I’ve had Addison Albright’s tale of princes Marcelo and Efren on my TBR ever since she shared lines from it in the Rainbow Snippets group on Facebook. Begun in The Contingency Plan, where Marcelo suddenly finds himself married to Crown Prince Efren in place of his own twin sister, the story continues in The Best-Laid Plans, which is out today.
I love the world Addison Albright has built for her story. She pitches two very distinct societies against each other, and Prince Marcelo, grown up in one, will have to make his way and find his place in the other. Marcelo is an adorable character. Raised in a society that puts the value of daughters far ahead of that of sons, he wasn’t educated as well as his sisters, and was never expected to marry. In fact, he wasn’t expected to contribute much of anything and between his low expectations and his belief that he’s not worth consideration, your heart will break for him. He does understand duty, though, and he accepts his sudden marriage to Crown Prince Efren of Zioneven almost with composure.
It’s after the wedding, though, when Efren and Marcelo set off towards Efren’s home, that matters start to go awry, and both men – but Marcelo in particular – must show their mettle. Despite his upbringing, Marcelo is no pushover, and he quickly finds that there’s an advantage in being underestimated.
Both are determined to make the best of what starts out as a political alliance, but the growing connection between them is unmistakable, deftly portrayed and adds a lovely glow to the story. Each thinks of the other more than of himself, until I was rooting for both Marcelo and Efren, while they took their first steps as a couple, and while they dealt with events outside their control.
Would I have liked it had the first book been longer? Definitely. Addison Albright offers us intriguing glimpses into Marcelo’s home and family, but they remain glimpses. I would have loved to see beyond Marcelo’s mother’s “duty first” approach to find out what the woman is really like. I’d have liked to see more interaction between Marcelo and his sisters. I most certainly would have liked to see more of Marcelo’s father, who seemed the only family-member offering some compassion, and who – being male – must have shared Marcelo’s experiences to some extent. I would have liked to see more of Marcelo’s background, because his experiences growing up guide his choices during The Best-Laid Plans.
Fortunately, none of those points distract from the stories at hand. The Contingeny Plan and The Best-Laid Plans are two very enjoyable reads that leave me looking forward to the third book… because adversity may be fun, but it’s the little details of daily life that will challenge Marcelo and Efren when they settle into married life. And I really want to see how that plays out!
The Contingency Plan
A sheltered prince. A sudden death. An unexpected choice. How will Prince Marcelo react to discovering he’s The Contingency Plan?
For eighteen years, there has been peace between Sheburat and the kingdom of Zioneven. The untimely death of a princess throws the marriage arrangement — the final phase to complete the terms of the treaty — into disarray, and the contingency plan is put into motion. Now the Crown Prince of Zioneven gets to make his own choice from among the princess’s younger siblings.
As a rare royal son in the matriarchal sovereignty of Sheburat, Prince Marcelo grew up knowing he would never marry. Never. Royal sons did not marry. Period. Except, Prince Efren isn’t from Sheburat, and he has other plans.
The Best-Laid Plans
A death that wasn’t what it seemed … A kidnapping that isn’t what it seems … Time is running out.
The morning after his wedding night, Prince Marcelo thought he’d be embarking on a journey to his own personal fairytale happily ever after with his husband Efren, the crown prince of Zioneven. But when news arrives indicating his sister’s death wasn’t as accidental as previously thought, that journey becomes fraught with danger.
Enmeshed in political intrigue, death, and a kidnapping that might not be what it seems, will Efren untangle the web of misleading clues in time to save the naïve young man he’s already come to admire? Or will Marcelo dig deep to discover a previously untapped inner strength and determination to facilitate his own survival?
About Addison Albright
Addison Albright is a writer living in the middle of the USA. Her stories are gay romance in contemporary, fantasy, and paranormal genres. She generally adds a subtle touch of humor, a smidgen of drama/angst, and a healthy dose of slice-of-life to her stories. Her education includes a BS in Education with a major in mathematics and a minor in chemistry. Addison loves spending time with her family, reading, popcorn, boating, french fries, “open window weather,” cats, math, and anything chocolate. She loves to read pretty much anything and everything, anytime and anywhere.
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