Author: Anna Martin
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 3.5 stars
Type: Standalone Novel
Received from Publisher
Blurb: After growing up in a rough part of town, George Maguire worked his way out of Manchester and to a career as a design engineer. Alexander van Amsberg, an architecture student at the University of Edinburgh, wasn’t the sort of guy he normally had explosive, hotel-room one-night-stands with. Alex was charming, classy, and, as George later learns, Prince of the Netherlands.
Fate brings them together again, and Alex makes sure to get his sexy stranger’s phone number this time. Despite all the reasons why they shouldn’t work, something clicks, and Alex thinks that this time, he might have found the right guy. But Alex’s aristocratic ex stirs up trouble in the press for George and his humble family, and Alex realizes he has to get real about having a boyfriend from the wrong side of town.
While George acknowledges his modest upbringing, he doesn’t let anyone insult his family. Life’s no fairy tale, and regardless of his royal title, Alex might destroy his one chance for happily ever after.
Review: I wanted to like this one more than I did. I think I went into this wanting a more whimsical modern day romance between a prince and popper. This was a more realistic take on it. Totally my issue so keep that in mind while reading this review. Alex the prince was royalty but way down the line so he barely had any royal duties or responsibilities. He’s a student in college living a pretty carefree life. He’s out. He has money and no obligations. George grew up in a big family whose parents worked long hours and still never had much money. He’s grown up and has a great job now, so his popper status is behind him really. A few people know he’s gay but most don’t. George hasn’t really had a boyfriend until Alex. So being with him is a new experience. I liked this story but I wasn’t ever really drawn into it. It was good but not something memorable for me personally.
The book starts off with Alex and George picking each other up at a bar. It’s a hot and fun one-night-stand that neither man can seem to get out of their heads. George learns that the man he spent the night with is a prince. At a charity event they run into each other and admit they’d like to see each other again. Alex seems to be pretty open to dating George. George really likes Alex but he’s not all the way out to the people in his life. He has a harder time moving the relationship to the next step. George sometimes has problems with their very different stations in life. He can’t help but worry about how he’s not exactly what the society types expect from a man dating a prince.
My favorite parts of this book were the ones where they were meeting each other families. George’s family is big and very close. They’re very colorful and charming. Cracks me up his mom was happy he was getting laid. George’s affection for his mom is really adorable. Alex’s family is more cultured. Posh and rich but kind. They were very welcoming to George which was nice as cliches can be tiresome. George attending their gala and getting him ready for it was fun to read about.
The couple had this very easy way of them coming together. It just sort of was. I didn’t ever get that giddy feeling of a new and exciting relationship. I think I missed that. There was never much tension between the MCs minus the one big misunderstanding which was over quickly. So the couple was sweet and fun together but I wasn’t invested in them really.
There were moments when I liked his friend Doug. He’s sassy and funny. The scene in the bathhouse and waking up George to the struggle of gay men through history slowed the book down for me. George may not be totally out but he’s not an idiot. I find it hard to believe he didn’t know the extent to which gay men and women have been mistreated. This felt like a lesson and not so much part of the story to me personally.
Sadly for me this book was kind of meh. The pace was slow and monotonous. It was the day to day lives of a budding new relationship between two guys type of thing. It did have a very British vibe going if you like that sort of thing. Which I generally do. I just never really got into the characters which is always the big thing for me. I know I’m probably the minority in not loving this story but for me it just wasn’t a book I was dying to pick back up.