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Plot : 3/5
Characters : 4/5
Writing : 3/5

Genre : Historical Fiction, Young Adult

Date of Release: October 31st, 2019

Publishing House: Bloomsbury

“For one summer, they ruled the city…”

July, 1981. London. Shy, working-class Steven finds solace in beauty. Eighteen years old, he dreams of being a fashion designer. He’s also gay, maybe – he hasn’t decided yet. There’s a lot Steven isn’t sure about, like whether he hates himself or thinks he’s amazing.

When he ends up in hospital after being brutally attacked by his father, he meets Jasmine, an heiress. Intoxicating, anarchic, fabulous Jasmine. Fuelled by their shared love of fashion, a friendship blossoms and soon, Steven finds himself swept into her hedonistic world, wholly beguiled. However, underneath the glitter and the frivolity, darkness lies.

After reading this summary, I expected this book by Emma Royals to be yet another simple romance novel with a little focus on the issue of abuse as it’s sub plot, but set in early eighties instead. And as I have mentioned in my November Haul before, a book like Royals is a kind of book which I usually avoid as it falls out of my comfort zone.

However, it turned out to be something different altogether! The book is not just about a simple romance with your typical happy endings. The book deals with a great deal of various issues and topics ranging from physical abuse to social hierarchies.

The challenges faced by the characters even in the early eighties seemed pretty contemporary and relatable. The importance of relationships over materialistic things in this world is another aspect in this book which I really admired. Especially the parent children relationship. Like Jasmine and her father’s:

She had a lifetime supply of duty free, but to her it was irrefutable proof that he always remembered her, that she was always on his mind. Children are loyal to their parents and children are even more loyal to damaged parents.

The writing style seemed really clever and witty and it intrigued me a way more than I was expecting as the plot was not much interesting. The writing style, the characters and various sub-plots did help the main plot of the book come into light!

the lovely cover of my advanced reader’s copy! 😀

I would recommend this book to almost every reader who is looking for a not-so-common romance accompanied by gripping issues as well!

I would like to thank Bloomsbury India for sending an ARC in exchange of an honest review!

L I N K S  T O  B U Y:

Amazon IN




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