Romance book review for American Royalty

Book review for American Royalty by Tracey Livesay

I try to read a good variety of non-fiction, children’s, and fiction with genre fiction each year, and summer always seems to be a great time to dig into my Romance TBR pile. Maybe it’s the heat that puts me in the mood? 😉

My most recent Romance read this summer is Tracey Livesay’s latest, American Royalty. I truly had a wonderful time reading this contemporary Romance and even had the pleasure of meeting Tracey at ApollyCon 2022 to say hello and get my copy signed. Tracey is extremely personable and supportive of other Romance writers.


American Royalty is the story of Dani, worldwide celebrity rapper and entrepreneur (stage name “Duchess”), and England’s Prince Jameson, Duke of Wessex. It is told by alternating Dani and Jameson POVs, and is third-person limited, past tense.

Dani is laser focused on her professional career and making sure she is in control of her own future when an invitation to perform at a celebration honoring a late English royal pops up. It seems to be the perfect PR opportunity to distance herself from a one-sided celebrity feud with a copycat wannabe. Prince Jameson, on the other hand, has been enjoying minimal public attention as a royal while following his own passion for teaching university-level philosophy. Appointed by his grandmother, the Queen, Jameson suddenly becomes the royal face in charge of his late-grandfather’s celebration.

Dani and Jameson are thrown together when Dani’s early arrival in England (in an effort to enjoy her first vacation in… forever) puts her on Jameson’s estate. Away from the public scrutiny and paparazzi, this forced proximity leads to them blowing off sexual steam. While their relationship develops in this secluded country setting, things get complicated when Dani and Jameson need to start showing up in public as their celebrity selves to support the week-long celebration.

The Queen doesn’t approve of Dani, but Jameson is falling for her. Can Jameson withstand the pressure from his royal family and the expectations they put on him? Dani won’t lose her shot to secure a future for herself, on her own terms, but she’s attracted to a man whose family dictates terms to everyone. Can Dani garner enough good press, avoid being baited by a rival singer, and walk away from something that clearly isn’t a fling?


  • One thing I really enjoyed about the writing was the incredible one-liners. So many of them were generously given to Dani. The one that will be sticking in my head for all time comes right after Jameson discovers a huge mess Dani made in his kitchen. He’s grumpy as hell about it. Speaking with her friend, Dani says, “And that muscle in his jaw started ticking like the turn signal on an old Chevy!” (page 135).
  • I saw a few complaints online about how long, in Romance terms, it took for our main characters to actually meet. I admit, as I was reading, I started wondering the same thing. However, after finishing the book, I feel like those initial chapters did a lot of work to set up what Dani and Jameson’s “normal” life looked like, the things they were passionate about, the issues they were facing, and essentially everything that could be lost/would need to change if they were going to become a couple. It might have been a bit “off formula” for a Romance novel, but it allowed me to focus on the stakes and their relationship later on. Plus, they are two wildly interesting individuals, so following them around for a few chapters was enjoyable.
  • Dani has some wonderful women in her life. Nyla and Bennie are powerful women looking out for their friend. Even Louisa is someone I wouldn’t want to cross. I enjoyed seeing these women, and Dani, sparkling in their kindness, their strength, and their badass abilities.
  • I feel like most anyone reading this novel in 2022 is going to be able to catch bits and pieces of what has been in our own tabloids or social feeds these past few years. While the Prince Harry and Meghan Markle story comes to mind immediately, I bet you’ll find even more snippets and stories that resonate with you. I bring this up because I think American Royalty does a really wonderful job of capturing tidbits of our society relevant now (e.g., celebrity feuds, social media trolls, event ticket prices being inaccessible to the communities where it is taking place/supposed to be celebrating, etc.). It’s one of those books that we could hold up in 100 years and draw direct lines between what was in the media to what is in the book.


Tropes that regular Romance readers will recognize include celebrity and royalty romance, opposites attract, some fish-out-of-water vibes, and while it’s not the only one bed trope, it is the only one building (dude lives on an ESTATE). Therefore, it’s more along the lines of forced proximity.


As you may or may not know about me, my spice palate is a bit skewed–it takes quite a bit of heat for me to say something is spicy. Because of this, I’d put this book around a 3 out of 5 (where 1 is heat happening off the page/behind closed doors and 5 is where my eyes are burning). There is enough happening on the page here, more than one sex scene, and a touch of dirty talk thrown in, causing me to put it at a 3. But there isn’t anything so surprising or uniquely-novel in these scenes that it isn’t the type of spice I’ve read before. Sometimes, one of these scenes gets going and the conclusion happens off page. Hence the 3 out of 5.

I’m recommending Romance readers give this one a try and to enjoy all the quips, lucious visuals, and the fun fantasy of this story. It’s my favorite summer read so far and one of my top five books this year. Click here to purchase the book.

Happy reading!