Daisy and Ellie get a befuddling surprise in a new ROYALS excerpt!
Royal wedding fever is upon us and Rachel Hawkins is taking it to a whole new level in her novel Royals, out next month.
Royals follows 16-year-old Daisy, whose older sister has achieved the fairytale dream of getting engaged to a prince and upended Daisy’s quiet, casual existence in the process.
In a sneak peek from Happy Ever After, Daisy and Ellie are headed to a royal party… and they’re not quite prepared for what they find when they get there.
Ellie leans closer, looking over at the driver before she whispers, “Daisy, the people at this party … they’re more Sebastian’s friends than mine or Alex’s.”
Her blue eyes keep darting toward the driver, but he’s staring straight ahead, no sign that he’s overhearing us at all. I guess if you have a job driving royal types around, you get pretty good at tuning things out.
“The Royal Wreckers,” I whisper back with a nod, and El jerks like I’ve slapped her. And then she’s leaning in so close that her long blond hair nearly touches my arm.
“Oh my god, you won’t read the stuff Glynnis prepared for you, but you will read internet gossip?”
“I didn’t read the internet gossip, Isabel did,” I fire back. Whisper-fighting is hard to do without spitting, but Ellie and I have practice with these hissed arguments in back seats. Years of family road trips will do that. “And to be honest, that’s the kind of thing I might need to know more than how to address an earl in ‘formal written correspondence.’ See? I did look at the file.”
Ellie’s only reply to that is a very eloquent eye roll, but at least she sits back a little and stops clenching her fingers in her lap. “The point is, I want you to know that—”
Looking out the windshield, her eyes go wide, and I turn to follow her glance, only to find my own jaw dropping.
We’re coming up a narrow dirt road, and at the end, there isn’t a castle but a low stone farmhouse, pretty and perfect with a slate roof and green hills rolling in the background. It’s like something out of a fairy tale, but that’s not what has me and Ellie staring.
It’s the line of pipers in kilts outside the house.
There are at least twenty guys standing there, bagpipes at the ready, and as the car approaches, there’s this … blast of sound.
Even with the windows up, it’s loud enough to make my teeth rattle, and that first wheezing note as they all fire up at once makes me cover my ears even as I grin and look over at Ellie.
“Oh my god,” I say, but she ignores me, leaning forward to say to the driver, “This isn’t Sherbourne!”
She has to shout, that’s how loud the bagpiping is, and the driver raises his voice to reply, “This was the location I was given, ma’am!”
“I mean, obviously, El,” I say, elbowing her in the side. “Isn’t this the welcome you get everywhere?”
I honestly think she’d tell me to shut up, but that’s not very princess-y, so she settles for shooting me a look as the car pulls to a stop in front of the line of pipers.
Then we both just sit there for a second.
Of course, there isn’t actually a prince of Scotland, but Rachel Hawkins has figured out this fake royal family’s history going back centuries!