Title: Royal Love (Condor One, Book 6)
Author: John Simpson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
With their adopted son Jack safe and sound back at Winfield House, US Ambassador David Windsor and his husband, ex-Secret Service Agent Shane Thompson-Windsor, begin to settle into a routine. Shane’s attention to the security of the US President’s adult son, Airman Darren Wilson, keeps them busy, however. While David and Shane think they have President Wilson’s son under wraps, Darren carries on as carefree as any young man in the arms of a man he’s sure he loves: Prince Michael.
Discreet outings in the English countryside and days spent visiting castles fill Darren and Michael’s time, under the ever-present eyes of security, the US ambassador, and Shane. But an incident at a gay nightclub leaves their guards scrambling. What will Darren’s mother think? How will the King react? Darren and Michael’s love affair might be over before it even begins.
This is the sixth book in John Simpson’s Condor One series, and having read and enjoyed the first two books I was keen to read Royal Love. I knew that having missed the intervening books I would be playing catch up, but in my opinion each book in a series should stand alone enough to be enjoyable and make the reader want to read the rest of the series.
Royal Love did an admirable job of standing alone whilst remembering major events in the previous books. Whereas the early books in the series were from David Windsor, the US President’s point of view and followed his relationship with Shane Thompson; this book is from Darren Wilson, the current US President’s son’s point of view. The story has also moved from the USA to England where David Windsor is now US Ambassador and Darren works within Embassy security and is falling in love with Prince Michael, a minor member of the British Royal Family.
Generally the Condor One books are contemporary and reflect world events enough for you to believe it is set in the present day. However, when the story moves over the England that perception is put to the test, as John Simpson’s Royal family doesn’t fit that picture. He has skipped a couple of generations and has William as King and Prince Harry married with children. As a Brit I’ve always found this difficult to deal with.
Royal Love is Darren and Prince Michael’s story and explores their growing love as they luxuriate in the opulence of Royal Palaces. Too many times I found details of the Royal lifestyle distracted me from the real story of their love and this should have been a glorious story of young love interspersed with the chance to renew acquaintances with the characters featured in the previous book.
Perhaps I would have enjoyed this book more had I read all the intervening books instead of just the first two, but I’m sorry to say it felt bland and lacked the action packed highs of the early books.
The earlier books in the series are:
1. Condor One
2. Talons of the Condor
3. Condor and Falcon
4. Out of the Gilded Cage
5. Condor and the Crown
6. Royal Love
Reviewed by Smidgeson.