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Her Royal Highness: 09/21/19
Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins is a follow up, side story to Royals. I'll be frank, and admit that I read Royals because I wanted to read Her Royal Highness.
In Royals, while Daisy is dealing with Seb, his equally wild twin sister is basically just mentioned as a comparison. If you think he's bad — just you wait until you meet Flora. With the exception of the wedding, Flora is basically not present.
So now we reset the clock to fall to see where Flora was and what she's been up to. But it's seen not from her point of view. Instead, like Royals we have an American girl for the protagonist.
Millie Quint lives in Texas but she's fascinated with Scotland. She's received news that she's been accepted to the first girls' class of the once all boy school in the highlands. She doesn't plan to go until her summer girl friend dumps her for her ex-boyfriend.
Millie and Flora's introduction happens on the first day of school. She's unpacking when Flora comes in. Flora's on the phone, having a heated discussion. Millie, frustrated, calls her roommate, Veruca Salt. It's only after that she learns her roommate is a Scottish princess.
In Hawkin's books, she's imagined an independent Scotland. There's a direct line from the Stuarts to the Bairds (Flora's family). This what if scenario gives Hawkins the freedom to make contemporary romance with royals without squeezing in a fictional country.
The romance blossoms after Millie manages to roll with whatever Flora throws at her. See, Flora's main goal is to get expelled and sent home to Hollyrood. It's only after she realizes that she's stuck at the school that she opens up to Millie.
The friendship and romance is organic and believable. The ending comes with an elaborate public display that reminds me of the ending of The Graduate, albeit in a very different setting.