Originally published: 18 October 2018
Author: Jeevani Charika
Published by: Bonnier Zaffre
Length: 424 pages
Reading dates: 9-13 November 2018
Today is my stop on the blog tour for Christmas at the Palace. Thanks to Imogen at Bonnier Zaffre for inviting me along.
Dr Kumari Senavaka, an A&E doctor of Sri Lankan heritage and Prince Benedict meet at a charity event and quickly fall for each other. To begin with, their romance is able to develop in secret with intimate dinners in fancy restaurants and time together at Ben’s Kensington apartment. But when the press find out the identity of Ben’s secret girlfriend, huge changes have to happen in Kamari’s life and as panic sets in, she has to decide if she can become the Princess Ben wants her to be.
There are lots of similarities between the real life romance of Meghan and Harry (she is divorced, does work with women’s charities; He was in the army, is a bit of a fun loving party animal and lost his mum at a young age). This is a lovely romantic story that delves into many of the Royal Families traditions and shows what has to happen if a commoner marries into the establishment. Kumari soon learns to handle the press, dress in the right way and present herself well in public but also has to make many sacrifices. It feels well researched and for someone who knew little about the etiquette and traditions in the Royal Family, this was eye opening. At the beginning of each chapter, is a news item, some of which are kind to Kumari, but many are not which reminds you how it must feel to have your every move scrutinised. Culminating with Christmas at Sandringham with the Queen and the rest of the Royal family, this is a light-hearted and magical read that leaves the reader feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.
If you like a pretty book, this one is definitely for you! It’s got a really lovely cover with gold lettering and tons of glitter (I know us serious book reviewers shouldn’t be swayed by a cover but it really is gorgeous!)
About the author:
Jeevani writes women’s fiction and contemporary romances with a hint of British cynicism. She also writes under the pen name Rhoda Baxter. So why the two names? Well… She is British Sri-Lankan and the first book she wrote was about a bunch of middle class Sri Lankan people. She couldn’t find a home for it. The next book she wrote was a rom com with white main characters in it. That found a publisher within a year. She chose to use a pen name for those books, for a variety of reasons, including the fact that her real name is difficult to spell and difficult to pronounce and marks her out as non-white.
She is a former scientist, a fan of Lego, an embarrassing mum, a part time geek (see ’embarrassing mum’) and a very short person.