Book Review: His Royal Secret by Lilah Pace

Royal Secret

Title: His Royal Secret (His Royal Secret #1)
Author: @LilahPace
Reviewer: Grace
Genre: M/M, Contemporary Romance
Length: 185 pages
Rating: 4.25 Stars

Synopsis

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.

Grace Review

This is one of those stories that I clicked on before reading one word of the synopsis.  I loved the author’s other series, and took a leap of faith.  It was a good call.  This story was an unexpectedly raw and honest look at why someone keeps their sexuality a secret.

Yes, I may have done a happy dance when I learned that this was an M/M story.  Then there was the added bonus that it hits on a popular romance theme right now, royalty.  And now I’m grinning like a loon.  What a perfect set up for an M/M story!

James has a lot on his plate.
He’s currently Prince, but with the sudden sickness of his Grandfather, is likely to reach the throne, sooner than later.
His sister has sever anxiety issues, and not suited for a public role.
He is gay and the risks of coming out include tensions between partnering countries and the Church.
On top of all that, the man James has grown attracted to, happens to be a reporter.

Seriously, the plotline is perfect.

James first meets Ben on a visit to Africa.  Odd circumstances lead them together, but with one game of chess (note the cover), and they are sharing secrets.  This leads to some very revealing confessions and a moment of passion.

With Ben profession and James’ personal issues (see above), they really should stay far and clear from one another.  However, once they reunite, it is all but impossible for them to stay apart.  As a fan of forbidden romances, this story has that edge, as getting caught could ruin James.  So the two begin having clandestine meetings in the night, which grow longer and longer, as they can’t stay apart.

“Is anything wrong?”
“Yeah.  Your mouth’s not around my cock.”

I loved the passion between them and how freely they gave into one another.  But more than that, I liked how their complicated relationship was handled.  James clearly lays out all of the issues, and once doing so, it’s hard for Ben to see it any other way.

How long can you hide while others suffer the truth?  How much longer can you live a lie?

The ending of this book, which is book one of a duo, was my favorite part.  They both acknowledge a change, both have differing views on how to fix it to protect the other, but show a great strength in coming to a solution together.  Where that leads them, I don’t have a clue.  I’m sure it will get bad before it gets better.  I just know I can’t wait for more!

– Grace

*An ARC was received via NetGalley for an honest review.
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