Thursday, September 13, 2012
His Majesty’s Mistake by Jane Porter
Spurned and publicly humiliated by the father of her child, Princess Emmeline d’Arcy has no ring, no wedding date and no legitimacy for her unborn baby.
And the last straw? Having to trade in her gilded lifestyle and pretend to be her twin sister, otherwise known as Sheikh Makin Al-Koury’s personal assistant.
Accustomed to being the one waited on hand and foot, Emmeline finds herself having to jump to the click of her boss’s skillful fingers – day and night! But once the sheikh uncovers her shameful past, will his touch be nothing but a scorching memory?
Born in Visalia, California, I'm a small town girl at heart. I love central California's golden foothills, oak trees, and the miles of farmland. In my mind, there's nothing sweeter in the world than the heady fragrance of orange blossoms on a sultry summer night.
As a little girl I spent hours on my bed, staring out the window, dreaming of far off places, fearless knights, and happy-ever-after endings. In my imagination I was never the geeky bookworm with the thick coke-bottle glasses, but a princess, a magical fairy, a Joan-of-Arc crusader.
After my years of traveling and studying I had to settle down and earn a living. With my Bachelors degree from UCLA in American Studies, a program that combines American literature and American history, I've worked in sales and marketing, as well as a director of a non-profit foundation. Later I earned my Masters in Writing from the University of San Francisco and taught jr. high and high school English.
I now live in rugged Seattle, Washington with my three young sons. I never mind a rainy day, either, because that's when I sit at my desk and write stories about far-away places, fascinating people, and most importantly of all, love. I like a story with a happy ending. We all do.
Alejandro had to be here. Had to be.
Because if he wasn't at Mynt Lounge, South Beach's trendiest nightclub, he wasn't in South Beach any longer. She'd checked the other clubs first and she knew Alejandro. He only did cool. He only did chic. It was Mynt Lounge or nothing. And it had to be here because she had to see him.
Ignoring the dozens of young American women queuing outside in stiletto heels and skirts so short they barely covered their assets, Princess Emmeline d'Arcy of Brabant stepped from her cab onto the curb and tucked a long gleaming strand of hair behind her ear. She would make Alejandro listen to reason. She'd make him see her position and surely he'd change his mind once he understood what was at stake.
And even more importantly, the future and security of their child.
Her stomach rose in protest and she willed the nausea to pass. She wouldn't get sick here, not when everything was riding on the next five minutes.
Air bottled in her lungs, shoulders squared, Princess Emmeline d'Arcy of the European commonwealth Brabant headed straight for the entrance, bypassing the line that snaked around the building and down the side street.
Alejandro would honor the promise he'd made her. He'd be a man and keep his word. He had to.
As Emmeline approached the front door, the club bouncer dropped the red velvet rope for her, giving her instant admission into the exclusive club. He didn't know Emmeline personally. He had no idea she was a European royal. But it was clear to everyone present that she was someone important. A VIP. And Mynt Lounge was all about celebrities, models and VIPs. It had, reputedly, the tightest door policy in all of South Beach.
Inside the darkened club, giant stars and metallic balls hung from the ceiling as futuristic go-go girls danced on the bar in nonexistent costumes and white thigh-high boots. A wall of purple lights flashed behind the DJ and other lights shifted, painting the writhing crowd on the dance floor purple, white and gold, leaving corners shadowy.
The princess paused, her long black lashes dropping as she scanned the interior looking for Alejandro, praying he'd be here. Praying he hadn't left South Beach yet for tomorrow's polo tournament in Greenwich. His horses had already gone, but he usually followed later.
A cocktail waitress approached and Emmeline shook her head. She wasn't here to party. She was here to make sure Alejandro did the right thing. He'd made love to her. She'd gotten pregnant. He'd vowed to take care of her. And now he'd better do it.
She wanted a ring, a wedding date and legitimacy for their unborn child.
He owed that much to her.
It had never been her plan to leave Europe, but she'd learned to love Alejandro's Argentina. They could live outside Buenos Aires on his estancia and have babies and raise horses.
It was a different future than the one her family had planned for her. She was to have been Queen of Raguva, married to King Zale Patek, and her family would be upset. For one thing, Alejandro wasn't a member of the aristocracy, and for another, he had a bit of a reputation, but once they were married, surely her mother and father would accept him. Alejandro was wealthy.
He could provide for them. And she believed in her heart that he would provide, once he understood she had nowhere to go, no other options. European princesses didn't become single mothers.
While she'd never wanted to marry King Zale Patek, she did respect him. She couldn't say the same for Alejandro, and she'd slept with him.
Stupid. Stupid to sleep with someone you didn't love, hoping that maybe he did love you, and would want you and protect you…rescue you…as if you were Rapunzel locked high in the ivory tower.
Emmeline shuddered, horrified. But what was done was done and now she had to be smart. Keep it together.
Swallowing convulsively, Emmeline smoothed the peacock-blue satin fabric of her cocktail dress over her hips. She could feel the jut of her hipbones beneath her trembling hands. She'd never been this thin before, but she couldn't keep anything down. She was sick morning, noon and night, but she prayed that once she hit the second trimester the nausea would subside.
From the VIP section in the back she heard a roar of masculine laughter. Alejandro. So he was here.
Her stomach fell, a wild tumble, even as her limbs stiffened, body tight, humming with anxiety.
He'd been ignoring her, avoiding her calls, but surely once he saw her, he'd remember how much he'd said he adored her. For five years he'd chased her, pursuing her relentlessly, pledging eternal love. She'd resisted his advances for years, too, but then in a weak moment earlier in the spring, she'd succumbed, giving him her virginity.
It hadn't been the passionate experience she'd hoped for. Alejandro had been impatient, even irritated. She'd been surprised by the emptiness and roughness of the lovemaking but told herself that it'd be better the next time, that as she grew to love him, she'd learn how to relax. She'd learn how to respond. She'd heard that sex was so different when you were emotionally close and she hoped that it was true.
But there hadn't been a next time. And now she was pregnant.
Ridiculous. Horrifying. Especially as she was engaged to another man. It was an arranged marriage, one that had been planned years ago for her when she was still in her teens, and the wedding was scheduled for just ten days from now. Obviously she couldn't marry King Patek pregnant with Alejandro's baby. So Alejandro needed to man up. Do the right thing, and accept his responsibility in this catastrophe.
Shoulders thrown back, head high, Emmeline entered the darkened VIP room, her narrowed gaze scanning the low plush couches filled with lounging guests. She spotted Alejandro right away. He was hard to miss in his billowy white shirt that showed off his dark hair, tan skin and handsome Latin profile to perfection. He wasn't alone. He had a stunning young brunette in a shocking red mini-dress on his lap.
Penelope Luca, Emmeline thought, recognizing the young model who had recently become the new It girl. But Penelope wasn't merely sitting on Alejandro's lap. Alejandro's hand was up underneath the young model's short red skirt, his lips were nuzzling her neck.
For a moment Emmeline couldn't move or breathe. For a moment she stood transfixed by the sight of Alejandro pleasuring Penelope.
And then humiliation screamed through her.
This was the man who'd promised to love her forever? This was the man who wanted her, Emmeline d'Arcy, above all others? This was the man she'd sacrificed her future for?
"Alejandro." Her voice was low, clear and sharp. It cut through the pounding music, hum of voices and shrill laughter. Heads turned toward Emmeline. She was dimly aware that everyone was looking at her but she only had eyes for Alejandro.
He looked up at her from beneath his lashes, his lips still affixed to the girl's neck, his expression mocking.
He didn't care.
Emmeline's legs shook. The room seemed to spin.
He didn't care, she thought again, horror mounting. He didn't care if she saw him with Penelope.
He didn't care how Emmeline felt. Because he didn't care for her. He'd never cared, either.
It hit her that it had all been a game for him…to bed a princess. The challenge. The chase. The conquest. She'd merely been a beautiful royal scalp to decorate his belt. And now that he'd possessed her, taken her innocence, he'd discarded her. As if she were nothing. No one.
Fury and pain blinded her. Fury with herself, pain for her child. She'd been stupid, so stupid, and she had no one to blame but herself. But wasn't that her problem? Hadn't that been her Achilles' heel her entire life? Needing love? Craving validation?
Her weakness sickened her, shamed her. Nausea hit her in waves.
"Alejandro," she repeated his name, her voice dropping, breaking, fire licking her limbs, daggers slicing her heart. "I will not be ignored!"
But he did ignore her. He didn't even bother to look at her again.
Her legs shook. Her eyes burned. How dare he mock her this way. She marched closer, temper blazing. "You're a liar and a cheat. A pathetic excuse for a man—"
"Stop." A deep, hard male voice spoke from behind her, interrupting her, even as a hand settled on her shoulder.
She struggled to shake the hand off, not finished with Alejandro yet. "You will take responsibility," she insisted, trembling with rage.
"I said, enough," Sheikh Makin Al-Koury repeated tersely, head dropped, mouth close to Hannah's ear. He was angry, very angry, and he told himself it was because his assistant had gone missing in action, and that he resented having to chase her down like a recalcitrant puppy, but it was more than that.
It was her, Hannah, dressed like…looking like…sex. Sex in high heels.
Impossible. Hannah wasn't sexy. Hannah wasn't hot, but here she was in a cocktail dress so snug that it looked painted on her slim body, the turquoise satin fabric clinging to her small, firm breasts and outlining her high, round ass.
The fact that he noticed her ass blew his mind. He'd never even looked at her body before, didn't even know she had a body, and yet here she was in a tight shimmering dress with kohl-rimmed eyes, her long dark hair tumbling free over her shoulders.
The thick tousled hair cascading down her back drew his eye again to her ass, and desire flared, his body hardening instantly.
Makin gritted his teeth, disgusted that he was responding to his assistant like an immature schoolboy. For God's sake. She'd worked for him for nearly five years. What was wrong with him?
She tried to jerk away from him, and his palm slid across the warm satin of her bare shoulder. She fel...
Jane Porter is known for her endearing romances and His Majesty’s Mistake is no exception. In this book, we get to know Princess Emmeline, as she impersonates her sister as Sheikh Makin Al-Koury’s personal assistant.
And, just as you might think, Emmeline makes a complete mess of things, leading the sheikh to suspect things are not on the up and up.
Hannah has been the sheikh’s personal assistant for five years, and in all of that time he has never been attracted to her, so why now does he suddenly feel an unexplainable attraction.
Princess Emmeline and Sheikh Makin have you falling in love with them immediately and you continue rooting for them throughout the book. It is a fairytale romance that young women fanaticize about, and the reader is immediately caught up in the antics of Princess Emmeline.
Then, you have Sheikh Makin, a very proper sheikh who has his life perfectly mapped out, and doesn’t understand his sudden attraction to his personal assistant.
But life has not always been a bed of roses for the princess and as her secrets begin to tumble out, she finds comfort and support from the sheikh.
In true Jane fashion, the book has an incredible story line, wonderful descriptions that bring you into the story, lovable characters, and a fairytale ending.
When I am looking for a quick, fun, romantic read, I find myself looking for Jane’s books. If you are a fan of Jane Porter, you will enjoy this series. If you haven’t read Jane yet, this is a great series to begin with.
His Majesty's Mistake and other Jane Porter books are available on Amazon.com
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