• Paper Princess

  • By: Erin Watt
  • Narrated by: Angela Goethals
  • Length: 9 hrs and 28 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (3,173 ratings)

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Paper Princess

By: Erin Watt
Narrated by: Angela Goethals
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Publisher's Summary

From strip clubs and truck stops to southern coast mansions and prep schools, one girl tries to stay true to herself.

These Royals will ruin you...

Ella Harper is a survivor - a pragmatic optimist. She's spent her whole life moving from town to town with her flighty mother, struggling to make ends meet and believing that someday she'll climb out of the gutter. After her mother's death, Ella is truly alone. Until Callum Royal appears, plucking Ella out of poverty and tossing her into his posh mansion among his five sons who all hate her. Each Royal boy is more magnetic than the last, but none as captivating as Reed Royal, the boy who is determined to send her back to the slums she came from.

Reed doesn't want her. He says she doesn't belong with the Royals. He might be right. Wealth. Excess. Deception. It's like nothing Ella has ever experienced, and if she's going to survive her time in the Royal palace, she'll need to learn to issue her own Royal decrees.

©2016 Erin Watt (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"This generation's Cruel Intentions." (Jennifer L. Armentrout, #1 New York Times best-selling author)

What listeners say about Paper Princess

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Angsty YA Steprother type book

Young Adult with New Adult Themes. Does Not Stand Alone.
The Royals Series by Erin Watt seemed to be on so many favorite lists for 2016 that I picked up the first, Paper Princess when it went on sale to see what all the fuss is about. I actually read a few pages over someone’s shoulder on a plane this fall and it caught my eye. I should preface this review by saying I bought this solely from popularity. I didn’t read the blurb or reviews first. I saw Royals and Princess, and after reading and enjoying two other ‘Royal’ type books this fall, I figured I’d really like Paper Princess.

To be honest, it read like a YA stepbrother book. While I enjoyed it, I found nothing unique about it, and Royal was a last name. It wasn’t about Royalty at all. It seemed to be a mashup of every New Adult book out there

Ella’s mother died. She had been sick for a long time and Ella took care of her, helping to pay the bills by stripping at 15. When her mom died, Ella was almost 18, so she didn’t let anyone know because she had no living relatives and didn’t want to get put into the foster system. Until one day she gets called to the Principal’s office where her new guardian was waiting. Turns out, her father, who she never knew about, was a billionaire who had just found out about her before he died in a tragic plane crash. His best friend and business partner, Callum Royal, stepped in to be her guardian.

She was ripped from everything she knew to move and live with this new family she never heard of. And they were going through their own problems. Callum had 5 very large, intimidating sons who seemed to hate her on sight. They recently lost their mother and didn’t need more change in their lives. The 5 handsome boys went to a private school that they totally ruled, and couldn’t have this low-class stripper smearing their name.

"The Royal boys are not what I expected. They don't look like rich pr**ks in preppy clothes. They look like terrifying thugs who can snap me like a twig."

At first they were so mean, even thinking she might be sleeping with Callum for money.

“You should know whatever game you're playing, you can't win. Not against all of us.If you leave now, you won't be hurt. If you stay, we'll break you so bad that you'll be
crawling away.”

Maybe I’m just getting too old, but all the mean, rich, slutty girls trying to mess with Ella just seemed very cliché to me. But the mean kids and her “brothers” being mean was a lot for her to handle, plus she went from scraping pennies to make ends meet to living like a princess.

“I don’t belong in splendor; I belong in squalor. That’s what I know. It’s what I’m comfortable with, because squalor doesn’t lie to you. It’s not wrapped in a pretty package. It is what it is.”

But she worked her way in, and one son especially, Reed, took a big interest in her. Since she was being raised as part of their family, her sleeping with her “brother” was totally taboo. But the chemistry between them, no matter how much they resisted, was undeniable.

“You may have lost your family, but you’re not alone anymore, Ella. You’re a Royal now.”

The thing is, The Royals are more messed up than you can know at first. But Ella has an awesome backbone. She is tough and spunky and can fight for herself.

Even though he's a jerk, Ella can’t resist Reed. (Insta-lust/teenage hormones played a big part). Reed was the meanest one to her, yet she can’t help but want him, even though every other girl has had him.

“These Royals will ruin you.”
“Maybe I want to be ruined.”

There was so much teenage angst and drama! And these kids were like no high schoolers I’ve ever seen. We live in a wealthy area and I have subbed at the private prep school around here. It just isn’t this bad, the kids are still kids. It was a lot of drama for drama’s sake.

As I said earlier, it seemed like every YA/NA trope there is mashed together. Damaged boy who lost his parent, damaged girl who lost hers, new school with mean kids, rags to riches, stepbrother, hate to love, drugs, date rape, cage fighting, gambling, virgin with manwhore, insta-lust and so much more. And then it was a cliffy! Sorry, but although I found it strangely addictive, I will not be reading more.

“Reed Royal has broken me. I’ve fallen from the sky and I’m not sure I can get up. Not this time.”

Likes:

•Ella was strong and had a backbone for most of the book.
•It was completely addictive.
•Lots of twists and turns to keep you guessing.
•Perfect narrator

Dislikes:

•Used every single YA/NA trope there is!
•It doesn’t stand alone.
•So much draaaaaaama and angst!

The Down & Dirty:

If you like YA/NA books (they are in high school, but there is sex and New Adult themes) filled with tons of angst and drama, you will probably love The Paper Princess. Everyone was just too sad, broken, mean and dramatic for me. I felt like it took every New Adult theme and added them together for one big story. The story was a touch addictive, but I found myself rolling my eyes a bit too. Perhaps late forties isn’t the demographic for this, but there are plenty of other books with characters this age that I absolutely love.

I should tell you, most of my fellow bloggers LOVED Paper Princess, so I am definitely in the minority here. If it stood alone, I would rate it higher probably, but I am sure not willing to invest in 2 more audiobooks to complete a series that I wasn’t in love with from the start.


Rating: 3 stars, 4 Heat, Narration 4.5

70 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Overall I'd give it 3.5 Stars

I have wanted to read this story for a long time, but waited to take it in on Audiobook!
I knew going in that this was part of a series, and was probably one
I'd want to listen to when the other book/books were released. I'm glad I did!

The beginning had a strong start. The narration was good, although I did feel the voice definitely seemed older than a 17 year old girl. I could easily follow along with the story,
and characters. Angela Goethals did a great job distinguishing the different voices,
male and female. I will be on the lookout for other stories read by her!

The middle of the book dragged a little for me with drama, but was pretty engaging throughout. Y/A isn't normally my go to genre, so I expected more drama than normal.
By the time I got to the end, I had made up my mind to continue with book #2 Broken Prince. I'm anxious to see what happens! That ending was...WOW!

Don't want to go into the plot further and give away spoilers, but...
I will say, personally, I think this story is more of an N/A book perhaps?
It contains many sex scenes, most of which rival some of the Erotic books I read!
I'm not complaining about the sex scenes, they were written well!
Just think it's a little above being a book categorized as Young Adult reading.

Erin Watt is a combination of two different authors,
they did a good job blending their words, and emotions throughout!
I am looking forward to book two, and finding out what happens next!


26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Garbage

What would have made Paper Princess better?

Honestly I might have been more okay with the book if had anything at all in the description that made me think it was going to be a trashy romance novel. I like reading trashy romance novels, when I know that's what I'm reading. This book seems to not know if it wants to be a YA book or a $1 bin romance novel and it takes away from it completely.

What could Erin Watt have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Actually write trashy romance novels since that seems to be what she wanted to write all along.

What does Angela Goethals bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The voice actress was great. I have no idea how she got through the book without laughing the whole time but she did good.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

... No. I would listen thinking, "Okay, this is as bad as the story writing can possibly get... Oh wait... never mind, I was wrong."

Any additional comments?

Okay here's the thing. I have definitely read worse books than this one and I enjoyed them. The difference was that in those situations I was ready for reading the insanely stupid, trashy romance novels. I tend not to read those as much anymore, because writers like Nalini Singh have shown me just how good a romance novel can actually be, but that's beside the point.

-spoiler line-

This book is about a girl whose mother has recently died but she's working her way through high school (at a strip club but honestly? Go her, more power to you chickie). She finds out her dad was (he's recently dead too she finds out) insanely rich and his best friend wants to swoop in and save her with money and a stable home and school. She doesn't like the idea (I still don't know why, she clearly doesn't have a problem with handouts) but decides to stick around because he'll pay her to do so and she needs the money.

Best friend of father has 4 hot sons who live with him (plus one who's grown and moved out), they're all assholes, not just to her even if the book wants you to think they're really just heart of gold guys. These guys literally abandon her miles from home in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night because they think she wants to bang their dad. This might sound like a weird conclusion to jump to except it's not, everything in this book is about sex. Everything. Even stuff that shouldn't be somehow winds up being about sex. It's forced, often to cringe worthy levels.

How is everything in the book about sex? Well I could go with the main character being paid for a lap dance by the best friend of dad. I could go with the best friend of dad and his girlfriend having sex publicly, in front of and otherwise near his own kids and the main character multiple times. I could go with the main character deciding to don a trashy stripper outfit before getting into a fight with a girl who gave her the outfit. Or maybe the main love interest brother f***ing his dad's girlfriend? Or the fact that they strongly hint that she used to f*** the eldest brother regularly as well. There are so so many things I could go with but I think my favorite is the fact that the main character is verbally, and physically molested by her new 'brothers' repeatedly in the books. Not in a 'oh look at that sexual tension' way either. A few times in the book she actually is scared that they might rape her. But it's okay cause those boys, they have hearts of gold right?

Oh and the book still has those YA aspects of every possible thing that could go wrong going wrong. Except there's nothing balancing it out. It's all just bad.

No. I probably still wouldn't have liked this book even If it had made it clear the type of book it was. But the fact that it popped up as a book I might like while I was looking at YA books and the description making it sound like another YA novel (if a bit on the darker side) lead me to think it was something else. That right there killed any chance this book might have had to get any sort of positive reception from me.

12 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Terrible and trashy

Really, don't waste your time or money. I'm all for a bit of YA hilarity, but this was truly terrible. For example first "sex" scene happened when she was drugged up.

10 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Woah!

Now that is one messed up story. My first favorite read of the year! Recommend!

9 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Read if you like porn and pointless plots.

This book is trash, if you like that kind of stuff then read but the writing is horrible, plot line even more terrible and sex scenes explicit.

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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ADDICTED

This book had me so addicted I listened to it one day and I am about to start the next book in the series!!

6 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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too dirty for a teen read.

I wish authors would get it into their heads that there is a huge market for clean books. This base practice of putting in vulgarity shows the lack of creativity.

6 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Ugh.

Be forewarned: despite the cover art, title, and YA listing, this book is NOT for young adults. It's been classified inappropriately, and as a mother, this makes me furious. If you want to read books with explicit sex scenes, more power to you. But please don't try to hide what's in them so that unsuspecting children and adults stumble into a book that they find offensive.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Cinderella for Adults

This was like Cinderella the adult version. Ella was trying to make it on her own, when she is rescued by the Royal family, but not everyone is thrilled with her arrival. This book was very well written and narrated and I got very attached to all the characters and there drama. Ella is wise beyond her years and I want good things for her. I will definitely be continuing with the series.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Rhianwen Davies
  • 01-13-17

5 Royally Ruined Stars

Any additional comments?

If 90210, Cruel Intentions and Pretty Little Liars had a baby that would be The Royals series.

“You should know whatever game you're playing, you can't win. Not against all of us. If you leave now, you won't be hurt. If you stay, we'll break you so bad that you'll be crawling away."

Paper Princess is a crazy emotional ride of addiction. With a plot that has so many twists and turns, it will keep you on the edge of your seat while constantly guessing.
This novel has everything you expect from an NA novel; huge amount of angst, drama, steamy romance, secrets and lies. All revolving around complex and multilayered characters, that you come to really care for. The writing was beautifully addictive and seamless, making it impossible to distinguish which author wrote which part.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Book addict
  • 06-08-18

Ridiculous, but fun!

If you imagine you’re listening to one of those over the top telenovela soap operas with ridiculous situations and just see it as fun, then it’s a good read. Deserves four stars within its genre.

The teenagers making illogical decisions did drive me a little nuts, however. Especially stupid decisions regarding a very serious arrest worthy situation that was really played down in this book in a way that I found offensively disrespectful to how harrowing that situation would be in real life. The revenge carried out for that happening was also very anticlimactic and did not fit the crime AT ALL.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-02-22

Good listen

There wasn't too much of a storyline but I loved the drama. It's not a book you read for the story. You read it to be immersed in a world you will never know true.

I didn't really like the southern accent, but I got used to it. I sometimes got confused by when the character was thinking or actually talking.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Megan Bailey
  • 09-02-21

Great book

I am not really into books but after listening to this book I binge listened to the series. Absolutely loved the enemy’s to lovers theme. Just wish I could listen to more

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • betsy irwin
  • 05-31-21

what a load of nonsence

vapid, narcissistic nonsense.... you've been warned. what an utter load of BS. Half of it doesn't even make sense I think the author grew up in a cave

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-09-21

The story is written well but the MC is pathetic

The story had great potential for a strong female MC, but instead she doesn't really stand for anything, she's weak and rarely defends herself, when she gets really angry she somehow thinks she gets back at them by playing in to their narrative about her and humiliates herself over and over again.
It's kind of hard to listen to the MC being treated like that and then get a submessive and weak reaction from her.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Siyona Ghosh
  • Siyona Ghosh
  • 09-01-20

Reading this was an experience that i loved.

The book was great and had a really hooking overall concept. The narrator did an excellent job on impersonation, despite being a female, she managed to get majority of the characters. reading the last part was heart breaking, but i look forward to it all again.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • FENARETI
  • 07-09-20

shook

This has never happened to me before but I started this audiobook and I just never stopped. Listened to the whole thing in a day. And now about to throw my money for the next because this ending left me shook!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jessica
  • 06-03-20

good but let down by audible performer

love this book 2and time reading it but I wasnt a fab of the performer who read the book

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Saskia
  • Saskia
  • 02-09-20

A Cinderella story with a darker and sexier twist

Erin Watt’s books are some of the only audiobooks that I can listen to over and over. Goethals narrates the stories well without overdramatising them, which is important for a book like this where the performance can often make the content seem too much or over the top.

Firstly, Ella is a great character, filled with wit that often has you chuckling as you listen. She grows as a character throughout the books which is refreshing, she is not a perfect character which allows her to grow and also learn new things about her own personality. This is also shown in the moments when we hear from Reed’s perspective and it is made clear that he too possesses flaws. I think what hooks me to this book is that every character is different and has different motives driving them and flaws that inhibit them. Then sometimes you have characters who are just so unashamedly nasty (*cough*Brooke*cough*) that it makes a nice break from the complex character development.

Watt has written a great series and I can’t wait to read more of her work. I really recommend this book if you’re looking for a lighter read with a maturer (emotionally and also physically) romance with character growth.

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  • cecilia chahda
  • 05-23-18

love it

I definitely think it's a must read!
the story is very easy to follow and it has a twist on an old poor girl finds riches story

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Lara
  • 07-24-17

Dnf

Didn't get far into this one before realising it's just not my kind of story. The young age of the characters I see is necessary but not what I'm after. Aimed at a more YA group. Have returned. Narrator overdoes it a bit too

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • erina reddan
  • 10-14-19

vale feminism

if you like your heroines pretend feisty and ready to end up obeying.. yes obeying first super rich hot arrogant guy who treats her with disdain then go for it. but that whole girl tames beast thing is kind of messed up. not to mention how being a virgin makes her more pure. does it really matter if you have had sex or not?

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • manga_me_over
  • 06-17-17

fabulously delicious

so of you were looking for a book that will make your panties drop with good looking guys. This is the book for you. It was soo good like. Omg it kinda forces you to buy the next book good. I'm looking at my auditable account wishing I had more credits. but alas it will be charged to my account. I don't need to eat right!
soo good please read the book. must read for any Sarah j Maas loves.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tracey
  • 03-20-17

so good!

one of the best stories ever. so sad it ended on a cliffy because I need to find our what happened!!