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Review: Playing the Palace by Paul Rudnick

Paul Rudnick
Publication date: May 25, 2021
Genres: Adult Fiction, Contemporary, LGBTQ
Format: eARC
Source: Berkley and Netgalley
4.5 Stars

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 Price 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. 

Say hello to one of my new favorites of 2021! Playing the Palace was an unexpected gem of a story and it hooked me from page one. I fell head over heels for hapless Carter Ogden and (understandably) reticent Prince Edgar. Event planner Carter, in all his neurotic, self-sabotaging glory, meets England’s Prince Edgar and sparks fly. From a pancake date at IHOP to a stay at Buckingham palace, Carter and Edgar’s whirlwind romance spans two continents and includes plenty of over the top hilarity. As Carter and Edgar go public with their relationship, there are gaffes and humiliations galore (including guest spots judging a televised baking competition with disastrous results), and even the Queen herself (Edgar’s beloved “Nana”) seems intent on sending Carter slinking back to New Jersey in disgrace. Are Carter and Edgar doomed, or can they overcome what seems to be insurmountable obstacles and find a happily ever after?

With an incredible cast of quirky side characters (shout-outs to Carter’s sister Abby, his great-aunt Miriam, and the Queen), Playing the Palace was a nonstop ride of snarky, laugh-out-loud humor. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and instead delivers a campy, frothy good time full of pop culture references and a wickedly funny narrative. An instant new favorite that I know I’ll return to again and again.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary advance copy of this book for review. This does not impact my opinion of the book or the content of this review. I received no compensation and my review is voluntary.



Top Ten Tuesday: Nature Made


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Books with Nature on the Cover
(flowers, trees, landscapes, animals)

I am the least outdoorsy person ever. I don't do outdoors. I don't commune with nature. I do not hike or camp - or even go onto my back patio. (It sounds like I'm joking, but it's true. lol) In fact, I firmly believe that the state of Florida should have a dome put over it and be fully air-conditioned. 

But, in the spirit of Top Ten Tuesday, I will take a dive into nature... from a distance. 
These book covers are about as close to nature as I ever come. :)

Have you read any of these books?

The Sunday Post #247 | May 9, 2021


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
It's a chance to share news: a post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books,
 and share what's coming up on your blog in the week ahead. 
Hello friends! I skipped last week's Sunday Post (simply because I didn't feel like writing a post) but I did try to make the rounds and visit everyone. 

My company is officially moving to a hybrid approach between WFH (working from home) and RTO (returning to the office). I've started going in two days a week and will likely go to three days a week by the end of the month. I would say it's nice to have a bit of normalcy, but in reality, after over a year it's the WFH that feels normal now. 

Our dining room furniture was finally delivered - two and a half months after we ordered it. The living room furniture arrived last month and the lamps we finally cancelled when we learned they were back-ordered until July. It's nice to finally have some furniture in the dining room! It's been empty since I sold our previous set back in January.

The Husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary (22 years) last week. Well, I say celebrated... For the second year in a row we nixed our usual week-long anniversary getaway (thank you, COVID) and instead we attempted to go to one of our favorite restaurants because they offer outdoor seating. We called to make a reservation (even mentioning that we wanted outdoor seating), drove across town, went inside to check in... only to be told that they weren't offering outdoor seating that evening. Gah! So we ended up grabbing some takeout from a nearby place and called it a night. We tried. :)

Happy Mother's Day to those who celebrate. I'll be having a small get-together Sunday afternoon/evening with my mom and my younger sister (plus her husband and daughter). Just six of us (and everyone is vaccinated) but it will be a treat to all be together and celebrate my mom. I hope you enjoy your day, however you spend it.

This week's 80's music fix is Since Yesterday (1984) by Strawberry Switchblade. Enjoy some synth-pop goodness.

Tuesday, May 4

Friday, May 7




Jay's upcoming release, the second generation of the Marked Men, has me so excited that I decided to do a re-listen of the entire series. This is probably my fifth reread of the series and it never gets old. :)




I am not understanding the low ratings for this one. The main complaint seems to be that it's not a redux of Red, White, & Royal Blue? *scratches my head in confusion* I'm about halfway through, have had a non-stop goofy grin on my face the entire time, and have been thoroughly charmed by Carter and Prince Edgar. It's a little campy, a little over the top, and has been a total good time.

Not a thing.

How was your week? Any new books? Any news to share?
I'd love to hear about it!