Book Reviews

The Heir Apparent by Tere Michaels at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 10-October-2017

Book Blurb

The heir apparent to a vast international company, Henry Walker has focused his entire life on pleasing his cold and distant father, a futile effort that’s left him no time for life, love, or making his own decisions. He has just one friend—one dirty little secret—Archie Banks. Raised on the Walker estate alongside Henry, Archie is now Henry’s driver, bodyguard… and occasional lover. Archie is loyal, but he’s about to graduate from college and has plans for his life that don’t include living every moment at the beck and call of Henry’s father. Not even for Henry.


With no warning, a shocking kidnapping leads to tragedy and chaos, thrusting Henry and Archie into a dramatic struggle that threatens them individually and as a couple. Can they find a way to heal the hurt of the past, save the company that is Henry’s birthright, and find a future together? 

First Edition Published by Loose Id, February 2013.

Book Review

Rich, somewhat bored, and definitely emotionally challenged heir to an international manufacturing conglomerate meets hard-working, ambitious, loyal chauffeur/bodyguard in this coming-of-age-at-a-somewhat-later-stage-in-life tale. The emotional trials and tribulations of these two complicated men who are very clearly close friends immediately pulled me in and, from the start, had me deeply involved with their fate. Henry and Archie have known each other since childhood, have shared (and are still sharing) many a secret, and now face a dilemma neither of them knows how to solve. Not until a traumatic event do they even realize they have an issue, but once they do? They’ve got their work cut out for them in more than one way.

Henry, Henry, Henry! I didn’t know what to think of him at first – I mean, he’s in his latetwenties when the story begins, but he is as weak-willed, “tame”, and fearful of his father as if he were younger than a teenager and not yet his own man. I can get that living under a powerful father’s shadow can make someone more timid and less self-confident than they might otherwise be. But Henry is not stupid and should have had time to grow up a little more than it seems he has. His self-doubt and need to please his tyrant of a father at (almost) any cost were hard to swallow for me – but then I have always known what I want and was never afraid to go after it; not everyone is like that without a wake-up call. Be that as it may, the accident/kidnapping awakens Henry to the realities of life, and after that, he manages to change and grow into a self-reliant man who knows what he wants and no longer shies away from going after it. It’s not an easy journey, but the fact that this makes him a much better partner for Archie was a very nice side effect.

Archie is the complete opposite of Henry and not just because he is neither rich nor an heir to a vast fortune. Archie is emotionally mature, knows what he wants, and about to graduate college. His only real conflict is around not wanting to leave Henry to his fate. But Archie also knows staying where he is - hiding his true feelings for his boss and their relationship from the world – isn’t healthy and won’t be good for either of them in the long run. Nor is spending his future as a chauffeur and sometime bodyguard – Archie has managed to obtain a business degree by working hard in the little free time he has. He is ready to make the hard choices and “face the music”, as it were, but the helplessness he feels when Henry is kidnapped makes him reconsider his priorities.

As for the other characters? Henry’s father enraged me to the point of spitting curses every time he “graced” the pages and treated Henry like a piece of dirt. Henry’s assistant was hilarious and very supportive, as were some of the other secondary characters. The villain was painfully obvious from the beginning, but that is okay in a “mystery light” like this where most of the focus is on a developing relationship that feels more like an obstacle course than a romance. The business side is touched lightly but with just enough detail and credibility to add some realism to the novel, and by the time all the other twists and turns played out, I have to say I really liked this story.

If you like dramatic stories with lots of emotional growth, if you enjoy watching two men with a long history of friendship (and a little more) come to grips with the fact that their feelings for each other are far deeper than they suspected, and if you’re looking for a read that has a touch of suspense, lots of soul-searching, and more than one “will they – won’t they” moment, then you will probably like this novel.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 200 pages/54213 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 09-October-2017
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback, $14.99 bundle
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