Book Reviews

Rex v Regina (The Line of Succession 4) by Harry F. Rey at Deep Desires Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Royalty/Nobility / Romance
Reviewed by ParisDude on 16-October-2020

Book Blurb

The throne lies empty, the monarchy is in chaos, and a country mourns.

Fresh on the news that the Queen is near death comes the tragic demise of Prince James’ fiancée, Princess Katyn.

As the country gathers together to bury Katyn, James’ secret lover Andrew realizes the establishment has brutally turned against the Prince. Where the powers-at-be were once pushing for a smooth transition to King James, they now seem to favor his twin sister Alexandra and are working to upend the line of succession to see her sit on the throne. When Andrew discovers the cause of this betrayal is because James has received a life-changing diagnosis, the two men must decide what love and life and happiness mean to them, even at the expense of the throne.

It’s brother versus sister, Prince versus Princess, as James and Alexandra confront the paths laid out before them by both friends and foes. With the Queen’s last hours counting down, James and Alexandra will have to fight with everything they have to wear the crown...and to survive.


Book Review

Harry F. Rey is at it again. The royal version of Dallas, but snarkier and much, much gayer; the contemporary UK take on Game of Thrones where the games are plural, but the throne singular—‘The Line of Succession’ reaches another jubilatory peak in this fourth installment. Queen Victoria II is still in a coma with no hope of improvement, so a “switch-her-off”  ceremony is planned for six months hence. Behind the scenes, the fights for her throne are still as lively (and sometimes deathly) as ever. The pretenders haven’t changed either: on one hand Prince James, in the eyes of the general public the nice, eternal bachelor (in fact he is simply gay and in an on-and-off relationship with his former press secretary Andrew), very much beloved ever since his betrothed Katyn has been killed in a terrorist attack; on the other hand his twin sister Alexandra, apparently more level-headed, more political, loving wife and mother of two children, whose main drawback is that she has married Faisal, member of the Saudi royal family, and that their kids, apart from having Arabian names, are also a teensy bit too tanned of skin for many British.


A third pretender, Lizzie Windsor, is also waiting on the sidelines—her claim to fame is that, unbeknownst to most, she is James and Alexandra’s older half-sister. Oh, and just for the record: Katyn’s untimely demise? One of Lizzie’s plans gone slightly wrong. Her agenda is simple: thwart both James and Alexandra, be crowned as Queen, and then transform the monarchy into a republic quicker than anyone can sing “God save the Queen”. Then, there’s the behind-behind the scenes. The establishment (government, party leaders, secret services, palace officials) has launched Operation Rex to ensure James mounts the throne. That is, until they have evidence that James has AIDS, which makes them do a 180-degree urn and launch Operation Regina instead: hinder James, assist Alexandra. What they didn’t expect, however, is the mischieveous pleasure and unforeseeable imagination with wich their master—that is, Harry F. Rey, the author of this series—would throw some more obstacles in their paths…


Twists, turns, schemes, plots, counterplots, palace intrigues abound once again, as in books one, two, and three (which one should have read prior to tackling this one). James remains just as adorably clueless as before, but very much in love with his Andrew; the latter, smitten with his prince, proves for once cleverer than his adversaries and succeeds in masterfully thwarting their plans… for now, I’m tempted to say, because I’m sure the author will find yet other new turns and twists in the future books. Alexandra gets a nicer treatment for once; I was allowed to see her have doubts and now consider her less a cold-blooded automaton than a human being. Faisal remains his old, enigmatic self; I have an inkling he has a hidden agenda, but cannot even start to guess which one.


This book is again masterfully written, perfectly paced and neatly cut into those neat little chunks that more often than not end with cliffhangers. Speaking of which: the book itself ends with a huge one, which made me want to slap the author’s face. Because, please! Imagine you get a wonderfully romantic scene that changes everything—then you turn the page, and that’s it! Over and out. Scream! No, seriously, this was maybe one of the most impactful cliffhangers I’ve seen for quite a while. I hope Mr. Rey hasn’t planned to do anything but write in the near future because I really, really would urge him to write the next book as fast as humanly possible.





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Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 148 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 16-October-2020
Price $4.99 ebook, $9.99 paperback
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