Book: Cracked Kingdom
Series: The Royals, #5
Author: Erin Watt
Genre: New Adult Romance, Contemporary
My rating: ★★
These Royals will ruin you.
Ever since Hartley Wright met Easton Royal, her life hasn’t been the same. There are enemies behind every corner and dangers beyond each door. When tragedy strikes and steals her memories, she can’t trust anyone, not even the blue-eyed boy who promises her that everything will be all right.
Because while Hartley’s memory is full of gaps, her instincts tell her Easton is dangerous. She doesn’t know if he’s the snake in the garden or her chance at salvation. The chaos he brings wherever he goes is too much to handle, the intense feelings he evokes are too confusing to unravel.
Easton wants her to remember. Hartley thinks it’s better to forget.
She might be right.
Tragedy. Treachery. Trust. Hartley has to face the facts—in this world, you can’t escape the Royals.
Either you live by their rules or you die by them.
This review will contain spoilers from the previous four Royals books and spoilers for Cracked Kingdom. If you’re reading this review then I’m going to assume you already have background knowledge on this series because this is the fifth book in the series.
Do you have a guilty pleasure book? I don’t like the term “guilty pleasure”, but that’s basically what The Royals series is for me. If you’re into some trashy young adult romance, I recommend this series. Just be aware there is mature content and some pretty ridiculous scenarios. Think soap opera.
I was really excited to read some more about Easton Royal. He’s always been my favorite brother and, in my opinion, the most complex. While I’ve let so many things slide in the previous books, I think I am at the end of my rope with this series. It’s a shame because they were fun to read.
I’m just going to list all the things I had problems with because… yikes… there are many.
- The slut shaming and mean girls trope. We already dealt with this when Ella first arrived in the first book. Why is it back? It’s redundant and gross.
- Hartley and the “I’m so plain but you love me” trope.
- Quite possibly the lamest plot device of all: amnesia. That’s right, folks! Hartley gets amnesia after hitting her head. The mean girls feed her lies, she can’t trust anyone, and she basically never recovers. But she still finds it in herself to trust Easton. I can’t even.
- The sudden and weird physical assault on Hartley by Kyle. I don’t even know what the entire point of that scene was. It did not help the plot at all.
- Ella and Reed get married at the end. Just… what.
- The end wraps up so suddenly and all the “villains” magically disappear. How convenient.
- Hartley’s little sister telling the twins she’s going to marry them is really, really disturbing.
- I try to remind myself that not a lot of time has passed between all five books. So even though I expected Easton to mature by this point, he hasn’t. Other than finding the ability to fall in love and be monogamous, there’s very little character growth for Easton.
I don’t know, guys. It was all just a big mess. And I feel so horrible saying this because I used to enjoy this series so much. It may have been a dumpster fire, but it was MY dumpster fire. I hope book 5 is the end because if what was alluded at the end becomes the focus in the next book, I’m rage quitting.