A prince looking for a royal bride. A woman playing the part of a princess.
Her Royal Masquerade is a story of mistaken identity and forbidden love. If you are a fan of classic romances like Harlequin Presents and Desire, this book is for you. And if you love passionate, emotional contemporary romance with an alpha hero, this book is for you too.
Time is running out for Prince Vittorio. His father’s health is failing and he must find a royal bride. Fast. He’s never forgotten his glimpse of a beautiful Scandinavian princess and lures her to his Mediterranean country with an invitation to his father’s birthday ball. He’d planned to propose a marriage agreement as cold as her icy reputation, but then he discovers she's as colorful and warm as a summer sunset. The heat between them flares red-hot and when she allows him to seduce her, Vittorio sees his future unfolding just as he had planned. But what he doesn’t know is that the woman in his bed is not a princess at all.
The last thing schoolteacher Mia Holmberg expects when she masquerades as her royal cousin is to be swept off her feet by a charming prince. The incredible night in Vittorio’s arms is like a fairy tale come true, but she’d never want the life of a real princess, with all its pomp and politics. Knowing they can never have a future together, she slips out of his bed and back to reality, where she belongs.
But Vittorio discovers the deception and kidnaps Mia back to his palace, demanding she be his mistress until the real princess appears. Despite her attempts to stay aloof, Mia soon learns there’s more to the prince than arrogance and attitude, but now she’s in danger of falling in love with a man she can never have.
Her Royal Masquerade is a bit of a departure from the erotic romances I've been writing for the past few years, but these characters grabbed me and wouldn't let me go. I had so much fun writing Vittorio and Mia's romance. I love this story of forbidden love, one of my favorite romance hooks. I love watching two people, who can't possibly have a future together, falling in love despite the heartbreak they know is coming. And I love even more seeing them, somehow, get their happy ending.
Mia rushed over to the waist high railing constructed of rough-hewn stone like the rest of the palace. Darkness had fallen while she’d been inside. Lights from the towns around them sparkled below. Stars in the inky sky twinkled above. Once again she had the feeling of stepping into a fairy tale.
The air was warm, even outside, with barely a breeze to lift the moisture from her skin. She took a few decidedly un-princesslike gulps of air, trying to calm the edgy arousal that burned within her.
“Are you alright?” Vittorio asked. He stepped up to her and the heat from his body didn’t help her at all. “Do you need to sit down? Something cold to drink?”
“I’ll be okay. Just give me a minute. I guess I’m just not used to the climate here.” She was so hot. She began to tug down one of the opera-length gloves. Would it be a serious breach of conduct if she whipped them off and threw them over the railing?
“Allow me,” he said, his voice suddenly a little deeper, a little slower than it had been a moment before. He took her hand in his, stretched out her arm in front of him. He ran his free hand up, starting at the palm of the hand resting in his. Slowly, so slowly, he moved his hand up her arm. There might as well not have been the fabric of the glove between them, she felt his touch so strongly. When his fingers reached the top of the glove, he didn’t immediately begin to remove it. Instead, he teased the bare skin of her upper arm with his fingers. “So soft,” he whispered, holding her gaze. He swept his hand up to her bare shoulders and cupped her neck, skimming his thumb along her collar bone, just above the diamonds Birgitte had trusted her with. “This beautiful necklace is not half as lovely as you,” he murmured.
She couldn’t speak, could only offer a shaky smile in response. He was holding her hand, her throat. Could he feel her trembling beneath his touch?
“But you are hot. It is our weather, no doubt. I can help you with this problem, I think.” Vittorio began to slowly peel the glove from her arm, dragging his fingers along her skin as he did. He focused all his attention on her arm, as if it were the most important thing to him at the moment.
What would it be like to have that single-minded attention focused on her while making love? Even as Vittorio stripped off her glove, her body heated further with the image of his long, powerful frame moving over her, entering her.
Mia imagined he would take command of her body, ensuring that he pleasured her with all the skill he surely possessed. She couldn’t help but wonder if he would look as amazing out of the expensively tailored clothing as he did at this moment. Of course, he would. Everything about Vittorio was first class. He would fit right in with Birgitte. Mia wasn’t close to being in the same league.
Vittorio began to strip off the second glove, giving it every bit as much attention as he had given to the first one. His fingers strummed along her arm as he tugged at the satin. Her newly bared arm hung at her side, her fingers closed into a fist so she didn’t reach out and tangle them in his thick hair.
“Don’t you have breezes in Mezzano?” she asked, her voice rough with desire. She hoped he would think it was the heat that affected her so. He still held one of her hands in his. She lifted the other hand to wave in front of her face, trying to stir the muggy air.
“Ah, my poor cara. It is still and humid this evening. Be assured we have our share of wind and rain.” The second glove was off now and Vittorio released her hand. How ridiculous it was to feel bereft at the loss of his touch. He folded the gloves and tucked them into the pocket of his jacket.
Mia lifted her heavy hair off her neck to try to cool off for a moment. Maybe she should have worn it up. “I know I should enjoy the warm weather. Right now in Stagatland I would have to be bundled up in a coat and scarf and boots to stand outside.”
Vittorio swept his gaze over her. “And it would truly be a shame to cover the amazing view I have at this moment.”
She let her hair fall down her back. “I suspect you have had a lot of practice with those charming lines,” Mia said, letting the amusement show in her voice. Still, she soaked up the compliment, let the pleasure flow over her like a warm spring rain.
He took her hand, lifted it to his lips. This time the kiss to the back of her bare hand sent fireworks bursting through her system. “It’s only the truth, Birgitte.”
Hearing her cousin’s name fall from Vittorio’s lips was like a handful of snow smacking her in the face. Of course. She had to remember she wasn’t Mia Holmberg tonight. She’d almost forgotten she was playing a part. Still, she lifted a skeptical brow at his words, they were so foreign to those she usually heard.
“You will find that I always speak the truth,” he said. “I despise lies and deception. I have heard and seen too many of them during my years in the palace. Too many people say one thing to my face and another behind my back. I speak only the truth when I say that I am so glad you accepted our invitation to my father’s birthday celebration and that I find you incredibly attractive. I would never lie to you.”
Mia shuddered at his words. She couldn’t let him discover her deception. He would never understand.
Her Royal Masquerade is now available for download and I'm busy writing Her Royal Bodyguard, book #2 of the Her Royal Romance series now.