Welcome to Read This Book, a newsletter where I recommend one book that should absolutely be put at the top of your TBR pile. Recommended books will vary across genre and age category and include shiny new books, older books you may have missed, and some classics I suggest finally getting around to.
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Today’s pick is an utterly indulgent contemporary romance that heavily evokes the relationship between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
American Royalty by Tracey Livesay
Our heroine is a Black rapper who goes by the moniker Duchess. The nods to reality in this book are heavy-handed, and it’s absurd in the most delightful way. Duchess (her real name is Dani) is always on the move working, whether it’s as a performer or with her own skincare line, Mela-skin. In fact, there are some major corporations interested in partnering with her line.
Of course, there are people getting in Duchess’s way. One of them is Samantha Banks, a pop star who keeps riding on Duchess’s coattails and creating beef where there is none. Duchess has tried to ignore her but the bad press is getting in the way of her success with Mela-skin. Another person who is getting in her way is her manager, who keeps trying to play up Duchess’s sexuality as if she is a one-dimensional character, and he’s keeping her from expanding and from accepting some amazing opportunities.
Our hero is Prince Jameson, grandson of the Queen of England. Prince Jameson has been able to mostly stay out of the spotlight and do what he wants, shrugging royal duties to instead be a philosophy professor at a university. Unexpectedly, the Queen volun-tells Jameson that he will be the forward-facing royal for a benefit concert in honor of his deceased grandfather. Jameson is at a pub when the royal project manager asks him to name some musical acts that should be in the concert. He only listens to long-dead composers so he pulls aside a lad at the pub and asks his opinion and the lad names Duchess. Jameson submits her name, sight unseen.
He eventually looks up her music videos and he is simultaneously incredibly turned on and also thinking he may have made a mistake in including her in the benefit concert for his deceased grandfather. Still, he will be an absolute gentleman and do his best to give her a lot of space because he could very easily fall into debauchery. His plan would have worked, too, if she didn’t show up early and he had to host her at his estate for the couple weeks before the concert.
This book is incredibly steamy and has explicit, open-door sex scenes. Content warnings for racism and discussion of the death of a parent.
That’s it for now, book-lovers!
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