Review by Booklist Review
A concert in honor of the late Prince John seems like the perfect way to repair the tattered reputation of the British monarchy until Prince Jameson, a publicity-adverse professor of philosophy, discovers that his grandmother, Queen Marina, has appointed him to be the royal "face" at the event. American rapper Danielle "Duchess" Nelson is dealing with her own PR issues involving a fabricated feud with a scheming pop star that threatens the future of Dani's successful skin-care line. Singing at a benefit would definitely help turn the tide of public opinion in Dani's favor, so saying yes to Jameson's invitation is easy. Until Dani and Jameson meet, and their immediate chemistry threatens to set off a whole different kind of PR storm. Livesay (Like Lovers Do, 2020) puts her own ingenious spin on the royal romance trope, and the result is a scorchingly sensual love story that is made all the more addictively readable by its beautifully nuanced protagonists and grit-and-glamour story line that deftly delves into the very real challenges women in the rap and hip-hop music business face.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
An audacious American rapper charms the pants off a conservative British prince in Livesay's (the Girls Trip series) refreshing romance. Prince Jameson is content to trade his royal duties for a career as a college professor, but when the queen pressures him to help the royal family save face after a string of scandals, he agrees to help organize a weeklong benefit. He hastily selects Danielle "Duchess" Nelson as the musical act, assuming she's a pop star and that her royal stage name will win him points for irony. Duchess sees the opportunity to repair the damage an ongoing beef with a younger musician has caused to her reputation and agrees to the gig. When prince and rapper meet, neither is what the other expects. Jameson is as intrigued by Duchess's talent, intelligence, and beauty as she is by his good looks, kind heart, and gentle spirit. The odds are stacked against their romance, and a jealous singer and Jameson's ruthless uncle only add to the obstacles when word of their secret affair gets out. Livesay does a masterful job showing how these apparent opposites learn to support each other, and mines their different vernaculars for humor. The indisputable charm and palpable chemistry of the protagonists make this royal romance a gem. Agent: Nalini Akolekar, Spencerhill Assoc. (June)
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Review by Library Journal Review
In Livesay's ("Girls Trip" series) latest, Dani, aka Duchess, is a Black American rapper climbing her way up the charts while Jameson, aka His Royal Highness Prince Jameson, is trying to maintain a low profile in British academia. When a royal charity event throws them together, their chemistry is explosive and unexpected. But British royals don't date celebrities, and neither Dani nor Jameson can afford the scandal that would erupt if their tryst became public knowledge. Caught between the press and the Crown, with lives an ocean apart, they realize it would be logical to call a halt to what was only supposed to be a brief sexual affair. But falling in love rarely involves logic. This steamy contemporary interracial romance is successfully told in both protagonists' points of view. Dani and Jameson are likable, three-dimensional characters who are familiar with the cost of living a public life and chafe at their lack of control--whether it's the Queen or a manager, someone is always making the decisions for them. Their concerns about privacy, scandal, and autonomy ring true and provide common ground for their developing relationship. Side plots with secondary characters flesh out the novel and reinforce the relationship's obstacles. Readers will empathize with the protagonists and cheer for their eventual happily ever after. VERDICT Recommended for general purchase.--Heather Miller Cover
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Review by Kirkus Book Review
An American rapper called Duchess falls in love with the queen's grandson the Duke of Wessex. Danielle "Duchess" Nelson is the world's most prominent rapper, but she chafes at the constraints placed on her by her manager, her fans, and the press. She dreams of leaving rap behind to focus on further expanding the line of skin care products she developed for Black women. When a malicious White singer tries to ride Dani's coattails to fame, the media frenzy disrupts Dani's chance to sell her business to a cosmetics conglomerate. Frustrated, Dani accepts an invitation to perform at a concert being hosted by the royal family, an event designed to bolster the Crown's image in the public eye. His Royal Highness Prince Jameson, the Duke of Wessex, has managed to live a quiet life as a philosophy professor, but he's forced into the spotlight when the queen orders him to fulfill his duty by acting as host of the concert. Determined to keep the paparazzi from Dani, the queen's event coordinator asks Jameson to host her at his country estate. Jameson and Dani give in to their undeniable attraction, believing they can have a secret affair before returning to the limelight in London. The story is clearly meant to appeal to readers looking for Meghan and Harry energy, but the plot drags due to unorthodox pacing. The love interests don't meet for the first 100 pages. Instead, the opening focuses on how they each crave autonomy, but the problems introduced during this protracted exposition disappear in the heat of their affair. Dani's character is interesting and complex, but the development of the relationship is rushed, especially compared to the almost unbearably slow start. An appealing, modern premise stutters and then sprints but never becomes a cohesive whole. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.