Title: Royal Secret
Author: M. Knopik
Series: Royal Secret 1
Genre: M/M Fantasy Romance
To save his kingdom from war, Raven married Prince Nicholas—as a princess. But on their wedding night, instead of his secret being revealed, Nicholas refuses to have any intimate contact with his new bride, and even goes out of his way to maintain distance between them.
To make matters worse, the queen makes increasing demands for an heir. When Raven overhears Prince Nicholas ask his best friend, Lord Henry to father the child, he panics. He turns to the only person he can trust—his chambermaid, Emilia. With her help, he soon learns that the Prince has a secret of his own…
Source: ARC from Less Than Three Press via NetGalley
I’ll admit it was curiosity that led me to this novella. Why is Raven pretending to be a woman? How does he think he’ll get away with it? And if they’re marrying to prevent a war, how is that all going to work when it’s revealed he’s actually a man?
To be honest, I’m still wondering about all of those questions, because the whole idea is frankly baffling and none of the offered explanations come close to making sense. Raven had no choice in the charade, yet is the one who will have to pay any and all consequences, and I fear for the fate of his parents’ kingdom if they think sealing a marriage alliance with a huge deception is a sound diplomatic idea.
But I put that to one side and tried to focus on the rest. The trouble is Raven’s own behaviour – and determination to get Nicholas’ attention and force a reveal of his secret – is also kind of baffling. Surely he should be happy to be getting away with everything and keeping his life a little longer.
However, again, I could get over this if only Nicholas wasn’t such a horrible bastard. The way he treats Raven his wife is borderline cruel. He’s supposed to be this wonderful prince, but he’s just a massive jerk, using Raven as a proxy to blame all his problems on. Even if Raven had been a woman, they’re in the same unhappy boat and the least Nicholas could do was be friendly, especially as Raven is all alone in a strange country. And yet the way he treats Raven his mysterious lover is worse. The love scenes were perilously close to non-con and his lack of care for his partner was awful. I disliked everything about him.
I had high hopes for this curious little tale, but sadly it stood no chance of meeting them because Nicholas was awful and I didn’t even like Raven all that much. Guess this one just wasn’t for me.
Royal Secret is Out Now.
Visit M. Knopik for more details.