Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan’s The Heir Affair was honestly my most anticipated book of summer. I had read the first book, The Royal We , in this William and Kate-inspired fictional duology back in 2015 and couldn’t be more than excited when I found out earlier this year that there would be a sequel. I don’t consider myself to be the biggest British royals fan (although Kate’s dress is definitely on my dream wedding mood board), but I can’t help but love a royals-inspired contemporary. Since it had been nearly 5 years in between me reading The Royal We and The Heir Affair, I decided to reread and review The Royal We before diving into the sequel.
The Royal We
Summary (from the publisher): American Rebecca Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister, Lacey, has always been the romantic who fantasized about glamour and royalty, fame and fortune. Yet it’s Bex who seeks adventure at Oxford and finds herself living down the hall from Prince Nicholas, Great Britain’s future king. And when Bex can’t resist falling for Nick, the person behind the prince, it propels her into a world she did not expect to inhabit, under a spotlight she is not prepared to face.
Dating Nick immerses Bex in ritzy society, dazzling ski trips, and dinners at Kensington Palace with him and his charming, troublesome brother, Freddie. But the relationship also comes with unimaginable baggage: hysterical tabloids, Nick’s sparkling and far more suitable ex-girlfriends, and a royal family whose private life is much thornier and more tragic than anyone on the outside knows. The pressures are almost too much to bear, as Bex struggles to reconcile the man she loves with the monarch he’s fated to become.
Which is how she gets into trouble.
Now, on the eve of the wedding of the century, Bex is faced with whether everything she’s sacrificed for love-her career, her home, her family, maybe even herself-will have been for nothing.
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
I had originally rated The Royal We 4.5/5 stars when I read it back in 2015, but I now have granted it a full 5 out of 5 stars, purely because I forgot how great it was and also that I ignored so much homework while rereading this 450+ page book in 2 days.
As mentioned above, The Royal We was inspired by Prince William and Kate, but now sort’ve reads as a fiction mix of William & Kate and Meghan & Harry. American college student Bex meets Prince Nicholas, the third in line for the throne, during a study abroad year at Oxford. The book covers their relationship from their college years through their relationship in adulthood (and as you are probably able to tell, their wedding). While Bex and Nicholas are at the heart of the story, there are so many other character & relationship dynamics, aka drama and scandals, at play. Bex has such great support from her and Nicholas’ Oxford friends and her family.
Upon my reread, I had forgotten about so much of the drama involving Lacey and Freddie. One of the biggest challenges Bex must undertake is how much she is expected to change in order to be Nicholas’s girlfriend and ultimately, future wife & duchess. Bex has one of the biggest character transformations from start to finish, but I love how she ultimately stays true to her heart (her love for Cracker Jack included). The book has such a great exploration of the royal’s popularity and all of the press and gossip involved. It honestly makes the reader wonder how true the depiction of the royals IRL really is and how they feel behind the scenes.
My Rating: 4.75/5 Stars
As soon as my county library system re-opened up in July, I immediately put The Heir Affair on hold. Unfortunately & understandably, new releases are taking a while to come in, but I was too impatient to wait for a physical copy after my reread. I ultimately borrowed The Heir Affair on Libby and read it on my Kindle. I am so happy with my decision, having still eaten up the ebook in 2 days.
I didn’t really read the synopsis for The Heir Affair because I would’ve read this sequel regardless of what it was actually about. The Heir Affair picks up a few weeks after the end of The Royal We. I don’t want to be too spoilerly, but the book is ultimately about Nick and Bex re-entering royal life as Duke and Duchess after being away for so long. Freddie had really stepped up to the plate during their absence, so Nick is trying to prove himself once again. Bex is trying to find her place as Nick’s wife, attempting to form a relationship with Eleanor and dealing with the pressure and expectation of having the next heir. Like The Royal We, The Heir Affair takes place over a few years, which I feel allowed us to really explore Nick and Bex’s marriage and their evolving relationships with the side characters. This book is really about their relationship and future. I especially felt that their marriage was the focus because we don’t interact with their friends as much as we did in book #1 – although I do think we get more Bea/Lady Bollocks whom I adore! Aside from Bea, I actually think Eleanor and the Queen Mum were my favorite side characters. I loved Queen Mum’s tweets, and I did like this new side of Eleanor. The Heir Affair has even more family secrets than book #1, which towards the end, made me rethink Eleanor and Bex’s entire relationship.
An element I wasn’t expecting was what you could call the love triangle between Freddie, Bex, and Nick. While Bex and Freddie’s ‘relationship’ does cause conflict in The Royal We, my only complaint with The Heir Affair is that the Freddie love triangle was dragged out and made much worse than it actually was in my opinion. I appreciate Freddie’s character development in this sequel, but at the same, I didn’t realize or it doesn’t seem like Freddie had such strong feelings for Bex in book one.
Overall, The Heir Affair was such a great sequel to The Royal We. While I do think it wrapped up nicely, I wouldn’t necessarily mind a third book – Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan, please don’t make us wait another 5 years!
Have you read The Royal We or The Heir Affair? What are some of your favorite royal reads? Share in the comments!