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Royal Powers #7

The Prince and the Pencil Pusher

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Bad things happen when supos go unchecked. That's why Abarra needs The Ministry: to keep tabs on royals with powers run amok. Queen Maialen has entrusted the safety of her subjects to her nephew, Prince Xabier, placing the agency in his capable hands.

Only, the Prince would rather spend his days putting his own power to good use in the vineyards than to wither away on the bureaucratic vine. Tired of policing perpetrators and babysitting bean-counters, he schemes to groom his first lieutenant (and second cousin) the Duke of Shrubs. After months spent moving chess pieces, he is poised to convince the Queen to assign his cousin to his post.

But an unlikely pawn still stands in his way: the sexy Zain Otxoa is the pushiest pencil-pusher in all of The Ministry and head of internal affairs. Prince Xabier has plotted to have him fired at least thrice. Zain's influence over the Queen—his only saving grace—is baffling.

When a master maneuver to have Zain reassigned exposes a shocking imbroglio, Prince Xabier learns The Ministry isn't what it seems. And Zain isn't a pawn at all.

100 pages, Kindle Edition

Published September 28, 2020

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Kenzie Blades

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 34 reviews
Profile Image for dee (andie) 🕺🏼✨.
159 reviews4 followers
March 11, 2021
* free copy provided for a review *

this was not great. if i had to describe this book in one word it'd be: eh. that's exactly what i felt like, when I read it.

the characters fell flat. the plotline was nonexistent. the twist around the end felt forced, completely out of nowhere and unnecessary. maybe if the story was at least slightly better than the characters, i wouldn't have found myself zoning out constantly. (it was not better.) additionally, I felt icky about Xabier and Zain's "conflict." both of the characters (but especially Zain) acted like the other person was an absolute heartless monster, who killer their entire family. in the end, the worst either of them have acted towards one another was when they were minimally passive-aggressive. their "rivalry" was created out of thin air.

not to even mention the nonexistent chemistry between the two.

i know this was a novella, but I've read many short(er) books in my life that felt satisfying and interesting. this was a whole, 30k words blob of nothing. thank you for coming to my messy review.
Profile Image for Natalie .
2,334 reviews32 followers
May 5, 2022
I didn't think Zain would be the type to walk away. This one went in a different direction than expected. Until the truth I was cheering Xabi and his wine making. Then things went undercover training and higher power. The two of them were well balanced. It was interesting, felt a little bad that the queen knew what Xabi was up to all along.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Aly.
2,472 reviews
March 20, 2021
I have to say that I haven't read the other books in this series so I was a little bit confused about the countries and the powers that royalty have. If I had known this was book seven, I would have read the others first.

This is a short story about a prince falling in love with one of his employees. Prince Xabier isn't meant to do paperwork all day, he wants to be in the vineyards helping to make wine. He has the power to ripen the grapes perfectly and just knows that is what he's meant to do. Zain is a rule follower who pushes Xabier to do his job in the Ministry, or at least that's what it seems. He's actually on another mission to watch Xabier and the evolution of his power.

The guys are opposite but complement each other well. Xabier is more fun and in the moment while Zain is cautious and always has a plan. I liked them together though I think their relationship could have been more developed. They kind of went from a formal relationship to dating quickly.

The plot was slow and not much happened overall. Maybe if I kept reading the other books there would be more about Xabier's powers and his relationship with Zain. I think this should have been longer so we could have seen more powers and had a stronger storyline.

I voluntarily read and reviewed this book. Thank you to Hidden Gem for the copy.
Profile Image for Szidi ☼.
947 reviews45 followers
October 24, 2020
2,5☆

I'm sadly disappointed! I wanted to read a romance between a Prince and his employee, but it wasn't that. The two MC was flat, they haven't spoke to each other and it was boring as hell. I wanted to DNF it but I thought it has the potential and would be better (spoiler, it had not).

At 50% they got a bit closer... but still nothing.
At 82% they kissed, had sex(off page), and fallen in love - all of this in less then a page!

And the ending... b-o-r-i-n-g!
Profile Image for Ali.
1,760 reviews12 followers
October 22, 2020
This was a good story and oh man, does this story take quite the turn. The deception seemed a bit extreme but after thinking things through Xabier was able to get past it and Zain was a completely different guy when he didn’t need to act like a tool. Xabier took to his new powers very well and fully embraced his feelings to Zain, he just has to make sure he knows that they are real.

I received a copy of this book and am giving an honest review
Profile Image for Madhu MaBookYard -.
1,164 reviews31 followers
October 29, 2020
[🌟🌟🌟.5]
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This book followed our main characters : Wine loving, secretly powerful Prince Xabier, and strong, rule loving head of Internal affairs Zain. It's about Xabier figuring out his true calling, and Zain helping him through it. It's filled with funny powers and punishments, lots of subtle angst and chemistry, enemies to lovers trope and amazing powers.
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First, when I read the blurb, I thought this was going to be a story with lots of political war, deceit and drama. But it surprised me with having a straight focus and gave me something to root for. I really liked the dynamics between Xabier and Zain, and how they seemed to not like but like each other. Especially Xabier. I mean, the opening chapter was about him discussing wine making and his powers, and you expected me to not fall in love with his passion? Pffttt.
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Second, this book gave me a lot of details about wine making and it's parameters. I mean, I've never had alcohol in my life, but now I know enough to sustain wine conversation. So that's good? But on a serious note, I liked all the quirky little information thrown in the book and the discussion about Xabier's passion, which made him look even more lovable. There were minimal side Characters and they served their purpose to the story. So it felt light and made me focus more on our couple in question.
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Now coming to the storyline and Character arc, I think both Xabier and Zain got a good character development. Almost more than half of the book was them kinda doing their duties and discussing what the Ministry job demands from the Prince. But suddenly when he discovers his powers, the chemistry happens and they fall in love within weeks without any scenes that involved conversations and angst. I was quite disappointed by that aspect of the story. I really liked how the storyline progressed and I would have loved to know more about both the Characters and the world. We didn't get to see a lot about the Queen or the way the system worked. Overall, it was a story with so much potential, really good plotline, great charact chemistry. But it wasn't what I expected it to be. I had high expectations for this book, and it didn't meet sadly.
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Thank you Gayromancereviews for the review copy!.
Kindle/ Arc/ October 2020
Profile Image for Lisa.
526 reviews4 followers
November 15, 2020
This is Book 7 in the Royal Powers series which is a multi-author series. This is the first book I've read by this author and it was a nice addition to a wonderful series about Royals with Superpowers. For the first time, I learned more about the mysterious and annoying Ministry of Powers and the secrets they keep.

Prince Xabiar thinks the Ministry of Powers is a joke and his position as Director is ridiculous. He would rather spend his time working with grapes and making wine. He would much rather give up his position to his cousin who is better suited for the task at hand. Unfortunately, the Queen believes that he is the person for the job. One annoying hinderance in his position is the pencil pusher, Zain, who is the Head of Internal Affairs. Zain thinks the Prince is cute but annoying. Unfortunately, he has to put up with Xabiar because he is important to a much larger plot orchestrated by the Queen herself to protect everyone and the Ministry of Power.

I couldn't help but feel sorry for Prince Xabiar who would much rather be doing something else and doesn't really have a high opinion of himself. It turns out that there are secrets within the Ministry of Power and that Prince Xabiar has a much large role and power that he is unaware of. When Zain reveals the truth about himself and the training, Prince Xabiar is shocked. During the course of the training, he finds himself even more attracted to Zain whose small crush grows into a bigger one. Unfortunately, Zain doesn't believe that he is worthy of Xabiar and unfortunate events occur. I was happy to see both men come to their senses with well-deserved HEA.
Profile Image for Amy Stauffer.
766 reviews14 followers
October 22, 2020
3.5 Stars

This book gets off to a slow start, but it starts to pick up about the time Prince Xabiar begins his training. That said, this book wasn’t my favorite, but I enjoyed it enough to finish, so that says something. Life is too short to read books that fall flat. This book doesn’t fall flat, but it doesn’t excite me, either. I will say, I have to be honest, though, and admit this is the first book I’ve picked up in this series, and I haven’t read anything else by this author. I’m more interested in trying something else by the author than in the series. So, maybe I’m a precautionary tale for needing to start from the beginning, and not 7 books in.

The characters were interesting, but I didn’t feel quite a connection with them as I normally like. I felt like their relationship was missing depth, like it wasn’t developed as much as it could be. There’s potential there, but it just didn’t hit the mark for me.

I felt like the storyline flowed well. I can tell the author has talent. I just don’t think this book or series was for me. I do plan to look into other books by the author because I feel like with a different storyline I might enjoy her writing more. She shows a lot of promise for good books to come, and my interest is piqued.

***Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure. A review wasn’t a requirement. ***
Profile Image for Amy and Chris.
1,815 reviews19 followers
October 15, 2020
This is book 7 in the Royal Powers series, all written by different authors. I have really enjoyed several of them so far. This one was a good addition to the series. It was the first book by this author that I have read. Prince Xabiar thinks the Ministry of Powers is a joke and his position as Director ridiculous. He would rather spend time working with grapes and making wine. He doesn’t really believe he is the best person for the job of running the Ministry. And let’s not get him started on his opinion of Zain, the head of Internal Affairs. What he doesn’t know though is that Zain is part of a larger plot, one set up by the Queen herself, to help him discover his true powers and become the best Director they have ever seen. I felt a little sorry for Xabiar at first because he really doesn’t have a very high opinion of himself, but he does enjoy his verbal sparring with Zain. And poor Zain is so convinced that everything will be over at the end of his assignment that he has trouble seeing past that. It starts a little slow but once you get to the part where the Prince enters his training, the book goes by very quickly. I did read an ARC of this book.
Profile Image for Anabela.M..
959 reviews15 followers
October 5, 2020


Xabier didn't want or liked his job at Ministry and for half of the book he seemed more like one of those kids who, instead of doing their homework, would rather be out of the house playing. Or, like in Xabier's case, making wine, if it weren't for Zain always breathing down his neck, watching his every move.

In the after half of the book Xabier was firstly resigned to take responsibility for his work and then came the surprise that blew away all he'd thought true about the Ministry. Well, he was shocked but so was I, because it kinda gives a new twist to all the other books in this series, too. It was brilliant.

As for the relationship between Xabier and Zain, I really wish it had been more developed. I didn't get to have a real taste of how they were together, so to speak. They were cute so I would have appreciated more, both of their initial antagonism and their romance later.

As a whole, though, this was a fast and entertaining read.


* ARC provided by the author via IndiGo Marketing&Design in exchange for an honest review

Profile Image for Monika .
2,003 reviews30 followers
October 28, 2020

Sadly disappointed by this one. This had such a slow burn that the burn was almost non-existent. It didn't feel at all like a romance. The MCs don't even kiss until around the 80% mark and moments after they do Zain suddenly realizes he's in love with Prince Xabier. HUH? I think I missed the part they had romantic thoughts about each other.

This story didn't work for me. I felt no connection what so ever to the story or the MCs and there was no spark between them... until the end. This was a good case of too little too late. Oh and the super power, now that was cool, except again you don't find out until near the end. Yup, another case of too little too late.

TAGS
--paranormal -- royalty -- super powers -- a few sweet moments -- couldn't connect -- no spark -- likeable enough MCs... Zain & Xabier -- too little too late -- didn't flow -- skimmed a lot of this one -- had potential -- sadly disappointed
Profile Image for Susan Anne.
572 reviews2 followers
September 30, 2020
I‌ ‌received‌ ‌a‌ ‌copy‌ ‌of‌ The Prince and the Pencil Pusher ‌by‌ ‌Kenzie Blades via‌ ‌IndiGo‌ ‌Marketing‌ ‌&‌ ‌Design‌ ‌in‌ ‌exchange‌ ‌for‌ ‌an‌ ‌honest‌ ‌review.‌ ‌I’ve bought and read all the previous books in the series and this is one of my favorites so far. One of the reasons I liked it so much is it deals with weightier issues than just winemaking and as an oenophile, I take that seriously. While the Ministry has played a role in several of the earlier books, it is center stage here. I did not see the twist in the Ministry’s role at all and it takes both the Ministry and the book in a more serious direction than the others before. While the frivolity of some of the previous books was their winning element in these trying times, I enjoyed the emphasis on issues here, even at the expense of the love story. I hope the Royal Powers line continues well beyond the pandemic!
Profile Image for Phoebe.
978 reviews
October 21, 2020
I love an enemies-to-lovers story; especially a story that comes with secrets within secrets. Kenzie Blades writes a complicated romance in The Prince and the Paper Pusher. Complicated for the guys (laugh), not for us.

The Prince is the seventh book in the “Royal Powers” series, but it can be read as a standalone. I have not read any of the other books in the series and I did not need to read any. The premise threw me at first as I was not sure I could get into Xabier as Blades does not present him as your “typical” hero. In the end, I actually liked this approach.

I am a fan of Blades and they did not disappoint. This is a quick romance so I do not want to give too much away. The Prince and the Paper Pusher is fun, fast, and flirty read.

I received an ARC of this book and I am writing a review without prejudice and voluntarily.
Profile Image for Ida Umphers.
3,079 reviews13 followers
October 24, 2020
I have enjoyed all the previous volumes in this series so I was going to read this one no matter what the title was, who the author was or what the blurb said. I will, however, say that I wasn't sure about this one from its description. It ended up being one of my favorites for a couple of reasons. First, the characters of Xabier and Zane were interesting both together and apart and the plot kept twisting both of them up in knots. Neither guy had any clue at the beginning what was actually going on in their world and all the wheels within wheels were expertly handled by the author all while writing a winning enemies to lovers romance. If you've been following the series, you will learn much more about the world and how it works. If this is your first book I don't think you will have trouble following the plot without having read the others. A delightful surprise read for me.
Profile Image for Lexi.
669 reviews16 followers
October 28, 2020
This book has a slow start and slowly builds up but once it does it starts to get quite a bit more intense which was around when Prince Xabiar began his training. I really enjoyed the training and him having to learn so much. His interactions with Zain made me laugh a lot. I loved how these two reacted to each other and pushed buttons. Prince Xabiar had a very particular opinion at first about Zain. This was a slow burn but I enjoyed the verbal banter and sparring between the two main characters. The plot was great and kept twisting around these characters and making them have to deal with all sorts of things. And neither one of them had a clue about so many things. It was a really good addition to this world and I hope to see more of these characters. Their romance was a lot of fun to get to experience.
Profile Image for Jennifer Olivas.
542 reviews5 followers
October 3, 2020
This was the first book that I have read by this author. For me, the beginning of the book was very slow and it took some effort on my part to keep reading until it started to get interesting. I'm glad I did though because the rest of the book was interesting and enjoyable. I thought that the premise of the book was interesting. It is an interesting world of people having special powers and having to learn how to use them responsibly. Prince Xabier definitely needed a push in the right direction in the form of Zain. He really drives the prince crazy, and not always in a good way. The attraction between the two was slow burn, but you get an HEA. I did receive a copy of this book from Hidden Gems and this is my honest review.
Profile Image for Rachwithheadinabook.
1,642 reviews
October 22, 2020
This is the seventh book in this multi authored series and I really enjoyed it. It opened as a Frenemies to lovers story, that has some really sweet and some steamy scenes. This is a book of two halves, before secrets are revealed and then after, which throws up questions about some of the other books meaning a second read may now be warranted.

This is a more complex story than some of the others, which is why I think I enjoyed it more, it’s fast paced and entertaining, I would have liked to have seen more of the relationship between Zain and Xabier after everything was said and done. I do think that this is a good addition to the series.
377 reviews5 followers
October 23, 2020
Zain and Xabier were an absolute delight to read. I loved the way that the reacted to each other and that they both hated and admired each other for so long. I really enjoyed the pacing of this book and the slight mystery of what Xabier's power really was. If you're looking for steamy scenes between the characters then this is not a book for you as the scenes are of the fade to black variation but it doesn't take away the awesomeness that is this book. I really enjoyed hearing about how the different royals had misused their powers over time and I loved some of Xabier's ideas for punishments. I would absolutely recommend this book.
Profile Image for Dionne Howard.
124 reviews
October 24, 2020
I have read/listened to books by Renae Kaye before and loved them. This book was a very slow start to something good. When the Prince and the Pencil Pusher begin a more romantic relationship it gets really interesting. I wanted to finish once I reached that point. A lot of back story was explained but since I started with this book I did appreciate that. If it were a little longer story I felt there was more that could be explored between the two main characters. They had chemistry not just as combatants or friends but lovers too. After a long wait I had expected better “fun times” but it was sweet.
Profile Image for Jacquie Stewart.
1,953 reviews35 followers
October 11, 2020
Okay, well the story itself is interesting. The hidden story of the Ministry of Powers that runs through all of the stories in this series, one way or another. Absolutely loved that.
The romance aspect felt almost throwaway. Like it had to be added in to qualify for the series almost. The antagonism between Xabier and Zain was almost nonexistent and when they did get together, their time on page before the conflict was a blink and miss it thing. Gimme some more antagonism and romance and then it would be perfect
Profile Image for Ζωή Παππά.
Author 2 books25 followers
October 13, 2020
This is my first book from the author and it was a really sweet slow burn romance. I liked the chemistry between the main characters although I would have loved it if they had more interactions during the he first half of the book, I needed more sparks. In general I just found the beginning a little bit slow but around 50% it got really interesting. I liked the powers and the twist with Xabier’s power. That part was very fun and intriguing. I enjoyed it very much.

I received an ARC of this book for an honest review.
Profile Image for Shannon.
416 reviews6 followers
October 14, 2020
This book was enjoyable.
I liked the characters, the plot and how it came together.
There were a lot of fun moments and Xabier’s antics at getting out of the office were a delight.
Zain was fun as well as he tried to anticipate Xabier’s actions.
But I didn’t think there was chemistry and when there was, it came out of the blue.

The writing was lyrical and beautiful. I enjoyed the style a lot.

I recommend if you would like to read the whole series. You should definitely read this one.

I received a copy for a honest review.
Profile Image for R.
1,661 reviews
October 15, 2020
Zane was the bane of Xabier’s life. Never leaving him alone, always there to shove another piece of paperwork under his nose to be signed. All Xabier wants is to use his power to make perfect grapes which in turn makes perfect wine. Alas, it’s not to be.

This story has many secrets, so to avoid spilling them I’ll just say it is probably now my favorite of the series and Zane and Xabi are great heroes.

One of the things I’ve liked about this series is the unusual names. Also the continuity between the books and the various authors is excellent.

I received an arc of this book.
Profile Image for Katherine.
160 reviews3 followers
October 22, 2020
Within the universe of this superhero series, this is a perfectly fine addition, however as a standalone I didn't really enjoy it. The romance plot didn't feel believable, and I didn't feel much chemistry. It was also a bit slow in the first half of the book.

I also really spent a lot of the book being annoyed with Xabier - the twist, while resolving the story, didn't make me any less annoyed at his initial attitude to his job (if he hated it so much, do something else!) and to Zain (who is just doing his job!).

The writing itself was fine, and parts were actually very lovely!
Profile Image for Janet Hunt.
3,368 reviews28 followers
October 23, 2020
The story was a little slow to start for me, but I stuck with it and am glad I did. I’ve read all the other stories in this series; you do not have to read any of the others as this is a standalone. Prince Xabier and Zain have a serious slow burn attraction. I liked the story line, it flowed really well. The Ministry threw me for a loop. Overall I enjoyed the whole story. I am voluntarily leaving a review form an advanced copy that I received. My reviews are solely based on my thoughts and opinions.
Profile Image for Siobhan Flynn.
567 reviews3 followers
October 24, 2020
An undercover situation of sorts with powers and responsibilities with a slight bodyguard relationship. People are not what they seem and when the truth is revealed, secrets spill forth changing the ministry as we know it. The Queen has certainly been busy all these years moving pieces into place to secure and evolve the supes destiny. A good plot and world building but I felt it was slighy rushed at the end to tie up this story. There wasn't any real romance in it but a solid foundation and intriguing world to discover.
Profile Image for Calila.
1,155 reviews80 followers
October 27, 2020
*Received A Copy To Review From The Author*

This is a really cute light read. The world it's set in is interesting. The stories of the power mishaps were funny but you can still see how they could be bad if the powers were worse. I like the pairing together a lot. They had a nice balance. Though I think they come together a bit too easily, it does fit for this style of story. I really didn't need the drama at the end. It felt out of the blue and unneeded, personally. But I still enjoyed this.
Profile Image for DENICE.
1,034 reviews2 followers
October 3, 2020
POWERS, LOVE AND HONESTY BRING ABOUT LOVE

I received this book for free and am giving my honest and voluntary review

A short story about a Prince with hidden powers and the man who has to groom him to his duties. Xabier, the prince, and Zain, the next in his command, believe that they hate each other. Once finding their hatred doesn’t exist, and the truth comes out, things take an interesting turn. I wish the story were a little longer.
Profile Image for John-Torleif  Harris.
2,561 reviews9 followers
September 29, 2020
I thought that this was a fun story, though I wish that the antagonism between Xabi and Zain had been played up a bit more. I liked that Xabier fought to live his life as he wanted, but saw the value and the necessity for him to take on further responsibility when he understood his own powers better.

I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.
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