June 11, 2017

BLOG TOUR REVIEW, EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: Royal Treatment (Royal Scandal #3)

This book... THIS SERIES. So. Amazing. Check out my review and an excerpt from this incredible story.

Royal Treatment (Royal Scandal #3), by Parker Swift
Publish Date:
June 11, 2017
Publisher: Forever Romance
Format: e-ARC, provided by the publisher
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating: 5 STARS

(Synopsis) All this duke needs is his duchess... 

For five blissful months I've been engaged to Dylan Hale, the most handsome, commanding, and wickedly sexy duke in England. For five months I've woken up next to the man I love, indulged in secret trysts, and submitted to every delicious desire. Even better? We've managed to keep it hidden from everyone. That means no paparazzi scandals, no snide comments from Dylan's mother, and no harsh public scrutiny. It's been heaven, but with Dylan's royal responsibilities looming, our time alone is running out. And while I can't wait to be Dylan's wife, I'm terrified that becoming Dylan's duchess might mean losing myself.

Royal Treatment had absolutely everything I love in an amazing book - an epic romance, royalty, super sexy times and some good drama. Not only that, but this book concluded a trilogy, and Parker Swift did so in perfect fashion. Seriously - I couldn't have asked for a better finale to Dylan and Lydia's story.

One would think that Dylan and Lydia have made it through the worst and that, since they're now happily (but secretly) engaged, it should be smooth sailing for them from here on out. I'm glad that's not the case. Don't get me wrong - these two have been through the ringer and totally deserve that elusive HEA. But, it wouldn't be a good story without one more bump in the road, right?

Lydia wants to continue keeping their engagement a secret. For five months, Dylan has given in to her desires, because part of him likes that he still gets her all to himself too. But, after months of attending parties and functions alone and fending off his mother's machinations and the grabby hands of all the socialites, he's getting sick of it. Lydia's perfectly happy remaining in the shadows and continuing to work for Hannah, but eventually she too has an epiphany about going public about their engagement. Unfortunately, she and Dylan just can't seem to get on the same page at the same time about it.

Royal Treatment takes Lydia full circle as she returns to her old stomping grounds of New York City. I loved that feeling of completion in regards to her journey. Two books ago, she started in New York following her father's death. She set out for London on a new adventure, and Dylan has given her that in spades. Now, she's back, but she's different. Her time in London and with Dylan has changed her. That felt right. There's no way she could've gone through everything she's gone through and not come out the other side different. I think Lydia expected New York to feel and look the same, and I was glad when it didn't. I like her in London. It seems she does too.

It was also good to see that, even though Dylan and Lydia are committed to each other and love each other very much, that doesn't mean that they won't fight. They won't always agree and they won't always be on the same page. Their path isn't automatically made smooth just because they decided to get married. There are bumps in the road in Royal Treatment resulting from Lydia's job, Dylan's mother and the sticky situation in which he finds himself thanks to his horrible father. And their ultimate HEA lies beyond them as long as they can work through it together.

Royal Treatment is told in dual POV. Dylan's parts are my absolute favorite. I love hearing how much he loves his woman. Parker Swift knows how to do romance. She also knows how to do sweaty, steamy sexiness. My favorite kind. I absolutely loved this entire series, and a lot of that has to do with the fact that the series ended so perfectly. It was incredibly satisfying and book hangover inducing. That's a good thing.

For the past five months, I’d taken my mission to heart: Put yourself first. Enjoy the freedom of life out of the spotlight. Get your career off the ground before it competes with running an ancient estate and being on your husband’s arm.

For five months, I’d said yes to all things. Late nights dancing with Fiona and Josh. Girlie nights with Emily. Paris for Fashion Week. Long runs in the park by myself without paparazzi trailing me. Late nights working on the launch of Fiona’s online store. Dylan and I had kept our relationship low profile so that I could do all those things, so I wouldn’t get sucked into the aristocratic machine, so I could move freely and make choices without fear of how it would look or who would be watching. And it had been great. It did feel freeing, like I’d been slipping into a version of adulthood I’d always been waiting for, figuring out who I wanted to be in the world, taking a deep breath while I thought about the reality of being a duchess. But no matter what I did, I was always happy to go home to Dylan, to find him there, to let him find me there. Nothing had changed in that regard—I wanted to be with him.

I had figured I’d wake up one day and just know, now’s the time. And on that day I’d replace soon with yes. We’d make a big announcement, open the door, I’d officially be Dylan’s fiancĂ©e and soon after his wife, with everything that came with it. But that aha moment hadn’t happened yet, and now there was this. This decision, going to New York for six months, would change everything. If I said no to Hannah’s offer and stayed in London, I knew that, in some plates-shifting kind of way, it meant that I was ready to say yes to Dylan, to all of this, to everything he was asking for. But if I said yes to Hannah, to effectively leaving behind everything I’d built in London for a half a year in New York, my long engagement would be longer than I’d ever really wanted it to be.

With each block I passed through, my mind changed, I swayed back and forth. Yes, I’d go to New York for six months. No, I’d stay in London with Dylan. Yes. No. Yes. No. It felt like everything was pitted against one another. London versus New York. My career versus my relationship. My present versus my future.

I was swimming so feverishly in my own mind, my heels clacking on the pavement, my bag swinging against my hip, that didn’t realize I was standing in front of our house.

Our house.

I hadn’t walked to the store. I’d walked home.

As I looked in the window, I could see Dylan in the library on the ground floor. It looked like he was searching for a book, his arm stretched up to one of the higher shelves. He’d been working on a restoration recently and had been researching like a madman. He was wearing jeans and a T-shirt that fitted his muscular frame perfectly. His hair was tousled, uneven from running his fingers through it. He looked at the book in his hands and then stared into the room, thinking. I knew that in a moment he would begin absent-mindedly spinning the pencil in his hand, tapping it against his shoulder, deep in thought. I knew, without looking, that his feet would be bare. I knew there was probably a half-consumed cup of tea on a stool by his drafting table. I knew him.

The beauty I saw when I looked through that window made my chest tighten. I was looking into a home that had become mine, ours. I was looking at my future.

Parker Swift grew up in Providence, Rhode Island, and then grew up again in New York, London, and Minneapolis and currently lives in Connecticut. She has spent most of her adult life examining romantic relationships in an academic lab as a professor of social psychology. Now, she's exploring the romantic lives of her fictional characters in the pages of her books. When she's not writing, she spends her time with her bearded nautical husband and being told not to sing along to pop music in the car by her two sons.

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