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The Queen's Game

(Cincamarre series #1)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  110 ratings  ·  46 reviews
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, th
Kindle Edition, 165 pages
Published July 30th 2017
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3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  110 ratings  ·  46 reviews

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Nenia ⭐ Literary Garbage Can ⭐ Campbell

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Last year, I found out that there's a whole bunch of #OwnVoices Filipinx romance novels floating around out there as part of a writing group headed by Mina V. Esguerra, called #romanceclass. A whole bunch of them went cheap or free last August, so of course, I checked obsessively every day, totally abusing that 1-click button.

THE QUEEN'S GAME is one of these #romanceclass novellas. I've read some of Carla de Guzman's work before, a friends-
K.J. Charles
A very sweet modern-fairytale romance, in which the wild-child crown princess of a small island nation must come back home when her father dies, and finds herself forced into a fake relationship with the garden-loving prince of the island next door. Warm, fluffy fun with a spiky heroine demanding her right to be a modern woman even when forced into a traditional role, and a cinnamon roll prince who supports her all the way.
Laura (bbliophile)
THIS WAS SO CUTE also I want more books with soft boys
Silvana [The Book Voyagers]
When I first found out about this book, I screamed. I screamed because I love this trope and I think we should have more of it in the romance genre. And I don't mean more white European-based royals in books, but POC as main characters, with different cultures and in different countries! I'm happy to say that The Queen's Game has Filipino characters and both of them are royals.

This book was a beautiful thing to read. Since the very beginning, Carla de Guzman enchanted me with her writing and her
The Queen’s Game is what I needed to read. It was short and fiercely meaningful. Can I add sweet too? Is that okay fierce and sweet? Okay, let me explain…

The characters playing out from The Queen’s Game is a dauntless princess, Nina. She has been named in news as royalty that has been in numerous scandals.

As our fierce princess one said:

“Pussy red”

I was choking I love Nina. She’s a strong headed woman. She has been wanting to prove herself worthy of all Cincamarre. Her development was subtle b
Mirjana **DTR - Down to Read**

Modern fairytale + Fake Relationship + Freebie = ONE EXCITED READER!!
I liked this, but compared to Carla de Guzman's latest books, it's obvious that this book was one of the first books she's ever published. Review to follow.
Mel González
→ filipinx royal romance!!
→ fake relationship between a prince and a crown princess
→ soft hero who loves farming!!
→ childhood friends
→ SUPER adorable
anna (readingpeaches)
2.5 ☆

i was rly excited abt this bc a royal arranged marriage?? set in a fictional countries next to the philippines??? sounded like a book of my dreams!!

but it was so dreadful.

the writing is just weak. there's way too much telling over showing, it's doing that thing i hate where a chapter is told from person a's pov & suddenly gives us inside on person b's feelings, the characters - maybe apart from the main two but not really - r more like one-dimensional caricatures than anything else.

Inah (The Bibliophile Confessions)
The Queen's Game was such a quick read that if I haven't had any other commitments, I would've finished it in one sitting. I really loved the premise of the story, Filipino Royalties plus fake dating. It sounds like the perfect disaster romance I would love. Note that the disaster in the context is the whole fake-dating-do-not-fall-in-love-with-me trope, which I really love because it's a real treat to see the characters flirt with each other while trying hard not to fall, but still they end up ...more
Leigh Kramer
Compelling royal romance novella, if only because is the first time (in my memory) I've read about someone preparing to be queen. Yes, she's a princess for the majority of the book but that's a technicality due to the person acting as regent until Nina is ready to take the throne. Or at least, until she's proven she's overcome her scandalous reputation. Nina and Felipe do a great job of navigating the politics of their respective countries while undertaking a fake relationship that becomes somet ...more
Fake-dating? A prince who's soft on plants and justice ? Princess with a scheming Regent who wants to take her crown?

This book had all the good points to make me love it. Felipe and Nina form this couple that you cannot for one minute resist. They have chemistry and they banter like the childhood friends (or more like two royals who were forced into play-dates together) do. I liked how they had an established relationship but they also reintroduced themselves to one another. I like that Nina's
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originall posted as a bookstagram:

The Queen's Game by Carla de Guzman is a #romanceclass title set in the fictional kingdoms of Cincamarre and Concordia, located north of the Philippines. They're based on Batanes, a province that has long been in my list of aspirational travel destinations. I hear it's gorgeous, and the descriptions in this book strengthens that knowledge.

I can't say that I'm a big royal romance reader but I was fascinated by the idea tha
Kristy Mauna
This book was delightful! A contemporary royal romance with Filipino characters - YES please! The setting is rich and beautiful, characters are fun, romance is swoony, and the story is amazing. Pick this one up! <3
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
A good taste but left wanting more

I loved that Nina was unbothered by royal expectations and demands. A princess turned queen on the cusp of grasping what happens when life throws a curveball. Antagonism with The shift from old and new guard. How a woman may be destined for a duty but she doesn't need to bow. The romance slightly suffered because I needed more showing, not telling. I wanted to see Felipe in his farming element. A look into his life with a dowager princess. I just
Nov 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
A quick, enjoyable romance novel. My biggest criticism is the length-- things were passed on and occurred too quickly to really do the story justice or "feel" the sparks. Another hundred pages or so to fix the rapid pacing would have been all to the good but I very much liked this story nonetheless. The heroine especially had an incredible, strong personality that I was immediately drawn to.

(And side bar, that cover is just amazing, isn't it? 😍)
3.5 stars

Both the book and the cover are so Insanely cute that I have no words.
Carla de Guzman does an excellent job of creating a fun, quick story and I cannot wait for more from her! Check out the full review on my blog!
Apr 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice, fluffy royal romance set in two imaginary kingdoms

The Queen's Game is just wonderful - a spoiled heiress who has become a world famous celebrity is on her path to take the throne without losing herself. Childhood friends to lovers, great hero - supporting and caring and encouraging, giving the heroine the freedom and the back-up/sense of security she needs. Things start with a fake relationships which quickly becomes real. He is a prince himself but was never intimated by her position, I l
"A prodigal daughter comes home to claim her crown, and along the way, she finds second chances at life and in love—this is The Queen’s Game by Carla de Guzman. It’s brave, creative and original. One of my favorite reads this year." Continue reading our review here.

Please note: We don't use ratings but for this purpose, we tag books with three stars by default.
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Amanda (Fandomly Bookish)
The Queen’s Game is a story that I didn’t know that I needed.

Lurking around on Twitter certainly has its perks and one of ’em is being able to spot upcoming releases that are up for reviews. That’s how I ended up with The Queen’s Game. Once I saw the ARC request link on my timeline, I clicked on it and immediately became so enamored with its premise. I want it. So without a shadow of doubt, I jumped into the opportunity of reading and reviewing it before its publication date. Just read that syn
H. Bentham
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Queen’s Game by Carla De Guzman

When ARC of this book came out, I immediately had to sign-up because I was so intrigued by the premise of having Philippine royalties. Granted, the Kingdom here is fictional Cincamarre, but it was still distinctly Filipino.

Nina is the flighty Princess, pulled back to her kingdom to ascend the throne after at her father’s death. Her Tita Delia, Regent of Cincamarre believes she is not ready for it, what with her gallivanting ways outside of the kingdom the past
Olivia Chanel's Galaxy of Books
Thank you so much, Carla de Guzman, for my advanced review copy of The Queen’s Game. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion.

I am in love with The Queen’s Game and this contemporary romance story featuring Filipino main characters. As soon as I saw the blurb I knew I had to read it. I have a weak spot for contemporary royalty and mix that with #romanceclass and you know it’s a winner. This story features a princess, Nina, and a prince, Felipe, who gr
Mayumi Cruz
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 out of 5 stars

Almost everyone loves princess stories, me included. And Princess Nina is one heck of a lovable princess who pulled a heist like no other to become one heck of a shrewd, dauntless Queen.

This book has just the right blend of royalty, humor, intrigue, passion and climactic resolution. I specifically loved the latter part of Chapter 7, rallying silently for Nina as she smashed the glass. She is an incredible woman of determination, wit and compassion, who chose to rise above a scand
JM Cabral
After having read the emotionally heartbreaking They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera, I needed something extremely sweet (!!!), and short (!!!) to prevent me from undergoing the inevitable reading slump. I cried buckets for that book, to be honest. And reading Carla's forthcoming The Queen's Game was definitely a step in the right direction for me. Yes, it was both short and sweet, but there's so much more to it than just that.

I love how this entire book reminded me of Disney's The Princess
Suze Lavender
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 pri ...more
Rachelle Belaro
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
 I got an ARC of this book in exchange for a review.

I have read Carla's previous books before and when I read The Queen's Game, it was definitely different than her other works. Well, the theme was a dead giveaway but it has a sense of maturity if compared to her previous books.

When I started reading The Queen's Game, the prologue got me hooked almost immediately. It has a certain draw that made want to read that part over and over again. It showed right from the start that Nina was fierce and a
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this!

What a great story. Loved that the heroine was in charge. Loved that the cute, sexy, dorky hero was cool with that. Loved that the country seemed fairly real, good "world building". It was such a nice fairy tale that I didn't even mind as much as usual that the world was non-democratic and non-egalitarian-which can bother me. If I had to deduct a half point it would be for some irritating copy editing mistakes most of which were near the beginning. But I enjoyed the darling couple eno
Bianca Mori
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the very Pinoy touches and settings in this book--such a clever way of making a Filipino-esque monarchy believable, the "heist"-like resolution and sweet development of the relationship between Nina and Felipe (honestly I didn't want it too dragged out anymore, let the kilig fly free!). My only niggle, and I'm not sure if it's just the version I have, are formatting and editing errors. I.e. Nina's second name is spelled with a 'z' sometimes and an 's' in another. Small things that take y ...more
Agay Llanera
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was looking for a light and fluffy book to read after finishing a challenging task, and TQG didn't disappoint. I loved how de Guzman was able to bend reality with a deft hand, and made it believable and charming. I enjoyed reading an alternate universe of Batanes and our country, loved how local things such as dried mangoes and rice cakes took centerstage. Nina's strong personality and Felipe's slow, deliberate way of doing things were a perfect match. Overall, a book I'd highly recommend. :-)
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Author, occasional illustrator, full-time traveler.

Other books in the series

Cincamarre series (2 books)
  • Stealing Luna