Review: Rivals by Katharine McGee

The long awaited third book in the American Royals series released in 2022, almost two years after the last book. A lot is changing for Beatrice, Samantha, Nina and Daphne and the four of them are facing new challenges.

Beatrice is Queen and getting ready for a conference with most of the world’s monarchs, which will take place in California. This is first time attending a major world event as the Queen of the United States and she’s not sure if she’s ready.

Samantha is attending the conference as well, with her gorgeous boyfriend Lord Marshall on her arm. But everything isn’t sunshine and rainbows with these two because of his family obligations. While they love each other, they’re not sure if their relationship can last.

Daphne thought her life was finally coming together. She’s dating Jefferson again and she’s about to start college. But when her mom says they’re broke and Daphne has to postpone school, she feels like she completely lost control of her life.

On the other hand, Nina might lose her financial aid, where she could no longer afford college. It’s because her friendship with Jefferson led her to a new enemy: Gabriella Madison. The new enemy gives Nina an unlikely ally, who she has more in common with than she ever expected.

Can these women figure out how to navigate the new challenges in their lives, or will they end things with more drama than ever before?

We’re happy to say that Rivals did not disappoint and was worth the wait. It did takes us a little while to get back into the story since we forgot some of what happened in Majesty. Once we did get going, we found the book hard to put down.

One aspect we always loved was the world building. Alternate history is such a fun genre and it’s cool to see how the United States would have looked if George Washington accepted a crown. TBH, we wouldn’t want to live in this world…but it’s fun to read about.

For Beatrice, we liked seeing more of her fun side as she became close with other monarchs and young adults in line for the throne. These friendships take her on a journey to Versailles as well. The downside is that her relationship with Teddy lacked any spark in the book, leaving us questioning if they’re meant to be. Maybe a return from Connor in the future?

As for Sam, she showed a lot more maturity and we loved seeing her open up to her older sister. Sam had the opposite problem, she and Marshall have amazing chemistry. It’s just his family doesn’t approve of her. Sam’s choices at the end were a bit of a shock and we totally understand why she needed to make her own life decisions.

Daphne almost won us over, almost! We tried to find the good in her and did feel bad about the pressure from her social-climbing parents. Still, she has to ruin everything by always believing the worst in people. We hope she finds her happiness, which clearly isn’t with Jeff.

Now for Nina, we liked her from the start. She balanced being a middle class commoner, while being best friends with Sam. It’s hard to be in the spotlight when you only want to have some privacy. We still think Nina and Jeff could be endgame, but we appreciated that Nina wouldn’t go their because of Daphne. Nina gave Daphne so many chances and it was fun watching them try to take someone down together. Too bad it seems to be a short-lived friendship.

Rivals left us with multiple cliffhangers as we eagerly anticipate book four in the series. Too bad we don’t have a cover or description yet. The only thing we want more of us is romance. We can’t wait to see which couples are endgame. Overall, we had a lot of fun with the third American Royals installment.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5/⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Published by I'm All Booked Up YA

We write recommendations and reviews for YA books.

24 thoughts on “Review: Rivals by Katharine McGee

  1. I haven’t heard of this book before or author but it sounds interesting. I like to read book reviews as I usually stick to the same genre and authors. Thank you for sharing your honest thoughts.

    Lauren – bournemouthgirl

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad to hear you enjoyed this one. I really enjoyed American Royals, but I didn’t love the direction Majesty took. I’m hoping I’ll feel better after reading this one.

    Like

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