I absolutely loved this book! Surprisingly much actually! It had the same kind of vibes as The Charm Offensive, wonderful characters to root for, a slow burn romance (which is my favorite) and so much angst and pining! Extra plus for the ending that avoided the usual clichés and any potential cheesiness.
This is a story about the filming of a fictional literary classic (‘The Throne’) about a scandalous and tragical gay relationship during the Belle Epoque era (late 19th century). The filming takes place in Paris and stars the big Hollywood star Nicholas Madden (known as the ‘Big Bad Wolf’ for his short temper and arrogant ways) and the French influencer and model Chris Lavelle in his first real actor role.
For Nicholas, being a closeted gay, The Throne, means more to him than just another filming job and he wants it to pe perfect. Hence, he’s quite skeptical (to say the least) to the young and inexperienced Chris in the important role as his love interest. But the initial loathing soon turns into fascination and yearning, and the fictional and the real world risk getting mixed up, when the heat picks up both on set and off it. But is Nicholas willing to risk his career and let the world know the true him?
I really loved this story! It had the same kind of vibes as The Charm Offensive, which is one of my favorite reads so far this year. I loved the strong and fleshed-out characters. Not just the two main characters, but all of the characters in the book were so real and full of flaws, and so easy to root for. And I loved the bantering going on at the set and between the actors and the director, but of course especially the wonderful dialogues between Nicholas and Chris. I also loved the slow-burn romance. This was not a linear love story, but a romance with rather bumpy roads with up and downs, back and forths, and so much doubts and questioning, which made it much more relatable and gripping.
The story is told from dual POVs, which really added to the understanding for what the main characters were going through. It was so amazing to get to know Nicholas’ more vulnerable sides and see beyond his bad boy reputation, as well as to get to see Chris’ depths and learn about his family struggles. There was also almost a third POV in the way each chapter started with fictional blog posts, interviews or tweets. I enjoyed these external/social media posts for most parts, but sometimes they made the narrative feel a bit off track. But nothing too much to make this read any less enjoyable. And of course, Paris… who doesn’t love a story taking place in Paris and with croissants for breakfast?
All in all, this was an absolutely wonderful, sweet and heartwrenching gay romance story about daring to be vulnerable to get a chance of true love and happiness! Highly recommended!
Thank you to Carina Adores and Harlequin Publicity Team for the ARC and bookstagram tour invitation for this gem! All opinions are my own and I am leaving my honest review voluntarily.
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All 1 Star 2 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars Abbi Glines Abby Kaitz Abdi Nazemian Adam Silvera Adib Khorram Aiden Thomas Aisha Saeed Aislinn Brophy AJ Collins Alexandra Christo Alex Beltran Alexene Farol Follmuth Alexis Hall Alex Kelly Alex Sanchez Alice Dolman Alice Oseman Alice Winn Ali Hazelwood Alison Cochrun Al Riske Alwyn Hamilton Amanda Ferreira Amanda Woody A. Meredith Walters Amy Aislin Amy Harmon Amy S. Foster Amy Spalding André Aciman Andy V Roamer Angie Thomas Annabeth Albert A. Poland Ashley Poston Ashley Woodfolk Ashlyn Kane Audrey Coulthurst Ban Gilmartin Becca Fitzpatrick Becky Albertalli Benjamin Alire Saenz Beth Bolden Bill Konigsberg B.L. Maxwell Briar Prescott Bri Spicer Brooke Skipstone Cait Nary Cale Dietrich Cara Dee Casey McQuiston Cassandra Clare Cat Sebastian C.F. White C.G. Drews Charlie Adhara Charli Meadows Chasten Buttigieg Chris Bedell Christina Lauren Christina Lee Ciara Smyth Claerie Kavanaugh Clarissa Pattern C.L. Beaumont Colette Davison Colleen Hoover Courtney Kae Crystal Frasier C.S. Pacat Dallas Smith Daven McQueen David Biddle David Yoon Dean Atta Debbie McGowan Debbie Rigaud Debbie Schrack Deborah Harkness Delia Owens D.G. Carothers Dhonielle Clayton D.N. Bryn Douglas Stuart Dustin Thao Elisa A. Bonnin Elizabeth Acevedo Elizabeth Arroyo Elle Kennedy Elle Wright E.L. Massey E. Lockhart Emery Lee Emily M. Danforth Emily Mims Erin Watt Ernest Cline Evan J. Corbin Eve Morton Everina Maxwell Evie Dunmore Felice Stevens F.T. Lukens Grace Williams Gwen Martin Hannah Grace Hanya Yanagihara Hayden Stone Heather Truett H.E. Edgmon Hettie Bell Holly Black Hope Irving H.S. Valley Hudson Lin Ingrid Sterling Jacob Gelman Jacqueline Lee Jacqueline Woodson James L. Sutter Jamie Deacon Jandy Nelson Jax Calder Jay Hogan Jeanette Winterson Jeff Zentner Jen Bailey Jenna Evans Welch Jenn Burke Jennifer E. Smith Jennifer G. Edelson Jennifer Gilmore Jennifer Iacopelli Jennifer Kropf Jennifer Niven Jenny Downham Jenny Han Jeremy Ray Jesse H. Reign Joelle Lynne John Green Jonny Garza Villa Julianne Donaldson Julian Winters Kacen Callender Kami Garcia Kara Leigh Miller Kasie West Kate Larkindale Katharine McGee Kathleen Mareé Kathy Anderson K.A. Tucker KD Casey Kendall Grey Kevin Van Whye Kiley Reid Kim Fielding Kim Holden Kim Liggett Kitty Bardot Kris Ripper K.S. Marsden Laura Hall Laura Pavlov Laura Silverman Lauren James Lauren Shippen Laurie Frankel Leah Johnson Lee Matthew Goldberg Leigh Bardugo Lex Croucher Leylah Attar Lisa Henry Lisa Williamson Lisa Wingate Liv Rancourt Liz Plum Lola Noire Lynn Michaels Mackenzi Lee Madeline Miller Magdalena Di Sotru Maggie Doolin Maggie Stiefvater Malin Persson Giolito Malorie Blackman Margaret Stohl Marie Lu Mary E. Pearson Mason Deaver Matthew R. Corr M.A. Wardell Melanie Munton Melina Marchetta Meredith Russo Miel Moreland Mila Gray Miranda Kenneally Moa Backe Astot Morgan James M. Tasia Nancy Garden Natalie Haynes Nathaniel Shea Nicholas Sparks Nicola Yoon Nic Starr Nic Stone Nina Kenwood Nita Tyndall Nora Sakavic N.R. Walker Nyla K. Owen Lach Penny Aimes Phil Stamper Quinn Anderson Rachael Brownell Rachael Lippincott Rachel Hawkins Rachel Reid Racquel Marie Rainbow Rowell Ray Stoeve Renée Dahlia Rhiannon Wilde Riley Hart River Braun Roan Parrish Robin Gow Roseanne A. Brown Rowan MacKemsley Ruby Moone Ruta Sepetys Ryan La Sala Sally Green Sally Rooney Sarah J. Maas Sarah Waters Sarina Bowen Sasha Laurens Saundra Mitchell Saxon James Serena Bell Shannon O’Connor Sidney Bell Simone Elkeles Siryn Sueng Sophia DeRise Sophia Soames Sophie Gonzales S.R. Lane Stephen Chbosky Stephenie Meyer Steven Salvatore Susan Mac Nicol Suzanne Collins Tahereh Mafi Tal Bauer Tamara Girardi Taylor Jenkins Reid Teagan Hunter Terry J. Benton-Walker Tiffany D. Jackson Timothy Janovsky T.J. Klune T.L. Bradford Tobly McSmith Tomasz Jedrowski Tomi Adeyemi Tracy Deonn Tucker Shaw Val Wise Veronica Rossi Veronica Roth V.E. Schwab Wesley Chu Victor Dixen Victoria Aveyard V.L. Stuart Xan Van Rooyen Yamile Saied Méndez