Author: J.R. Gray
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Release Date: May 15, 2018
Avoiding sleeping with women was my specialty, an art form even. As the future King of England I couldn’t be caught sleeping with men. My whole life played out in front of the paparazzi, and they didn’t miss a thing.
I had a carefully crafted womanizing persona to maintain. My life came with rules, all of which I broke when I couldn’t resist a one night stand with the enemy: A beautiful paparazzo with a heart of gold. He may be the only person who doesn’t want me for my title, and he can never be anything more than my secret.
But secrets have a way of coming out and not only will they scare him away, but they’ll lose me the crown.
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Excerpt“Don’t move,” he said in a whisper.
“What are we doing?”
“I want these for me. I’ll sign whatever you want so you know I’ll keep them to myself, but I get a different you. One only I see, and I want it on film.”
It was the most romantic thing someone had ever said to me.
“I want to be able to look at them and remember this. You.”
“I want a copy.”
“Sure.” He brushed his fingers over the small of my back, sending a spark up my spine. “Now stand still.”
I indulged him and stayed in place. He unzipped the bag and slid out his DSLR. He changed something and then held it up to his face and clicked the shutter. Taking a look at the screen, he moved ever so slightly to the left and held it to his face again.
“Look at the fire.”
I did as I was told. He came close and moved my arm with the drink a fraction and placed my other arm over the back of the sofa.
Click. Click. Click.
He set the camera aside and took a seat on the edge of the chair next to me.
“Done with my repayment so soon?”
There was a light in his eyes. “Not a chance.” He looked me over, his eye stopping on the top two buttons of my shirt which remained undone. “But you’ll want that photo. To release for something. You look too alluring and regal to not have it. It was more for you than for me.”
I was shocked. “Let me see.”
He picked up the camera again and leaned closer to me to show me the screen. I looked like something out of a novel. Mysterious and alluring. I liked it. And I didn’t like many photos of myself.
“You’re quite talented.”
He sat back, keeping the camera in his lap. “How much liberty are you giving me?”
I mirrored him and looked him over, taking my time with my answer. “Why are you asking?”
Lust crossed through his gaze. “Take off the shirt.”
I obliged him, slowly working my fingers down the buttons. I slid it off and set it aside. He looked me over, hungry. My cock stirred at the look. I’d never felt so desired by another person. He slid forward on the seat and brought the camera back to his face. I stayed as I was until he told me to move.
“Sit on the edge of the table,” he said breathless.
I was glad this was getting to him as much as it was me. It was entirely foreign to give someone such a thing over me. To allow someone to take these photos. It was daring and exhilarating. I’d have to be careful or I’d get addicted to the acting out like some bored teenager.
I sat on the edge of the table closest to the fire, and he moved back to take a few shots. I looked up when he hadn’t said anything in a few moments to find him just watching me. The fire illuminated his scar, and I wanted to kiss the length of it, from his brow to his lips. I licked my lip and my chest rose as I inhaled fully, trying to calm myself. He snapped another photo.
“What do you see?” I asked, unable to stand wondering a moment longer. I wanted to know how he saw me.
“I see hunger,” he said as he came closer. “The way you look at me.” The camera hung at his side as he stalked closer.
This just might be my favorite royalty romance ever in both M/M and M/F. Everyone loves a royalty/commoner love story, and this one goes a step more by having that commoner be part of the paparazzi—an absolutely off-limits person right? But don’t be so quick to paint them all with the same brush…Xavier is not what you might expect, and I found him to be an amazing character.
Xavier being a part of the paparazzi might seem incongruous considering he’s an introvert thanks to something that happened in his past. But he’s good at what he does, even if he himself doesn’t want any part of the spotlight. Prince Louis basically IS the spotlight—next in line to the throne of England, and seen as a partying womanizer…or at least that’s the persona he puts forth to the world. Louis and Xavier make the perfect match, and though their story takes place over a relatively short period of time their relationship never felt rushed.
What I really liked was the intensity of their relationship. It built slowly, coming out of the physical need they had for each other, but evolved into a whole lot more. And while neither of them could see how anything more could come of them being together (other than an unfulfilling “mistress” type of arrangement), it gets to the point where they don’t want to tear themselves away from each other. Like I said, intensity.
One thing I really got a kick out of was the snarky-bordering-on-hilarious exchanges between Louis and his grandmother (the Queen). She’s a real gem in this story and is another character that is not quite what you’d expect. Anna, Louis’s sister, is brilliant as well and is as supportive of Louis as he is as protective of her. I’m also throwing some kudos to Doug, Louis’s bodyguard, he’s definitely a keeper.
The story overall is very well written with a lot of depth, and I read it in a single sitting because I was so drawn in that I didn’t want to put it down. While Louis and Xavier’s relationship does start off as physical (and oh my are they incredibly passionate together), there were just the right amount of intimate scenes to move the story forward without being gratuitous…plus those scenes did a good job of demonstrating the growth of the intensity between the two men. The ending did feel just a tad rushed, and I wish the epilogue could have been a bit longer to detail some more of the time that had passed from the end of the main story, but even as is I was still deeply satisfied with this book once I was done.
King Consort was a 5-star read for me, and will definitely be re-read material in the future. I highly recommend this book to any M/M romance fan, and if you love royalty/commoner romances this will probably become a favorite. This book is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and sexual content.
Commas are the bane of his existence even though it's been fully acknowledged they are necessary, they continue to baffle and bewilder. If Gray wasn't writing…well, that's not possible. The buildup of untold stories would haunt Gray into an early grave, insanity or both. The idea of haunting has always appealed to him. J.R. Gray is genderqueer and prefers he/him pronouns.
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