Making it up the aisle was the easy part: Rebecca “Bex” Porter must survive her own scandals and adjust to royal British life in this “timely and positively delicious” follow-up to The Royal We that’s “just as fun, charming, and delightful as the first” (Taylor Jenkins Reid)
After a scandalous secret turns their fairy-tale wedding into a nightmare, Rebecca “Bex” Porter and her husband Prince Nicholas are in self-imposed exile. The public is angry. The Queen is even angrier. And the press is salivating. Cutting themselves off from friends and family, and escaping the world’s judgmental eyes, feels like the best way to protect their fragile, all-consuming romance.
But when a crisis forces the new Duke and Duchess back to London, the Band-Aid they’d placed over their problems starts to peel at the edges. Now, as old family secrets and new ones threaten to derail her new royal life, Bex has to face the emotional wreckage she and Nick left behind: with the Queen, with the world, and with Nick’s brother Freddie, whose sins may not be so easily forgotten — nor forgiven.
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The Heir Affair is the direct sequel to The Royal We which follows in the aftermath of events at the end of the first novel with American Rebecca (Bex) Porter and Nicolas, Prince of Wales. To avoid any potential spoilers, it is best to read the first novel (and any associated reviews for that one) before reading this one. The characters and timeline are all continuous and everything in this novel is directly related to the events in the previous story.
I was very close to DNF-ing the first novel as there was a lot that dragged. Unnecessary details were included in great length along with a storyline with Freddie, Nick’s brother, that just did not make sense as there was little build-up to the ending. Now with the fallout after the wedding of Nick and Bex, the two of them are trying to navigate their new life. The love-triangle set up between Freddie, Nick, and Bex takes over a lot of plots for this novel as Nick and Bex navigate royal life as a married couple.
I read the first novel back in 2021, but this novel seriously made me feel as if I had not read it at all. I, for the life of me, could not recall any true romantic feelings between Bex and Freddie. Bex commentated how Freddie was a great kisser, but we are told it was a lot more to the point where Bex even gets jealous of Freddie getting attention from other women. As for Freddie, he apparently loves Bex, and this takes over a lot of his plotlines. I honestly did not understand it at all as it seemed manufactured and not authentic. I can see why the authors kept this love triangle plot line as it creates an insane amount of drama, but it just did not feel realistic given what happened on-page.
Along with Freddie and Nick trying to prepare their relationship, Nick is also trying to get back into royal life as the heir to the throne. Nick and Bex need to work through a lot emotionally. While I am not against physical aspects of reconnecting with each other, it did seem in this story (and in the previous) that Nick and Bex have intimate moments to reconnect after they have issues (internally between them or from outside influences). I am not against this, but I do wish a lot more speaking forms on connecting also occurred. I do believe the two love each other, but there were many moments in both novels where it seemed their connection comes from sex first and every other connection second.
As the queen is not in the best health, there is added pressure for Nick and Bex to produce an heir; however, this is easier said than done. This brings in a huge issue I had with the novel. I will try my best not to spoil the details as I did not have problems with the initial issues. Instead, I have a huge issue with how the situation involved Freddie. This did not make sense in any way, and it was done in poor taste, for me. There is a lot surrounding the potential baby that made zero sense for any of the characters involved and there are a lot of emotional flip-flopping where the reader is intended to act like it all makes sense. I probably could go on for pages about it as this was done terribly, although I am sure other readers will disagree. Aside from this entire plot line, I felt this novel was doing a lot of revisionist history about what was written in the first novel and even some events in this one. There are plot lines with Bex’s twin sister, Lacey, that were glossed over and there were others, such as the one with Clive that were forgotten.
I can see the desire by the authors to throw together as many dramatic moments as they could in this story. Given the tendency for people to love the drama, especially for the royals and other celebrities, I liked the idea to include drama piled on other drama; however, I do not believe all the individuals pieces came together in a way that made sense. There is a lot of time spent on some mundane type details which left little time for other more involved events to be explored. Overall, this story was entirely not for me, however, I would still encourage others to read it for themselves. Based on this story I am not sure how likely I would be to pick up another novel written by either author, but I would not entirely rule it out.