Book Recommendation – Loyally Luke by Pepper Basham

Book Description:

Sometimes love means embracing the good, the bad . . . and even the impossible.

Dear Reader,

My name is Luke Edgewood, and there are few things in life that I require. Mainly black coffee. And flannel. And lots of solitude. And my dogs, Chewy and Indie. What I don’t need is romance, so I have no plans to change my thirty-year-old bachelor status anytime soon.

But my youngest sister thinks that by accepting a short-term construction job in the small European country of Skymar, I’m going to follow along in her footsteps and discover my own romantic adventure. Nope. Bah humbug. The End. This time, her rom-com-movie senses are totally wrong.

Or maybe not. Because I’ve met a Grace Kelly look-alike who is annoying . . . until she isn’t. But she is impossible. As in, nothing can happen between us because she is a literal princess. Even though that’s easy to forget when we’re working together to restore a castle-like orphanage in a secluded mountain town and “forced proximity” includes a small closet, a secret one-hundred-year-old journal, and the tactile memory of an off-limits royal in my arms.

Basically, the whole situation has turned into an ooey gooey magical snow globe of romantic tropes complete with cute kids and an actual ball. Now, even my sentences are starting to sound like mush. Ugh. Send high levels of testosterone my way—I’m going to need it.

Loyally,

Luke

Narelle’s Thoughts:

I enjoyed reading Loyally Luke, the third book in Pepper Basham’s Skymar series set on a fictional European island in the North Sea. I’ve been looking forward to reading Luke’s romance story and it was worth the wait.

Luke is a down-to-earth American guy who’s a carpenter by trade and likes the simple things in life. He has a dry sense of humor and tolerates the ridiculous nonsense that’s regularly spouted by his younger sister, Penelope. She’d love to see Luke star in a real life Hallmark-style royalty romance with all the tropes. Luke can’t stand sappy romance movies and he has zero interest in moving in high and mighty royal circles.

Ellie is a princess who has been offline for a few years to recover from a bad reputation she gained in the gossip columns. Ellie wants to please her parents, the King and Queen of Skymar, and return to her life as a working royal. Ellie is quietly working on a charity project in a remote part of Skymar and renovating an orphanage where she’s a patron. 

Luke is only in Skymar for a few months and he ends up working on the orphanage project with Ellie. Like Ellie, he’s loyal to his family. His home is with his family in a small Blue Ridge Mountains town. 

Luke and Ellie’s meet cute is hilarious. Luke has no idea that Ellie is a celebrity and real life princess. A delightful romance develops as Luke and Ellie become more than friends and are challenged to consider if they could have a future together. 

This is Luke’s story and it’s fun to read a romance that’s more slanted toward the male viewpoint. The group chats in the epistolary style are amusing and there are fewer epistolary story elements than in the other Skymar books. I read this series out of order – Positively Penelope (book 2) then Authentically Izzy (book 1) before reading Luke’s story (book 3). The stories are standalone romances but I’d recommend reading the books in order, if possible, to gain a fuller appreciation of the banter and humor in the family group chat conversations.

I recommend Loyally Luke to contemporary romance readers who like different worlds and undercover princess royalty romances with epistolary style content and a relevant faith element in the story. 

Many thanks to Thomas Nelson and Net Galley for the advanced reader copy. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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