Title: Royal Scandal (Royals in Exile #1)
Author: Marquita Valentine
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 24, 2017
Fairy tales do come true—and so do tabloid scandals! Bestselling author Marquita Valentine kicks off a juicy contemporary romance series with a novel about a prince whose best-laid plans go deliciously awry when he marries the maid next door.
Forced to flee to the United States with his siblings after their parents’ assassination, Crown Prince Colin Sinclair takes it upon himself to become the caretaker of his family while hiding out near Charlotte, North Carolina. But after a decade in hiding, the secret’s out and Parliament demands that Colin wed a princess of their choosing. Unwilling to play their game, Colin decides to marry an American instead, and he has the perfect candidate in mind.
As a home-service professional, Della Hughes doesn’t believe in storybook endings. But when her best friend and secret crush reveals that he’s a flesh-and-blood prince, she doesn’t know what to think. Still, she’ll do anything for Colin, including becoming his wife—in name only, of course. But when their plans to stay purely platonic go by the wayside, their fake honeymoon turns all too real. After a week of white-hot nights, Della can no longer deny her feelings—not with a happily ever after so tantalizingly close.
Review - 5 Stars
Marquita has given me yet another story and alpha to swoon over! Like every time before, I raced through this story, loathe for it to end but unable to put it down. It’s sexy, fun, and intriguing, with some great twists. And, of course, a fantastic HEA.
Colin is such a strong character. Despite being young and immature, the product of selfish and careless parents, when the time comes for him to step up, he does so with complete commitment. He’s only 19 when his parents are assassinated and he is forced into exile with his four five siblings, two of which are under the age of two. He becomes a father, a business owner, and the one responsible for finding a way for them to return home.
All of this weighs on his shoulders, especially the secrets since they have to keep their royal heritage under wraps. It doesn’t help that his neighbor is not only appealing physically, she becomes his best friend and over the years, helps him to handle the struggles in his life, even if she doesn’t realize it. Eventually, he accepts the fact that he is in love with her, but due to so many things, he assumes they can never be together. Colin seems stiff at first, but I grew to love his character quickly. Then he whipped out his deliciously dirty mouth and seductive skills and I was lost to him. He’s incredibly intelligent, determined, and loves fiercely.
Della has the natural instinct to mother everybody and she is more than happy to be a part of their lives. Particularly playing a solid role in raising Colin’s youngest brothers, whom he has let everyone believe are his sons. You can’t help but love her. There isn’t a malicious bone in her body. She is loving, understanding, and so forgiving. It was kind of obtuse of Colin not to realize he could trust her with the whole truth in the ten years they are just friends.
Circumstances force Colin to ask Della if she will help him by agreeing to a sham marriage. She loves him enough to agree even though the outcome is likely to hurt her in the end. But, Coin quickly comes to the conclusion that he’ll do anything to keep Della as his wife permanently. He woos her, seduces her, and inevitably, they admit to wanting the same things.
This doesn’t mean everything is suddenly solved, there are still a plethora of obstacles that they face. As more and more come out, it’s clear that their whole lives have been a lie and not just the secrets they have guarded.
I’m so happy that this will be a series because not only did I fall for Colin and Della, I’m completely intrigued with the other siblings and can’t wait for their stories. Marquita Valentine is one of those authors that I drop everything to read when they have a new book and I’ve never been disappointed. They have heat, action, intrigue, and so many things that go into making a story compelling and ones that put this book firmly on my re-read shelf! I’ll continue to eagerly stalk her, waiting for the next time I get to immerse myself in one of her worlds.