Princes of the Universe (Bob-O-Link’s Review)

Title: Princes of the Universe (Crazy Little Thing #1)
Author: Serene Franklin
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: June 19, 2019
Genre(s): Friends to Lovers, Slow Burn
Page Count: 212 pages
Reviewed by: Bob-O-Link
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5



I’m bad at love. I’m bad at many things, but love is so far down the list that it would be funny if it weren’t so tragic. At twenty-eight years old, I’ve had my fair share of partners, and each hasn’t hesitated to tell me that I’m incapable of loving. I love my dog, though I guess that’s not the same thing. Every woman I’ve dated can’t be wrong, right? So I’ve given up on love and resigned myself to a solitary life.

Everything is going all right until he walks through the door at my office. He’s the one person who knows my deepest secret—I just know everything’s going to change.


I didn’t think I’d ever see him again. It’s been ten years—and I’d long ago given up all hope—though I never forgot about him. The last place I expected to find him was in the ad agency I’m considering for the launch of my bakery, yet here we are. I can’t lie and say I’m not excited at the prospect of working closely with him.

This feels like a second chance, and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to earn his trust and find out what happened to him all those years ago.

Hopefully my heart survives in the process.

Princes of the Universe is a sweet story, which follows the unexpected re-acquaintance of two men, ten years after their single, intimate meeting. Eli, who believes he is straight, is an almost pathological society misfit, having no family and very few friends. Bless his beloved dog!

Bryan, on the other hand, is attractively and actively gay – an outgoing friend to all.

The novel is so much like a television romance movie. The plot follows our heroes’ interactions as they again get to know, and eventually to love, each other. Though, perhaps it takes more extended pages than necessary. On the plus side, Ms Franklin has a fine way with words (such as, after too many facts are stated: “Foot, meet mouth.” But she also sometimes misses a point, referring to a baseball score as “points,” or having Eli, a long time advertising executive, unbelievably posit that “I never knew any gay people . . .”)

Reading Princes of the Universe is a gentle use of time. The characters develop most gently, yet gain the reader’s affection. While too much of the writing style almost sounds like entries in a personal diary, it does work. The usual TV romance is too vanilla: the arrival at the end is apparently necessary before the leads finally get to kiss. Hooray! Sadly, in Princes of the Universe, we, too, are almost at book’s end before Ely and Bryan finally, as the kids say, DO IT! They engage in fellatio, which, trying to stimulate the readers’ erotic bent, might easily be compared to that clinical chapter finally reached in your high school hygiene text. (Bryan: “Just go slow and don’t take too much. You can use your hand to hold . . .” Etc.) All is not lost: after concluding that Eli is likely a demisexual (that is, requiring an emotional connection before sex happens) as well as bisexual, lovely intercourse happens!

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Galley copy of Princes of the Universe provided by the author in exchange of an honest review.


I'm a retired professional. My husband and I, each with an ex-wife, between us have six married children and 10 grandchildren. We both read voraciously, with a strong leaning to gay romance and HEA. Stories with a little (okay, even loads of) sex, and a lot of tears, always pleases.