Playing the Palace by Paul Rudnick _ Book Review

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When a lonely American event planner starts dating the gay Prince of Wales, a royal uproar ensues: is it true love or the ultimate meme? Find out in this hilarious romantic comedy.

After having his heart trampled on by his cheating ex, Carter Ogden is afraid love just isn’t in the cards for him. He still holds out hope in a tiny corner of his heart, but even in his wildest dreams he never thought he’d meet the Crown Prince of England, much less do a lot more with him. Yes, growing up he’d fantasized about the handsome, openly gay Prince Edgar, but who hadn’t? When they meet by chance at an event Carter’s boss is organizing, Carter’s sure he imagined all that sizzling chemistry. Or was it mutual?

This unlikely but meant-to-be romance sets off media fireworks on both sides of the Atlantic. With everyone having an opinion on their relationship and the intense pressure of being constantly in the spotlight, Carter finds ferocious obstacles to his Happily Ever After, including the tenacious disapproval of the Queen of England. Carter and Prince Edgar fight for a happy ending to equal their glorious international beginning. It’s a match made on Valentine’s Day and in tabloid heaven.

[I received a digital arc for an honest review]

Playing the Palace
 is a new romantic comedy from author Paul Rudnick. If just looking at it makes you think of Red White and Royal Blue than you’ll pretty much know what you’re in for. That’s the main reason I requested this arc and I very much enjoyed it.

In Playing the Palace, the Prince of Wales Edgar falls for Carter, a Jewish event planner from New Jersey. Edgar and Carter have a lot standing in the way of them having a relationship. They are attacked from the media front, their families (one positive one not so much), and the whole world has a say in whether or not they belong together. Can they survive the onslaught or part ways because its just not worth it.

“I was the total opposite of Prince Edgar and I seriously wanted to slap his photo or have sex with it. “

Carter is a whole state of mind. He has a creative and fun personality. Yet because of his last boyfriend he has some major self-esteem issues and his lack of self-worth is a bummer. Frustratingly though, he lets his insecurities get the best of him time and time again like a train wreck. Edgar is much more reserved than Carter is because of his position, but Carter brings out a playful side of him that will put a smile on your face. While on the outside they seem night and day they both have their insecurities in common. Edgar doesn’t feel like he’ll ever have someone who loves him for him and not his position, and he’s just so lonely it breaks your heart.

“No, it’s just, when I look at you, you make me so happy, and I …. I would like that to continue.”

There are a few things holding me back from giving this more than 4 stars. First I would have really liked more than just Carter’s POV , I would have loved sensitive Edgar’s POV because it would have hurt my heart in the best ways. The second aspect holding me back is that Carter’s inner dialogues went on and on and on and on and… you get my drift , sometimes I would lose focus. Lastly it was a bit insta lovey and I wanted more from the PG-13 intimacy scenes, they were well done but I’m selfish and wanted more than just a lead up and a recap of what they did.

“My life was a mash-up of live-action fairy tales, queer rom-com and a video game encapsulating elements of both.”

Overall, Playing the Palace by Paul Rudnick is a highly enjoyable romantic comedy. I was fully invested in the main characters, I kept hoping Carter would get his act together. There all also some wonderful side characters, Carter’s sister was Fantastic and so was Edgar’s security chief James.

—Written by Amanda—

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