Title: Royal Scandal
Author: Marquita Valentine
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept
Date of publication: January 24th, 2017
Number of pages: 176
POV: Alternating 1st person
Series: Royals in Exile
Royal Scandal – Book 1
Where you can find this book: Amazon
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.
Colin Sinclair’s parents, they were assassinated by a rebel faction in their home country, the Isle of Man. Almost immediately after they were killed, Colin and his siblings were exiled from their kingdom by that country’s Parliament. Where were they exiled too? America, more exactly a suburb one hour outside of Charlotte. Which is a pretty crappy thing to do to two teenagers, two tweens, a toddler and an infant.
Colin meets Della during an angry confrontation over him evicting her family from their cottage on the grounds where Colin’s house is. After realizing that he might have signed the papers without looking at them (and possibly being sleep deprived), he apologizes to Della and tells her that her family can stay indefinitely. During this time, Della meets Pierce and Aiden and falls in love with them.
Fast forward 10 years,
Della and Colin have become best friends (and each is harboring a secret crush on one another) and are co-raising Colin’s brothers, Pierce and Aiden. Della doesn’t know that Pierce and Aiden are Colin’s brothers. Even more, Colin hasn’t come clean that he is royalty. Actually, any of his family, to be honest. Imogene, his sister, is the Queen with Charlotte, Theo, Pierce, and Aiden as Princes. Della just thinks that Colin is a suave businessman who goes to London, a lot.
Colin is summoned to London by Prime Minister Davies, a nasty old man who is the head of the Parliament of Colin’s kingdom. He has news regarding their exile (which Colin has been tirelessly petitioning to lift it) and needs Colin to fly into London ASAP. When he goes to the meeting, he gave a proposal. Their exile will be lifted if he A) marries a woman of their choosing and B) Parliament crowns him as King. Bit of a side note, this is a matriarchal rulership. There has always been a Queen… never a King.
Colin decides to take matters into his own hands regarding who he is going to marry. He refuses to be pushed into a marriage like his grandmother and mother and he refuses to let the Parliament push him around anymore. He decides that he is going to tell Della who he is and then ask her to marry him.
The sex between Colin and Della seemed forced and I saw no connection between them, sexually. Not that it wasn’t hot, because they were flaming hot. Maybe it was because I thought that there was really no attraction. We had no build up. No flirting. Just, getting married and hopping into bed.
I did like Colin a lot. From the minute his parents died, he assumed responsibility for his brothers and sisters and he started working on getting their exile repealed. At only 19. Of course, he had Beaumont, Tressie, and Della helping him. But still.
I liked Della too. She was sweet, sassy and loved Colin for who he was, not who he is (if that makes sense).
There were a couple of plot twists that took me by surprise and I thought I had figured out one but there was more to it and I was genuinely surprised. The other plot twist, which was revealed around the same time as the other one, kinda blew my mind. Not what I expected.
The ending was what I expected, with everything wrapped up neatly with a bow. And I loved the epilogue, that was 5 years later. Made me all teary eyed. I honestly can’t wait to read the rest of the books.
How many stars will I give Royal Scandal: 3
Why: I loved the book but I felt that the dialogue was stilted and the romance between Colin/Della seemed very forced. The book did lag in the middle but the author did recover nicely. Overall, a nice book that would be perfect for the beach/pool.
Will I reread: Yes
Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes
Age range: Adult
Why: Sex and language
**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**