Book Title: The Plans Trilogy Box Set
Author: Addison Albright
Publisher: JMS Books, LLC
Cover Artist: Written Ink Designs
Release Date: May 28, 2022
Genre: Fantasy M/M Romance
Tropes: Arranged Marriage, Memory Loss
Themes: Virgin/first time, abduction, newfound courage, hope, royalty/princes
Heat Rating: 3 flames
Length: 73 459 words
This is a box set of three stories that were previously published individually.
The three books in the trilogy, together, stand alone with no cliffhanger.
Once upon a time, two handsome young princes fell in love, faced down adversity, and lived happily ever after. Until one romantic evening, they unwittingly ate a confection laced with a mind-wiping toxin.
In this light fantasy world, four realms have settled into an uneasy peace. A surprise twist to a prearranged marriage agreement spawns this story of unexpected love, newfound courage, and heroic adventure. Join Princes Efren and Marcelo on their heart-warming journey as they sort through misleading twists and turns to defeat devious foes. Twice! Contains the stories:
The Contingency Plan: An untimely death throws a marriage arrangement, the final phase of a treaty, into disarray. Now the Crown Prince of Zioneven can make his own choice from among the princess’s younger siblings. As a royal son in the matriarchal sovereignty of Sheburat, Prince Marcelo grew up knowing Royal sons never married. Never. 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. Enmeshed in political intrigue, death, and a kidnapping, will Prince Efren untangle the web of clues in time to save his naïve young husband, or will Prince Marcelo dig deep to discover a previously untapped inner strength and determination to facilitate his own survival?
Change of Plans: Once upon a time, two handsome young princes fell in love, faced down adversity, and lived happily-ever-after… until one romantic evening, they unwittingly ate a confection laced with a mind-wiping toxin. Are their chances at rekindling their love doomed? Or will their ignominious new beginning propel them toward a more teasingly fun rapport?
Also contains three bonus scenes not included with the individual stories.
With everyone now in attendance, Queen Giselle stepped forward. “Your Royal Highness, Ladies and Lords, and people of Zioneven, please accept our warm welcome to Sheburat, and I hope you’ll accept our sincere apology for the chaos in which you find us today.”
Prince Efren inclined his head. “Of course, Your Majesty. On behalf of Zioneven, I offer our heartfelt condolences on the loss of your beloved daughter.”
“Thank you,” Queen Giselle replied. “Sadly, our loss yesterday affects more than simply causing us private pain.”
“Indeed.” Prince Efren kept his reply short, perhaps diplomatically leaving it to Queen Giselle to either further the conversation toward whether or not he was ready to choose his alternate, or to wait for a time when her grief would be less immediate.
His mother would put diplomacy first, Marcelo didn’t doubt that. The conversation may or may not happen today, but it would occur during this visit. Diplomacy always came ahead of personal concerns.
“Although disappointment caused by the cancellation of the wedding we’d expected tomorrow is unavoidable,” Queen Giselle said. “I hope you’ll find a small comfort in knowing that you may now make your own choice of your future bride from among my younger daughters rather than the arrangement made on your behalf at the tender age of five.”
Again, Prince Efren inclined his head. “Sibling.”
“Sibling. The terms of the treaty specify I may choose an alternate from among Princess Marcela’s younger siblings. It didn’t restrict the choice to daughters.”
Marcelo stiffened. What in the world could Prince Efren mean by that? Men didn’t marry men. At least, he’d never heard of such a thing occurring in Sheburat. Marcelo wasn’t alone in his bewilderment. Everyone on his side of the room stilled. None of the faces opposite them exhibited confusion. Was that an acceptable option in Zioneven’s culture?
It was only by mere minutes, but Marcelo did qualify as a younger sibling to Marcela.
For the first time in Marcelo’s recollection, his mother faltered. “Do…surely…but…”
Marcelo turned his head toward her, his wide eyes silently imploring her to voice an objection. Kemble may have recently grown complacent thinking herself in the clear, but she’d at least spent her life knowing she was the likely backup plan.
As a royal son in this matriarchal society, Marcelo had grown up knowing he would never marry. Never. Royal sons did not marry. Period.
He’d been perfectly happy with that knowledge because he’d never experienced the attraction that men outside the royal family felt toward women. In fact, he’d enjoyed knowing he would not have to merge his life with a woman’s with the expectation of having to bed her.
His gaze flicked back and forth between Queen Giselle and Prince Efren before settling on the prince. Prince Efren had kept his eyes locked with the queen’s, but as if sensing Marcelo’s scrutiny, his head turned to reflect Marcelo’s regard.
Marcelo’s heart thudded so vigorously in his chest, surely everyone in the room must hear it. His respiration quickened. That single word uttered by Prince Efren had shattered Marcelo’s understanding of everything he knew about the world and had expected in his life.
Queen Giselle remained frozen for a few more moments, her brows drawn together as she processed the unexpected direction of this discussion. She cast a brief, apologetic glance toward Marcelo, then lifted her shoulders in a barely visible shrug. “The treaty does indeed use that word. Prince Efren, the choice is yours.”
Marcelo’s stomach dropped as her words echoed through the silent hall even though he’d known in his heart that she’d put Sheburat before her son’s individual concerns. So, he felt no personal betrayal. It was who is mother had to be.
Prince Efren continued to stare at Marcelo as he firmly stated, “I choose His Royal Highness, Prince Marcelo. The wedding will proceed tomorrow as planned.”
Marcelo swayed as the blood drained from his face. How could this be? How did such a marriage work? Would he be expected to—
“Marcelo?” Suky’s whispered tone voiced her concern. “Are you unwell?”
She repeated the words, but from farther away. Or did her voice only seem distant? He wobbled as the people around him faded, and then, thankfully, this nightmare all went away.
~ * ~ Mari‘s Review ~ * ~
Overall ~ 4.25 Stars!
The Contingency Plan
Prince Marcelo’s twin sister has been groomed to become the bride of the Crown Prince of Zioneven, but when she dies in an accident just before the wedding, Prince Efren needs to choose a new one from among Princess Marcela’s siblings. The last thing Marcelo expects, though, is for the Prince to choose him.
This was a very short, very sweet fantasy read, with very light angst and while I wouldn’t have minded it being longer or having at least one chapter with Prince Efren’s POV, it was still enjoyable. Both Marcelo and Efren were likable characters and seemed very taken with each other, despite the way they met.
The Best-Laid Plans
One of the gripes I had with The Contingency Plan was that we hadn’t gotten Prince Efren’s POV and another thing was the length of the story. Thankfully, we got both Efren’s perspective and more pages to enjoy seeing Efren and Marcelo’s adventures as they travel to Efren’s kingdom.
Frankly, I was pleasantly surprised at how resourceful and clever Marcelo was in this particular story, proving that he was more than a worthy match for Prince Efren, despite his reservations. And I just loved the progression of his relationship with Efren. They were sweet and hot and I couldn’t get enough of them together, but at the same time, I loved seeing Marcelo come into his own when he had to.
Change of Plans
Efren and Marcelo wake up and discover they’ve lost their memories from before they met. Now they need to find out what’s causing it and see if they would be able to find their way back to each other.
I really like Efren and Marcelo and I loved that losing their memories just meant falling back in love with each other. They’re adorable and romantic together.
I loved that everyone in Efren’s family was there to help them piece what they were missing and who might be behind it all.
This is a short, engaging read that I thoroughly enjoy. The three bonus stories were the icing on the cake. All in all, if you like fantasy books with romance and suspense, I think you’ll enjoy The Plans Trilogy box set.
*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn’t a requirement. ***
About the Author
Rainbow Award winning author Addison Albright lives smack dab in the middle of the USA. Her stories are gay romance in contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction genres. She generally adds a subtle touch of humor, a dash of drama/angst, and a sprinkle 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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