Series: Princess for Hire (book #1)
Desi Bascomb's job as a princess substitute has gotten a whole lot more glamorous now that she's advanced to Level 2 within the Facade Agency. Magical make-up, roller-skating celebrities, and the chance to see Prince Karl again are just some of the major perks. Not to mention, she's landed the role of Fairy Queen in her school's production of Midsummer's Night Dream (opposite her best friend's crush. Which is a little weird, but at least he wears a donkey head during their kissing scene). Life should be perfect, but Desi can't seem to shake the feeling that there is more going on with the agency's magic than she's told. Like why is this mind-bending power exclusive to royals? Is it possible that there could be a bigger way to make an impact in both parts of her life?
Desi Bascomb returns in The Royal Treatment and Lindsey Leavitt continues to deliver glamour, glitz, and, of course, surprises in large quantities!
I was so excited to return to Desi’s world, especially her job at Façade. And just like in Princess for Hire, Leavitt makes any girl jealous of Desi’s job. If I thought it was fabulous before, the new perks for Desi as a Level Two sub made all the more envious. I mean, who wouldn’t be? She has access to millions of dollars worth of clothes and makeup and frequently gets to hang out with royals (including yummy princes)!
With a job like that it would be easy for Façade to be all rainbows and bubbles – the pink and magical kind, of course – but Leavitt avoided this by adding more mystery to Façade’s work and purpose. This not only made the agency more complex, but also gave more depth to characters whose lives it touches, namely Meredith and Desi.
Another small (but important) change Leavitt made was taking some of the focus off of Desi’s subbing duties and putting it onto her real life in Sproutsville, Idaho. As I said before, between Façade’s home base and the jobs Desi is given, it would be easy to get lost in all of the splendor of royalty and magic. Leavitt instead divides the novel’s focus equally between Desi’s everyday life and her subbing duties. I was able to connect with Desi a lot more as a result. Rather than pretending to be someone else, during her normal life she was just Desi – a great young woman even without the double life. This also gave the novel a more contemporary feel, which Leavitt, of course, pulls of wonderfully.
Even though I liked getting to know Desi as Desi and not as someone’s sub, it did raise a few concerns for me. She is, after all, living two entirely separate lives and I was curious to see how Leavitt would, if ever, merge the two worlds together. In the end, I discovered that my doubts were completely unnecessary. Leavitt not only found a way to merge the two worlds, but did it in a way that made my jaw drop. As someone who prides themselves on being able to see twists from miles away and uncover secrets long before they are ever revealed, it’s a testament to Leavitt’s skill when I say I never saw that final twist coming!
Despite my initial concerns, I ended up loving this book as much as I loved Princess for Hire. I cannot wait for the third (and final) book to come out! And once you read The Royal Treatment, I’m sure you will be just as eager.