Rating : 4.5 out of 5 Stars
I loved this book! It was my first M/M story, by the talented Lilah Pace. It was a pleasant surprise and a reminder of why I keep taking chances with new-to-me authors.
James is the heir to the English throne and has hidden his homosexuality from almost everyone for years. But his discretion is taking its toll on his life and his only hope is a favorable evolution of the general public opinion. When he meets Ben Dahan during a trip to Kenya, his life is about to change. Ben takes his breath away. He is not impressed by royalty and despite his huge trust issues, James wants to win him over. Usually, James has no time to be himself with people he meets. It’s all about the appearances. With Ben, everything is different, he is totally under his spell. But when he finds out Ben didn’t tell him he is a reporter, James feels betrayed and tricked.
James is an engaging character and I felt for him. He is living a lie and is lonely. He feels he has to face his fate though, no matter the cost to him. But even if he is convinced Ben lured him into an affair to report on him, nothing is able to keep him from wanting to be with Ben.
Ben has to make a difficult choice between his profession and his loyalty to James. He is a decent person and regrets hurting James. His transfer to London finally gives him the opportunity to apologize and rekindle their relationship. They become lovers with a nice clean arrangement, but are they able to avoid pushing its boundaries?
I enjoyed this beautifully written story, that was both heartbreaking and heart mending! It felt fresh and realistic. Frankly, I could not put it down! Both characters grew as the story unfolded, their emotional connection becoming very strong. “His Royal Secret” is the first book in a duology. James and Ben’s story will conclude in the next book “His Royal Favorite”, and I can’t wait to read it!
An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.