Erryn reviews ‘Hair Out of Place’ by Helen Juliet. The ebook was published October 4, 2020 and was 358 pages.The audiobook version of this story was narrated by Kieran Flitton, released January 7, 2021 and is 11 hrs and 15 mins long. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: I loved A Right Royal Affair.
Confined to a London penthouse his whole life, hardly anybody knows that happy-go-lucky Raphie d’Oro is a prince in exile. Not even his grumpy new bodyguard, Griff Thompson. But when assassins strike, Raphie is forced to flee out into a strange new world with his crush on Griff growing. It’s a race against time to get Raphie to his European home country, so he can claim the throne and save his life.
Griff has to remain professional, especially when he discovers Raphie is a real-life prince, but he’s increasingly drawn to the beautiful Raphie and his mesmerizing long hair. There are only so many beds they can share before the pull between them becomes impossible to ignore.
But they’re living in a fantasy. Raphie is going to be a king, and Griff is almost twice his age and going nowhere. Griff knows they have no future together, no matter what Raphie insists. However, Griff also knows he’ll do anything to protect Raphie from harm, and that includes not breaking his heart. Can he really do his duty and walk away, or will true love conquer all?
Hair Out of Place is a steamy, stand-alone MM romance novel featuring a fierce feline companion, a lot of mouthwatering food, even more mouthwatering snuggles, a makeover for a royal ball to remember, and a guaranteed HEA with absolutely no cliff-hanger.
Little did Griff Thompson know on the first day of his new job, that the assassins sent to kill his client would be so utterly inept.
I have listened to several of Ms. Juliet’s books and they always have the best first lines. Seriously, she could teach a class, and I’d be the first to sign up. I had high hopes for this book and, for the most part, I wasn’t disappointed.
Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair.
Okay, so from the top of a 60-story London tower Raphie can hardly let down his hair – literally or figuratively. He is a secret prince in hiding, waiting for the day he can return to his homeland and claim his birthright. No big deal, right? Except things have changed, and assassins are out to get him, laying siege to his penthouse in the sky. He and his mother are at risk and Griff is the only thing keeping Raphie from meeting certain death. So, yes, exciting beginning.
Except – and this did niggle – the assassins truly are incompetent. I mean, seriously? How did they ever get the job? There’s another point where everyone meets up again and I rolled my eyes in incredulity. Was this enough to detract me from enjoying the story? No. Did it annoy me? Unfortunately, yes. And while we’re mentioning things that irritated, there was the whole upstairs/downstairs brain thing. Once or twice the whole thinking with cock rather than mind is cute, but the mentions just kept coming – from both characters – and it became a little much.
Still with me? Good, because I enjoyed the book, and I don’t want you to think the irritants were too much. Things I liked – that Raphie is non-binary and doesn’t fit the norm of gender stereotypes and, more importantly, Griff notices and respects it. Now, the impracticality of having hair down to your waist did leave me with a few questions, but hey, this is fiction and there are guys who choose to do this. Definitely the opposite to the hypermasculine Griff.
At times the book felt long, but the dénouement was just the perfect length, and the flawless ending banished all other minor issues. In the end, Raphie got his fairy tale ending, and I was all smiles.
Increasing my enjoyment was Kieran Flitton. He’s just a joy to listen to, and a competent narrator. So more fairy tale books, please Ms. Juliet. And narrated by Kieran would just make them perfect.
Oh and just a quick shout-out: I loved Sparrow the cat.
8.5/10 Pots of Gold – Compares to 4.25/5 Stars
Helen Juliet is an M/M author currently living and working in London. She’s been writing stories since she was young, and got her start publishing fanfiction of sites like Wattpad. Fifteen years and over a million words later, she discovered the world of M/M fiction and found it was just as good as the fanfiction she was reading. She fell head over heels in love with the genre and became determined to try her hand at a book herself. On December 31st, 2016, she rang in the new year by publishing her first original novel, and hasn’t looked back since.