Royal Watching and Royal Reading

by guest blogger Maya Rodale, author of smart and sassy romance novels

Fun fact: I was almost Mrs. Prince William and thus the future Queen of England. I had been accepted to St. Andrews University and would have been in the same year as both the prince and Kate Middleton, and was planning to attend except for the outrageous interference of my mother and The Incident Which Shall Not Be Discussed.

Had I gone, I do presume I would have snared the prince.

However, I did not attend St. Andrews, ALAS. Thus, I am not the future Queen of England—although I did end up married to a different tall, blonde Englishman who went to St. Andrews. I kid you not.

This is all on my mind because of a riveting novel I just read, A Royal Pain, by Megan Mulry. It’s a contemporary romance in a sharp, fresh voice featuring an intelligent and fiercely independent heroine. She loves books as much as a great handbag (which she buys for herself, thank you very much). When she’s not kicking ass at her job, the heroine adores tabloids, historical romances, and royal watching. You can see why I am fond of this heroine.

Naturally, she ends up falling in love with A Royal Duke and wonders if such a life may not be for her after all. Think of the freedom she’d give up, the constant attention, having to leave New York City and take up residence in a castle in England…. Thanks to some clever missed encounters and serendipitous second chances, all ends well.

Much has been said about young girls’ obsession with royalty, particularly princes. As young girls grow up and shed their belief in fairies, witches, and magic, our fascination with princes and dukes remains. Royalty is something that manages to exist in both fairy tales and real life. I still recall my shock and wonder when my mother pointed out that dukes and other aristos still walked the earth. I had thought they only existed in Regency romance novels.

So I loved A Royal Pain as a story that combined my favorite things from Regency romances and contemporary novels, such as a dashing duke who falls in love with a smart, independent heroine in cities I know and love. It’s fiction, but it so could be real….


Maya Rodale is the author of multiple historical romance novels, as well as the nonfiction book Dangerous Books for Girls: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels, Explained. She has a master’s degree from New York University and lives in Manhattan with her darling dog and a rogue of her own. Her latest book is Seducing Mr. Knightly. Learn more at



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11 Responses to Royal Watching and Royal Reading

  1. robin November 16, 2012 at 9:42 am #

    Lovely~but your Mother was right. Saint Andrews University is too far away 🙁

  2. Donna in Delaware November 17, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

    I’m sure that your mother had her reasons, but I would have gone for it! Sorry Maria. My mother did the same thing to me when I had the chance to study abroad for fashion design. To this day, I regret not going and putting my foot down. My mother did not have to pay for it anyway! She had not faith in my ability to make smart decisions for myself. I think that my life would have been much different(for the better) had I “stood my ground.” It doesn’t mean that I don’t have a very good life now with a wonderful man and nice home, but I wanted something just a bit different for myself. My life took a different turn, so here I am. I still yearn for that other thing though!

  3. maria (farm country kitchen) November 17, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

    I DID NOT INTERFERE!!!!! If I remember correctly she got off the train, took one look around and said something like…Not enough shopping in this town and decided ON HER OWN not to go. Although I am old and decrepit and probably have early onset dementia so I’m sure I am wrong and Maya is correct. Perhaps.

  4. maya rodale November 17, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

    FOR THE RECORD…I did not visit St. Andrews until a year later when I was miserable at my first school and planning to transfer. I ended up, finally at NYU, where I really wanted to go along but was told I was too tiny to handle. 10 YEARS IN THE CITY, KITTENS!

  5. maria (farm country kitchen) November 17, 2012 at 7:12 pm #

    it all works out in the end. But for the record it was MISS ALBERELLI who encouraged you not to apply to NYU.


  6. Amy Valentini November 19, 2012 at 12:55 pm #

    Ahhh, the comforting sound of mother/daughter love!
    I suspect this is one of those ‘depending on how it’s remember’ things but all that matters is that it turned out a happily-ever-after in the end. Right? xoxo
    Hope you both enjoy a Happy Thanksgiving.

  7. maya rodale November 19, 2012 at 8:52 pm #

    Amy, you are so diplomatic! But I’m totally right 🙂

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  8. Luz (Boone's Mom) November 28, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    Maya, enjoyed reading this review. I’m planning to download “Seducing Mr. Knightly” (i love historical novels) and “A Royal Pain” as soon as I get my new Kindle for my birthday.

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