Review: “Royal Affair” (Royals in Exile #2) by Marquita Valentine

Royal Affair

So despite not being a huge fan of the opener in this series, I decided to give Royal Affair a shot straight away. The premise was a bit cliched and, TBH, I wasn’t a huge fan of the story for about half of it. But I stuck wth it and I’m glad to say I was pleasantly surprised. #AlwaysFinishABook

Princess Charlotte Sinclair has always been the wallflower. The traumatic death of her parents and the subsequent exile in North Carolina has left her socially awkward and desirous of wanting a normal life. But when journalist Brooks Walker exposes her family, instead of being outraged like the rest of her siblings, Charlotte is fascinated by his take-no-prisoners, brash style of journalism. When they meet at a charity ball, she propositions him to have an affair with her in exchange for access to her secrets.

Despite coming from an illustrious family, Brooks Walker carved a name out for himself by building a media empire based on honest journalism, no matter how many people it pissed off in the process. When the sweetest of the Sinclairs suggests they have an affair, he readily agrees. However, he soon finds himself overwhelmed by the passion they share and starts to care for Charlotte. When an old enemy of the royal family resurfaces and gives Brooks the biggest scoop of his career, he must decide where his loyalties lie.

Again, I have to reiterate that I did not like this book in the beginning. I thought Charlotte was too naive and Brooke was too much of a wolf. Also, I believed there wasn’t any building up to the affair itself. Ms. Valentine writes like the first chapter is the fifth and the readers are supposed to know things not even mentioned in the previous books in the series.

However, in the later half of the book, there is a lot of character development. The motivation behind the protagonists’ unnatural obsession with each other is explained. Secondary characters are introduced to humanize Brooks, who I still think was portrayed as too jaded to convincingly fall in love with the princess he was supposed to use a source. As usual, there is a flurry of shocking revelations about the Sinclair family. There is A LOT of sex throughout the story, but it really doesn’t add anything to the plot.

Thankfully, this time the banter, as well as the inner monologues, were hilarious and made me actually like the characters. The conflicts were still superficial and resolved too quickly and easily to be of any consequence. But when Brooks and Charlotte finally got together, it seemed largely believable. I was fascinated by the hints dropped about Theo’s and Imogen’s upcoming stories. Hopefully, the next books in the series will actually be great and not fizzle out into mediocrity like the first two.

Review: “A SEAL’s Seduction” (Uniformly Hot #1) by Tawny Weber

a-seals-seduction

I was pretty apprehensive when I saw this series next on my TBR list. I hadn’t posted anything in over two months and I felt the shame a lot of people do when they have to write about “trashy, Mills & Boon type” romances. As for me, I hadn’t even read one of those ever since I graduated high school and I felt mildly excited to read a Blaze series, my second such novel to date.

The premise was pretty straightforward.Scientist and psychologist Alexia Pierce had recently moved back to San Diego to work on her research helping victims of sexual trauma through subliminal messaging and reconnect with her family. As the daughter of a super uptight admiral, Alexia was used to being uprooted often without being told why. Now, all she’s looking for an emotionally honest and open relationship. Her only no-no: dating a soldier.

Navy SEAL Blake “Boy Scout” Landon has never had much until his military career and doesn’t expect much beyond it. He had recently suffered the loss of a teammate and seeing what death does to those it leaves behind, the last thing Blake wanted in his life was a committed relationship.

As usual, when Blake and Alexia meet, the chemistry is undeniable and they end up having a wild weekend full of mind-blowing beach-bed-balcony-and-table sex. On the verge of contemplating a relationship, Alexia finds out that Blake is a military man and her father’s protegé. She totally shuts him out. Wallowing in survivor’s guilt, he lets her go. But when their paths cross again eight months later, will they be able to give each other a second chance?

Both Alexia and Blake were smart, compassionate and respectful. They both work in fields where communication is vital and excel at their jobs, but find it hard to say what’s on their mind when their feelings and hormones get in the way. Their chemistry together is unbelievably hot and their struggles to accept each other as a potential life-partner seemed realistic. I enjoyed their banter and only wish that their HEA was fleshed out a tad better to nicely round the story up.

Considering that this was a Blaze novel, I was quite surprised at the level of emotional depth the characters possessed. The many, many sex scenes are steamy and well-written. The secondary characters are relatively well-developed and possessed depths I wasn’t expecting from the author or the genre. There were the usual minor problems one faces with every Mills & Boon, like: “How could an accomplished psychologist not know that every soldier is not a replica of her unloving father?” or “Why does Alexia’s place of work have to be called something as moronic as the Science Institute?” or “Why does Blake say godawful corny things when he’s about to have sex?” but those can be ignored. What I couldn’t stand the most was Ms Weber writing an Adult Romance series that borders on Erotica and still using the phrase “girlie parts” around 10 times.

A SEAL’s Seduction was a good enough book to pass the time and a happy reminder of my teenage.I am mildly interested in seeing where the rest of the series goes.