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YMMV / The Royal Romance

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  • Angst? What Angst?: King Liam watches his father die, his stepmother, brother, best friends and the woman he loves (who potentially is marrying him) at the attack at the start of Book 3... and then promptly never express any feeling about it for the rest of the book just a week later. He gets to cry near the end of the book, but he's still gone through a lot of damage.
  • Base-Breaking Character: All love interests have their fair share of fans and detractors.
    • Liam is either seen as a Nice Guy who's loyal to Cordonia and does his best to rally his subjects, or a formal and boring man who takes up too much of the romantic moments at the expense of other love interests, which some fans interpret as Strangled by the Red String. He got extremely more divisive in The Royal Heir because, if Riley doesn't romance him, he will show up at her honeymoon and asks her to bear the royal heir for Cordonia.
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    • Drake got hit with this the most out of all the love interests. His fans think he is a fun, interesting love interest/best friend that allow for the people's perspective on the monarchy while his detractors cite his lack of commoner insight and relevance to the main plot and that he has no real reason for his disdain towards the monarchy when he himself is raised as a noble since birth as well as being hostile to Riley who is decidedly not royalty. One controversial moment was in Book 2, Chapter 12, when he complained about the food at a banquet being "too fancy", leading several detractors, and even some supporters, calling him out, stating that he's lucky to have food while people are starving all over the world. The Jerkass Ball he got in Book 3, Chapter 17 doesn't help either. The incident was so poorly received even by his fans that the writers changed the line just one week later.
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    • Hana has also received this treatment. While her fans view her as sweet, talented, and innocent, her detractors view her as weak, overly emotional, and incapable of leading Cordonia. Some detractors have also stated that they would have preferred Olivia, Penelope, and Kiara as love interests over her.
    • Maxwell is either adored for his loyalty, niceness, and helpfulness towards Riley, or disliked for being a melodramatic Manchild.
  • Broken Base:
    • The only person Hana has shown interest in is Riley, and some fans say her storyline greatly resembles a repressed lesbian. However, readers have argued over whether she's lesbian or bisexual due to her sexuality never being officially confirmed. (Someone on the staff did say she was bi, but the dubiousness of that and the way Hana is written caused many of the fans to consider this Fanon Discontinuity.)
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    • Maxwell being Promoted to Love Interest is not without its detractors. They argued that it ruined his character as a strictly platonic sidekick to Riley, he should've been gay to show the stress of life as a noble conflicted by his desires and responsibilities, or it encouraged the fanbase to feel entitled to pressure Pixelberry to give in to their demands that certain characters be Promoted to Love Interest in other stories. Even as a love interest, Maxwell isn't given proper care to his route and characterization, confirming player concerns that he's treated poorly.
    • The announcement on November 30th, 2018, that Royal Romance will receive a follow-up series that takes place right after the end of the trilogy has sparked a debate. While some players are delighted to see more installments, others believe a follow-up series is completely unnecessary and that the original series had a satisfying conclusion. There is also fear that The Royal Romance will end up like The Freshman series in which the sequels caused popularity to drop exponentially.
    • The story in general. There are two main groups that believe the story is either one of the best stories on the app, or one of the most boring and drawn out stories, especially given that Book 3 is the longest Choices book to date with 22 chapters. A third camp believes that the story was just okay and that it wasn't particularly good or bad.
    • People are split on the main plot point of Royal Heir, which consists of Riley producing an heir for King Liam. Some players like it because it gives them an opportunity to maintain their attachment to the series as well as the characters. Others dislike it because it needlessly drags the story through a pregnancy instead of having Riley make political allies.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Olivia's popularity has skyrocketed in Book 3 for being a Badass, Vitriolic Best Buds with Riley, not to mention her Deadpan Snarker personality created some of the funniest moments from the book.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • Maxwell/Riley is incredibly popular in the fandom to the point that he was Promoted to Love Interest.
    • Drake/Liam, due to the amount of Ho Yay between them.
    • Drake/Maxwell is another favorite because of their Odd Couple dynamic, contrasting personalities, and their common tie, as in the relationship between Bertrand and Savannah.
    • Many who choose not to pursue Liam themselves hope that he ends up with Olivia due to their history together and the latter's Character Development.
    • Hana/Kiara has a respectable fanbase, primarily stemming from the concern Hana expressed for Kiara's wellbeing when Riley suggests interrogating her, who was stabbed and developed PTSD, without mentioning the need to reassure her and address her concerns.
  • Fanon: Liam's default appearance is generally depicted by fans to be his Asian look. Not only because the look is universally agreed to be the best-looking, it makes him stands out among the other Caucasian royal family members.
  • Growing the Beard: As far as most fans are concerned, the series became genuinely suspenseful and entertaining in Book 2 when the focus shifted from the romantic competition to the sabotage and blackmail plot against Riley.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Olivia. Her parents were murdered when she was very young, had an unrequited crush on Prince Liam since childhood and she forces herself to keep an aloof and haugty face in public to avoid getting closer to people.
  • Love to Hate: Madeleine has gained this reputation in Book 2, when she abuses her status as Liam's finacée by rubbing her status on Riley, bullying Hana, Kiara, and Penelope, and hiding her horrible actions behind her public image.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • There are several fan made images relating to Drake's love of whiskey. They range between being lighthearted jokes or detractors viewing him as an alcoholic.
    • Murderking – A long-standing joke in the fandom is that King Constantine is responsible for the bad things in the story, such as the murder of his second wife Eleanor and Riley's framing, leading players to joke that he's ultimately untrustworthy and engineering everything to Riley's detriment. This gains more traction when he's revealed to be responsible for Riley's framing.
    • Drake's bullet wound that receives at the start of Book 3 has never been treated professionally on-screen. This has led to many jokes in the fandom.
  • More Popular Spinoff: Has a much larger fanbase than its parent series Rules of Engagement due to a much better story and better written Love Interests.
  • No Yay: Many players protested against the Ship Tease between Madeleine and Hana in Book 3, when the former asked the latter for a dance during Riley's bachelorette party, primarily because of Madeleine's relentless bullying of Hana in Book 2.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Kiara is subject to this by players pursuing Drake in Book 2, when she remarked on having a bit of a crush on Drake.
  • The Scrappy: The Royal Heir turned a lot of readers against Savannah because of her Spotlight-Stealing Squad status.
  • Seasonal Rot:
    • While Book 2 was well received by the fans because of the mystery plot around who damaged Riley's reputation, reception to Book 3 has been more lukewarm, with many readers agreeing that it feels like a recycled version of Rules of Engagement Book 3, because of the excessive focus on the wedding planning.
    • The Royal Heir doesn't have a good reception either. Many find the story of Riley trying to get pregnant to be a boring plot point that drags on for too long. It doesn't help that the series already had its fair share of detractors who believed that Royal Romance wasn't that good, and believe this followup story only exists because die-hard fans wouldn't stop pressuring Pixelberry to continue the series. This is not helped by the fact that the book spent an abnormally long amount of time centered at the Walker ranch and gave unwelcome focus to Bertrand and Savannah's relationship drama.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: Fans have taken to ship Leo/Daniel the Waiter after a brief scene of them interact in Book 3 Chapter 20, even though (or perhaps because of) he is one of the potential love interests for Katie.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Groups and forums have fierce ongoing discussions on who's better for Riley: Liam, Drake, Hana or Maxwell.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Hana. This post pointed out how poorly handled and wasted her storyline was handled in Book 2 and 3.
    • Kiara. This post pointed out the horrible treatment she received by the writers, who brushed off her insecurities while lavishing attention on Madeleine and Penelope.
    • There are readers who believed that it would make more sense if the assassin who shot Drake in the Book 2 finale was Neville Vancoeur, which would better explain his rough way of attacking Drake during the duel that could've killed or injured him.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • The events of Book 2 and 3 retroactively paint Leo as this. While his brother and family deal with political fallout, assassination and the death of their father King Constanstine, Leo barges in asking for political favors in Rules of Engagement, never once expressing concern for his family.
    • Mara was supposed to be in over her head, but the mistakes she made around Riley was so amateurish for a supposedly skilled bodyguard that most people in the fandom are annoyed by her instead.
  • The Woobie:
    • Hana. She spent all her childhood being trained at different skills with the sole purpose of marrying a Cordonian noble. After being out of the competition for the Prince, she is pressured by her mother to find a husband and stay at Madeleine's court. Later on, Madeleine humiliates Hana by rejecting her chocolate bar present, claiming that she's allergic to chocolate (which she isn't).
    • Penelope. She has to remain in the court despite her anxiety problems, people often look down on her because of her fixation on her poodles, and is pressured to be the Yes-Man to Madeleine.
    • Kiara by Book 3. If being pressured to become Madeleine's Yes-Man in Book 2 wasn't enough, she was stabbed at the start of the book and hospitalized afterwards, causing her to develop PTSD from the event. When Riley and her entourage visited her duchy, they merely reminded her of her duty to Cordonia without comforting her.

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