(I know, I know. I’ve been slacking on my CBR duties, mostly due to a crippling fear of being unable to live up to anything I wrote about gay billionaire jet planes. But hopefully this will get me back in the swing of things!)
Full disclosure: I have been a Go Fug Yourself super-fan for years, so obviously the first novel for adults penned by the authors of the site, Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan, was always going to be right up my alley. Especially when they announced that it was their fictional take on the courtship of Prince William and Kate Middleton, and would be chock-full of British monarchy dirt.
The book opens with Rebecca Porter the day before her wedding to Prince Nicholas, but there is some DRAMA behind the scenes: she is not speaking to her twin sister Lacey for some reason, and someone keeps texting her with vague blackmail threats.
The book then flashes back to their courtship, which is refreshingly normal. At least at the beginning. When Rebecca Porter, a 20 year-old Iowan whose father invented a sofa that employs a mini-fridge as a base, goes on exchange from Cornell to Oxford, she knows that she will be moving in to a residence that contains the future King of the Commonwealth, but she doesn’t even recognize him when he opens the door and carries her luggage. She is accepted into Nick’s inner circle of friends, most of whom have some sort of connection to the royal family, and together they try to keep the fame-whores and hangers-on away from Nick.
As the year continues, Bex and Nick get closer, despite being more or less attached to other people. Eventually, a grand romantic gesture is made, and the pair start dating in secret. After several years of leaving clubs separately and hiding under blankets in cars, Bex finally meets the family, only to be outed by the papprazzi shortly thereafter. The story then follows the Will and Kate stand-ins through the breakup and inevitable reconciliation, which brings us full-circle to the night before the (potential) royal wedding.
Understandably considering the inspiration, the story is expected, but what was unexpected, by me at least, was how fun and absorbing the authors managed to make it. The snarky humour they’re known for at Go Fug Yourself was evident throughout, and they managed to throw in some AMAZING inside jokes to their site. The fully realized characters were my absolute favourite part of the book, especially the Ginger Gigolo himself, Prince Freddie. *swoon*.
Other than the characters, I also really appreciated the absolutely insane attention to detail that the authors managed. The explanations of arcane Oxford rituals and obscure royal history are fascinating, along with the meticulous descriptions of the various royal residences.
With the weather FINALLY getting nicer, this book is the perfect breezy beach read!