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Monday, September 11, 2017

The Queen's Game by Carla de Guzman - Book Review & Interview

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Review by Suze

Nina is a princess and her father is the beloved king of Cincamarre. Nina has always planned to return to the island, but first she had some traveling and living to get out of the way. When her father suddenly dies she has to go back home to rule her country. However, there's her aunt Delia to deal with. Delia isn't a fan of Nina's lifestyle, of the wild days she used to have with a pop star for example. Nina has to prove she's capable and to do that she has to fake date Felipe, the handsome prince of the neighboring island. His reputation is flawless and he should be a good influence. Is doing what her aunt says really what Nina needs to do or is being herself the right approach instead?

The Queen's Game is a fun whirlwind of a story. I immediately loved Nina. She does what she likes, she's independent and she gets the maximum out of every situation. Her behavior might not be impeccable, but she's genuine and has a good heart. She makes people feel good about themselves, which is something I liked about her a lot. She's a great friend and she and Felipe have a wonderful easy connection. I couldn't wait to find out if Nina would find a way to avoid becoming her aunt's pawn and couldn't turn the pages quickly enough. She's discovering a lot about herself and finds romance in the process, which made the story even more cute.

Carla de Guzman writes about the most beautiful settings in a gorgeous vivid way. I immediately fell in love with Cincamarre. I liked the way she describes both the atmosphere of the island and the problems the people are dealing with, so it isn't just a magic fairytale island, but it's also clear for the reader which challenges Nina would face when she'd become queen. She does this with a heartwarming sense of humor that works really well. The Queen's Game is charming, endearing, incredibly entertaining and very sweet.


If you love funny romantic stories about beautiful kingdoms The Queen's Game would be a perfect choice.

About Carla de Guzman

If you ask Carla what she does for a living, she will tell you that she’s not quite sure.

By day, she works a regular day job and writes for a lifestyle website. By night, she’s an author and an artist, spending her midnights at her desk and making these silly love stories. She loves to travel, coming home to her dog Kimchi and spending her weekends having dinner with her crazy family.

She’s currently on a quest to see as many Impressionist paintings as she can, and is always in search of the perfect pain au chocolat.
Say Hello!

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1) Can you tell a bit about yourself? 

Hi my name is Carla, and I write romance! I enjoy writing romance books around places I've travelled to, and the kilig stories that inspired them. I'm a proud member of #romanceclass, a community of writers and readers in the Philippines, and I have a dog named Kimchi. 

2) What inspired you to write about royalty? 

I have always always wanted to write a royals romance. It just took me come time to come up with exactly the kind of romance I wanted to read. I'm a bit of a history buff, so I loved reading about their stories and researching their customs and protocols. When Netflix's The Crown came out, I knew I wanted to write something that centered around a future queen, but this time in an Asian setting. There are not enough Asian-set stories, royalty even more so!

3) How did you handle your research for your story? 

There is a lot of material out there if you wanted to do research on royalty, but I think the most helpful for me was watching the movies. Any historical royal thing I could get my hands on, I watched--The King's Speech, The Crown, Grace of Monaco, Roman Holiday, a couple of seasons of Reign and all the current royal romance books I could get my hands on. The Young Victoria most helpful to me because it was very much a love story, and it was a nice study in the power dynamics that come with a royal couple. 

For the more detailed things, it helped that I followed a couple of Instagram accounts documenting almost everything that Kate Middleton does--including her staff, her royal duties, her outfits, even. The Internet is rife with research material. A few of my friends also told me stories about the Norwegian royals, who are so much fun, and I did a lot of reading up on the Chrysanthemum Throne of Japan (it's really interesting) and the current royals of Thailand and Brunei for the implications of a lese-majeste law. Then there was research into Monaco's relationship with France as a principality. 

4) How did your writing career start? 

I want to say that it really started when I joined #romanceclass. Being part of the community not only gave my books readers, but it gave me things to read as well. The support I got (and still get) is overwhelming, and without them, I don't think I would have continued writing past my first book. 

5) Where do you read and where do you write? 

Read everywhere, write anywhere is my motto. My life has no schedule, I can be here one day and the next find myself in a middle of a farmland in the province. I learned to be flexible, adapt. This is why I'm so grateful to modern technology. Ebooks and cloud files let me access my things from whenever I need them, so I can just type on my phone whenever I feel like writing. 

6) How did you choose the setting for your story? 

I went to Batanes! I honestly believe that it's one of the most beautiful landscapes in the country, and they've managed to preserve a lot about their culture and traditions. At the time I was world building a completely new country so I could make the rules myself, and Batanes was the perfect backdrop to base it on. 

7) What's your favorite royal couple? 

How to choose a favorite among them, though? Hahaha! I like Will and Kate's story because it's everything a modern royal romance should be, but I also love Victoria and Albert because their love story was epic, and the kind that made history. I love that both these couples hold each other as partners in the relationship, and knew how to share the burdens of royal life together. That's the only way you can survive in any relationship, I think, and I like writing that kind of dynamic. 

8) What does romance mean to you? 

It means fun, consensual and hawt. It means exploring emotions, and being uncomfortable sometimes, but it always has a happy ending. 

9) What is your biggest dream when it comes to writing? 

To be able to keep doing it. Again and again and again and again!

10) What are your plans for the future?

Right now, I'm working with #romanceclass for the release of a New York set book Making A Scene, which will be part of the new Flair imprint!


  1. This sounds like a great book. I will have to check this one out. Thanks for the awesome review.

  2. Am image of The King and I popped into my head reading this, not sure if it really fits with this author's book.

  3. I really enjoyed reading your interview, thank you!

  4. So great to meet a new-to-me author!


  5. Nina sounds like a fun-loving independent character. Great interview. Thanks for sharing.

  6. It sounds like a really good book. Thank you for sharing it.

  7. I have never read a royalty romance, but this sounds intriguing and like something I could read.

  8. Sounds lovely. I love this kind of stories.

  9. Carla has such a pretty smile. It really lights up her face! I've just noticed another Sarsfield (Margaret above). I wonder who she is & where she's from - it's not a common surname.

  10. Will and Kate are my favourite couple too. I love the fact that they look at each other with genuine love and they're supportive of each other. Read everywhere def a wonderful motto I really enjoyed this interview :)

  11. I'm not too sure about the topic of royalty but this sounds fascinating.

  12. I agree about the lack of Asian stories in general (there's not a lot of diversity in any type of media or entertainment, tbh)

  13. Beautiful post. I also love pain au chocolat 💗

  14. I've never read anything like this. This sounds amazing.