By Micoto Sakurai and Kuroyuki. Released in Japan as “Konyakusha ga Uwakiaite to Kakeochi Shimashita. Ōji Denka ni Dekiaisarete Shiawase nanode, Ima sara Modoritai to Iwarete mo Komarimasu” by DRE Novels. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by A. M. Cola.
Occasionally I have to remind myself not to criticize something for being what it is intending itself to be. You would not criticize a science-fiction book for having spaceships in it, or an isekai for having someone transported to another world. That’s what it IS. And this is a romance. What’s more, A Royal Rebound is definitely in the genre of “wish fulfillment” romance. The heroine is an adorable nerd who finds love with another adorable nerd (the prince). The other princes are all sweet as pie. Everyone is easily put into two buckets: those on her side, or villains. As such, it works fine. The book’s wish fulfillment is sweet, the bad fiancé gets what’s coming to him, and they all live happily ever after (well, at least until Vol. 2). My only real issue with the book is Amelia, the heroine, who is… a bit of a drip, to be honest.
Amelia Lenia is a count’s daughter in a farming domain specializing in grain. She’s a water mage, fairly common. She’s been engaged to Reese Thurma, from a neighboring domain, for some time and things have seemed fine. But when Reese goes off to school he suddenly stops visiting, or writing. And when Amelia joins him a year later she finds that everyone seems to hate her on sight. What exactly is going on here? Fortunately, she does meet one nice guy – an eccentric young man who wants to talk to her about ways to help their harvest in the increasingly cold weather they’ve been getting. Oh yes, and he’s also the Fourth Prince, and 2nd in line in the succession. Can Amelia figure out why Reese is shunning her AND negotiate Sarge’s royal family?
I might have liked this better if I hadn’t read it right after The Apothecary Witch Turned Divorce Agent, whose heroine, Carla, is almost the anti-Amelia. Amelia is nice, but is definitely in the “suffer quietly” camp, never my favorite. She does get a nice punch at the end of the book, but it’s a long wait. She works much better paired up with Sarge, as the book makes no bones about how the two are massive nerds who will happily talk about crops until they both pass out from exhaustion. Fortunately, everyone in the royal family adores Amelia on sight, mostly as she can keep up with Sarge’s thinking. Most of the book is not “when will they get together” so much as “when will Amelia realize that this is love?”, and the answer is “most of the book”. That said, again, this is a wish fulfillment romance, where a shy nerdy girl gets a hot guy and his hot family, and they go back to his place late at night for some hot equation solving. It does its job well.
The book wraps everything up nicely in one volume, but there is a 2nd on the way, which seems to involve the desert nation mentioned in this book. I’m hoping Amelia gains some confidence going forward.