Preston Abernathy is a college student with an elite family. His father is a wealthy senator and Preston is expected to follow him to DC. Preston is also expected to marry his girlfriend, Serena, and getting engaged sooner rather than later will appease his parents as well. But Preston is hiding several secrets—his and Serena’s relationship is not what it seems, he’s gay, and he’s in love with Serena’s father. Any one of these secrets has the power to blow up Preston’s world.
Archer Carrington is wealthy and good looking and turns the heads of both men and women. He knows Preston as his daughter’s boyfriend and the senator’s son and Archer never had any other feelings about Preston. Until Preston kisses him at a charity event and Archer’s thoughts get filthy fast. When Archer finds out that Serena is really only Preston’s best friend, he can’t help himself again and again to taking all that Preston is offering. But secrets in this town can’t stay hidden forever and, when this one gets out, it’ll be scandalous.
Scandalous Park Avenue Prince is the third book in the Park Avenue Princes series and follows the same group of wealthy and elite college students. This is listed as a standalone, but while Preston and Archer’s relationship is new to this book, I appreciated having read the other books in the series for continuity.
Readers know immediately that Preston and Serena are not in a true relationship, so the blurb isn’t as “scandalous” as it may sound. Sure, the world thinks that Serena and Preston are together, and Preston is the same age as Archer’s daughter and Archer knows Preston’s parents socially, so there still is that scandal factor. Preston has always noticed Archer and when he finally makes his move, Archer has to take a minute or two to process it all. When he does though, the brakes are off and the men go after each other hot and hard. Preston wants to be all in with Archer and, although he is known as the “straight” one in his friend group, Preston now has zero chill when he thinks about or sees Archer.
This book is classic Frank and Blaine and, if you are familiar with their work, you will get the expected atmosphere that they are known for. The conflict plays out as mostly internal, as Preston hasn’t come out and Archer has to reconcile dating someone much younger than him. The external conflicts come from all the pressure on them; in Preston’s case, it is family and for Archer, it’s work and the society he makes his life in.
The book follows the group of friends as well and there was one scene that lost me a bit, as it’s clearly a set up for a future book, but what exactly was going on was a little too unclear. The reveal also followed a similar path to the previous books a little too closely and I would have appreciated a fresher approach. The ending felt a rushed and a bit chaotic to me, with the men getting what I saw as a HFN due to several factors, but there not being enough time at the end to wrap it all up for me.
I did enjoy seeing Preston and Archer find their way to each other and, while this book didn’t resonate with me as much as the previous two, I am looking forward to hanging out with this group again as the series progresses.