The first instalment in an all-new standalone trilogy set in Kristen Proby’s beloved Big Sky world is out this week, and together with my friend Vilma Iris, I have an awesome sneak peek for you from this breathtaking royal romance.
“Hello, everyone.” We stop in front of them all, and they stand. I start with my parents. “Mum, Father, I’d like to introduce you to Nina Wolfe.”
To my utter fascination and delight, Nina executes a perfect curtsy and smiles genuinely at my father. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Your Majesty.”
She then turns to my mother and offers her the same greeting.
My mum’s eyes turn to mine in surprise before she leans in to kiss Nina’s cheek.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Nina.”
“My turn,” Callum says. “I’m the best-looking brother. Callum.”
“Your Royal Highness.” Nina curtsies again.
I introduce her to my sister Eleanor, along with my brother Frederick and his wife, Catherine.
Once the introductions are finished, Nina and I sit in uncomfortable chairs, facing the others as if we’re in a job interview.
Because, of course, we are.
“I trust your travels were pleasant,” Father begins. He hasn’t broken a smile.
“Yes, thank you,” I reply.
“How did you meet?” Eleanor asks, breaking the uncomfortable silence.
“She ran into me. Literally.”
“On accident,” Nina clarifies and smiles. “I didn’t see him there.”
“And then you got her number?” Callum asks.
“No, she wouldn’t give it to me.”
Everyone’s eyebrows climb, making me laugh.
“I was taught not to give my phone number to strangers,” Nina says with a shrug. “Even handsome ones.”
“Especially handsome ones,” Catherine says and winks.
“Then I saw her later that night in a restaurant. I still didn’t get her number, but we have a mutual friend. Jacob,” I add and take Nina’s hand in mine. “And he told me where she lives.”
“He showed up the next morning while I was out on the lake on my boat. I have a lake house. And I asked him if the royal family was aware that they have a stalker on their hands.”
This actually makes everyone laugh. My father even smiles, which shocks the hell out of me.
“I can’t say he’s ever been arrested for stalking,” Mum says.
“I couldn’t resist her,” I say and kiss her knuckles. “She’s obviously beautiful, but more than that, she’s a challenge. And an intelligent one at that.”
“She snagged herself a prince, didn’t she?” Father asks, speaking for the first time.
“I think I’m here despitethat fact,” Nina says before I can reply. “I mean no offense, of course. My background is in publicity. My brother is Christian Wolfe, the actor—”
“Oh, he’s hot,” Eleanor murmurs, earning a glare from Mum.
“—and I’ve worked as his public relations manager for close to a decade. I know what it is to be scrutinized every step you take. I’ve always counted my blessings that it wasn’t mein that spotlight. At least not at the same level as my brother. So, when Sebastian asked me to marry him, I had to consider that and give it a great deal of thought.”
“And yet, here you are,” my brother Frederick says.
“Here I am.” She looks up at me and offers me a wide smile. “I don’t think I’ve ever known anyone quite like your brother.”
“Your ring is quite beautiful,” Mum says, gesturing to the diamond on Nina’s finger. “Who made it?”
“A goldsmith in Montana,” I reply. “He’s well known in the area, and his work is impeccable.”
“It’s lovely,” Catherine adds.
“It will be replaced, of course,” Mum says.
Nina looks down at her ring with a frown. “I quite love this ring.”
“It should be a piece from the vault,” Eleanor explains kindly. “It’s tradition.”
“She’ll wear what she has for a while yet,” my father says firmly. “Until we’ve decided that she’s staying, she’ll keep the new ring.”
I glare at my father. “That’s not the way I was taught to treat guests.”
“I’ve never suggested giving the royal jewels to guests,” he says. “Until she has my blessing, she won’t be in the vault.”
“I’m happy with this ring,” Nina insists, looking up at me with pleading blue eyes that say, “just drop it.”
For her sake, I will. For now.
“When do you plan to marry?” Callum asks.
“Next week,” I reply.
“Absolutely not,” Mum says, shaking her head. “I won’t have it. There is protocol, and you’ll give us the proper amount of time to plan a suitable wedding.”
“I will not budge on this,” she insists. “You’re asking us to accept quite a lot here, Sebastian. The least you can do is compromise and let us plan this wedding correctly.”
I glance down at Nina. She’s already nodding. “It’s the right thing to do.”
“How much time do you need?” I ask Mum.
“Six months, at least.”
“I’ll give you six weeks.”
She starts to argue, but I shake my head. “Six weeks, or we elope next week. The choice is yours.”
“Why are you in such a hurry?” Frederick asks.
“Because his birthday is in a few weeks,” Father replies.
“Because I love her.” I hold my father’s gaze firmly. “It has nothing to do with my birthday or the ridiculous law. I love her, and I want to be with her. End of story.”
“Well, I think it’s romantic,” Eleanor says, jumping up to throw her arms around Nina in a hug. “I’m happy you’re here. If you need anything at all, just ask.”
“Mary’s working with her,” I say and watch as Eleanor lights up even more.
“Oh, that’s brilliant. Mary’s perfect.”
“I’d like you all to leave so I can have a word with my son.” My father watches me as the others do as he wishes.
“I’ll walk you back to Sebastian’s quarters,” Eleanor offers, taking Nina’s hand in hers. “We’ll have a chat. Oh, this is so exciting!”
Once we’re alone, my father and I sit in silence for about twenty seconds. I wait for him to start.
“Do you understand what this means?” he asks at last.