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Ratings & Reviews for

The Princess Affair

5 stars
597 (30%)
4 stars
792 (40%)
3 stars
435 (22%)
2 stars
117 (5%)
1 star
33 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 171 reviews
Profile Image for Diane Wallace.
1,151 reviews62 followers
October 9, 2017
Good read! nice rom com story...likable characters with good storytelling
Profile Image for Agirlcandream.
686 reviews4 followers
November 6, 2015
A modern fairy tale, one I could relate to for a change. Just what I needed to escape the stresses of every day life.
Beautifully written, (yes there are big words, get over yourselves people) and easy to imagine. Great escapist fare.

I read The Princess Affair after reading Nell Stark's The Princess and the Prix, my first read of Stark's work. I needed another fix of compelling story telling.
Profile Image for Pam Holzner.
676 reviews45 followers
November 21, 2019
I liked this first Princess story by Stark quite a bit. It starts off a bit slowly but hits all the required emotional points. The princess has a nice story arc. Kerry, the other heroine, has less of one -- most of her struggles are in the past .
Profile Image for Lauren.
60 reviews24 followers
June 8, 2017
Going into this book knowing the premise, I was really just looking for something entertaining and fluffy. But what I found was that it really lacked the refinement it would've needed to carry itself.

I wasn't expecting a life-changing work of literature, but what really disappointed me about the book was the rambling, directionless pace of the plot and the lazy writing that defined the characters. The main characters each feel like a self-insertion of the author with the added ingredients of some stereotypical traits to make them feel different from each other, whereas the secondary/minor characters are so one dimensional they feel straight out of a mid-2000s disney channel original movie.

I think this book could have been entertaining, but what it really needed was an overhaul in the editing department. The plot felt like an updated-bi-weekly fanfiction where the author has no real plan, and doesn't do any refining after the fact. The characters were, as I said, written like they were blanks being filled in. For a plot as ludicrous as this to work, it would've needed to be carried by its characters. If they had been rendered into interesting people we didn't know at first glance, there would've been more room to grow to like them, and then the otherwise goofy plot line would've been pushed forward by those pivotal romantic scenes: as it was, the characters didn't really stir anything up in me, so I found myself just getting through one scene in order to get to the next and see if it was going to improve.

The narration was wordy in an unnecessary sort of way: the phrases were clunky, as Stark consistently chose the most impressive word for what she meant, instead of the best one for the job. It was distracting, and it felt weirdly pretentious, especially for such a ludicrous romance novel.

The thing I liked about the book was Sasha's main conflict, to do with her dyslexia. But a lot of the pivotal scenes in that plot line were overly formulaic: she's miserable so she's wallowing and watching movies in the dark. It had that distinct sound to it of being rewritten, a new incarnation born from a thousand scenes just like it. A too-literal interpretation of "write what you know." That was maybe what made the plot line so rambling: it was a series of scenes we've seen before in other forms, led by characters we've seen before, connected by meandering segues.

In order for this story to work (and I think it could've) there needs to a be a suspension of disbelief: and in order for it to have that, it would need to be driven by expertly crafted characters, the sort we'd care so much about that we'd forgive and be able to enjoy the unbelievable premise. I think it gets close, with Sasha's dyslexia and anxiety pitted against her natural talent for public relations. That was an interesting facet to her character. Unfortunately, it was the only unpredictable thing in the entire book. Sasha's best friend is every character Ashley Tisdale played in the mid-2000s, and her bodyguard is a gay version of Joe from the Princess Diaries. Kerry's traditional-conservative-family background is a conflict we've seen too many times in lesbian characters to be very interested in without a twist, and she doesn't seem to have a lot of personality outside her feelings for Sasha and her love for running. She has the stereotypical gay-best-friend who says "oh my god, tell me everything!!" at least five times in the book. Sasha's dad is a typical looming patriarch filled with disdain for his daughter for being different. His character works pretty well, but after so many predictable ones you start feeling starved for something out of the ordinary to spice things up.

This book feels like a rough draft. There are scenes, dialogues, and entire characters that feel like they're just filling in the blanks with the first, most obvious solution that came to mind. I wasn't able to get past that to enjoy the fluffiness of it, because it just didn't get me to the point where I achieved that suspense of disbelief that it needed, and it didn't keep me interested.

To return to my mid-2000s Disney Channel Original Movie point, one thought that came to mind as I was reading this is that it's like the novel version of that song the hologram wrote in Pixel Perfect: for those that haven't seen it (everyone outside the ages of 20-25) the hologram is this computer program girl who is semi-sentient, and she wrote a song that is just made up of lines from other songs, rearranged into an order that sort of makes sense; she herself is the same thing, this composite of attractive features of other girls, all put together into something that seems pleasing but lacks originality or authenticity, and it can't really stand up to scrutiny. That is what this book is like.
Profile Image for Linda.
701 reviews86 followers
August 30, 2018
An entertaining read. Love story with MCs coming from 2 very different world - Sasha a dyslexic princess who is always in the news for her wild partying and Kerry a commoner who also happened to be a Rhodes Scholar. They met in a club, were very much attracted with each other and romance eventually blossomed between the 2. The story then take off from there on how Sasha and Kerry tried to continue their romance under the scrutiny of the media and pressure of monarchy.

Ratings - 4.25 ⭐️
Profile Image for Luce.
521 reviews
April 20, 2017
3.5 Stars rounded up to 4 Stars for the Audiobook.

It was slow in the beginning that about 20% into it I stopped listening. I picked it up again and felt I stopped too soon and should have kept going. Or maybe I needed a break because I was bored at the time? Nevertheless, I enjoyed it much more when I started listening again and finished it relatively quickly.

Sasha (The Princess) and second in line for the throne, was a bit exasperating - at times she was strong and stubborn, but most of the time she was weak. But not many could continually stand up to her father, the King who believed her dyslexia could be overcome if she just concentrated and because it was hidden from the public, they thought she was an airhead (which she wasn't) and a player (which she was). So with her low self-esteem she rebelled, acting the spoiled princess - until she meets an American, Kerry - a current Rhodes scholar. There is the romance, angst and a public outing at the worst time for the royal family.

The narrator was just OK. A few times, the audio was uneven - almost like she re-dubbed a line here and there. Not terrible, and not a big deal but I noticed.
Profile Image for Kexx.
1,760 reviews59 followers
July 8, 2021
Certainly a fairy story - but it's the sort of thing I love so a big UP from me. Read the back covers of the follow-up books and thought WTF! But might try them later...
Profile Image for Amanda.
344 reviews9 followers
August 6, 2018
Picked this book up as a BSB daily bargain. I typically enjoy Starks's books but this wasn't a favorite. It started out slow, and by the end I was more into the story but not crazy excited to run out and purchase book 2. I will finish the series at some point but I am in no rush. The characters were okay, but nothing spectacular. Several times I would have given up on Sasha, princess royal or not. I didn't rush through the book, and actually started another while still reading this one. For me that is never a great sign. If you are a fan of Stark or royal romances you should pick it up, you may enjoy it more than I did. It wasn't bad, but perhaps I expected too much based on how much I enjoyed the author's previous works. Fingers crossed I enjoy book 2 more.
Profile Image for F..
311 reviews10 followers
December 28, 2018
A romance involving a fictional British princess of a fictional British royal family but set in actual Britain. I think your enjoyment of this book will depend crucially on lack of knowledge of Britain, British society and the monarchy....
An American working class Rhodes scholar and a dyslexic wild child British Princess fall in lust in a club. From there on in we have a number of set pieces leading to a fairy tale ending.

I found it increasingly impossible to suspend belief in this story. It’s a kind of sweet romance. But upper class Brits don’t talk or behave this way. Sorry.

Overall, a very well-written, but weak-plotted, romance with not very believable characters. Read if you’re not British. Or if you are and willing to turn off the bollocks-alarm... A perfectly relaxing read.
Profile Image for C. Mack.
Author 2 books18 followers
April 1, 2017
I half read and half listened to this novel. Overall I enjoyed the story but I may have liked it better if I read it all first. Being British I found the narration stereotypical, irritating and off putting and it shaped how I viewed the characters despite my attempts to avoid it. Overall a fair read but I won't be re-reading, I found it to be a little shallow, quite easy to predict and lacking a bit of 'umph' as we like to say here in Yorkshire!
Profile Image for laurel [the suspected bibliophile].
1,501 reviews445 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
July 16, 2023
DNF at 4%

Writing style was not doing it for me. Also, Sasha's BFF was making some catty comments about the swimsuit models, Sasha asked if she was talking about women or horses, and BFF asked Sasha why Sasha was so cruel.
Profile Image for Bonnie.
369 reviews6 followers
November 3, 2016
3.5 star rating: it took me a little while to warm to the characters, & I thought the scenarios were just a bit too staged to be believable, but I did end up enjoying this romance.
481 reviews4 followers
September 4, 2017
I am not much of a follower of royalty, so I wasn't sure I would like this. However, I enjoyed the locations and the characters were very likable.
Profile Image for Kate.
834 reviews100 followers
April 17, 2021
3.5 stars

This was a good read, and the lesbian romance with royalty trope held a lot of promise. I'd say the story didn't quite deliver on all accounts or hit all the marks for me, but it was still pretty damn enjoyable.

What I liked:

✔ cute, witty banter between the main characters, Sasha and Kerry

✔ Kerry's friendship with Harrison

✔ smut steam levels 🔥🔥🔥

✔ just the right amount of angst

One thing I didn't care for was the pacing, because the story definitely dragged on for me around the middle there, until the angst kicked in.

So overall I'd rec this as an enjoyable, de-stressing read, although personally for me it missed a little something to make it into a great read. I'm definitely going to check more of Nell Stark's books though.

Trigger warning: homophobia, ableism, homophobic slurs (used by media/paparazzi)
583 reviews14 followers
December 10, 2018
This book was a pleasant surprise. Good story line, good chemistry between the MC's and just the right amount of angst. 4.25 stars
Profile Image for D. Leigh.
Author 26 books196 followers
March 6, 2013
After an intense paranormal series, Nell Stark returns with a sweet journey that is everything you want in a romance -- characters you fall in love with and worry over, and a happy ending. The icing is a wonderful American peek into the U.K.

If you are a sucker for romance -- and I am -- you'll enjoy this tale.
Profile Image for Ty.
264 reviews19 followers
January 6, 2018
Well this was kind of delightful. The characters were sweet and interesting and likable. The plot moved well, and the hurdles they faced felt natural to the progression of the story. This was a nice fairytale romance.
Profile Image for Skye Kilaen.
Author 14 books318 followers
Shelved as 'no-thank-you'
April 3, 2018
I seem to be more sensitive to this kind of thing than the average reader, but I'm not comfortable with the implications of this:

"If [Sasha] pushed just the slightest bit harder, Kerry would surrender. The temptation was strong, but if she gave in, then she would be resorting to a kind of coercion. Sasha had to be manipulative enough in her dealings with her father and the public. She didn't want - or need - to coerce her lovers, too."

I've seen it before in other books, but I am uncomfortable with a character specifically pointing out that they have enough willing partners that they don't *need* to manipulate / force someone to sleep with them. It gives me this ick feeling that if the situation was different, they might then "need" to?

I'm sure that's not what the author intended, but once it's hit me that way, it leave a bad taste in my mouth.
Profile Image for Angie.
429 reviews26 followers
April 15, 2022
The Princess Affair was such a wonderful surprise. This is the royal romance I had hoped to find in Red, White & Royal Blue but didn't, so I'm more than happy that I found this novel.

Okay, so any novel where a British royal is paired with a commoner or any American is going to require a lot of suspension of disbelief, and that's definitely required here and it's honestly not very natural for me to do, but a good writer will make it happen, and Nell Stark deserves kudos for managing to do just that. Because in this novel, we have Princess Alexandra, aka Sasha, who's second in line to the British throne and Kerry Donovan, an Irish-American Catholic lesbian and daughter of a roofer, paired here.

Sasha Carlisle, or "Sassy Sasha" as she's known to the media, a bit of a disappointment and a disaster. She's also a lesbian and very few people, including her father, know. And it hasn't quite been a problem for Sasha, a consummate party girl, as she's content with her no-strings sexual encounters. And when she first meets Kerry Donovan, that's exactly what she's after.

Kerry Donovan has just arrived in Oxford, where she'll be doing graduate work as a Rhode's Scholar. So she's brilliant and driven, but she's also a nobody from a blue collar town just outside of New York City. And when she finds herself the object of Sasha's attention, it's a lot to process, especially when Sasha takes her to a private room at the club to make out and then who knows what. Because even though their kiss is interrupted before it goes anywhere else, Kerry knows what Sasha wanted and knows she would have given it to her. Kerry's more than a little surprised at her behaviour and vows it's a one-off. She'll never see Sasha again, so whatever. It's just a small little blip in her life, but she's in Oxford to study and that's exactly what she plans to do. Sasha has different plans...

I really loved everything about this romance. Sasha and Kerry come from completely different worlds but they both hold on to fundamental insecurities that complement the other's strengths. So they're actually quite balanced and equal, despite the fact that Sasha the King of England's second-born child. And they communicate with each other while they try to navigate whatever their relationship is. Even when it gets angsty or either Kerry or Sasha gets insecure, they talk through those moments. And that counts for a lot with me.

I just really enjoyed this and will probably read it again. And maybe I'll bump this up to 5 stars. Who knows?
Profile Image for Carous.
491 reviews15 followers
June 6, 2019
Such a silly book I cannot believe it was written in the first place. I suspect it is for teenagers because only that explain everything. Well, for teenagers i guess it is a good book with average lesbian rep. Maybe it will help some girls to come out to family and friends or accept herself.

But if you are not a teenage anymore, your opinion about the book probably will be: silly with one dimensional characters and minor characters that were useless. Kerry is a main character but after she met Sasha, she became just a free therapist for her problematic instagirlfriend. And she has so much potential...

Sasha is certainly the main character but not well-written. She only got problems with herself and her family. Silly problems. I like it that she was dyslexic, but all the drama. I mean, you are a fucking princess, should I really believe that not ONE single doctor or guard or maid or whatever never told you that you are not stupid? Should I believe that no one ever realizes that you are dyslexic? Only your savior Kerry Donovan.

The plot it exactly what the synopses shows. Not one thrilling plot twist. Stark's prose is.... average??
The only minor character that is worth some commentary - not to say good things - is King Andrew. An idiot, tyranic that made Sasha's live miserable and in the end his personality completely change for better.

All the problems here are solve in the most easy way ever.
Profile Image for Lexxi Kitty.
2,013 reviews436 followers
June 10, 2016
This was a difficult book in several ways (I'll just briefly note: closeted people hiding from the public; certain amount of miscommunication issues; etc.), and for the longest time I figured I'd be lucky to rate this as much as three stars. Though I never doubted I'd complete the book. In the end, though, I was able to like it enough to give it four stars.

I'm not sure if I can get myself to read another like it, though. For a long while I've been tired of the "straight woman who suddenly realizes they are actually a lesbian" theme. That's not in this book, though the Princess isn't "out". And that's the theme I'm rapidly growing tired of, the "not out" part. In this day and age, the cowering in the closet is something I'm rapidly losing patience with. At least among adult characters who are not over a certain age.

There's always a reason, of course. Mostly tied to work. Mostly I see it in acting related books (which is, in itself, funny in its way, as the perception has been long presented that the public thinks they are all wild weirdos anyway). Well, this time the reason is "royal highness", i.e., position in society.

Okay, I've read that now. I'll not "punish" this book for having the closeted theme, since I hadn't specifically read this exact storyline before (though I've run across princesses with fake images falling for a specific woman, and how that created complications, etc. etc. - though there it was a fantasy - it had to be, what with lesbianism being so open, allowed, and not questioned, heck the fake image was of the princess sleeping around, a lot, with women). I lost track of this paragraph. So I'll just conclude it with: I've read this story line now, I won't detract points based on it, but I'll try to steer clear of the theme in the future.

(I just noticed - the book wandered over Ireland, Scotland, and England; what, a day trip to Wales was too much to ask for? hehe).
Profile Image for Paige Braddock.
Author 83 books59 followers
September 20, 2014
Finally, a modern twist on the classic tale of the fairy tale princess love story. If you find the royal family at all intriguing, if you ever wished you were smart enough to be a Rhodes scholar, if you ever wanted an insider's guide to London night spots (and good running paths). This is your book. Really a fun read. I especially liked the way Nell described the intimate scenes between the two characters. (As I've read more romance novels I've realized how complicated it is to write intimate scenes that are infused with real passion, while not sounding like an anatomy textbook.) The scene with the first kiss was pitch perfect. The chemistry between these two characters in that very first scene was... provocative. Well done.
Profile Image for Geo (rain).
222 reviews21 followers
May 15, 2016
"Do I dare disturb the universe? (...) Do you have the courage to take action, even when it might create chaos?"
I think many people love the idea of royals falling for commoners. And I'm sure there are already too many of those stories focusing on straight couples, so it's nice to have this one: A queer princess falling for a commoner who's also a woman. I certainly liked it very much. It was well-written, fun, sweet, exciting, highly entertaining, with a bit of the expected drama, and likable and interesting characters to make me enjoy it even more.

I've had this book on my list for a very long time now, so I'm happy to have finally read it and discover it didn't disappoint me!
Profile Image for Joc.
762 reviews179 followers
November 28, 2017
I didn't think I would be able to suspend my disbelief to read a novel about a fictional British royal family. Not only was my inner skeptic silenced, I also found I was completely invested in the story. Using the royal family was actually a really clever construct. Everyone knows what happened to Princess Diana so one doesn't even have to use any imagination to understand the ramifications of being constantly followed and reported on by the press or paparazzi. This alone sets up strong tension from the beginning because you know nothing good can come from it.

I liked both main characters - their interactions with each other had both wonderful chemistry and entertaining dialogue. This is my first novel by Nell Stark and I'm looking forward to reading more of her work.
Profile Image for P. Industry.
163 reviews15 followers
June 6, 2022
Pure, wish-fulfilling, fluff. And that's not a bad thing - anyone thinking about buying a book with the premise that a Princess falls in love with an ordinary university student pretty much knows both what they want, and what they'll get plot-wise.

So this review is therefore more of a reassurance. The book is written well, and intelligently. Potentially awkward situations are handed with compassion, and there is a minimum of annoying, misplaced angst. It is a rather good example of pure wish-fulfilling fluff, coupling the lightness as it does with technically decent writing.

It is a fine way to waste an evening.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 171 reviews