Book Review: The Summer Palace (Captive Prince #3.5) by C.S. Pacat

The Summer Palace (Captive Prince Short Stories #2)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Own
Publication Date: January 5, 2017
Publisher: Gatto
Point of View: Third Person (Damen)
Genres & Themes: Romance, M/M Romance, Fantasy, Historical, Short Stories, Novella


“When all this is over, we could take horses and stay a week in the palace…”

Set after the events of the Captive Prince trilogy, The Summer Palace is a story about Damen and Laurent. It’s an epilogue of sorts to the Captive Prince series.


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This is 30 pages of the epilogue Damen and Laurent deserved. That we the readers deserved.

I could even write a 30 page review on why this shorty was excellent, and why I basically highlighted the shit out of this book, that it reads like a christmas tree. Yet, 30 pages is really freaking short, and I know we all wanted a full fledge ending, in fact it safe to assume we wanted another book. Will Damen and Laurent get married? Who proposes to who? Do they both try to do it and Laurent messes up along the way and Damen thinks he doesn’t want to get married, but really he had the ring nearby and he just wanted it all perfect. Does Laurent top? Their kingdom is the best kingdom to ever kingdom, isn’t it? Will they have heirs? Will Damen ever meet his child? Will said child be the heir?

I mean there are is so much we all want, but what we get is honestly more than I thought we would ever get, if that at all makes sense. We get so much of out Laurent, out of Damen, out of their journey, and things that needed to be addressed. It isn’t perfect, and I think that’s deliberate as Pacat is saying this two might have ended up together, and they are happy, but I don’t forgot what has happened, and neither have they.

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the summer palace 101:

  1. damen and laurent being #softhusbands
  2. damen and laurent wrestling
  3. naked wrestling
  4. “who taught you?”
  5. damen and laurent laughing
  6. #dead
  7. laurent c o u r t i n g damen
  8. #BYE
  9. “ours”
  10. laurent laughing
  11. laurent being playful
  12. and sweet
  13. communication
  14. talking
  15. about kastor, about auguste
  16. about what laurent did to damen
  17. damen having a gift for laurent and basically daydreaming about
  18. how he’ll give it to laurent and in the middle stop and k i s s
  20. slow bc laurent likes it slow and so does damen tbh
  21. # is finite as of now
  22. will update when the number is infinite
  23. ‘i like it here.’
  24. laurent and damen being truly, honestly, genuine happy
  25. both knowing, acknowledging that what they have is something neither thought was on the table
  26. ‘your frightened me’
  27. laurent was watching the road
  28. also damen leaving his squad like did he say bye or just shoot out of there
  29. bc they walked, talked to mother, laurent served damen, in only sandles, whilst his skin pinked, and he threw water at himself, and then damen (cold), baths, wrestling, the sweetest sex scene, and hottest,
  30. touch starved laurent
  31. and then the squad gets there
  32. ‘The king has come’
  33. {{I know, I can still feel it}}

Like I said…30 pages.

“Damen was smiling; there was delight in seeing Laurent explore himself, a young man who was sweet, teasing, at times unexpectedly earnest. Having made the decision to let Damen in, Laurent had not gone back on it. When the walls went up, it was with Damen inside them.”

We might not have gotten everything answered, but honestly I will forever love this epilogue. I’ll be here, not patiently, waiting for the last two stories, and hoping we could convince Pacat to write some fanfic or another #domestic/fluff novel.

In the end, we got Damen and Laurent laughing, playing, teasing, and being the happiest they have ever been. We got the answers to what happened after the events of Kings Rising and how Laurent stayed in his chiton, bloodied with Damen’s blood, and we can deduce had Damen died he’d stayed in it longer. Oh, yeah, Laurent all steamed up in a chiton, and Damen drooling over his husband. Thankfully no pitcher was harmed this time. We got Laurent inviting Damen to visit Auguste, and Laurent promising to take care of Damen. And finally, talking about the lashing. Really, there is so much in 30 pages that I almost thought the number was wrong. I honestly can’t wait for more, and I’m dreading leaving them behind.

Some of my Favorite Quotes:

‘They’re ours now.’ Saying the word “ours” still felt daring. He could feel it mirrored in Laurent, the shy awkwardness of what was so dearly desired.


Laurent’s cheeks were slightly flushed, though it was not clear whether it was from summer heat or his admission.


In the palace at Ios, they had snatched moments together like illicit lovers, at sunset, at dusk, in the gardens, in the bedroom, mornings with Laurent sweetly above him. It had felt at times surreal: the wonder of what was newly between them set against the seriousness of their days, the difficulty of those early decisions.


He loved the way that Laurent kissed, as if Damen was the only person that he had ever kissed, or would ever want to.


The number of times that they had made love were still finite enough that Damen could remember each one of them: at Ravenel, the unspoken full of painful secrets; in Karthas, losing themselves in each other; aching sweetness by firelight at a roadside inn at Mellos; the desperation of their first lovemaking after Damen’s recovery.


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Reviews: Kings Rising | Prince’s Gambit | Captive Prince |




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