ARC Reviews

ARC REVIEW: The Queen’s Game by Carla de Guzman


35692900Publisher: Midnight Books
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Received From: Review copy from author

There are only two reasons why Nina would come back home to Cincamarre–one, if Auntie Delia promises to stop butting into her business, two, if her father died and she was made to ascend the throne to be queen.

Unfortunately for her, it was the second thing that brought her home.

As a princess who’s sunk a yacht and been caught kissing popstars, it’s easy for her aunt, the regent, to think she’s ill prepared for the throne. But Nina doesn’t think that having to fake date Felipe, the handsome, squeaky clean Prince of Concordia was the best solution for that.

Nina’s ready to learn the ropes of her new role and make it hers, and reconnecting with Felipe only makes her want to be a better queen. But is the monarchy ready for Queen Nina?


GENDER: presumed cisgender
SEXUALITY: presumed heterosexual


TROPES: fake dating, contemporary royalty, childhood friends, friends to lovers
TAGS: contemporary, adult, romance, romanceclass, heterosexual romance, Filipinx characters, Filipinx authors, POC characters, POC authors, Asian characters, Asian authors
WARNINGS: parental death, slutshaming, ableism


He pulled her into his arms, and she breathed his scent like it was going to be the last time. The weight of the crown, the weight losing her father, the weight of everyone’s disappointment melted away in Felipe’s arms. She felt safe here, and if she closed her eyes, she could pretend that none of it was waiting for her when they broke apart.

I love this story!

Nina, the wild princess, and Felipe, the farmer prince, are perfect for each other. Childhood friends, easing right back into friendship and made to fake date, they have an easy chemistry, which is clearly exhibited with how well they get along and can read the other. And I loved how they balanced each other out and found a middle ground within their relationship between their personalities. My favorite scenes with the two of them was their “first” meeting, in which she steals his car, with him inside, to escape her father’s funeral, and near to the end when he helps her with the crown and calls her “my queen.”

My favorite character after these two were Tito Ernie. He was so funny and I loved that Nina had him there to support her while Tita Delia was making Nina’s life miserable. He was the perfect person to be by her side through it all, knowing when to let her have her way and when to stand his ground with her.

I enjoyed the political intrigue of the plot, and I only wish the story was longer so I could’ve seen more of Nina as queen and ruling over her country. I want to see more of the intricacies of their ruling system, the different ceremonies and duties Nina has to partake in, everything, even the boring stuff.

Carla de Guzman does an excellent job of creating a fun, quick story and I cannot wait for more from her!





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.




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