Royal Court by Jenny FrameRoyal Court by Jenny Frame is a sweet butch/femme romance about two women who need to come to terms with their own demons if they want a shot and long lasting happiness.

Captain Quincy is a highly decorated officer in the Royal Marines but you don’t get to be that highly regarded without seeing some serious action. In her case she lost almost all the men under her when a traitor caused their mission to go terribly wrong.

When she is provoked into attacking a man who was trying to rape a woman in the marines she was no longer welcome in the military. Her old friend Queen Georgina offers her the opportunity to join the Royal Protection Command in charge of protecting the Queen’s Consort, Bea.

Holly is the Royal Dresser and one of Bea’s closest friends. Her eye for style isn’t limited to fashion alone, though, she has a fondness for beautiful men and women. But since her heart was broken by a women she has refused to date them again and has gained the reputation as a man eater.

George, Bea and the rest of the crew are off on a North American tour giving Quincy little time to plan and settle into her new duties. To make matters worse she and Holly clash on nearly a daily basis as she tries to protect Bea and Holly feels she is being stuffy and overly restrictive. Sparks like those, though, come from a deep desire that both women harbour.

Add to this an action movie star named Story St John who is also vying for Holly’s attention and the fact that when Bea sees a hint of attraction between Holly and Quincy she is sure to fan those flames.

Will Holly and Quincy be able to put their differences aside and acknowledge the feelings they have for one another or will Holly be swept off her feet by the dashing movie star?

The Characters

Holly is a bisexual woman. She struggles to form intimate relationships because she is worried about getting her heart broken again and so she chooses to just have flings with men.

Quincy has been raised to never express emotions. Her adopted mother is a high ranking military official and she is convinced that in order to get anywhere in life you have to push aside all your emotions. This has caused Quincy to never admit to feeling anything, making it difficult for her to connect with anyone.

George and Bea who we know from A Royal Romance made an appearance in this one and we meet their daughter Teddy. I adore Teddy. Bea and George are as cute as ever and we got a steamy scene between them which was fun.

Story St John is a dashing movie star who is more than a little interested in Holly. I liked her character and hope that Frame writes a book for her.

The Writing Style

Jenny Frame writing is great. This story had layers and complexity that kept me interested as we went. I love how she writes butch/femme dynamics and her character work made me really like or dislike exactly who I was supposed to.

There is a kind of modern fairytale feel to all of Frame’s works.

The Narration

Nicola Victoria Vincent is a fabulous narrator. I loved all of her British characters. She gets the emotions just right, the pacing is great and I never find a dull moment in the books she turns into audiobooks.

The one small thing for me was the American accents. I wasn’t a fan.

The Pros

This is a sweet romance that will capture your heart.

The Cons

I have a little bit of a dilemma here. I am not a bisexual woman but if I were one and I read a character who was portrayed as Holly was then I would feel a little bit cheated. A big point was made of the fact that Holly stuck to men because she didn’t build emotional attachments to them.

While I understand that there are a range of bisexual experiences, I feel like this one was a little too lesbianising a bisexual woman. It’s a big deal for bisexual women to get good representation in the sector and I am not sure that Holly was it.

I am also sure that Jenny Frame didn’t mean to erase the bisexual experience, she just wanted to express how  much it took for Holly to fall for a woman again.

The Conclusion

If you enjoyed the other books in the series then this is a good addition. I enjoyed it and highly recommend all of Jenny Frame’s works.

As an audiobook I would also listen to it again, Vincent is a great narrator and going between American and a whole range of British accents is a monstrous task so I applaud her for even trying.

Excerpt from Royal Court by Jenny Frame

They were so perfect for each other. Bea had told her that Cammy had been a bit of a lady’s woman in her past, but that had all ended when she clapped eyes on Lali Ramesh.

Would she ever be that lucky?

Holly then shifted her gaze to the seats behind Lali, and to her surprise found Captain Quincy’s eyes already on her, the captain’s face set in what she thought was a scowl. When Holly had found out the dishy polo player was joining the staff as Bea’s protection officer, she had been both excited and scared. Excited because she couldn’t wait to find out if Quincy lived up to her good looks, and scared because—just like with Story St. John—Quincy reminded her how much she was attracted to women, and that she was denying a whole part of herself that was screaming to get out. Because she didn’t ever want to have her heart broken again.

Since her first love broke her heart, she had sought out flings with men who didn’t want an emotional connection. That suited her and had given her the reputation as a man-eater.

But Holly needn’t have worried and shouldn’t have judged a book by its cover. So far Captain Quincy had been as dull as dishwater. She stood guarding Bea like a statue, never breaking into a smile, and only speaking to bark orders to those staff around her.

Even though Quincy screamed butch lesbian, everything else about her was straight and boring. Plain grey suit, slightly darker grey tie, white shirt. Her short dark hair, simply combed to the side. There was nothing about Quincy that showed any sort of individuality.

Holly longed to go over there and ruffle up her hair and maybe give her a red tie, something to liven up the ordered grey appearance.

Quincy had ignored Holly, and she supposed that suited her, but the cold stares and scowls were annoying. She looked right at Quincy and said pointedly, “Can I help you?”

Quincy looked back down to her computer pad quickly and never replied. “What am I? Invisible?” Holly said.

“Who’s invisible?” Bea said sitting back down.

“Nothing. Teddy go down okay?” Holly asked.

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Royal Romance Series

A Royal Romance

Royal Rebel

Royal Court

Bits and Bobs

  • ISBN number: 9781635552904
  • Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
  • Audiobook Publisher: Bold Strokes Books Inc
  • Narrator: Nicola Victoria Vincent
  • Jenny Frame Online

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Note: I received a free review copy of Royal Court by Jenny Frame. No money was exchanged for this review. When you use our links to buy we get a small commission which supports the running of this site

About the author

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Sheena is the founder of The Lesbian Review.

She discovered lesbian fiction when she was 19. Radclyffe and Karin Kallmaker soon became favourite authors and she spent a large part of her hard earned income on shipping books from to her home in South Africa.

Over the years she became frustrated with purchasing mediocre lesbian fiction feeling like it was a waste of her money and time. And so she decided to share only the best books and movies with lesbians who are looking for only the best. And so, The Lesbian Review was born