These Royals will ruin you.
Easton Royal has it all: looks, money, intelligence. His goal in life is to have as much fun as possible. He never thinks about the consequences because he doesn’t have to.
Until Hartley Wright appears, shaking up his easy life. She’s the one girl who’s said no, despite being attracted to him. Easton can’t figure her out and that makes her all the more irresistible.
Hartley doesn’t want him. She says he needs to grow up.
She might be right.
Rivals. Rules. Regrets. For the first time in Easton’s life, wearing a Royal crown isn’t enough. He’s about to learn that the higher you start, the harder you fall.
Warning: This book has a cliffhanger. The story will be resolved in Cracked Kingdom, due out January 2018.
Ever since meeting Easton Royal and witnessing his ‘life of the party’ demeanor, I’ve wanted to see and understand who Easton truly is – the young man hidden behind his wealth…behind his excessive ways…behind his smartass comments…behind his addictions…behind his unrelenting need to lash out.
I honestly believe that even after finishing Fallen Heir, Erin Watt has only begun to illustrate everything that is Easton Royal, and I think that’s deliberate because, perhaps, he hasn’t even revealed his true nature to the authors, which means that readers are in for one hell of a ride when the second part of his story releases at the beginning of next year.
But what has been proven about Easton is that he doesn’t know how to handle his emotions…he doesn’t know what to do with all of his pent-up energy because it never seems to dissipate and every attempt for him to get a handle on his addictive personality and self destructive ways ends up ruining everything he tries to achieve. What’s also clear is the fact that Easton believes he’s a bit of an outsider, even in his own family, which stems from his middle child status. Easton needs to be the center of attention and his way of doing that definitely puts him in the spotlight, but from what readers witness in Fallen Heir, it’s a place that only leads him to play the part of dumb jock…of spoiled rich kid…of loose cannon.
It’s hard to get a handle on who Hartley Wright is, not only because readers don’t get her perspective but also because she’s an extremely private person and wants nothing more than to remain in the shadows at Astor Park Prep, doing what she needs to do to get back what’s she lost. But because Easton shows an interest in Hartley and goes out of his way to thrust her into the spotlight with him, a series of rash decisions and good intentions gone wrong end up destroying all of Hartley’s progress as well as Easton’s attempts to make things right, not only between him and Hartley but among several other significant people who have gone out of their way to prove just how hard the powerful can fall.
Easton and Hartley’s relationship, while central to developing the story and responsible for the events that transpire, is still very much a work-in-progress, and it clearly remains in question as to the type of connection they share. Both of them don’t seem to know how to keep their friendship of an even playing ground, partly because no one seems to be able to truly outplay Easton but also because it seems that Easton wants things from Hartley that she can’t or won’t give him. There’s definitely an attraction and a connection albeit tenuous between them, but because they are both broken and still trying to find their way, not only at Astor Park Prep, but in all aspects of their lives, nothing can be sorted out when it comes to what they mean to one another, which makes it difficult to see any future friendship or romantic relationship for them.
Astor Park Prep continues to be the perfect setting for The Royals series; the facade of the school and the idea that the students and their parents’ money seem to run the school instead of the adults further explains why none of the Astor students are held accountable for their actions. The social hierarchy at play as well as the other students’ need to ‘bring down the crown’ illustrates exactly what everything comes back to – money, appearances, and power.
The Royal family is still as broken as it was in the previous books, even though family dinners and the lack of family fights paints a picture of solidarity. There are still deep wounds that remain open and continue to separate brother from brother and father from son, and with the events that occur at the end of Fallen Heir, it’s difficult to believe that anything between the Royals can be repaired because unearthed secrets and devastating actions cannot be taken back or fixed by throwing money at them.
4.5 Poison Apples