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Royal Pain [Paperback]

Maryjanice Davidson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Nov. 1 2005
In a world nearly identical to ours, the North won the Civil War, Ben and JLo got married, and everyone dresses well to attend the Grammy's. Oh, and Russia never sold Alaska to the U.S. Instead, Alaska is a rough, beautiful country ruled by a famously eccentric royal family, including oldest daughter, Princess Alexandria, whose acid wit and bad case of insomnia have turned her into a tabloid darling, a palace problem, and overall...Marine biologist Dr. Shel ("Never Sheldon") Rivers has a problem. Some princess expects him to wait on her, hand and dimpled foot. His boss is taken with the royal redhead - brunette, whatever, it's not like he keeps track of that stuff - and nobody realizes that he just wants to be left alone in his lab. All alone. All the time. Weekends,'s all good. Now, here's Miss Royal pants, insisting that he escort her around the marine institute, explain what he's doing, kiss her until her toes, wait, that was his idea. She's not even apologetic about being born into a royal family! Says it's his problem to overcome, not hers. Which leaves him with one option: to kiss her again. And again. And...So she's nothing like he expected. In fact, Dr. Rivers can see that this fantastic, exasperating woman has problems no princess should ever have to deal with. And he has an idea to help her get some much-needed sleep. Of course, it involves getting very, very tired beforehand, but if she's up to it, then so is he...

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From Booklist

Following The Royal Treatment (2004), The Royal Pain brings readers to Davidson's fantasy Alaska, now a sovereign nation ruled by an atypical king, Alexander Baranov II, who works word puzzles and says things like "tough titty." Princess Alex, sleep deprived thanks to nightmares, is sent to inspect the North Dakota Institute for Sea Life. There she meets Dr. Shel Rivers, who hates rich people with a passion. While Alex's overly meticulous assistant, Jenny, loosens up and goes bowling with a handsome fishing guide, Alex and Shel discover blissful--if quirky--love. Once again, Davidson delivers off-the-wall entertainment. Diana Tixier Herald
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

MaryJanice Davidson is the "New York Times" bestselling author of the "Undead" novels featuring Betsy Taylor; "Derik's Bane," and the new young adult novels featuring Jennifer Scales, written with her husband, Anthony Alongi, among other titles.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Please write more! July 13 2009
All three books in this series (so far) have had me laughing so hard I cry. Nice easy read with a very refreshing non-sugar coated, witty & sarcastic humor.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.3 out of 5 stars  28 reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Davidson disappoints me once again... Jan. 1 2006
By CoffeeGurl - Published on
I've loved MaryJanice Davidson's books since reading Undead and Unwed. I enjoyed The Royal Treatment very much because I liked the world Davidson created that centered on Alaska being its own country with its own royal family. That novel was good, zany fun and I had looked forward to giving The Royal Pain a whirl. I have no idea what's happened with Ms. Davidson, but her books have gotten progressively worse. They are the ghosts of what her novels and novellas used to be. All you get now is something shallow, underdeveloped and rushed. The Royal Pain is the spinoff centered on Princess Alexandria and her Post Traumatic Stress symptoms after an incident taken from The Royal Treatment. In order to cope with all of her feelings, her father, who is the hilarious king of Alaska, suggests that she does some work in the US. There she meets gorgeous marine biologist Dr. Shel and chemistry ensues between them, despite his low opinion of the "pampered princess." With Shel, she not only begins a steamy relationship, but also deals with her personal issues...

The plot, if you can call it that, is very thin and for a while I felt as though I was reading a comic book because all this book had to offer was a plethora of one-liners, quips and bantering between the characters. The writing is also disjointed and insubstantial to boot. Ms. Davidson has a great sense of humor and I love the dialogue in her novels, but that alone does not a good book make. It was nice to read more of King Al, Christina and David, but not even they were able to make this novel palatable for me. I am surprised that this is the same author who wrote Undead and Unwed, Love's Prisoner (novella in Secrets Volume 6) and Thief of Hearts. Those were excellent stories with interesting characters, strong and independent heroines, storylines that were dark around the edges, but sexy and hilarious as well. I know MJD writes several books in one year and perhaps she should stop doing that and take her time to really develop a good story that doesn't read as lightweight as a magazine article about shoes. I give The Royal Pain two stars because it does have its fun moments and I love the King Al character. I will definitely be wary of purchasing MJD books in the future. Her books are too expensive for the material we get and I will check them out of the library next time.
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun, silly and totally insubstantial - 3 1/2 stars Oct. 25 2005
By baltimore0502 - Published on
I enjoyed prior book THE ROYAL TREATMENT which introduced us to the wacky, unconventional Baranovs, the royal family in MJD's alternate reality Alaska. Though it wasn't terribly deep it was a fun, light read. Well if possible this one has even less substance than TRT - less plot and even less character development. Yes, it's funny, but for me it was more like an extended comic book than a romance novel. Not that there's anything wrong with that! If you're in the mood for just plain silliness this will do the trick.

If you read TRT you know that there was an attempt to kidnap a member of the royal family and one member almost died trying to stop it. Princess Alexandria has still not dealt with her fears over this incident and as result is suffering with insomnia and a lack of appetite. In order to help her snap out of her funk, her father (the hysterical King Al) decides to send her to tour the North Dakota Institute for Sea Life, a facility that the Alaskan Royals have funded in the States. While there she meets and immediately butts heads with Dr Sheldon Rivers, Director of Global Marine Programs. It's obvious this Dr Rivers thinks that she's a fluffy, stuck-up princess and hey, she can deal with that. But he's also got gorgeous chocolate brown eyes and light brown hair streaked by the sun. He's cute for a geeky marine biologist! And before you know it, she practically attacks him in the Polar bear exhibit!

Shel "never Sheldon!" Rivers does indeed disdain this "Miss Royalpants" He's an Army brat who was dragged all over the world by his adrenaline junkie father. Making and keeping friends has been tough for him but since moving to North Dakota he's found a level of contentment. But he does have his prejudices and he hates "royalty, inherited wealth, brunettes and cheese" - yeah, cheese! And he's got better things to do than babysit some princess. Okay, she's a gorgeous princess with blue, blue eyes and shiny, silky black hair that he's itching to touch! So when she throws herself at him in the Polar bear exhibit, who is he to say no?

And so it goes. They become lovers and Shel is determined to help cure her of her insomnia and control issues. And his cure is most pleasurable! But the "romance" was more surface than substance. Though there is an obvious "aw, you knuckle-head" kind of affection between them and a mutually satisfying sexual relationship it seemed that declarations of love sort of came out of the blue. I guess snappy banter plus great sex equals love in MJD-land. And there's not much more to these characters than what you can glean from this review! There's also a side story about royal assistant Jenny and a friend of Shel's that got more play than I would have liked.

For what it is, it's fun but it could be so much more. I've been reading MJD's books for several years and it seems that she no longer wants to write anything deep or dark though I know she has it in her. I guess I'll just need to readjust my expectations from now on.
26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Worst. MaryJanice. EVER. Nov. 13 2005
By Amazon Customer - Published on
I liked "The Royal Treatment", so I was expecting to be just as entertained by its sequel, "The Royal Pain". Princess Alexandria Baranov of Alaska is still having nightmares and suffering insomnia after the unsuccessful assassination attempt against her family almost two years ago, so she goes to oversee a marine research facility in North Dakota for a change of pace. There she meets grouchy-but-ridiculously-attractive marine biologist Dr. Shel Rivers, and instantly the sparks fly. And when I say "instantly", I mean INSTANTLY - a few large-print pages after their meeting, Alex is springing Shel from jail after he tried to break in to meet her, and a few pages after that they're having sex in a polar bear habitat complete with snowbank (?!?). By the end of the book the pair are madly in love and we end with a Baranov royal wedding and everyone lives happily ever after...including Alex's uptight lady-in-waiting Jenny, whose whirlwind romance is nothing short of "huh?".

There was so much more that MaryJanice Davidson could have done with this book. We never really got to know the characters well; there was no real plot or conflict or much of anything besides a lot of sex scenes that frankly defied all credibility. Where was the drama? Where was the gradually developing tension between Alex and Shel? There was some humor, which is why I gave "TRP" two stars instead of only one, but it was decidedly thin and nowhere near up to what Davidson gave us in "TRT" and the first two books of the "U&U" series (which is itself falling off, but that's another review). But MJD rushes things so much that by the time I got to Chapter 10, I was checking to make sure my book wasn't missing - oh, a chapter or five. Sorry, but I just don't buy the concept of a member of royalty - unorthodox Baranov or not - falling into bed with a guy less than 24 hours after they meet, and getting into bondage shortly thereafter. Whatever happened to courtship? (For that matter, what happened to the princess's guards?)

I'm beginning to wonder if MJD's publisher just insists that she churn out X number of books a year, regardless of quality, because her last few have been just like this one - shallow, derivative, and silly. It's a shame, really, because she's capable of so much more. It might be time for Davidson to take a hiatus for a while, to refresh her creative energy and give readers the books we know she can write rather than this kind of fluffy nonsense. As much as I hate to say this, don't waste your money on "The Royal Pain" - borrow it from a friend or check it out at the library, because it just isn't worth the purchase price.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What happened??? Dec 7 2005
By Kirsten Wallevand - Published on
Ok, I know romance novels are not usually long on plot developement, but this book is barely logical! I really enjoyed Davidson's other books, and got a big kick out of The Royal Treatment, so I was excited to find the "sequel".

I was sorely disappointed.

It seems like Davidson had a contract to fill so she whipped up a book, without worrying about plot or character development, dialogue, or believability. The characters were underdeveloped and the plot was weak to say the least. There was no romantic tension, characters just hopped into the sack (or snowbank, as it were). The fact that the main character would allow her suitor to handcuff her to the bed (even though she BARELY knows him) in order to help her with her "control issues" and to cure her insomnia and her inability to ( should I say it?) enjoy sex to the fullest anymore (If you know what I mean)nearly made me give up on the book altogether. I mean, I can suspend disbelief only so much. Not one to admit defeat (and in order to form a fair opinion of the book) I saw it through to the end, but came away disappointed in Davidson and feeling cheated out of the hours it took me to read it.

Once again, I wasn't expecting Pulitizer Prize winning writing (sometimes we just want to read a trashy book...and that's ok), but I know what Davidson is capable of,and this isn't even close. I wish I'd kept my $14 and got it from the library.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lighthearted fun but poor character development Dec 26 2005
By ivy8524 - Published on
Mary Janice Davidson adds another book to her growing collection of light-hearted offerings. A follow-up to The Royal Treatment, this book only does a passable job in character and plot development. Though it has some humorous moments, it does not come close to capturing Davidson's talent for writing witty, funny characters (e.g. Betsy and Sinclair from her Undead series). Davidson has a secondary romance running throughout this book which turns out to be more fun than the primary characters'. However, two storylines in one short book means that there are gaps in the author's ability to make the connections believable as she jumps from character to character. That said, this is a good book for a lazy day when you just want to enjoy a light-hearted romp.
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