Also by this author: Asking for It
Series: His Royal Secret #1
Published by InterMix on July 19, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Forbidden Love, M/M Romance, One Night to More
Character(s): Journalists/Reporters, Royalty
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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...
Erin: A closeted prince who is the heir to the throne of England, a sexy investigative reporter, and a forbidden romance make for the very interesting premise of Lilah Pace’s new book, His Royal Secret. A fabulous cover, an intriguing blurb, and an attention grabbing opening scene hooked me from the first page and kept me entertained and enthralled from beginning to end. Reading a book centered on modern day royalty (though a fictional family) is a refreshing change of pace for me, and one I’m so happy to have tried.
Prince James has spent his entire life being groomed to take over the throne. When his beloved parents, Prince Edmund and Princess Rose die suddenly, his ascension to the throne takes place much sooner than anyone could have anticipated. Before they died, James told his father he was gay. They both thought they had plenty of time to orchestrate his coming out, ensuring that doing so would have little ramification. Their sudden death makes that plan impossible so James has consigned himself to living in the closet in order to uphold his duty to his country and keeping his sister, the fragile Princess Indigo, who suffers from crippling anxiety, safe from the public. He even has his best friend, Lady Cassandra, pose as his erstwhile and flamboyant girlfriend to help keep his secret. What he never counted on was Benjamin Denhan. They meet when James take a trip to Kenya and what follows is a night of chess, the telling of secrets, and the predictable one-night stand. Both believe they’ll never see one another again, which of course doesn’t happen when Ben shows up in England after he’s been reassigned. What happens next is a secret affair that both begin believing is only a friends with benefits arrangement but as you can guess, turns into something much more.
While the friends with benefits that turns into something more is nothing new, what Lilah Pace does is weave this average story line into something much more, much richer and nuanced when mixed with the royal family arc and backstory. I really loved all the aspects of the monarchy and the research Lilah Pace must have done in order to make this story feel authentic shines through. I loved the fact that we get dual POVs, which added a depth to the story because hearing from both James and Ben as they move from friends to lovers helped me understand both men much better. They have an intense chemistry and a smoldering passion that I found quite irresistible.
There were a few spots throughout the book where I thought the story dragged a bit. I definitely could have done with fewer sex scenes. In a book that is already not terribly long, I would have much preferred more story and less sex, no matter that it’s written very well and is pretty damn hot. That being said though, I really enjoyed this book. I found the writing well done, the characters developed nicely and were all multi-faceted, the plot engaging and the pace moved quickly for the most part. I really liked James and Ben’s relationship, and you could definitely feel the pull James had to honor his family name and destiny, while longing to be true to himself and love Ben in the open. I loved how James was so protective of his sister, I really loved his friendship with Cassandra and the heartache—not to mention guilt—he felt as he asked her to lie for him and how ultimately he sets her free. I am SO looking forward to the conclusion of the duology in His Royal Favorite! Be sure to read His Royal Secret so you can be all caught up because you won’t want to miss it!