Series Review: American Royals by Katharine McGee

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

American Royals Series


Synopsis for American Royals (from Goodreads):

What if America had a royal family?

When America won the Revolutionary War, its people offered General George Washington a crown. Two and a half centuries later, the House of Washington still sits on the throne.

As Princess Beatrice gets closer to becoming America’s first queen regnant, the duty she has embraced her entire life suddenly feels stifling.

Nobody cares about the spare except when she’s breaking the rules, so Princess Samantha doesn’t care much about anything, either . . . except the one boy who is distinctly off-limits to her.

And then there’s Samantha’s twin, Prince Jefferson. If he’d been born a generation earlier, he would have stood first in line for the throne, but the new laws of succession make him third. Most of America adores their devastatingly handsome prince . . . but two very different girls are vying to capture his heart.


SERIESous’ Top Picks: Fav 2020
Series: American Royals
Author: Katharine McGee
# of Books: 4 (Full Reading Order Here)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult / New Adult, Contemporary, Alternate History, Romance, Coming of Age
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: Third Person, Multiple
Publication Date: September 2019 – August 2023
Source & Format: Public Library–Audiobook


**This post was originally published as a Fresh Friday review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

Ever since the TV show The Royals abruptly ended, I’ve been going through modern royalty withdrawal. So when I saw that Katharine McGee’s next YA series was about royalty, I was stoked! I loved her debut series for so many reasons and I just knew she’d do the monarchy justice!

What I Liked:

–The Concept–

As a Canadian, I always find it so interesting that Americans seem to be somewhat obsessed with the British Monarchy despite their tension filled past. So this idea that there is still a monarchy in modern day USA is cool to watch unfold.

–Interwoven Relationships–

I think the plotline is pretty basic. I mean there isn’t a ton of stuff going on (and I think that perfectly reflects the saying “less is more”) but what is going on is amplified by the many ways things are linked together.

We follow 5 POVs throughout the story and while each person has their own struggles going on, they are somehow relate to someone else’s. And that adds this great tension to the story as you want to see what happens when the truth and the past comes up to catch everyone.

–The Romances–

I ADORED all the romances that happen or are alluded to throughout. It was so addicting to watch the various couples fall in love–even when they shouldn’t. So many great tropes at play!

What I Didn’t Like:

–Somewhat Predictable–

I think I had a good idea of how this was going to end after Chapter 2–it wasn’t hard to figure out but I’m not sure if it was supposed to be. And some other things seemed a little cliché but that really didn’t stop me from watching these characters react and navigate the various scenarios.

My Audiobook Experience:

Even though we only have one narrator for 5 people, the third person narration was easy to follow. Everyone had a distinct voice and the added emotion just amplified the story for me.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

I might have predicted the end but I have no idea what will happen next!

–July 9, 2021– Book #2: Majesty

I thought this was just as addicting as the first one. Things are getting messy and weaving together in intricate ways. I wish there were a few more twists but I can appreciate the time dedicated to growing all the characters.

–October 26, 2022– Book #0.5: Inheritance

This was a cute little novella that gives you a little insight into the party that seemed to be the turning-point for these characters prior to the start of the series. I can’t remember if it really gives anything away that is used as a twist in American Royals (#1). Perhaps read it after American Royals (#1) as a bonus.

–October 26, 2022– Book #3: Rivals

This was a solid sequel filled with lots of character development…but not a ton of revelations. You can tell this is setting up for a grand finale but I craved a little more “omg I need the next one right now!” moments.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciated watching these characters navigate their new realities and relationships; but I missed the flare the first two books had.

–April 27, 2024– Book #4: Reign

I enjoyed this book overall. It had the angst and antics I’ve come to enjoy from McGee’s novels. But I just felt like it didn’t reach the max potential it could have. I just wanted more OMG moments I think. However, in the same breath, I appreciate the attempt to ground these characters with real life consequences and outcomes.

This book for me just felt like the focus was on watching these characters have their epiphany of who they are supposed to be rather than twist after twist (and there were some good ones but there could have been more for sure). And I appreciated the character evolution we got here and that it wasn’t flawlessly done either. Which is why I think I was disappointed in the epilogue only answering some of my remaining questions and not others.



I swear we were going to learn Ethan was the byproduct of the King’s affair and I kept waiting for that shoe to drop…and it never did. I was disappointed by that.


My Rating: 4/5

American Royals 5/5 | Majesty 4/5 | Rivals 4/5 | Reign 3.5/5


If you love royalty and romances, this is a great one!

Read if You Like: royalty, contemporary romances, coming of age
Avoid if You: want lots of drama, want less romance


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