Reviewed by Chris
TITLE: His Royal Secret
SERIES: His Royal Secret #1
AUTHOR: Lilah Pace
LENGTH: 185 pages
RELEASE DATE: July 19, 2016
The first in an enchanting new male/male romantic duology from Lilah Pace, author of Asking for More and Begging for It ….
James, the handsome, cosmopolitan Prince of Wales, is used to being in the public eye. But he’s keeping a king-sized secret…James, next in line for the throne, is gay.
He’s been able to hide his sexual orientation with the help of his best friend and beard, Lady Cassandra. Sometimes he feels like a coward for not coming out, but he daren’t risk losing the crown. If he did, the succession would fall on his deeply troubled younger sister, Princess Amelia. To protect her, James is willing to live a lie.
While on holiday, he meets Benjamin Dahan—a rugged international reporter with a globe-trotting, unattached life—who catches far more than James’s eye. And when Ben is transferred to London, it seems fate may finally be smiling on James.
But what began as a torrid fling grows into something far more intimate and powerful. Soon James will have decide who he is, what he wants from life and love, and what he’s willing to sacrifice for the truth…
It may be good to be the king, but being a king-in-waiting isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.
James has lived his whole life knowing that he’d one day wear a crown. He didn’t think he’d be presented with that particular gilded problem for many years to come, though. But when his parents die unexpectedly, and with his grandfather, the reigning king, in declining health, he has to face the fact that his time might come much sooner than planned. But he has lived his life for this moment, and despite his own personal desire to chuck the thing in the Thames, he will not falter or fail.
Even if it means living a lie.
A lie that becomes substantially more difficult to keep after meeting Ben on a diplomatic trip to Kenya. It was one moment (ok, several glorious moments) of weakness, but their trist can be nothing more than that. Something made all the more clear when the damning knowledge of Ben’s career comes to light. But months, and one serendipitous meeting, later and what should have stayed in Africa (and the closet) is now filling the private quarters of one of the most famous men in England. One of the most famous straight men–who are supposedly in a tumultuous relationship with a strong-willed Scottish woman–in the world, even.
So it might be good to be the king, but only if the press don’t find out the truth.
My expectations for this book have both been very high and very low. At times it seemed to be both at once. Everything was set for this book to be a smash, I just didn’t know if it would be a good one.
This book is both familiar (what anglophile doesn’t have even the smallest of obsessions with the English royal family?) and yet fresh and fun at the same time. While I wouldn’t call it royal fanfiction, it certainly draws on the current royal family for inspiration. However I didn’t feel cheated or let down by lackluster character building. These characters are well built and wonderfully executed. I especially love how well the secondary characters were brought to life. My favorite is Indigo, James’s little sister, but James’s best friend (and ever useful beard) Cassandra was also a real kicker.
As to the rocky but increasingly powerful relationship between James and Ben, I can only swoon a little. Something about the doomed nature of their love (not that they’d ever date to call it that, even to themselves) just made me cheer them on all the more. Ben who would probably run into the mouth of a lion before a committed relationship, is equal parts grumpy and endearing. Where his constant attempts to distance himself from James should have annoyed me, the fact that he was just so damn bad at it made it hard to hate him. And it is not like James was all that eager to go dancing thru the tulips either. As a pair they felt safe to indulge and not get caught, but caught they did get. Just not in the way they were expecting.
This is the first in a pair of stories telling the love affair and fallout of the sensational romance of James and Ben, and can I just say that it did not even take me till the halfway point before I was already clamoring for the sequel. Luckily for me and you we only have to wait a few more weeks to see the conclusion of this exciting tale. This one having broken all of my expectations, I can’t wait to read the conclusion.