His Royal Favorite (His Royal Secret #2), by Lilah Pace
Publish Date: August 16, 2016
Format: e-ARC, provided by the publisher
Genre: adult contemporary m/m romance
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Rating: 4.5 STARS
(Synopsis) James, Prince of Wales, is making history. He's decided to come out to his subjects—and the world. However, telling the truth means exposing his relationship with lone-wolf reporter Benjamin Dahan. Although Ben never wanted commitment, the unexpected depth of his feelings leads him to join James in the media's harsh spotlight.
When the news story explodes across the globe, Ben can endure the mockery and dirty jokes. But after his tragic past is cruelly revealed, his life begins to implode. Can even his love for James be worth this?
James has it no easier. His revelation divides the country and sparks turmoil within the royal family. He must struggle to defend not only himself and Ben, but also his younger sister, who hovers on the brink of a breakdown that could endanger her life.
Is Ben strong enough to survive the onslaught and stand by James' side? And will James have to make a choice between Ben and the crown?
Lilah, thanks so much for taking time out of your busy day to satisfy my curiosity!
Thanks so much! This story's dear to me, so I'm always ready to talk about it. Maybe too much!
In both HIS ROYAL SECRET and HIS ROYAL FAVORITE, we see two very different worlds - Ben’s global media world and James’ royal one. You write both sides as if you’re intimately familiar with them. Do you have a background in journalism that gave you insight into Ben’s life?
…kind of? I've worked as a journalist, but my career was very, very unlike Ben's. However, some of my former coworkers have gone on to do very similar things, so I drew on some of their experiences and advice.
Since I know you’re not a princess when you’re not writing (or are you? *raises eyebrow*), how did you manage to paint James’ world of royal structure and protocol so vividly? What sort of research did you conduct to make it so believable?
Sadly, no, not a princess. But I've been an avid royal-watcher for a long while, probably because Princess Diana's wedding hit when I was at a very impressionable age. It's been a subject I've read a lot about, that and the English tradition of being in service, which intersects with royalty a bit. My friends back in Great Britain did some Britspeak reads for me, too, and shared what they knew about the royals as well. Some liberties are still taken, and I'm sure there are huge blunders I can't even guess at—but at least a little genuine detail got in.
What was your inspiration for Ben’s and James’ story?
Really it came from being overly interested in the royals, right at the point in time when the country was beginning to seriously discuss legalizing gay marriage. I began wondering what would happen if you had a gay heir to the throne, what the legal issues would be, how it would affect the Church of England, et cetera. One day I was driving along thinking about this when I caught myself and felt silly—I went, Why are you obsessing about this? How can this ever matter in your life? And immediately I knew the answer: I had to write about it.
Between m/f and m/m—probably m/f is my preference, but it's not a very strong one. I find both kinds of romance very compelling emotionally and very hot. (My being exclusively attracted to men means that f/f doesn't really register as sexy to me in the same way, which makes me unlikely to write it, but the emotion in f/f story arcs can still work for me as a reader.) I just want to dig into what draws two people to each other and makes it completely, utterly necessary that they be together from that day on.
Did you find it difficult to get inside the heads of two men?
It didn't seem difficult to me, though I guess male readers would have to be the last word on that one! Really, emotionally, when it comes to falling in love, I don't think men and women (and the genderfluid) are so hugely different and separate. Those feelings are ones we can all connect with to some degree.
So, what is coming next?
My editor's about to get proposals for both some m/f and m/m ideas. We'll see what she says!
And, because I like to ask one fun question, out of all the places you’ve lived, which was your favorite and why?
New York City. I'm not sure I'd ever move back—I'm at a different place in my life now—but I loved the whirl of it, the incredible diversity of people I'd meet, the incredible art and culture, and the sheer energy. The city can be rough, but it made me get my act together. I'll always miss it a little.
She’s addicted to Diet Coke, loves her dog, and daydreams about several British movie stars (though usually no more than two at a time).
And while it took her a long while to get up the courage to write books, now she hopes she’ll never stop.