In Jane Kolven’s romantic comedy The Queen Has a Cold, true love blossoms in a tiny European country.
Sam arrives at graduate school eager to start her PhD program in gender studies. The first day is marked by a chance encounter with a snobbish European, Remy. In a tender meet cute, Remy breaks Sam’s lamp, and the two head to dinner and Target for a replacement. Both have their emotional shields up, but a surprise connection kindles a flame that neither is able or willing to snuff out.
But a phone call summons Remy home to Montamant, a tiny nation where the queen has a cold and is unable to perform an important ceremony. Remy rushes to help, but as an intersex princess, they’re fearful the people will not accept them.
Remy and Sam’s unlikely relationship offers both a sense of relief while they’re at the royal palace. The country is modernizing, but not fast enough to provide a haven for Remy. A political rival introduces a bill to force the royal family to prove that their heirs fit into the gender binary; it’s a last-ditch attempt to destabilize the country.
Sam and Remy have an undeniable chemistry, but several obstacles block them from diving in. Sam’s fierce independence drives a wedge between them, even as she comes to terms with Remy’s royal duties and difficulties being accepted as they are. A historical mystery waylays their relationship, and the monarchy threatens to crumble, taking Remy’s beloved country along with it. The fate of Montamant seems tied up with Remy’s relationship in the cathartic conclusion, which brims with warmth, tenderness, and comedic wit.
The Queen Has a Cold is a nonconforming romance that’s fun and lighthearted.
John M. Murray
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