Title: His Royal Secret (His Royal Secret #1)
Author: Lilah Pace
Publisher: InterMix – Penquin Books USA
Release Date: July 19, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary, Royals
Page Count: 224
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
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…
Take one very closeted royal, one darkly attractive investigative reporter, add in a rainy night at the secluded resort in Kenya and you have the intriguing beginning of “His Royal Secret,” the first book in a two-part series by Lilah Pace.
James became Prince of Wales in his late teens, after the sudden death of his parents, Prince Edmund and Princess Rose (think Charles and Diana in the early happy years). Head of “a church that’s leaning more strongly away from supporting gay clergy and gay marriage […] and a country that’s inching toward being progressive but is absolutely not ready for a gay king,” James is trapped. If he abdicates, the crown passes to his emotionally fragile sister Amelia and James wants to protect her at all costs.
James and Ben begin an arrangement that initially suits both their needs perfectly. Ben doesn’t do domesticity. To him, to be loved is to be owned. James knows “Ben didn’t give a damn that he was a prince; he just wanted James’s body. What a revelation, what a joy, what a complete fucking turn-on to be wanted for only himself.” Their sexual chemistry is absolutely Off. The. Chain, and over the course of the book both men slowly come to realize that what they have is much more than a friends with benefits situation.
Reading “His Royal Secret” made me feel this is what it must really be like to be a royal. The author does a beautiful job of capturing that claustrophobic feeling of living a life in the spotlight 24/7/365, combined with the burden of James having to hid his truest self from almost everyone close to him. And the book’s pace was perfect – it holds your interest with no missteps and the more you get into the story, the more powerful it becomes.
The only unfortunate thing about this book? It ends in a cliffhanger. Yup, you’ll need to wait until the second book in the series – “His Royal Favorite” – is published in mid-August. I cannot wait!