Rating: 4.5 🌈
As a book I really ended up looking at it at two different ways once I completed it.
First let’s talk about Royal Lines as a contemporary romance. As a love story, it soars. The men are throughly seated in their prospective cultures and personal histories.
Marquis Miller is completely grounded in his Detroit family and city. His father and uncle, the Miller twin brothers , now in bad health, have worked their entire lives to bring their families, their business into the international company it is now and Marquis is it’s expected heir to head it after hockey. However, this is all about Marquis’ appreciation for his family and the City, black history, and his awareness of his family’s company abilities in promoting diversity. Marquis is a great character. Charismatic with depth.
Prince Kaleb, young son to a Royal family in mourning , is also well defined. He’s also grounded by a family in turmoil, a recent death of a not so loved Royal consort, necessary Royal marriages, unnecessary marriages, media intrusion, a moldering castle, and a Queen mother who’s in need of a son to handle everything as the heir seems unwilling or unable to do so at the moment. A family overwhelmed by circumstances yet always in the public eye. There’s no way not to feel for him. And when both men collide over a construction bid to replace the broken plumbing in said castle? You feel the sparks down to your toes!
This love story is stumbling hot! Marquis and Kaleb trying not to have an affair, discussing faulty pipes, and all they want is to bounce into the nearest Royal bed! Incendiary!
There’s various subplots about the other Royal siblings, also emotional messes, that get nicely tied up.
While this is a lust/love at first sight, it absolutely works. You buy into it completely because the way these characters are crafted, their personalities, you can totally see it happening.
As a love story, including the HEA ending? It’s a 5!
Now to the other part. Is this a hockey story? Um , in my opinion, no.
With the exception of a charity game that’s basically there to bring in Dunny for the next book, hockey isn’t here at all.
Boston isn’t mentioned. The team the Rebels are non existent except as a line where Marquis says he finished out his contract in the Epilogue. Nothing.
Marquis mentions that he’s a player for the team once. That’s the extent of it.
I’m sort of perplexed about a series called Boston Rebels when the last several books the team’s a ghost. And the story is more about what happens to players or ex players after they’ve left the team.
When you think about such wonderful series as Harrisburg Railers or Arizona Raptors or even the Owatonna U Hockey series, Cayuga Cougars series, those are absolutely about the team, ice on ice action, team dynamics, as well as players and their lives.
Here in this series, Boston Rebels barely exists. It serves only loosely as a something to tie these men together. Not a solid framework.
This pattern looks to continue with Dunny in the next story. Unfortunately it he’s seems he will have a life changing event. Read no hockey. Or , as I’m guessing, no Rebels.
So not sure why the team even continues to be even a element here.
These stories are excellent on their own. They can certainly be standalone novels. As a love story it’s amazing.
As a hockey romance? Not so much as that’s the element that’s almost totally missing.
I’m definitely recommending it. Loved the characters and the story.
The rest was just me wondering about the series. Take it for what it’s worth.
🔹Top Shelf #1
🔹Back Check #2
🔹Royal Lines #4
🔹Blade – August 2022
They’re setting fire to the sheets, but a romance between an out and proud hockey star and a closeted playboy prince could end up burning them both.
Marquis Miller might be one of the NHL’s best players, single, wealthy, and open about his sexuality, but he knows his future lies in taking over the reins of the family’s multimillion-dollar company after retirement. Jumping on the family jet, he heads to Europe, tasked with schmoozing a prince into accepting his company’s bid on a significant castle renovation. Assuming he’d be faced with a dusty old monarch well into his dotage, Marquis is stunned to find out that Kaleb is a young, sophisticated, beautiful man with an impressive work ethic, to-die-for eyes, and a certain flair that captures Marquis’s attention.
Dragging the royal palace into the twenty-first century is one battle after another for the King’s youngest son. Juggling renovations, his royal duties, and attempting to reverse his former playboy prince reputation is impossible when no one seems to want to give Kaleb a chance. His chaotic life takes yet another turn when an American hockey player arrives at the castle to discuss a renovation project. Marquis is the antithesis of Kaleb’s newly minted, responsible outlook on life, a jock, a player, willing to take chances. Although the forbidden sex is hot, Kaleb is not ready to turn on his family responsibilities for a pretty smile and a smart mouth.
For both men, family is everything, and romance will always come in second until they open their hearts to love.