Title: Royal Scandal
Series: Royals in Exile #1
Author: Marquita Valentine
Publisher: Loveswept
Publication Date: 24 Jan 2017
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 3.5/5

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Synopsis from Goodreads

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.

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Royal Scandal is a quick read full of secrets, lies, family, love and friendship.

Colin is an outstanding character, assuming the role of protector and patriarch at the tender age of 19. His selfless transition into parent to two very young siblings was heart warming and inspiring. Colin puts aside all of his own plans to care for his family while trying to re-establish his families position within his own country, although his battle is hindered by speculation, rumour and scandal created around his parents and their subsequent assassination. There are a number of inconsistencies within the narrative, with regard Colin’s parents, for the reader to pick up alongside Colin giving more of a personal connection to the characters and the outcome.

Della is at the opposite end of the social scale to Colin, working class but embodying contentment. Living within the grounds of Colin’s estate and related to the estate manager, Della and Colin are thrown together from the beginning. Della is a caretaker by nature, kind and compassionate she naturally falls into the role of surrogate mother and sister to Colin’s family and Colin’s best friend. Although there is attraction on both sides, neither Colin or Della are willing to cross over their friendship line when there is so much more at stake than just themselves. However, a situation concerning Colin’s home country forces them to negotiate a marriage contract in order to remain in control of their personal lives.

Things quickly escalate into the real deal however, Della has secrets of her own that overshadow her happiness. Insecurities tend to amplify negative emotions creating a downward spiral and further emotional barriers.

I loved Colin and Della’s relationship, they fit perfectly together – the fairytale is real I tell you 😉

The other members of Colin’s family are introduced and a few details to their personalities and lifestyles are woven through the narrative paving the way for their stories later in the series. As seems to be the current trend, Royal Scandal ends with the perspective changing to one of the other characters paving the way for the next book.