGee’s addictive writing, lovable cast of characters, and descriptions of snowy royal escapades, this book would be the perfect choice to read while snuggled up by the fire or to take on a winter getaway! My only critique is that it took me awhile to really embrace the concept of an American royal family based on the United States’ real-life foundation in democracy. In addition, at times, the royal customs of McGee’s American royalty felt too reminiscent of the British monarchy. That being said, I definitely cannot wait to get my hands on book two of the American Royals series. Okay, I’m off to watch The Princess Diaries: A Royal Engagement and Harry & Meghan for the millionth time!
I'm suffering a massive book hangover after finishing American Royals by Katharine McGee yesterday. American Royals reimagines an alt-history where George Washington becomes the first king of the U.S., rather than president, establishing house Washington as the reigning monarchy from the Revolutionary War to present time. Beatrice Washington is the eldest princess and poised to become America's first-ever reigning queen. Her younger siblings, twins Sam and Jefferson are allowed freedom and choice Beatrice has never been able to have as the heir. Sam sees herself as only the spare, with no purpose in life but to serve as the screw up in contrast to her perfect older sister. Jefferson is the nation's heartthrob, torn between two women vying for his attention. These characters are all ridiculously addictive and just plain fun to read. I was emotionally invested from chapter one and flew through this book. I dare you not to fall in love with House Washington. I need closure, Katharine McGee, and book two ASAP, please. Highly recommend for fans of romance and lots of teenage drama a la Gossip Girl.
This alternate American history where there is an actual American royal family was such a delightful and fast paced read. The characters were interesting and fleshed out. You really got to feel sympathy for them. The plots, while somewhat predictable, were still fun and kept me on the edge of my seat. I cannot wait for the next book in this series because I had so much fun with this book.
I have honestly never clicked request so fast on a book before. I love alternate takes on history, especially those that reimagine things in a more harmless way (yes, I'm shaming you over there Man in the High Castle). The whole idea of America having a monarchy is so weird to me and yet this book does it so well. There's a lot of nods to American history but they're tweaked a little to make a monarchy possible. I also loved all the nods to democracy that were both making fun of the monarchy but also our current democracy. The characterization in this one is stunning. I was startled that the first four chapters were from four different people and honestly I was about ready to throw in the towel, but I'm so glad I didn't. All of these women are strong voices to this narrative and their lives are interwoven. It was fun seeing how two characters reacted to the same thing or how the actions of one affected another. It was really important that we only got female points of view when this book is about the fictitious first queen of America. Not all of these characters are good or likable but they're all important and have real struggles. This book has a backdrop of romance and vying for boys hearts but it's about so much more. It's about learning to love and trust yourself, how to put your friends first and realize when you're being dense or a horrible friend. It's about female empowerment and what women face when they're in positions of power. It's about love and what you're willing to do for those you love. It's about family and duty. But above all else, it's about how to go on when everything is falling apart around you. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from Random House Books for Young Readers through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.*
What would American look like, if George Washington had been our first king instead of our first president? This was the very question Katharine McGee answered in her spectacular book, American Royals. Though technically a fantasy, this book feels contemporary as it is set in our current time in a slightly different America. In this America, Washington's descendants rule from their palace, and it was such a treat to spend time in their world. I was a HUGE fan of McGee's Thousandth Floor series, and was over the moon, when I heard she was writing a series featuring royals. Let me tell you, this book was everything I was hoping for and then some. I came here looking for more of the delicious drama that McGee had previously dazzled me with, and I was delighted to find an abundance of it. The story was told via four points of view • Beatrice - the first female heir to the throne, who was struggling with putting crown before self due to matters of the heart. • Samantha - the spare, who was being denied the one she wanted and living in the shadow of her sister. • Nina - Samantha's best friend, who got in over her head with her love match as she was not up to the challenges of navigating the royal world. • Daphne - the social climber, who was bent on getting her princess plan back on track. I have been known to laud books with low drama, but here, I found more was better. I loved the all the forbidden love, the sneaking around, the subterfuge, and the plotting, but the heart of this book, for me, was the characters and their struggles. I found each character to be fully formed, and loved that they were all really human and had flaws. They may have lived in a class way above me, but they were dealing with many of the same problems we do everyday, and I found them all very relatable and easy to like. Even the "villain" of the group was created in a way, that I was able to feel some sort of empathy for her. There were also many relationships examined throughout the story. We got into the family dynamics, the friendships, and the romantic relationships within this group, which are all a bit more complicated, when they were between a royal and commoner. A lot of the characters' dilemmas were related to trying to reconcile their modern beliefs with the archaic laws they were expected to follow. I have seen people call the ending "predictable", but I DON'T CARE! It was done with so much emotion and dramatic flair, I was shedding tears and wishing I had the next book on hand. If you are looking for a soapy and delicious drama stacked with fabulous characters -- look no further, because American Royals can deliver that with the bonus of an emotional punch.