Nice to meet you!

I'm Kellie, an avid reader and school librarian who loves sharing and talking about books.As a middle school librarian I get to spend my days doing just that, while also enjoy discovering the perfect books to share with my friends. Ms. Burke's Books is a continuation of that, a place where I can offer my honest opinions on the books I read and hopefully help match you to your new favorite book!

What To Read Next

Rivals (American Royals #3) by Katharine McGee

American Royals, MajestyRivals


The third novel of the American Royals series continues the story of the Washington siblings, reimagining America if George Washington had become a king instead of president. Queen Beatrice is finding her footing as the new head of state and her relationship with Teddy is strong, even if they didn't get married. She's under pressure though hosting the League of Kings and navigating the international royal scene. Plus she is worried that in giving up everything to marry her, Teddy won't be happy with his role as the Queen's husband.  Princess Samantha has grown up and is serious about her relationship with Marshall, but as the future Duke or Orange (and one of the few Black nobles) he won't give up his title to marry her. Without a possibility of a future, where does that leave her? Nina has regained a friendship with Prince Jefferson and formed an unlikely alliance with his girlfriend (and former enemy) Daphne. 

With loyalties to the crown and to each other tested, will they come out triumphant? Or heartbroken?

My Thoughts

Having enjoyed the first two books in the series, Rivals had been at the top of my 2022 list of books I was excited to read. It did not disappoint.  One of my favorite aspects of this series is how McGee has taken familiar traditions and historical figures and altered them - the America in these books is familiar even without the influence of democracy.

I enjoyed the budding alliance between Nina and Daphne because of any characters these two have grown. At first I was wary of how these former enemies could suddenly be okay but as Daphne lets down her guard and shows Nina her true life (she's not rich, her mother has put a tremendous amount of pressure on her) it began to feel authentic. Nina has always been the moral compass of the characters and it was interesting to see her in the position of having lingering feelings for Jeff but not wanting to do anything to betray Daphne. 

The one area of weakness would be the descriptions of world politics, from world leaders behaving like drunken college students on a yacht and Beatrice worried which clique of monarchs she could sit with at lunch. I would have liked to see her handle making friendships and figuring out her role in the League of Kings with a little more maturity, reflecting her growth as a character. 

At one point it felt that the struggles of these characters were running their course (how many novels can one be invested in the Nina-Jefferson-Daphne love triangle?), but McGee sets up an ending that gives the Washington siblings a refreshing new set of challenges. Be prepared for a bit of a cliffhanger- these stories definitely aren't resolved. But also get excited that the American Royals series will continue.

Book Information

Author: Katharine McGee
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: September 3, 2019

Title: Majesty
Publish Date: September 1, 2020

Title: Rivals
Publish Date: May 31, 2022

Genre(s): romance
Recommended for: teens, high school
Themes: love, duty, family, social status
Diversity: Most characters present as white and straight; Marshall is Black.
Trigger Warnings: Sexual content is not explicit but characters are having sex. Alcohol use is frequent.

I received an ARC (advanced reader copy) of this book for free from NetGalley and Random House Children's. This is my honest review and all opinions are my own.

This post contains affiliate links to the book(s). Thank you for supporting Ms.Burke's Books & independent bookstores, through


Contact Form


Email *

Message *