XOXperts Review: Royally Romanov by Teri Wilson
Title: Royally Romanov
Series: The Royals, #2
Author: Teri Wilson
Release Date: July 17, 2017
Publisher: Pocket Star
Source: XOXO After Dark
In this charming modern day retelling of the 1956 classic Anastasia, a museum curator falls for a mysterious man who may or may not be a long lost heir to Russia’s imperial Romanov dynasty.
Finley Abbot is organizing the most prestigious art exhibit of her career at the Louvre museum—a retrospective of art from the House of Romanov. But the sudden appearance of Maxim Romanov threatens to turn her into the biggest laughingstock of the art world. When she finds herself falling in love, she realizes there’s even more at stake than her career. How can she trust a man with her whole world when he can’t remember a thing about his past?
After suffering a violent blow to the head, Maxim’s only clue to his identity is a notebook containing carefully researched documentation in his own handwriting indicating that he is the sole surviving descendant of the Grand Duchess Anastasia, previously thought dead in the murder of her family during Russia’s Bolshevik revolution. His struggle to put the mysterious pieces of his past back together leads him to Finley. At first, she’s convinced Maxim is nothing but a con artist. But there’s something undeniably captivating about the beautiful, brooding man who claims to be searching for his identity—something Finley can’t quite bring herself to resist. When he reveals a secret about one of the imperial Fabergé eggs in the collection, she accepts he may actually be telling the truth. But as soon as Finley and Maxim act on their feelings for one another, Maxim is confronted with evidence that calls into question everything he’s begun to believe about himself.
This second book in The Royals series by Teri Wilson is a complete standalone for which I am grateful for. It’s also a retelling of sorts of Anastasia, which I had no information about prior to reading this. However, this book did make me want to check out everything having to do with her and her family.
The setting of this story is what automatically drew me in. I love books set in Paris, and I especially enjoy them when the author can transport the reader there with words. The descriptions of Paris were so beautiful and vivid that I felt like I was there. Add that location onto everything else this book had and it made for a lovely reading experience. It had a bit of suspense and mystery throughout, and of course history and romance. Such a great combination to have in this particular story. Like the main characters, Maxim and Finley, readers don’t know who Maxim is, how he ended up in the hospital, or what the fate of Finley’s gallery holds. It was all very intriguing having to piece things together alongside them.
I really liked the character of Finley who made quite an impression with her cautious and kind nature. She’s extremely intelligent and inventive, and her dedication to the art and Romanov family felt so authentic. She just seemed like a real, relatable character overall. Her and Maxim were a nice couple with an interesting push and pull, but intense connection. Their chemistry was quite steamier than I had expected it to be. Yet, there were some really sweet moments, as well, that added to this romantic story.
“Royally Romanov” was a pleasantly surprising, quick and enjoyable read. Though I was a tad bit disappointed that there was no epilogue; especially considering that the ending felt a bit rushed. I’m still looking forward to the third book in the series, Royally Wed, which is out in November!