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.
Praise for Royal Affair
“The perfect princess story for readers who love a strong heroine and a wonderfully written novel!”—Sarah Robinson, author of the Kavanagh Legends series
“Sexy, quirky, and fun! This book had me intrigued from the very beginning. Marquita Valentine gives us a forbidden romance that overcomes all odds, giving us off-the-charts chemistry that’ll melt your heart.”—New York Times bestselling author L. P. Dover
“A princess that needs rescuing, and a villain that needs to become her knight. A match made in heaven. Addictive series!”—New York Times bestselling author Melanie Moreland
“For those who love the royalty read such as myself, I definitely recommend Royal Affair.”—Harlequin Junkie
“Royal Affair is light and fun! While it can be read as a stand-alone, it would help you understand this family.”—The Book Disciple
“This book was just so refreshing! And that cover, I don’t know why, but I absolutely love the covers for this series! I really can’t wait for the next book in the series, as the whole Sinclair family is entertaining and rather quite delightful.”—Obsessive Book Nerd
“One of my favorite themes to read about is Royalty and Cinderella type tales. Royal Affair by Marquita Valentine was refreshing in a way as it still followed suit but [with] a gender reversal.”—The Phantom Paragrapher
“Marquita Valentine has never stopped surprising me with how good each new book of hers is.”—Collectors of Book Boyfriends & Girlfriends
“Oh man, what fun this book was!”—Addicted to Romance
Praise for the novels of Marquita Valentine
“Take the Fall is a sexy, emotional, heartfelt read. I adored this book and can’t wait for the next!”—New York Times bestselling author Monica Murphy
“Crackling with tension, intrigue, and romance, this story has it all. Your heart will pound, you’ll laugh, you’ll feel, and you’ll definitely swoon.”—New York Times bestselling author Katy Evans, on When We Fall
Includes an excerpt from another Loveswept title.
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
The ballroom is decorated to look like an enchanted forest, complete with tall trees, chandeliers dripping with crystals, and flowers. Fairy lights are wrapped around anything and everything that is stationary.
However, my favorite part is the mural of a maiden in a tower that my brother had commissioned just for the ball. She’s gazing out her window, waiting for her rescuer to come. Over the hill on his white horse, he’s galloping toward her.
A nod to Rapunzel, one of my favorite fairy tales. Although I adored Tangled, the Disney version, so much that I watched it at least a million times. My crush on Flynn Rider is only eclipsed by my crush on a certain journalist with a penchant for exposing my family’s secrets.
But it is better to long and lust for a man I will never have, and therefore never be hurt by . . . unlike the supposed Prince Charming I dated before.
I scan the room again, keeping my smile bright and friendly, but not too friendly. I don’t want to actually have to carry on conversations longer than, “Would you care for some punch?” Or “The restrooms are to your left.”
Out of the corner of my eye, a movement catches my attention. My pulse begins to pound, although I can’t see anything due to the crush of people at the entrance.
The crowd thins out and I see . . .
At my house.
In our ballroom.
My breath catches at the sight of him striding confidently into the ballroom, exactly like a man assured of his place in the world. I can’t tear my eyes away. He’s so fit, so handsome in his tux.
And he knows it.
He doesn’t care because he’s so used to it. He revels in the attention.
I can’t help but stare at him.
I shouldn’t stare.
I know I shouldn’t, not to mention that it’s terribly rude, but I literally can’t help myself. Seriously, I should put myself in the corner and face the wall. Close my eyes tight and promise to never Google images of him again.
Never look at his picture again.
Never gaze upon his face in public . . . or private.
Or drool over his Instagram when he shares pictures of himself wearing custom-made suits that emphasize how fit he is.
Or the way his blue eyes gleam with self-assured victory right before he strikes his opponent in a debate—
He’s coming this way.
He’s heading my way.
Don’t slip is my chanted mantra as I attempt to run in high heels to the punch bowl—the station I should have been manning all along—and begin ladling the pungent liquid into crystal glasses the size of teacups.
I will my traitor of a heart to stop beating so hard and loud while I glance up every so often to see how close he is. But it doesn’t bother to listen.
Which is reason number 506 that I wouldn’t make a good queen.
“How are you this evening?” His voice, low and without the southern accent I know he should have, washes over me.
I slosh punch over the rim and onto my hand. “Fine. Thank you.” My voice stays mostly neutral, but even I can hear the slight rise in pitch. “Punch?” I hold out a glass.
His fingers brush against mine and my knees shake, not with fear, though. Not even close.
“Not unless you consider sherbet to be particularly uninhibiting,” I reply.
“Depends on what’s in it,” he says.
“Milk, sugar, sweetened fruit juice, and—” I stop, realizing that is not what he meant at all. “The drink is nonalcoholic. However, you are welcome to an assortment of adult beverages at the bar on the left side of the ballroom.”
“Is there a reason why you won’t look at me?”
“No.” I force my chin up, thinking I should be fine when I finally see him this close. Our gazes collide and my world crumbles beneath me.
His eyes are blue with brown circling the irises and fringed with heavy, dark lashes. My eyes drift down his face, taking in his straight nose, high cheekbones, and full lips, then back up again to his gleaming, light hair. He’s wearing it very conservatively tonight, like he’s trying to hide who he really is.
Only I know exactly who he is.
Brooks Walker, the man who exposed our family’s secrets to the entire world.