The first book in a brand new contemporary romance series is here, “featuring secrets, lies, royal high jinks, scams and double-crosses; breathless, swooning lust, cocky princes, dominant alpha future-kings, and crafty courtiers, who are not always what they seem”, and I have an excerpt for you!
Clearing my throat, I walk over to the wet bar for a bottle of water. “The point is I took this job. I sat on that boat and shook hands with the devil. You’re here because I never leave you behind.”
Ava’s listening, but her dark brows are pulled together. She’s looking for any chance to argue with me on this, but I won’t let her. I twist the top off the water bottle and take a sip, calming my thoughts as well as my voice.
“I’m going to find out what Reggie’s up to,” I continue. “I’m going to see if there’s any way to redeem what I’ve done. There probably isn’t. I’m going to have to be the villain in this story.”
“You’re not!” Her voice breaks, and unshed tears are in her eyes.
“I am, Ava-bug. I agreed to come here and lie to Rowan. I didn’t expect to meet Cal, but I definitely came here intending to hurt Rowan.”
She’s off the sofa now, crossing the room to stand in front of me. “From the start, we said we would stop it, we’d walk away if we found out Reggie was tricking us. We can just walk away!”
“Yes, but walking away means walking all the way away—all the way back to Florida.” Her chin drops, and I know her heart is breaking. My heart is breaking for both of us. “I’ll walk away,” I say. “I’m doing my best to find any way for you to stay.”
Her face snaps up, and again her forehead is lined. “What are you saying?”
“I’m going to figure out what Reggie wants. I’m convinced he’s here to finish what he started when Rowan kicked him out…”
“And if I can beat him to it, whatever it is—if I can warn Cal or Rowan, maybe they’ll feel… A little less like punishing and more like forgiving.”
Her breathing picks up, and I can see that tiny glimmer of hope growing in her eyes. She’ll always trust me, and I take that responsibility very seriously.
“Then we can stay?” she whispers.
“I hope so.” I nod as I start to pace again, thinking. “I hope Rowan will believe me when I tell him you had nothing to do with this scheme. You were only here because I wouldn’t leave you behind.”
“I’m sure he will—he’ll forgive you. Rowan is really kind and gentle.”
Glancing up at her, I can’t help a skeptical grin. “Rowan is not kind and gentle. He’s powerful and tough, and from what I’ve heard, he’s pretty ruthless when it comes to handling people who cross him.”
She frowns as if I’m describing someone she doesn’t know. “He’s focused, and he takes his position very seriously, but he’s not ruthless.”
Walking back to her, I put an arm around her shoulders. “That right there is why I’m doing this. If that man is so sweet to you that you don’t even notice what a badass he is, I’ve going to find a way for you to stay together. I promise I will.”
Her shoulders fall, and she lets out a slow exhale. “I can’t argue with you anymore. I’m too tired.”
I laugh and give her side a little poke. “Somebody’s been having sex all evening.”
“Shut up. I’m going to take a shower.”
“No more gushing about having sex with a king?”
“Goodnight, Zelda!” she calls waving over her shoulder at me.
“That’s a switch!” I call after her. My phone buzzes on the counter, and I laugh as I walk over to pick it up.
Wish you were here. No one to criticize the horrifying movie choices I’m making.
“MacCallam Lockwood Tate,” I whisper, unable to stop a smile.
What are you watching? I text back.
Come back and I’ll show you.
Have work to do. Tell me.
Work? You’re on a holiday.
Chewing my lip, I decide to give him a little insight into my plans. Trying to find a way to stay longer.
In that case, I’ll survive my poor entertainment choices.
Smiling, I walk over to sit on the sofa. Resting my head on my hand, I wipe the stubborn tear from my eye and force myself to have hope. Touching the screen quickly, I text, What have you chosen this time?
You’ve Got Mail.
Grow a dick, MacCallam.
I love it when you use my full name.
Snorting a laugh, I roll my eyes. You’re not watching that.
Come make me turn it off.
A few seconds tick by, and I look over at the television. Picking up the remote, I change the channel until stupid Meg Ryan appears. This movie is so dumb, I text.
Gotcha. What are you wearing?
Slanting my eyes, I think of our first night. Changing clothes.
Send me a tit pic.
Smart girl. I’d make that shit my wallpaper.
Still no Prince Charming, I reply.
It’s Playboy Prince, sugar tits.
I laugh again, rolling my eyes. Goodnight, MacCallam.
With a sigh, I push off the couch, switch off the television, and walk slowly to my bedroom. I consider calling Reggie, but I have no idea what to say. It’s not like I can ask him straight out what he’s got up his sleeve. Instead, I pull up our last text exchange searching for any clues. It’s only questions about how it’s going with Rowan, or “CPR,” and me.
“I’ve got to get something on him. I’ve just got to,” I whisper, plugging my phone into its charger and walking into the bathroom to get ready for bed.