Author: Jasmine Guillory
Vivian Forest has been out of the country a grand total of one time, so when she gets the chance to tag along on her daughter Maddie’s work trip to England to style a royal family member, she can’t refuse. She’s excited to spend the holidays taking in the magnificent British sights, but what she doesn’t expect is to become instantly attracted to a certain private secretary, his charming accent, and unyielding formality.
Malcolm Hudson has worked for the Queen for years and has never given a personal, private tour—until now. He is intrigued by Vivian the moment he meets her and finds himself making excuses just to spend time with her. When flirtatious banter turns into a kiss under the mistletoe, things snowball into a full-on fling.
Despite a ticking timer on their holiday romance, they are completely fine with ending their short, steamy affair come New Year’s Day. . .or are they?
Royal Holiday is the fourth novel in the Wedding Date series. The main character is Vivian, who is Maddie’s mother. Maddie first appears in The Wedding Date (#1) as the main character, Alexa’s best friend, and then she is the main character in The Wedding Party (#3). Since I read these novels out of order, Maddie also appears in Party of Two (#5) and Vivian is also mentioned.
Vivian Forest is a 55-year-old social worker at a hospital in Oakland. As a single mother, she put everything she had into her career and raising her family. She has recently been offered to be acting director at her job after the last person retired and now the new job weighs on her and she needs to decide if this will be the job for her. When her daughter Maddie offers for her to tag along to her new assignment in England with the royal family, Vivian jumps at the chance for the new adventure. The two of them travel for their week-long trip to Sandringham Palace, so Maddie can complete her job as a stylist for one of the duchesses. Since Maddie is busy with her job, Vivian has time to explore the grounds on her own. Here she runs into a handsome man, Malcom, and the two of them have an instant spark.
Malcom Hudson is a 52-year-old private secretary for the Queen of England. Since it is the holidays, he finds himself with a little free time where he wants to spend as much of it with Vivian. The two of them spend time together and get to know the other. In Malcom’s home-life, he is a fatherly figure to his 19-year old nephew, Miles, who is about to move on to university. Malcom is worried about his nephew as he just wants what is best for him, so it weighs on his mind when he is not thinking about his own job or about the new woman who just entered his life.
I loved that this story included main characters in their 50s and contained the same chemistry that Guillory writes for her other characters, which are mostly in their 30s. The two characters were very cute together and I loved the ease of them getting to know the other. With the deadline of Vivian returning to the States and the difficulty of being in a relationship an ocean apart, the two of them need to decide if the relationship is worth pursuing. If it is, then how it will actually work.
Overall, I enjoyed how the characters logically approached this issue as long-distance is not something that is easily fixed. As the story is told through both the perspectives of Vivian and Malcom is was nice to see their inner thoughts about the other. Malcom was a little more hesitant than Vivian, which was a nice change as the other novels in the series typically featured the female being the more doubtful about the other’s feelings. The storyline was okay and the Christmas-y setting was lovely, but there just felt like something missing from this story. Generally, this novel was not bad, but it just seemed forgettable. I liked that I read it, as it was a good read and I got to further complete the series.