• Playing the Palace

  • By: Paul Rudnick
  • Narrated by: Michael Urie
  • Length: 7 hrs and 34 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (280 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

One of Buzzfeed's 39 Excellent LGBTQ Books To Read This Month And Always

Their Love Story Captivated the World.... The Crown Prince and That Guy from New York

When a lonely American event planner starts dating the gay Prince of Wales, a royal uproar ensues: Is it true love or the ultimate meme? Find out in this hilarious romantic comedy.

After having his heart trampled on by his cheating ex, Carter Ogden is afraid love just isn’t in the cards for him. He still holds out hope in a tiny corner of his heart, but even in his wildest dreams he never thought he’d meet the Crown Prince of England, much less do a lot more with him. Yes, growing up he’d fantasized about the handsome, openly gay Prince Edgar, but who hadn’t? When they meet by chance at an event Carter’s boss is organizing, Carter’s sure he imagined all that sizzling chemistry. Or was it mutual?

This unlikely but meant-to-be romance sets off media fireworks on both sides of the Atlantic. With everyone having an opinion on their relationship and the intense pressure of being constantly in the spotlight, Carter finds ferocious obstacles to his Happily Ever After, including the tenacious disapproval of the Queen of England. Carter and Price Edgar fight for a happy ending to equal their glorious international beginning. It’s a match made on Valentine’s Day and in tabloid heaven.

©2021 Paul Rudnick (P)2021 Penguin Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: Romance

Critic Reviews

"Award-winning playwright, humorist, and novelist Rudnick steeps his writing in a deliciously snarky sense of wit while at the same time effectively employing his flair for clever storytelling in the creation of a delightfully quirky cast of characters. The end result is a fizzy, fun, fresh, and fairy tale-like rom-com that will restore readers' faith in true love." (Booklist)

“[In] Rudnick’s effervescent new novel...the question isn’t whether love will triumph, only how. The answer may make you cheer.” (The New York Times)

"From the screenwriter of Sister Act, Jeffrey, and The Stepford Wives comes this highly anticipated rom-com debut. Event planner Carter Ogden meets and has instant chemistry with the sought after Prince of Wales, giving way to a high-profile romance that comes with a unique set of obstacles." (Oprah.com)

What listeners say about Playing the Palace

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

LOL Rom com!

I am a big fan of Red, White, & Royal Blue and was a little apprehensive about similarities in the storyline with Playing the Palace. But both books stand alone and both are excellent! Playing the Palace is lighter and funnier but no less fabulous. I laughed out loud throughout this delightful story and will definitely be giving it a re-listen in a couple of months. Queen Catherine stole every scene she was in! Michael Urie does a superb job with the narration and his accents are delicious!

8 people found this helpful

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The best thing I’ve heard this year

The writing was superb. I was blown away by it and how entertaining everything was. I laughed so much.
BUT if you buy this book I warn you not to listen to it when your household is asleep bc you’re going to laugh out loud so hard during a particularly funny scene that you’ll wake someone up and they’ll be like “what are you doing! It’s late and you are so loud in here.” True story.
Seriously you won’t regret buying this audiobook. The narration was perfection. Urie’s depiction of the Queen and Aunt Muriel were wonderful.

7 people found this helpful

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I wanted to give it 5 but…

The last third of the book felt extremely rushed and out of character for almost all of the characters. Certain things said, and actions and then all of it contradicted very quickly.

Overall it’s a cute and funny story.

3 people found this helpful

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Shallow

This was recommended because I loved Red, White, and Royal Blue, which made it pretty disappointing, because the writing does not approach the same level. I love a good rom com, but this was not a good rom com. Weak character development, plot strung together through a few tired catastrophes, and a happy ending that wasn’t earned. Deeply unsatisfying.

2 people found this helpful

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  • KP
  • 03-27-22

Sad that I spent one of my monthly tokens on this

I bought it because people kept comparing it to Red, White & Royal Blue, which I loved. The only thing this has in common is an American and Prince of England. There are no other comparisons. Very confused why people have said if you like that you'll like this.

Playing the Palace reads as though a middle schooler wrote down their fantasy of meeting a Prince and having them fall madly in love within 3 dates. There is no relationship development. There is no character development. There is hardly even a plot.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Delightful

Was a little hesitant about this, having recently listened to “red white and royal blue”, but was happily surprised. It’s touching and laugh out loud funny. A delightful journey. Narrator is excellent [which always helps].

1 person found this helpful

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Outstanding

This book was sublime from beginning to end. I laughed out loud so many times. The narration was perfection. The story was so much fun. The supporting characters stole the show. I loved every word!

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hilarious and simple story

I laughed so hard at some points that I had to STOP. not suitable for the work place.

my worst complaint is that the story has no strong antagonist, all the forces working against them are people's enmity rather than overt actions. so ultimately the characters are standing in their own way.

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So fun to read!!!

Lots of funny moments & no slowdown as the book came close to finishing. Michael Urie is a great narrator & brings out all the quirkiness of each character he voices

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3.5 stars

A cute, fun read. Made me laugh out loud several times. I thought the plot was lacking, but if you’re looking for a quick and easy beach read, this will do the trick.

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Profile Image for Eydis Bjarnadottir
  • Eydis Bjarnadottir
  • 06-20-21

stale and flat

struggled to finish is an understatement. there's no emotion, the characters were shallow and stereotypical and the humour borders on inappropriate. it tries too hard, and not in a good way.

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  • alison
  • 06-04-21

chesse bit fun

Good book very cheesy but the what made this book for me was all the background characters. Who were just great made me laugh mainly carter's friends and family. clearly predicted but didn't distract from me wanting to listen to it. completed in less 24 hours

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Profile Image for Wide Eyes, Big Ears!
  • Wide Eyes, Big Ears!
  • 06-20-21

Way more com than rom!

After meeting UK Crown Prince Edgar at a charity fund raiser, NJ event planner, Carter Ogden is touched when the Prince follows up with a date. This is firmly in Fran Fine and The Nanny territory and while there are plenty of laughs, I was surprised to find I didn’t love this over-the-top farce. The relationship pacing felt rushed, there was way more caricature than character, and parts of the plot and character decision-making just didn’t make any sense. I guess there’s a difference between funny and silly, and this toppled over the line. Because the laughs were the priority, it was hard to believe in the relationship so I wasn’t invested - way more com than rom. The wonderful Michael Urie (of Ugly Betty fame) gave a great audio narrative performance, he was perfect.

1 person found this helpful