Playing the Palace

Berkley. May 2021. 272p. ISBN 9780593099414. pap. $16. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
New York City event planner Carter Ogden is assigned to work at a royal speaking engagement featuring the handsome Edgar, the crown Prince of Wales, who is an out gay man. Carter and Edgar immediately hit it off, but between Edgar’s royal responsibilities, the disapproval of the Queen of England, and Carter’s numerous and very public screw-ups, is there any way the two of them can make this relationship work? Rudnick’s (It’s All Your Fault) royal romance is a light read with a flawed yet likable narrator. Since the novel is told entirely from Carter’s point of view, readers may struggle to understand Edgar’s perspective, though it’s easy to root for the couple as they find themselves up against numerous obstacles to their happiness together.
VERDICT Carter’s humorous inner monologue and absurd mishaps will have readers giggling, but those making the inevitable comparison to Casey McQuiston’s Red, White, and Royal Blue might close the book wishing for more emotional depth.
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