Title: Royal Scandal (Royals in Exile #1)
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.
Author: Marquita Valentine
Other books by this author that we've reviewed: Take the Fall
Series: Royals in Exile #1
Published by LoveSwept Source: Publisher
Published: January 24, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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This story started out strong, with some great characters and witty banter. Colin is struggling to calm his baby brother, and Della is demanding to know why he’s kicked her and her stepmom out of their jobs. It’s an easily cleared-up mess that paves the way for a strong friendship between Colin and Della.
While the writing is strong, I couldn’t help but feel that many of the important scenes in this book were written after the author had seen a movie or two. There were lines that immediately brought to mind specific scenes from Pride & Prejudice (among others), where the wording was almost too much like something one of those characters would say, vs. the characters of Valentine’s book. I was pulled out from the emotion of the scene and left scratching my head as to which movie she was referencing-without-really-referencing. It detracted from the overall ambience of the story and I was left feeling like the words weren’t quite the author’s own.
The sex scenes was especially jolting, and not in a good way. Valentine gave Colin a decidedly serious, stubborn, and proper personality – but upon the first time he opened his mouth in bed, the words that tumbled from his lips were not the romantic ones I’d hoped for. Instead, they were kind of filthy (and he used the same words over and over, which showed a lack of creativity, in my opinion). Filthy definitely has its time and place (in Colin’s brother Theo’s book, for example), but this was so out of character for Colin, it left me feeling kind of icky and not at ALL into it. After the third love scene, I started skipping pages.
I liked the story, and the plot. I feel that if Valentine stayed true to her characters more, and let them speak their own words vs those inspired by rom-com movies, I’d love this series. As it is, it’s a three star review, with potential for me to continue on in the series if only to see improvement from what I think is a significantly underwritten subgenre (I do love me some Royals!).