by syaffolee

Short and Funny

The Royal Mess is MaryJanice Davidson‘s third Alaskan Royal book. It takes place in a parallel universe in which the author wondered: “What if Alaska was its own country, with a weirdo royal family?”

The Baranovs are the rulers of Alaska, down-to-earth tabloid magnets who are hilariously strange (fortunately, the funny ha-ha rather than the funny farm). However, the king is shaken up when out of nowhere, a bastard daughter writes a letter to him explaining who she is due to her dying mother’s last wish. Nicole Krenski only wrote the letter as a favor for her mother, but it is that very letter that propels her into the front of the cameras and into the royal family’s life. Nicole wants nothing to do with the royal family, but they insist that she live with them. To convince her, the king sends in one of the bodyguards, Jeffrey Rodinov, whose family has served the royal family for generations.

Davidson excels in the eccentric and does manage to add in some character development in her own odd style. Nicole is loyal to her mother’s memory and resentful of the interfering king who suddenly bursts into her life fully expecting her to accept him as her father quickly, if not immediately. She finds an odd ally with the youngest prince who is also a bastard–although no one wants to admit it. Jeffrey is somewhat more two-dimensional as most of the time, he oscillates between his attraction to Nicole and his sense of duty.

This is a fairly short book–a novella almost–and unless you’re a die-hard fan for this author, buying the trade paperback is probably not worth it. I like Davidson’s style–short, terse, and to the point. Plenty of sudden action and mouthy dialogue. However this gives short shrift to description and introspection which can really be a detriment at some points. It gives the impression that the interactions between the main characters are passionless, fueled by nothing more than a sugar high and an abnormal spike in hormones.