Book Review – Hair Out of Place by Helen Juliet

Publisher: Indie
Pages: 266
Characters: Raphie/Griff
POV: 3rd
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Nobody knows that happy-go-lucky Raphie d’Oro is secretly a prince, not even his grumpy new bodyguard, Griff Thompson. But when a band of assassins strike, Raphie is forced to flee the London penthouse he’s never left in his life, and Griff has no choice but to go on the run with his gorgeously tempting client.

It’s a race against time to get Raphie home to the small European state of Campanula so he can claim the throne from his late father and call off the hit. Griff knows he has to remain professional, but he’s increasingly drawn to the beautiful Raphie and his mesmerising 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, standalone MM romance novel featuring a fierce feline BFF, a lot of mouthwatering food, even more mouthwatering snuggles, a royal ball to remember, and a guaranteed HEA with absolutely no cliffhanger.

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I loved Raphie and Griff’s story. It grabbed me right from the beginning and didn’t let go until the end. I thought it was a wonderful mix of romance and drama, with several edge-of-seat action scenes.

I loved Raphie and Griff, and although this is Raphie’s first time venturing into the outside world, I thought in many ways he was more insightful than Griff about a lot of things. I thought it said a lot about his strength of character that he does so well in a world he’s only seen through media before now. I love how they’re both dorky in their own way, and how they connect as friends as well. The ongoing movie star reference when booking accommodation etc is fun. I loved how Griff takes the time to ask Raphie what pronouns he prefers, and later asks if he’d be more comfortable in a dress. He accepts Raphie for who he is, and falls hard and fast. So does Raphie. I felt for them thinking they’d have to give each other up once Raphie takes the throne, and how their mindset and determination around that changes as they realise neither is prepared to give the other up. Their physical relationship is sweet, intimate, and caring. I love the time spent in the French cottage.

Although this is Raphie and Griff’s story I can’t review the book without mentioning Sparrow. Her personality shines throughout, and I loved her, and the way she works her way into Griff’s heart as well.

Raphie’s half-sister, Alessa, rocks. I loved how she was nothing like I expected. The old lady at the ball and her reaction to everything was fabulous too.

The HEA of this book and the scenes at the ball leading up to it were perfect in so many ways. This is only my second read of a book by this author. I need to play catchup!

5 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at
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