What girl doesn’t want to wear a tiara? Me. The one who lives in yoga pants and knows she’s not special enough to be a princess.
One minute I’m starting my dream life in NYC, and the next, a man too hot for his own good is banging on my door, telling me that I’m a long lost princess of a country on the other side of the Atlantic.
Not exactly your typical Friday night in the Big Apple.
Suddenly, all of my plans for the future are yanked away. I’m trapped in a life filled with social obligations—and stilettos!—and an uptight royal family I didn’t know existed. They, and the whole rest of the freaking country, have lofty expectations I’m not sure I can meet.
At least the aforementioned sexalicious man, Elias, is my constant shadow, protecting me with his life. The whole situation is overwhelming. So I’ve secretly put him in charge of my happiness, too…and he’s taking my orders very, very seriously.
So seriously, I’m falling for him even harder than the new country I’m coming to…maybe…love.
And that’s a major problem, because he’s crazy about me, too. I may not know all the zillion rules about being royal, but I know one for sure: No way can a princess date her bodyguard…
Each book in the Unexpectedly Royal series is STANDALONE:
* The Princess Problem
* Ruling the Princess
“Damn it, Kelsey, don’t do that. Don’t close down on me.” He grabbed her chin and tilted it up. She looked into blue eyes sparking with…anger? Frustration?
“We were kidding ourselves, Elias, pretending for one night that nothing’s changed doesn’t make it so. Just like pretending we can be together doesn’t make it so.”
His hands slipped down to cup her shoulders. As if he was worried she was about to run out the door. “Maybe I went about this all wrong. I’m sorry for trying to make you feel like you were Kelsey Wishner again, excited Manhattanite. I simply wanted to put a smile on your face.”
“I smile every time I think of you. You’re outrageously handsome, you know. And when I talk, you make me feel like there’s nothing else you’d rather be doing, nowhere else you’d rather be. You make me feel like I matter. Plain old Kelsey Wishner.”
“Extraordinary Kelsey Wishner,” he corrected softly. He looked over her shoulder and cursed. “Stay here.” Then he disappeared through an arched doorway into the…kitchen? She only glimpsed the curve of a small, round wooden table, set with wineglasses and a fat candle in the middle. But there were heady smells coming from the room, a sort of rich tomato sauce with spices she couldn’t identify.
When Elias came back, his jacket and holster were gone. “I’ve turned it all off. Dinner’s on hold. Indefinitely.”
Oh, no. She’d screwed everything up by freaking out about his gun. “You’re going to take me back to my suite now?”
“What? Of course not. Kelsey, what your life has spun into is a new normal, for sure. But one with not a few perks that I promise are worth it.”
Not getting dinner sure didn’t come off as a perk. “Such as?”
“Sex with me.” His cocky grin and ‘you want a piece of this’ pose with one leg outstretched in front and both arms up was pure, absurd male ego on parade. Apparently, Elias knew it, too, because he only held the pose for a few seconds before laughing. “I’m taking a page from the American dating handbook. We’re skipping straight to the sex, because that’s the one thing I know will get your mind to stop spinning about all the changes in your life.”
She could get on board with that. “Consider it my gift to your country.”
Elias gripped her upper arms tightly, and his voice was so deep it rumbled. “You’re a gift to my country, alright. But the only thing that matters right now is what a gift you are to me. Let me show you.”
Before Kelsey could pick up her dropped jaw and reply, Elias moved in. He shuffled her backward a few steps until she was pressed between him and the wall. Pressed tight enough to feel the steel wall of his pecs against her already hard nipples, massive thighs caging in her legs, and the gratifyingly hard and long bulge against her belly.
Oh, and while they took those few steps, his mouth devoured hers. Heat and speed, yes, but mixed with a thoroughness that left her lips a little bruised and a lot electrified. There was no doubting the depth of his desire.
There was no denying the depth of hers.
Kelsey gave back as good as she got. Her fingers raked across the top of his skull, delighting in the soft brush of his super-short hair. Her tongue danced and tasted and licked.
It wasn’t nearly enough.
She wanted her bodyguard to stop guarding her body, and start using it.
Kelsey took a deep breath, reminded herself she excelled at graphic design. That her clients called her intuitive. That her boss called her easy to work with. That she’d been voted most likely to make friends in a dystopian society in her high school yearbook. Prince Christian should be the one nervous about meeting her.
Except…He probably was. Because of that whole, sticky layer of he and his family actively searching for her. For more than two decades. He wanted his sister back.
Kelsey didn’t want anything. Aside from not humiliating herself. “Let’s do this.”
Elias led the way out of the plane and down the stairs. Kelsey kept her eyes glued to each step, refusing to give the universe any shot at mocking her by sending her tumbling in a heap at her brother’s feet. But when she hit the purple carpet runner on the ground, she looked up.
‘Private’ wasn’t exactly the best descriptor of how she’d meet her brother. There were three black SUVs, two police cars, four bodyguard-types, and one man by himself at the base of the stairs with his hands tucked behind his back, feet braced wide.
Christian was…well, gorgeous. Tall and broad-shouldered in a bright blue suit. Thick, blonde hair topped off high cheekbones and a wide mouth. This man looked like a stand-in for at least four Disney princes.
Most noticeably, the unusual shade of his violet eyes was an exact match for her own.
Kelsey wasn’t sure what to feel about that, except to catalogue it as more proof that Elias had, indeed, not made the whole thing up.
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USA TODAY bestseller Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage. A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes award-winning contemporary romance.
Christi can always be found either whipping up gourmet meals (for fun, honest!) or with her nose in a book. She lives in Maryland with the best husband in the world.