Rating: 5 Stars

Publisher: Smoking Teacup Books

Genre:  Gay Romance

Tags: Fantasy, Alt-Universe, Erotica, Hurt-Comfort, Magic, Humour 

Length: 289 Pages

Reviewer: Kazza

Purchase At: amazon


Dawn mage. Twilight mage. Cursed, useless, damaged, dangerous…

His birth magic leaves Prince Nikola with nothing but bad choices: live as another man’s possession, subject to his whims and his desires, or remain dependent on a potion that stunts his powers and prevents him from knowing love.

Andreas vows to protect the prince with his life—whether Nikola wants him to or not. After all, the queen pays his soldier’s wage. Nikola’s nothing but a job to do.

But when they find themselves stranded, with Nikola’s potion running out, Andreas has to…improvise. Because what Prince Nikola needs to survive is the opposite of a lowly guard’s respectful protection.

It should’ve been only one night. Just until the potion’s refilled. But now that Nikola’s had Andreas’s touch, he craves Andreas again and again. He shouldn’t. But he—and his magic—can’t live without it…

The Royal Curse is a high-heat MM fantasy romance with a stubborn prince, an even more stubborn soldier, and cursed magic that can’t be denied. There is an on-page attempted sexual assault that is not between the main characters. HEA guaranteed.


“A high heat fantasy romance” is certainly what this book is. It’s high octane! Totally erotic. There is a lot of sex within these pages. Well written sex. Sexy sex. Centred around a prince and his bodyguard in an alt-universe/fantasy world. It’s like EG asks Cameron Dane to “hold my beer” with The Royal Curse. I’ve never stopped loving Cameron Dane’s books. Where Cameron Dane would write so many pages of sex, Grayson pares it back more than Dane, but the heat and intense emotional energy that Dane always generated in her men, Eliot Grayson does the same here. I loved it. From the beginning I knew I was abso-fucking-lutely hooked.

The MCs: I found Nikola’s growth really satisfying throughout The Royal Curse. He started out brattish, he is a prince of the royal family of Surbino after all. He’s also bored. Lonely. A twin, second in line by moments, his sister being first born. He’s a dawn mage, a twilight mage, his body tears itself apart if not treated, and they aren’t revered. It’s not nice knowing that the potion you drink to help you with your thrice cursed magic is running its course and that potentially you will owe your comfort to another man, what if they hold you to ransom? What if they leave? So, Nikola feels like a prisoner, albeit a well kept one, both physically and emotionally. He wants to know how things can be better. He wants to take a journey to an upcoming conclave in another city that will have scientists and researchers who are well versed on his kind of magic. His mother, the queen, is not fussed but eventually allows him to go but only with guards, including a head guard who has the final say about the trip.

Enter the prince’s new, very own bodyguard, Andreas. Nikola is peeved that he’ll be ordered around by someone younger than him, which remains a bit of a sticking point. One night when Nikola is drunk and feeling a tad sorry for himself he lets slip that he has trouble getting “it” up and that he bets Andreas doesn’t. Man, you know those times when you say something and you just wish the ground would swallow you? Yeah, Nikola went there, and it’s now playing on rewind for him.

Nikola is such a perfect foil for Andreas, I don’t mean that with any negative connotation. His worries are negated by someone who is sure and commanding, no matter his age. Andreas is sexy as all hell, strong, without being obnoxious. In fact, I think Andreas qualifies as one of the most lovable  – definitely the sexiest – fictional guy I’ve had the pleasure to read about. Yet we are never in his mind. That is quite the feat by Eliot Grayson. That Nikola gives himself to Andreas is a joy but then it’s clouded by, ‘what if it’s only because my mother pays Andreas a stipend as my guard to be helpful?’ This makes him feel insecure and scared. You can understand the feelings Nikola has.

The eroticism and the sex. Let me count the ways. Hmm, there is-

‘So Andreas, can you keep your cock up? Let’s test that theory, shall we?’
Take my virgin arse sex
That cock is a tree trunk sex
Potion vs Andreas’s dick sex because on the road it suddenly becomes, whoops, no potion. Then, there’s let’s see what happens when no potion is in Nikola’s system sex – ‘Oh, damnnn. Look at that! I can get it up’
“Gods, those eyes”
‘Gods, that body’ sex
Andreas is swoon worthy sex – (he so is)
I need a good fucking to help me with the (accursed) gods Dromos and Ennolu’s shenanigans and curse sex
Some let’s have “treasonous” sex, often, because kinky
Pants ripping sex – a personal favourite
Chair sex – another personal favourite
Andreas turns me the fuck on sex, aka I really need to bonk him – I’m with Nikola. I mean——->
Pain relieving sex – waaaayyy better than paracetamol
Andreas’s goddamn commanding voice sex – who doesn’t love a good voice?
The pass and bridge are snowed in/flooded over sex
‘Fuck the Conclave, let’s have sex,’ sex! – sounded like a good plan to me
Fuck waiting forty-two hours for sex, sex
Harmonious completion sex – slick me up, baby!

And while I had a bit of fun around the sexy times, there is depth and real passion between these two men. Their relationship isn’t smooth sailing but it’s so appealing.

“Most of the really useful books on the topic are in my rooms, actually, not the main library. You should’ve asked me.” My voice came out all soft and husky. He’d truly researched my condition. No one outside of my family, or those whose occupation it was to know, like mages and physicians, had ever bothered to try to understand. No friends. No lovers. No one but Andreas.

A fantasy road trip and some action are also part of the overall. The world building is good. The rain and the snow on the attempted journey to the conclave made me feel cold. I could hear the mud squelching.

Down in the eastern foothills, the slushy snow had begun to melt further into icy rain. The terrain reminded me very much of home; this side of the mountains didn’t differ too much from Surbino, which occupied part of the western side of a long isthmus, with a mountain range running down the middle like an exposed spine. On this side, another sea lay only fifty miles or so to the east.

The relaying of body language, verbal and and non-verbal communication were all strong. The quality of the overall storytelling, it’s typical Eliot Grayson good. The characterisations were multifaceted. It’s especially hard to have strong tangible connection to a non-POV character without well developed tells and empathy building, and Andreas is an unforgettable character. That Nikola was the one for him, and vice versa, shone. The prose is simultaneously intelligent and easy to read. It’s also humorous. I enjoy Eliot Grayson’s sense of humour.

That said… I raised an eyebrow of my own. Mine were peaked and quite dark against my pale skin. He couldn’t out-eyebrow me, the fucker.

I sent up a quick and silent prayer of gratitude to Ennolu, Dromos, or whoever else might be listening. They were assholes, but occasionally they came through.

This story creates a sense of place that isn’t contemporary. The characters zing amazing emotional connection off the pages which made my heart want for them what they wanted. I loved Andreas and Nikola together. It’s sexy. It’s fun. It’s really passionate. Nikola’s family are awesome.  The Royal Curse is an enjoyable, page-turner of a romantic fantasy. The writing is of the highest calibre and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series. Bring it! 5 Stars!