Monday, April 10, 2017

[ARC Review]: "Royal Affair"

romance novel covers, contemporary romance, Royal Picks, Royal Affair by Marquita Valentine
Royal Affair by Marquita Valentine
Publisher: Loveswept (April 18, 2017)
Series: Royals in Exile, 2
Genre: Contemporary Romance

A sheltered princess goes wild—and makes the best mistake of her life—when she falls for a roguish reporter in this fun, sexy romance from the bestselling author of Royal Scandal.

Online muckraker Brooks Walker has a reputation for exposing the political elite. Now he’s set his sights on the Sinclair siblings, who’ve been embroiled in their fair share of drama ever since their exile to North Carolina. But Brooks has never been afraid to get his hands dirty—until he meets a royal wallflower at a charity ball who makes him reconsider everything. Is Brooks feeling guilty because he knows all the sordid details of her family’s history? Or because he’s putting their relationship first, before his journalistic integrity?

As the “spare” twin, Princess Charlotte has always been the responsible one. So when her sister finally agrees to fulfill her duty as queen, Charlotte gives herself permission to break a few rules by flirting with the very off-limits CEO of Walker Media. Brooks is the worst sort of man to start an affair with, but Charlotte just can’t help it. The trouble is, since she’s no good at playing games, soon she’s tiara over heels in love. And when Brooks comes clean, Charlotte must decide whether his confession is worth a royal pardon. 

Where to Buy*:
More Info:

Drive Me Crazy (1) -- TBQ
Driving to You (1.5) -- TBQ
His Christmas Wish (3.5) -- TBQ
Just Desserts (4) -- Pat + TBQ

Live For You (1) -- TBQ
Only For You (2) -- Pat + TBQ
All For You (2.5) -- Pat
Need You Tonight (#6) -- Pat

The Request (#1) -- Pat
The Deception (#2) -- Pat
The Confession (#3) -- Pat

All The Right Moves -- Pat

Love So Hot (#1) -- Pat
Love So Irresistible (#3) -- Pat
Love so Tempting (#4) -- Pat

The Billionaire Bride (#1) -- Pat

Hard to Fall (#4) -- Pat

My Review:

He’s the enemy, she – or rather, her life and secrets – is his professional wet dream. It’s supposed to be a simple affair, but, like always, it’s so much more than just physical. Can they make it work?

Brooks runs a very successful media company where he specializes in printing the drama and secrets of the hypocrites in any position of power (stars, politicians, etc.). He first learned about Charlotte when he broke the story about her family, exiled royalty, living in North Carolina (all this was from book 1). But there’s something about her that he just can’t shake, and he wants to get to know her – even as he reminds himself he just wants to learn, and later use, her secrets, nothing more.

Charlotte is the “spare” princess – their monarchy is matrilineal, so she’s in line to be Queen behind her twin sister – and has always lived a very protected life, both for safety, privacy, and some of it of her own choosing, as she tends to have anxiety attacks in large crowds. She knows she shouldn’t let Brooks get close to her, she knows what he can do, but for once in her life, she wants to break the rules a bit and do something just for herself. She requests the affair, though there are rules -- including the deal that he won’t print anything she tells him during the course of the affair. Maybe it’ll come back to bite her in the ass, but even with that risk, she can’t walk away from what they have together.

But things are never that easy, and while Brooks quickly has a change of heart about ever printing anything about her or her family, the same can’t be said for everyone else. When someone with knowledge of the royal family’s secrets tries to blackmail Brooks into breaking the story or lose his entire business, he has to make a choice: lose the life he’s worked hard for or lose the woman he’s fallen hard for?

I loved Charlotte and Brooks together. For one thing, their chemistry is off the charts, and the sex scenes were deliciously hot. I’ve never had a reason to complain about Valentine’s sex scenes before, but I think this one is even hotter than her others. And you know me, that makes me very, very happy.

Here, have a taste of the build up:

“Fuck it,” I hear Brooks mutter, then he pivots and stalks over to me. My heart slams hard against my chest a thousand times before he speaks again. “You need a reason to go, don’t you?” 

My lips part, but nothing really comes out except a squeak that kinda sounds like a yes. Well, it would sound like a yes if I spoke chipmunk. “

I’ll give you one.” He touches my shoulder, then his big hand is gliding up my neck and curling around. 

“Give me one what?” Please let it be a kiss and a real one, too. By real, I mean not for a photo op. 

He smiles a little, right before his mouth lowers to mine. “This.” 

“Oh.” He stops, peering at me from beneath his lashes. It’s like he’s waiting for something or someone. He’s waiting for me. “Go on, then.” 

Brooks touches my face as his lips whisper over mine. I tip up my chin, wanting more . . . of everything. I grab him by the lapels of his tux and twist the material, giving me purchase so that I can rise up on my toes and kiss him like I've always dreamed.

Except this is nothing like my dreams and late-night fantasies. The man whose mouth skillfully moves over mine is flesh and blood. His fingers caress my cheeks.

Sweet lord, he's a face toucher when he kisses.

And this scene . . . Oh, shit. I have A Thing for a hero losing control. And since heroines are always coming on command for the hero, I love the little reversal here:

“Feel so fucking good,” he groans, his body taut. “Don’t want it to end.” 

I want to watch him come, want to know if I can make him. 

Sinking my fingernails into his shoulders, I suck on his neck, then his ear. “Come for me, Brooks,” I whisper right before I trace the shell of his ear with my tongue. I make my inner muscles clamp down on him. “Please come inside of me. Please.” 

Fuck me.” He holds himself still, then lets out a low groan, replete with curses as his body shakes with his orgasm. His head falls to my shoulder, his mouth pressing wet kisses to my skin. 

For long moments he says nothing, and I can feel him jerk and move inside me as he continues to come

FYI: She uses the tongue-to-ear and pleading trick during another scene, a quickie while at a party, and that was also hella hot.

They have some fun interactions and banter, too.

“I only skewered you because you were being a pompous windbag.” 

“We really need to work on your insults.” 

“Because pompous windbag is actually a compliment?” 

I suck in air through my teeth. “Harsh, Princess.” 

She looks at me out of the corner of her eye. “You can take it.” 

My gaze drops to her lips. “So can you.” 

“Not fair.” Her cheeks turn fiery red. “Don’t fight me with sexual innuendos.” 

“But that’s the best kind.” I lean over and kiss her lightly.

I also loved seeing Brooks with his brother and family, as well as Charlotte and her family. There were definitely some fun scenes involving both families, which only added to the book and my enjoyment of it.

And then there’s the tease we get of Gen (Charlotte’s twin, the soon-to-be Queen) and her hero, Deveraux, her bodyguard. Gah, their story is going to be so good, I can tell. Now, admittedly I wasn’t terribly fond of Gen here – I didn’t hate her or anything – but I have a feeling that getting her story, which will obviously be from her POV, will change my mind on that. Their book (#4) won’t be out until September and I cannot wait. Theo, their brother, is next (July) and I’m looking forward to his story, too, as it’s a second chance romance.

“You’re welcome,” he replies, as if my sister wasn’t being an utter brat. Honestly, if he weren’t so serious all the time, I’d find him very attractive. “I’ll be sure to get the leash out when you’re ready to be taken for a walk.” 

I bite back a laugh while Gen gasps in outrage. “I should fire you,” she threatens. 

“You can’t.” His smile becomes wry, sexy even, as his words become clipped. “The British Crown sent me, with the training and blessing of MI6 to protect you, and it would be a political nightmare for your country should you give me back.” 

“I didn’t ask for the gift of you,” she snaps. He winks at her. “Consider me a loaner.” 

“You’re a curse,” she retorts, but all that does is make him laugh.

Now, I didn’t read book 1, and in a way I do regret that. It’s not that jumping in here will have you completely lost, but I definitely felt like I was a bit in the dark about what went on before they were outed as hidden royalty. It didn’t ruin this story for me at all, but if I could go back in time, I would first pick up Colin and Della’s book, just to get that background information. I have it now and will be reading it while I’m waiting for book 3.

I’ve been a long-time fan of Valentine’s work, and I love that she’s done a royal series, and one that’s different – their being in exile, the crown passing through the women rather than the men, etc. And let’s not forget the dirty-smutty-goodness, which was fantastically done. Royal Affair is my first Valentine in a while, but it reminded me all over again why I love her writing. If you need a new royal series to enjoy, this one should be on your list!

4 1/2 STARS! 

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I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley.

*Note: The quotes used belong to Marquita Valentine; TBQ's Book Palace does not claim them. Any mistakes or typos in the quotes are my own fault.

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If you want to look through some other quotes I shared, check out my Twitter!

Remember, since this is a Royal Pick, come back on April 27th for a chance to WIN an ecopy of your own!


Until Next Time,


  *TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!

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