Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown by Anne Glenconner

52105595._SX318_SY475_My mom recommended this book to me, but I couldn’t get into the first time I checked it out of the library. This time I was able to finish it in about a week, which was nice. It’s an engaging read, even if it’s not really about what I thought.

This is a memoir of Anne Glenconner and her whole life, not just her life at a Lady in Waiting to Princess Margaret. She’s definitely led a crazy life, even for someone with her means and opportunity, but you have to get about 50% of the way through her reminiscences before you get to the title information. And even then, it’s not very juicy or very interesting. Princess Margaret was always very lovely, polite, and engaging. Though given that Ms. Glenconner and Her Majesty are still alive, it’s only polite to speak of the princess in that way.

I really enjoyed reading about her experiences during WWII, as a student at boarding school outside London. Even the richy riches had to have school in the basement to avoid the doodlebug bombs that would fall over England during the Blitz. She also had a lot of tragedy in her life, losing two of her five children as adults. I wish there were more photos included (though I’m happy to see that the ebook had any photos at all) as it was nice to finally see some of the things that had been described.

I’m not entirely sure why this is a bestseller, though it is a very nice read. But I think I’m back to silly fiction for now.

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

22875451I know I’m a few years too late on this one, but after the JAM session girls talked about the sequel that came out today (they got previews), I realized I need to actually read this one. I’ve never been a Fug Girls devotee, but this book was designed to hit all my buttons – American girl meets cute boy during study abroad and it turns out he’s Prince William Nicholas of the UK. As many people have described, it’s Will&Kate fanfiction, which I wouldn’t have appreciated so soon after their wedding, but now nearly a decade on, is kinda fun. Especially since it’s a little more Harry and Meghan than Will and Kate than we even knew.

This book is way longer than I expected with many more twists and turns (it’s divided into four sections), but it’s still a page turner. I do kind of like where it ends up in that we don’t really know how it ends up. Bex, our heroine, is messier than Kate or Meghan was ever allowed to be, but that’s the fiction part, I suppose. It’ll be ages before I can get the sequel, which is apparently about more than the title suggests, but it’ll be worth the wait.

Princess Elizabeth’s Spy by Susan Elia MacNeal

As per usual, I’m behind on my catch-up plan for reading all 24 books this year, but I’m ahead of last year, so I KPO (as Maggie Hope would say!).

13330549I liked this mystery a lot better than the first book, and I don’t think it’s just because it features royals. It started out a little tiresome with yet MORE secrets being kept from our heroine and some “all-knowing” man thinking it’s for the best to keep her in the dark, but hopefully, we’ve reached the end of Maggie’s crazy family secrets and she can now just do her awesome job.

It was fun to see “behind the scenes” at the British version of “The Farm” (which I mainly know about because of watching Covert Affairs!) in the 1940s, even if Maggie was NOT having a good time there. Loved how she got placed at Windsor Castle (and having been there, it was fun to be able to really picture it as described) and got to know the little Princesses. Maggie’s spycraft leaves a little to be desired, but it did feel more realistic that she didn’t always know the right clues to follow.

There was a LOT of off-stage romance that left me a little cold; we return to Maggie’s story with John having proposed to her after he’s joined the RAF, she says no because she’s mad he joined up and then his plane is shot down over Germany. “Missing, presumed dead.” Obviously, no one seems to stay dead in these books, but since it didn’t really feel like she liked him all that much, much less loved him in the first book, it felt odd to have her pining over his marriage proposal for much of the book. She had a LOT more chemistry with her handler, Hugh, and their romance seemed to develop more organically. Of course, nothing can be easy in this universe, so I foresee some major complications ahead, but I’m rooting for Maggie and Hugh!

To Marry a Prince by Sophie Page

10415290This is another book that I picked up while in London back in March. I think I saw it on Katia’s blog and I’m a sucker for the “regular girl falls for a secret prince” genre of fiction. (Don’t even get me started on the Hallmark Channel Christmas movies of this genre – I LOVE THEM ALL!)

This book creates a fictional British royal family, which I think is brave as usually fiction in this genre like to make up a tiny European principality with a secret royal. You can forgive the heroine for not knowing who the crown prince of Castlebury or whatever because it’s smaller than Luxembourg or whatever. But our heroine has spent the last year living on an island counting fish, so of course she doesn’t recognize the Prince of Wales (what her excuse for not recognizing the heir to the throne of the country she’s lived in all before that, I don’t know, but whatever).

We follow Bella’s relationship with Prince Richard from meetcute (complete with clumsy!heroine and a forgotten phone!) to dating in secret to the public finding and beyond. It’s a world with Twitter, bloggers and smartphones, but it doesn’t really feel like today’s world either. The Prince is rarely cross and Bella is the breath of fresh air the monarchy needs. It feels a lot like The Prince and Me, but with the secret Prince being found out in the first 20 minutes.

It’s a quick read, and I really couldn’t put it down, but it’s not terribly original either. It’s just as advertised and I can’t fault it for that.

A Royal Flush by Rhys Bowen

5981169I finally finished this book at the laundromat today. It was actually a pretty quick read, but I just never seem to have the time to sit down and read it.

It’s another edition of the saga of Lady Georgiana Rannoch, 34th in line for the throne and perpetually penniless. This part’s adventures are set in motion after Georgie decides to advertise herself as an escort in the paper, though she’s totally on the up and up. Scotland Yard capitalizes on this faux pas and whisks her back to Scotland, where someone seems to be trying to off the royals while they are vacationing at Balmoral. Additionally, Georgie makes the acquaintance of Ronnie Padgett, lady pilot and adventurer, who is trying to set a speed record.

The mystery is actually enthralling and I didn’t have an inkling about what was going on until the last 20 pages or so, which was quite nice. I’ll be taking a break from this series while I catch up on some other books, but I’ll be looking forward to the next one for sure!