The Royal | Susan Stoker

Cal is one of the broodiest heroes I have read in a long time, but this man deserves to be broody.  After being a POW and tortured he turned to a reclusive life in a small town with his friends and former teammates.  They all work and live around each other, but Cal is definitely more reclusive than the others.  He has some deep trauma that he is still working through, but he also has to balance his life with his family being royal and all the things that go along with that.  A

June exudes kindness and is genuinely a kind person.  My heart hurt for her so much, her life consumed by giving to others and stifling.  After losing her father she is left alone in the world and begins to take care of her step mother and sister.  They truly are the most awful people and treat her so poorly.  I was desperate for June to flee this terrible situation, and Cal showed up just in time for that to happen.  

I am not usually one for fairy tale retellings but this one worked.  And worked so well! Cal is sort of an unlikely prince and is so far from the crown that he is able to live a quiet life, but of course he is still a Prince.  His wealth and privilege comes out in some unexpected ways, but in other ways he is just a typical guy working with his best friends!  June feels completely out of her element with a Prince and her new found freedom.  But this pair navigated not only small town life, a relationship; which was new to both of them, they both were also working on some past hurts and trauma.  I love how Cal’s teammates rallied around this pair and not only supported Cal but June.  And June showed her strength and fought for Cal.  Of course, it wouldn’t be a Susan Stoker book if there wasn’t a fair amount of suspense and mystery! I tried to slow down and savor this book, but I was so eager to see how June and Cal would get their HEA, and friends she did not disappoint!  I loved this book and the tease for book #3 is pretty epic …but March of ‘24 will be here in time, right?!?! LOL