The first in a new series from Marquita Valentine, the Royals in Exile series looked to be a fun play on a story that would have a mismatch from the first. Please read on for my review of
Having enjoyed Marquita Valentine’s Take the Fall new adult series, and enjoyed the characters, their voices and the writing, this was an easy choice. Royals, love and a dance around a Cinderella-like romance and I was all in.
Solid writing with witty banter and a clear path from Colin’s employee to his friend for Della, the initial mishmash brought our story forward, introducing the characters and establishing voices (and some personality traits) that gave a clear sense of the story. Then we get into the meat of the plot, with the back and forth, a romance and the kerfuffle that follows, and most of the goodwill built in the early part of the book started to evaporate.
From losing that strong feel and sense of characters’ voice and personality, I was seeing not so well-placed insertions that were redolent of, if not quite over the edge of direct retelling of a plot (or 5) of a romantic comedy movie. I can name four or five. Now, I’m as game for another retelling of Cinderella, or P&P, even Earnest and Pygmalion, but I want those to be unique and feel as if they organically arrived and appeared as part of what I am reading. These didn’t. Not true to the characters that were introduced, and their purpose felt more filler than actual events that happened to the characters, or even could have.
Then, we have the change in dialogue, or lack of when we moved to sensual scenes. From a clear and defined, rather proper and erudite man, Colin turned into a filthy mouthed parrot – repeating the same phrases and words that were better suited to anyone but him. And there was little variation or imagination applied as scenes progressed. I’m all in when the scene calls for some dirty talk, and when it fits, it really fits. But, the reverse is also true: when it doesn’t work, the discomfort with the scene increases, and repeated use shows a failure to imagine something different where that character is concerned. It just didn’t work. Period.
So, I’m left with a book that showed promise and soon took that away, with frequent veiled and not so veiled inclusions that felt out of place and interrupted flow and character continuity. I wanted to like it, I just couldn’t with the issues and I’m now left with a conundrum. I don’t know where this story failed in the writing to release process, I just know for me this was a miss.
Title: Royal Scandal
Author: Marquita Valentine
Series: Royals in Exile #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published by: Loveswept
Published on: 24 January, 2017
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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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.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.