Top critical review
A repetitive and lackluster romance
Reviewed in the United States on July 6, 2021
Makeda Hicks loses her job and her girlfriend in the same day. Reeling, she's forced to move back with her grandmother and help out at her bed and breakfast. Being back with Grandmore means hearing more about when Grandmore supposedly had a passionate affair with the Prince of Ibarania--leading to Makeda's mother. Makeda has no patience for this story, as her mother's obsession with being a Princess dominated Makeda's entire childhood. When it never panned out, she disconnected from life (and Makeda), receding into alcoholism and forcing Makeda to grow up fast. When Beznaria Chetchevaliere, an investigator for the World Federation of Monarchies shows up at the B&B, claiming to be looking for Ibarania's missing heir, Makeda wants nothing to do with it. But the beautiful and chaotic investigator is surprisingly persuasive. Can she convince Makeda to go with her--and is Makeda indeed the heir to Ibarania?
"No adventures, no drama, and always there to lend a helping hand, even when her hands were full, that was Makeda."
This was one of my #Pride reads for June, and it sounded so cute. There were definitely funny and enjoyable moments, and I'm always glad to see queer romances in the world, but overall, this one didn't really work for me. I am a sucker for a good Hallmark movie, but even I couldn't get into this crazy idea--an unhinged royal investigator, a reluctant heir... and eventually a lot of fakedating and a cargo ship. It was all too much.
It's hard to believe the instachemistry between Bez and Makeda, especially as we do not get a lot of backstory on the two women. Makeda's "will I go with Bez or won't I" takes an inordinately long time--it was incredibly frustrating. Just decide already! Things are repeated over and over, making the story feel inordinately long. Being unable to get into the characters or their romance, it was just hard to really love this one. The pacing and timing always seemed off. I wound up skimming the last half just to find out what would happen, otherwise it would have been a DNF.