This is a new to me author and I actually enjoyed the majority of this story. Royal Scandal is the first in Marquita Valentine’s ‘Royals in Exile’ series and follows a family of siblings who were exiled after their parents’ death. I’m a sucker for the royalty and commoner trope – but then again, who isn’t?
Colin Sinclair, along with his younger twin sisters, and three younger brothers are all living in North Carolina. They’ve been living in that area for the last ten years without any fan-fare. You wouldn’t think it’s possible in today’s world to be a private person but yes, I’m here to tell you that it is. The Sinclair’s grounds keeper, Tressie, and her step daughter, Della Hughes, live on the property. This isn’t a wicked stepmother story; Tressie is actually quite lovely.
During their first encounter, Della is a tad bit combative towards Colin. She confronts him after she and Tressie received a notice of termination and eviction. Della wasn’t having it and Colin wasn’t even sure he sent it. It was during a time when he’d just arrived to the States and there was just too much going on. After a relatively mild conversation, Colin rescinded the notice and the two have become best friends. I really thought that this might set the tone for their ongoing relationship, but I was pleasantly surprised. Their give and take, back and forth was that of genuine friendship.
Ten years later. Della is working as a maid. She enjoys it. It’s not a means to an end. She’s not trying to put herself through college. She just enjoys being a maid. I was actually happy to see that because being a maid is honest work, and Della is adequately compensated for her work. She likes her boss and vice versa. She’s got a great friend in her co-worker, Lola. I want to know more about Lola.
Colin is still the head of his family. He’s also running the company that his family owns. I wasn’t very clear on that company thing, but oh well. As the overseer of his siblings, Colin was also raised to protect and serve the ruling members of the monarchy. His sisters. Only women rule on the Isle of Man. Since their mother’s death, the next in line for the crown is the older of the Sinclair twins – Imogen. She’s a bit of a diva and doesn’t even have a crown. Yet. I can only imagine how that’s going to turn out.
As the only parent that his two youngest brothers have, Colin’s been working overtime to ensure a future for them all. His dealings with the parliamentary body is more and more frustrating and the family’s run out of options. Parliament offers them a way back in. Colin can marry someone of their choosing. Colin instead asks Della if she would marry him – in name only.
There’s a lot going on in the story and most of it has nothing to do with Della and Colin’s romance. The secrets in the Sinclair family are vast and the deeper you dig, the more you discover. I’m looking at you Beaumont. As Della gets more involved in the daily lives of the Sinclairs, she finds herself drawing closer and closer to Colin, and eventually they must decide if in name only is what their future looks like.
This is a good story. It’s an old premise that Valentine was able to make fun to read. The secondary characters really helped to move things along. The Irish twins were my favorite – so cute and typical boys. Think dutch oven. I want to know much more about Beaumont, Theo and Charlotte. Especially that Charlotte.
Happy reading folks!
*ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Marquita Valentine
Release Date: January 24, 2017