Early Review: His Royal Secret by Lilah Pace

His Royal Secret by Lilah Pace
Series: His Royal Secret #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: July 19th 2016
Links: EbookGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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 to decide who he is, what he wants from life and love, and what he’s willing to sacrifice for the truth…

Last year, I loved Lilah Pace’s debut novel and fell in love with her writing, so when I heard she’d be writing a new series, and an M/M one at that, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Everything about His Royal Secret sounded amazing – a secretly gay Prince of Wales, a reporter he falls for, a clandestine relationship – so much goodness right there! I ended up not quite loving His Royal Secret, but enjoying it nonetheless. It’s a good start to James and Ben’s story, and I’m excited for their finale. If you’re in the mood for a sexy M/M romance with a unique twist to it, I’d say you should definitely give this book a try. Just know, it’s a duology, and the sequel releases in a month!

James is the heir to the British throne, but the thing is, he’s also gay. As modern as the world is, the monarchy is still pretty conservative, and there are a ton of other legitimate reasons why James hasn’t come out. He also keeps low in relationships, obviously, but one road trip to Africa changes things when he meets Benjamin Dahan, a reporter – with morals – James instantly forms an attraction to.

I’m taking this. One stolen hour in my entire bloody life–it’s mine, he’s mine, and no one else ever has to know.

Since neither of them believe they’ll ever see each other again, they fall into temptation and a night of passion… but when Ben is reassigned to England, they reunite and begin a secret, sex-only affair. How long will they be able to keep up their relationship before they get caught? And can they keep their feelings out of the equation?

I really enjoyed James and Ben’s characters. They’re so sweet and adorable together, especially when they both try to believe that they’re not falling for each other. Their romance moved a bit slow, despite the short length of the book, and I honestly would’ve rather read their full story in one longer book. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the third person POV, so that spark in Lilah Pace’s writing that I loved in her debut was missing for me. The main characters were mainly the highlight of this book for me, and I’m hoping we get to focus on their relationship much more in the next book.

“If the world finds out we’re together, my life is ruined. But my life is ruined if I lose you. So I’m pretty well fucked either way.”

I’m not dying to read the sequel, but I am looking forward to it and what will happen after the consequences of the ending in His Royal Secret. Ben and James are such great characters – they’re interesting, unique, and they’ve got insane chemistry together. Hopefully, they’ll be just as wonderful in His Royal Favorite!

3 hearts
lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.


Reading Order: His Royal Secret series

 

#1 ~ His Royal Secret: EbookGoodreads (July 19, 2016)
#2 ~ His Royal Favorite: EbookGoodreads (Aug. 16, 2016)


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Early Review: Asking for More by Lilah Pace

Asking for More by Lilah Pace

Asking for More by Lilah Pace
Series: Asking for It #2.5 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: March 15th 2016
Links: EbookGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

The incendiary author of Begging for It and Asking for It again plunges readers into the shadowy depths of love, pain, pleasure and peril…

How far is too far?

Finally sure of each other’s strength and love, Jonah and Vivienne continue to explore their darkest fantasies together. However, what should be a night of ecstasy takes a dangerous turn, injuring Vivienne. She shrugs off the incident, but Jonah is haunted by it, particularly by the fear that others may believe he abuses her, or even glimpse the truth of their erotic obsession.

Then Jonah receives a call from his younger sister, Rebecca, who’s dealing with trouble of her own in South America. When Vivienne travels with him to aid Rebecca, she learns yet more about his tortured history—and Jonah opens up to Vivienne as never before.

Can Vivienne help Jonah cast off the shadows of his past forever?

Asking for More is a follow-up novella to the Asking for It series. Jonah and Vivienne are back – I loved them in Asking for It, was sadly disappointed with them in Begging for It, but I was still excited nonetheless for this novella. I was hoping Asking for More would answer some questions that I still had when I finished Begging for It, but this novella reads more like a recap of the previous two books than anything. There’s not much new information, so while I loved Lilah Pace’s gorgeous writing, I didn’t really see a point to this novella.

We do not love the desire we share. But we love each other, and together we’re learning how to own this—our rape fantasies—so that they will never again own us.

Vivienne and Jonah are working through the ins and outs of their new relationship, but an accident that leaves Vivienne injured takes them two steps back. Jonah still carries hang-ups over their games, and this accident only stresses out him and their relationship. Add in his sister getting mugged, and Vivienne and Jonah aren’t quite at their HEA just yet.

This novella didn’t really add much to the series. There are some hot sex scenes, but they’re not as intense as the ones in the previous books, Jonah still carries guilt, and there is a LOT of rehash. It almost felt like this novella was meant for someone who hasn’t read the series yet, there’s so much summary and recap. I did enjoy reading this – it was quick and sexy, but there wasn’t much else going for it. If you loved Begging for It and the way that book played out, then I feel like you’d like this novella, but otherwise, Asking for More isn’t a follow-up that’s necessary to read.

“You’ve changed me. You’ve saved me.”

3 hearts
lacey


Reading Order: Asking for It series

Asking for It by Lilah Pace Begging for It by Lilah Pace Asking for More by Lilah Pace

#1 ~ Asking for It: My Review • EbookPaperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Begging for It: My Review • EbookPaperbackGoodreads
#2.5 ~ Asking for More: EbookGoodreads (March 15, 2016)


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Review: Begging for It by Lilah Pace

Begging for It by Lilah Pace

Begging for It by Lilah Pace
Series: Asking for It #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: September 1st 2015
Links: EbookPaperbackGoodreads

The provocative author of Asking for It once again explores the dark side of erotic obsession, and the secrets that make it as dangerous as it is irresistible.

Some secrets should only be shared in the dark.

Jonah and Vivienne’s erotic bond—living out raw scenarios of captivity and force—began as no-strings sex between strangers who shared the same desires. Now the intimacy between them is turning into love, but it’s a love built on fantasies so extreme that exploring them makes guilt inescapable. But the risks they’re taking are far more dangerous than they’d imagined.

A stalker is terrorizing the city, and one of Jonah’s ex-lovers names him as a potential suspect to the police. Standing by a man under suspicion could cost Vivienne everything. But when Jonah’s stepfather takes advantage of the scandal to seize control of the Marks family fortune, Vivienne is drawn into her lover’s broken family and twisted past. Only then will she learn how dark the truth really is…

After loving Asking for It, I’d been eagerly awaiting to read Begging for It, but I never got the chance to until now. Sadly, Begging for It didn’t live up to its incredible predecessor. I was blown away by Vivienne and Jonah in the first book, but there was just something missing when I read about them in this sequel. I grew bored most of the time while reading, mainly because I was waiting for something to happen, some development to show, but nothing ever did. I’m sad to say I’m pretty disappointed with Begging for It, and even the stunning writing wasn’t enough to make me love it.

I’m ashamed of what I want.
I want it anyway.

Begging for It picks up right where Asking for It leaves off, with Vivienne and Jonah separated and unhappy. Vivienne tries to make Jonah see that what they have together is special, even if it is messed up. The rape fantasies they have and play out are a dark, essential part of them, but Jonah can’t reconcile playing their ‘games’ with an actual rape victim, understandably. But Vivienne leaves him with an ultimatum – either they’re together and they have to play their fantasies, or it’s completely over between them.

Our problem isn’t a lack of attraction. Merely being in the same room together sets us each on fire.
Our problem is that this fire could burn us both down.

Vivienne comes off as selfish and manipulative, and it’s not just because of the ultimatum. I didn’t like her AT ALL in this book, which was disappointing because I adored her in Asking for It. She’s continually selfish and only wants things her way throughout the novel, completely disregarding Jonah’s feelings most of the time. I didn’t like that she couldn’t see Jonah’s side of things, that she couldn’t accept him not wanting to act out their fantasies anymore because she has it so into her head that they NEED their ‘games.’ I also found myself skimming a lot of the introspective parts of the book that were repetitive – while I understand Vivienne’s shame and guilt over needing the fantasies, it got tiring to read about that over and over.

Vivienne and Jonah are messed up people. But the thing is, they never really try to resolve their problems. Jonah gives it a go, since he’s not the one who can’t orgasm without acting out the fantasy, but he gives in easily to Vivienne. I liked Jonah more than Vivienne in Begging for It, but I can’t say that I liked him as much as I did in Asking for It. He just wasn’t as appealing or compelling in this sequel, sadly. But I did enjoy the way his and Vivienne’s love and romance progressed – it was everything else I had problems with.

“You and I, what we have together, it’s more than this. And yet this is a part of us. It always will be.”

There are a ton of things going on in this novel, but the things that I wanted the story to focus on never really get a concise ending. Vivienne doesn’t receive closure with her family or her rapist. The plot involving Jonah and his sadistic, evil stepfather felt incomplete. The stalker/rapist terrorizing the school campus plot was predictable. With the way things ended, this book could’ve been so much shorter – there was just too much filler and secondary character plots that felt unnecessary.

I probably would’ve given this 2-2.5 hearts, if not for the gorgeous writing. I didn’t hate this book, but it didn’t live up to my expectations. That being said, I still did love the first book and all its brilliant intensity and grittiness. And because I adore the writing, I’ll more than likely read more of Lilah Pace’s upcoming books. Hopefully if you loved Asking for It, you’ll enjoy Begging for It more than I did.

3 hearts
lacey


Reading Order: Asking for It series

Asking for It by Lilah Pace Begging for It by Lilah Pace Asking for More by Lilah Pace

#1 ~ Asking for It: My Review • EbookPaperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Begging for It: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
#2.5 ~ Asking for More: My Review • EbookGoodreads


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Early Review: Asking for It by Lilah Pace

Asking for It by Lilah Pace

Asking for It by Lilah Pace
Series: Asking for It #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: June 2nd 2015
Links: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

“This is who I am. This is what I want. Now I need a man dangerous enough to give it to me.”

Graduate student Vivienne Charles is afraid of her own desires—ashamed to admit that she fantasizes about being taken by force, by a man who will claim her completely and without mercy. When the magnetic, mysterious Jonah Marks learns her secret, he makes an offer that stuns her: they will remain near-strangers to each other, and meet in secret so that he can fulfill her fantasy.

Their arrangement is twisted. The sex is incredible. And—despite their attempts to stay apart—soon their emotions are bound together as tightly as the rope around Vivienne’s wrists. But the secrets in their pasts threaten to turn their affair even darker…

Reader Advisory: Asking for It deals explicitly with fantasies of non-consensual sex. Readers sensitive to portrayals of non-consensual sex should be advised.

Holy WOW!!! WOW. What an incredible read. I’m still not quite sure what to make of it, but I know I wholehearted enjoyed this book.

When I first got an email about Asking for It, I was SO intrigued. It’s a book about two people who fantasize about non-consensual sex. Rape. A sensitive subject, definitely, but I thought the author handled it excellently.

If it’s all in my head, and it makes me come, what’s the harm?
(It makes me come hard.)
The harm is when the lines between reality and fantasy get blurred.
Like they did last night.

This book is just… it’s a lot to handle. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel reading a book with this theme, but the author wrote this book so flawlessly that I couldn’t put it down. Vivienne and Jonah’s exploration of their fantasies is nothing short of mind-blowing, mentally and physically. I was intrigued by the blurb, but the moment I started reading, I was hooked onto the story and the characters.

“You hate it, don’t you? The fantasy. I do too. But it doesn’t change anything.”

Asking for It is provocative. Sexy. Intense. When Vivienne and Jonah start a no-strings relationship in which they get fulfill their fantasies, it was so much hotter than I thought it would be. None of the sex felt gratuitous – it all served a purpose. I got so turned on by the raw, gritty, intense, hot fucking between them, yet the story goes so much deeper than just the enacting of their fantasies. As I got to know Vivienne and Jonah, I became invested in their characters. There are so many layers to them, and so many more to unravel by the end of the book. And just a heads up, Asking for It is not a standalone.

I loved how Vivienne and Jonah find a safe place with each other to enact their fantasies. There’s a huge amount of trust involved, which means it’s easy for their hearts to get involved. The romance isn’t quite a romance – feelings develop but they’re not concrete quite yet. There’s a lot of potential for love between Jonah and Vivienne, and I’m looking forward to reading more of them.

“You destroy me every time. Completely.”

If you’re intrigued by the blurb, then I say go for it. It’s a sensitive subject, but the author handles it with confidence and grace. The writing is absolutely stunning – I’d recommend this book based on that alone. As for the romance, even though there’s not much of it, I’d still recommend giving this a try. I’m a total romance sap, yet I wasn’t dissatisfied by the way the romance played out in this book. It’s slow going, for sure, but I’m eagerly awaiting the sequel to see where the author takes Jonah and Vivienne.

4 hearts for Asking for It – it’s a fascinating, promising start to Vivienne and Jonah’s story.

4 hearts
lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.


Reading Order: Asking for It series

Asking for It by Lilah Pace Begging for It by Lilah Pace Asking for More by Lilah Pace

#1 ~ Asking for It: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Begging for It: My Review • EbookPaperbackGoodreads
#2.5 ~ Asking for More: My Review • EbookGoodreads


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