Monday, May 6, 2019

Review: Vampire Royals (Books #1-3)

A royal wedding is coming, but which contestant will be the bride?

Vampire Royals is a new teen paranormal romance series by Leigh Walker. The first three books include The Pageant, The Gala, and The Finale.

The Pageant is the first book in the Vampire Royals series. In a dystopian future, young women from every settlement in the land are being handpicked to enter The Pageant. Gwyneth West's social-climbing mother wants her to compete, but Gwyn isn't so sure... The Pageant is government-sponsored. If you're lucky enough to be chosen, participation is mandatory. And then there's the prize... Dallas Black, otherwise known as The Dark Prince, will propose to the winner. Dallas is the son of King Black, who won the last world war and governs the new settlements. The Royal Family is mysterious.. Rumor has it they avoid the sun. Rumor has it they're immortal. When Gwyn is thrust into The Pageant, she fights to survive the competitive nature of the other contestants. But even if she wins...can she survive a vampire fiancé?

The Gala is the second book in the Vampire Royals series. The pageant is four weeks long, and 20 contestants vie for the Crown Prince's attention. The Pageant is almost over, and Gwyneth West knows she can win—except the prince is a vampire, and some of the other contestants are turning out to be quite beastly. Struggling to hold onto her position in the palace, Gwyn knows her vampire prince could slip through her fingers in an instant. And when human rebels threaten to storm the vampire royals once more, Gwyn finds herself caught between two worlds: her people, and the vampire she loves.

The Finale is the third book in the Vampire Royals series. Gwyneth West is a finalist in The Pageant, the dating competition that’s gripping the settlements. Down to the final week, the dashing Prince Dallas Black will choose one young woman as his fiancĂ©. One small issue: Gwyneth’s a human and the prince is a vampire. What’s worse? Gwyneth’s family are sworn rebels, out to take back the settlements and overthrow the crown. What’s worse than that? Gwyn’s own rebel brother is a prisoner in the castle dungeons, but the king and queen don’t know his true identity. Gwyneth and Dallas want to show the settlements that vampires and humans can live together in peace. But as their differences threaten to tear them apart, Gwyneth discovers her love puts the prince at risk. How do you choose between love and duty?

Leigh Walker's Vampire Royals series is literally The Selection meets Twilight. I liked Gwyn as a character as she is torn between duty for her family and love as she falls for Dallas. The pacing was good, and the Gwyn became a formidable protagonist. This is not an easy task given her circumstances. Gwyn and Dallas also turned out to have good chemistry together, which is important because their relationship evolved naturally--it didn't feel forced despite the competition being about finding a future wife for the Crown Prince. Walker also added humorous elements to keep the story interesting (who knew I would be rooting for Eve to support Gwyn?). Overall, Vampire Royals was a good teen paranormal romance series that actually felt like an improvement over the original The Selection series. I look forward to future books by this new author. I also recommend the two subsequent books in the series that focus on one of the contestants in the pageant: Blake Kensington. Find out what adventures lie ahead for as she accepts the position of Goodwill Ambassador of the North.

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