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.
Source: Netgalley and Purchase
My Rating: 5/5 stars
Colin Sinclair knows his life if full of lies and secrets, and for a decade, he has lived with that knowledge quite uncomfortably. He, his siblings, and his boys are quite literally royalty in exile living in the United States. The only thing that has made Colin’s exile marginally better is his best friend, Della Hughes.
Della Hughes loves Disney and understands only princesses get fairytale endings. Della is no princess (her job as a maid helps keep her grounded in that reality!) and has no illusions that her life is ever going to turn out like the ladies of Disney. The closest she’ll ever get to being a princess is hanging out with her super-rich best-friend, Colin Sinclair and his family. For ten years, Della has been a part of Colin’s life. She’s seen how the wealthy live and she’s impressed with how little the wealth has gone to her friend’s head. Colin carries himself well, looks and sounds wealthy, but that doesn’t stop him from being a stern yet loving dad to his two boys. His boys are well-mannered, sweet, and far from spoiled. Like Colin, Della loves the boys and has spent the last decade helping her friend raise them. Unfortunately, Della has also spent the last ten years falling hopelessly in love with Colin.
Turns out, Colin has spent the last ten years doing the same thing. Neither is willing to risk their friendship for what may be an ill-fated romance until Colin is forced into a situation that demands he take a wife. If Colin is going to be saddled with a wife, he prefers it be someone he already knows and care for which makes Della the perfect choice. With a contract drawn up and a proposal on his lips, Colin enlists Della in his plan to save his family and preserve the line of succession his family has been a part of for generations. The whole line of succession bit is one of many secrets Colin has never divulged to Della and one he has to come clean about quickly since her marriage to him makes her, officially a princess. Huh? Maybe she can have a fairytale ending after all.
As their marriage becomes a reality and media sensation, Colin and Della try to navigate being a married couple after ten years of friendship and hidden love. Both are nervous about wrecking their tremendously strong friendship, but those worries go out the window following their first smokin’ hot kiss. With that matter settled, it’s time to face all the other challenges including the revelations related to Colin’s parents’ death, one whopper of a secret from Della’s past, and the decisions that must be made regarding Colin and his siblings return to their home country. Turns out, there are more secrets in the Sinclair family than anyone knew and when the various truths are revealed, everything is going to change.
The Bottom Line: As I totally expected, Marquita Valentine has sucked me into another series with just one book!! With the exception of Della’s name (which is dumb so I called her Andy in my head) I absolutely loved everything about this read. There are so many secrets and betrayals in the Sinclair family, there are some yummy naughty bits, there are two main characters who are both likeable and well-developed, there is scandal, and there is a host of secondary characters who are absolutely interesting and just waiting in the wings for their story to be told. This is a smooth, easy read with both and HEA and promise of more to come from the not so exiled Sinclair family!!
About the author and where to find her:
New York Times Bestselling Author, Marquita Valentine, writes sexy heroes that make you swoon and sassy heroines that make you laugh. She’s the author of the bestselling contemporary romance series, Holland Springs, and the new adult romance series, Boys of the South. Marquita met her husband aka Hot Builder at Sonic when they were in high school. She suggests this location to all of her single friends in search of a good man—and if that doesn’t work, they can console themselves with cheesy tatertots. She lives in North Carolina in a very, very small town with Hot Builder and their two children.