This is the conclusion to His Royal Secret, which came out a few months ago. This review will contain some spoilers for the first book, because plot progression, so if you’re interested at all in the tale of a gay Prince of Wales, go read the other book first! Or not, I can’t force you!
The first book ended with James deciding to come out to the country, and Ben deciding to come out as James’s partner. This book begins right after, with James working with his magical assistant Kimberly to create the perfect speech. Ben has strategy meetings of his own, and it’s decided to have Ben move in with James for a while, so that he can benefit from the privacy and security.
Ben obviously has no idea what he’s getting into. After James makes his speech, Ben releases his own statement through the newspaper he works for. His boss is over the moon at having access to such a scoop. But Ben stays fairly quiet. The staff in the newsroom start looking at him funny, and eavesdropping on his phone calls. He tries to continue on as an investigative reporter, but all of his sources just want to ask about his sex life. Plus, contrary to what he’d assumed, the paparazzi do not lose interest after a few days.
The first part of this book focuses mainly on Ben’s issues, because he has the bigger adjustment. James gets a surprisingly positive reaction to coming out, because people don’t want to be seen as homophobic. In fact, when he goes to charity events and fancy art shows, the aristocracy start throwing their handsome gay sons at him. James is happy and relieved, but Ben whines that now James can have anyone, why should he stick with Ben who doesn’t know how to play the game, wah wah Ben feels stifled and neglected. Ben throws huge pity parties for himself, and I was not a fan.
Slowly, James and Ben realize that they need to be honest with each other, instead of acting like everything is fine. Also, keeping Ben secluded isn’t working out, so he meets more of the family and friends and also takes charge of a royal charity. When they remember that they’re on the same page, and in love, they’re so much happier. The subplot about James’s sister Indigo really brings them closer together, and that’s where I started to believe that they could make it work.
Meanwhile, James still has to find out if the Church will disavow him, because that would basically void his chance at becoming king. This brings up a nice dialogue between James and Ben. Ben is so angry on James’s behalf at the idea that the country who owned, managed, monitored, and trained him for so long could discard him so abruptly. At last Ben realizes the sacrifices James has made for the country, and he doesn’t resent all the trappings that go along with the position.
I was worried in the beginning that Ben was too self-centered, and too resentful of the royal family. Happily, once he pulled his head out of his ass, he became a strong, steadying partner for James. James continued to be smart, strategic, and googly-eyed over Ben. This story made me believe that the future King of England could be gay, and the world would shrug and move on.
*ARC provided by publisher
Click to purchase: Amazon
His Royal Favorite
by Lilah Pace
Release Date: August 16, 2016