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Authors: Amy Hahn

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Courting His Royal Highness

BOOK: Courting His Royal Highness
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The Wild Rose Press
www.thewildrosepress.com

Copyright ©2009 by Amy Hahn

NOTICE: This work is copyrighted. It is licensed only for use by the original purchaser. Making copies of this work or distributing it to any unauthorized person by any means, including without limit email, floppy disk, file transfer, paper print out, or any other method constitutes a violation of International copyright law and subjects the violator to severe fines or imprisonment.
CONTENTS

Dedication

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Thank you for purchasing

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* * * *

“I want you, Chloe. Come up to my room.”

She blinked up at him. Wanton lust made his blue eyes black as the night surrounding them. She saw her face reflected in his eyes. Her lips swollen, her face flushed, her brown eyes opened wide with pleasure. The desire in her eyes mirrored his.

“Yes,” she murmured huskily. She didn’t know what she was doing—and she didn’t care. She only knew she ached for the man holding her in his arms, the man whose kisses caused her heart to race and her blood to heat.

He kissed her again with urgent, demanding, possessive lips. She responded eagerly, meeting each kiss with equal fervor, entangling her fingers in his hair and arching her neck as he showered a hot trail of kisses up and down its slender length.

“Why not right here?” she murmured brazenly. “I don’t think I can wait until your room.”

He grinned at her. Straight, white, beautiful teeth flashed in the darkness.

“What a bold suggestion from a maiden fairy.”

She smiled languidly at his teasing. “Who said I was a maiden fairy?”

He chuckled. “I’m glad I came to this party.”

Chloe fluttered her eyelashes. “Because of me?”

Max’s hot, appreciative stare made Chloe flush. “Most definitely because of you.”

Courting His
Royal Highness
by
Amy Hahn

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales, is entirely coincidental.

Courting His Royal Highness

COPYRIGHT ©

2008 by Amy Hahn

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission of the author or The Wild Rose Press except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.

Contact Information: [email protected]

Cover Art by
Angela Anderson

The Wild Rose Press

PO Box 706

Adams Basin, NY 14410-0706

Visit us at www.thewildrosepress.com

Publishing History

First Champagne Rose Edition, 2009

Print ISBN 1-60154-378-6

Published in the United States of America

Dedication
For my husband, Chris.
No words can express my appreciation
for your friendship, love, selfless support
and unfaltering belief in me.
I’m a lucky girl.

[Back to Table of Contents]

Chapter One

She was going to be famous, a household name all over America and across the world. Yes, she, Chloe Tanner from rural Minnesota, was about to take her very first step into stardom—and she could barely contain her excitement.

Last week she had been a twenty-five-year-old nothing. In fact, right now she was still a nobody, at least to anyone except her loving family and small group of close friends. But in a month that would all change drastically. Why? Because she was going to become a TV star. The EVE network, a women-focused cable channel, had selected
her
to be the hostess of its newest reality show,
Courting His Royal Highness
.

Chloe could hardly believe her luck. Thousands had auditioned for the role of the hostess, but the producers of the show and executives at EVE had chosen her over all those other knockouts. Her arm was bruised black and blue from pinching herself two times a day for the last week to make sure she truly wasn’t dreaming.

But she wasn’t dreaming. The limo she currently rode in was proof of that, along with the new wardrobe EVE had outfitted her with, and the special invitation she’d received to the network’s annual Halloween Masquerade Ball.

Chloe glanced at the invitation in her hand. She traced the scrawling words with the tip of one finger. It was a beautiful invitation: the background paper a brilliant purple, the letters a glittering silver; a witch flew on her broomstick across a full moon, and a spider web decorated each corner.

She still couldn’t believe it. Yep, she was headed for the big time. Finally, after years of disappointment and rejection, which did wonders to a girl’s self-esteem. But she never gave up. She’d always believed in her dream, and now she was about to step out of the shadows of obscurity into the glorious Hollywood limelight.

A girlish giggle erupted from her perfectly painted lips. She covered her mouth in embarrassment and looked up at the driver. He didn’t seem to notice, focused on driving through the myriad of L.A. traffic. She breathed a sigh of relief and relaxed against the leather upholstery.

Nervous butterflies fluttered in her stomach. She hadn’t been able to eat a thing all day. The very idea of hobnobbing with the rich and famous had her in a tailspin.

Chloe turned her head and looked out the window. The historic Hollywood Boulevard was loaded with people. On a Saturday night in early October, the Boulevard was busier than usual. It still wasn’t the safest or cleanest part of town, but big steps were being made to improve it. Still, tourists were often shocked to find how truly unglamorous this famous stretch was.

She smiled, recalling her first visit to Grauman’s Chinese Theater. Oh, how thrilling it had been to place her hands on the imprints of Marilyn Monroe’s. The place still held magic—that classic Hollywood magic—and tourists from all over the world eagerly flocked there in hopes of experiencing it.

“We’re almost there, Miss Tanner.”

“Thank you, Sam.”

The driver smiled at her in the rearview mirror. “Have a good time tonight.”

She grinned. “I know I will.”

“I’ll be back to pick you up around midnight.”

“Sounds great.”

“Are you sure you want to picked up that early? These Hollywood shindigs usually tend to last into the wee hours of the morning.”

“I’d like to get some sleep; after all, my first day on the job is tomorrow. I don’t quite understand the weekend start, but they call the shots.”

Sam smiled. “Yes, they do, Miss Tanner.”

He pulled the sleek black car up in front of the Hollywood Roosevelt. The hotel towered twelve floors over Hollywood Boulevard. During Hollywood’s golden era, it had been a favorite of movie royalty, and many claimed it was haunted—which made it the perfect spot for tonight’s Halloween extravaganza.

Chloe reached for the door but then remembered Sam would open it for her. She wasn’t sure if she would ever get used to being pampered. She was accustomed to doing things by her lonesome—she depended on no one but herself. Other people simply disappointed her. Except for a few close friends—only a handful—and her family, she didn’t trust a single soul. She had been burned too many times.

Sam opened her door and offered her his arm; she took it and placed one trembling foot onto the pavement. It was lined with Hollywood stars. She wondered if she would ever be among them.

“Good evening, Miss Tanner.” Sam touched the brim of his cap. “Is there anything else I can do for you?”

“No, Sam, I think I’ll be just fine.”

Sam nodded. He closed the door and walked over to the driver’s door.

Chloe’s heart lurched. She stared up at the massive hotel. Was she ready for this? She didn’t think so. Maybe she should get back in the limo and tell Sam to drive her back to her tiny apartment.

“You look beautiful.”

Chloe blinked and glanced over at Sam. He offered a kind smile. He was a decent guy. You didn’t meet too many of those in Los Angeles.

“Flattery will get you everywhere.”

He laughed. “I’m hopeful, but I doubt it.” He waved. “Enjoy.”

She blew him her best Marilyn Monroe kiss. He chuckled before slamming the door shut and driving away.

Chloe watched the limo until it disappeared from sight. The butterflies continued to dance excitedly in her belly. She clutched the invitation tightly and moved towards the front doors.

“Hello, pretty lady, welcome to the Roosevelt Hotel.”

A tremulous smile spread her lips as the doorman opened up the door for her and swept her inside.

His eyes twinkled at her attire.

“I’m assuming you’re here for the EVE Halloween Ball?”

She nodded and showed him the invitation.

“Nice costume.”

“Thanks.”

She saw her reflection in one of the many mirrors in the hotel’s elegant lobby. She was dressed as Mab, Queen of the Fairies. Although she’d had no choice in the matter—the EVE executives had sent over the costume—she had to admit she looked rather spectacular in it. Her midnight hair tumbled down about her shoulders. A light sprinkling of imitation fairy dust made the dark tresses sparkle. The gown was made of silk, a rich, vibrant red. It looked fantastic against her pale skin and complimented her black hair. A tiara of fake rubies and diamonds crowned her head, and a matching necklace circled her neck. The sandals decorating her size 8 feet were nearly invisible, the straps forming a web-like pattern across her feet made of a sheer gossamer fabric. Iridescent wings completed the ensemble.

The doorman directed her to the room where the ball was being held. She thanked him, gave him a generous tip, and slowly walked through the lobby where other partygoers lingered. Witches and vampires sprawled across the brocade couches. A cowboy and cowgirl were in a deep embrace. And Cruella De Vil and the evil queen from Snow White appeared to be arguing about something.

Chloe flashed her invitation to the skeleton at the ballroom door. He bowed and gestured her inside.

This was it. This was her chance to network and advance her career. She took a deep breath and stepped inside.

It didn’t take her long to find Mr. Carridine, her new boss, and his entourage, dressed as the beloved characters from
The Wizard of Oz
. She exchanged small talk with them before heading to the bar.

“A white wine, please. Chardonnay,” she ordered. The drinks were free, and she was certainly happy about that—she only had about ten dollars to her name.

The bartender gently set a large wine goblet in front of her, a souvenir glass with the words
EVE’s Halloween Masquerade Ball
emblazoned across the surface.

Chloe took a sip. The liquid, slightly flavored with apples, felt deliciously refreshing rushing down her throat. No red wine for her. White was the only way to go.

“A lovely woman like you shouldn’t be drinking alone.”

Chloe jumped at the sound of the deep, masculine voice. She turned to find herself gazing into a pair of magnetic eyes, eyes so incredibly blue they put the sky to shame.

“Is this seat taken?”

She shook her head, unable to mouth a single word. The man was incredibly handsome. He looked to be in his mid-thirties, with hair as dark as her own and a lazy smile that sent shock waves throughout her entire system.

“So, who are you supposed to be?” he inquired after ordering a martini—shaken, not stirred. “Let me guess.” He studied her for a minute or two with his amazing blue eyes, and then snapped his fingers. “I’ve got it. You’re a fairy.”

Chloe blushed under his intense gaze as she finished off the remainder of her wine. “Close enough. Did the wings give me away?”

He laughed. She couldn’t resist smiling. She liked the sound of his laughter—rich and vibrant and full of life. Here was a guy who knew not to take life too seriously.

“Would you like another wine, my fairy princess?”

“Fairy queen,” she corrected with a giggle. “And, yes, I would enjoy another glass.”

He smiled again.

Chloe’s heart thumped wildly in her breast. Gosh, he was altogether yummy. And he had dimples. Chloe loved a man with dimples. She happened to have a soft spot for blue eyes, too. He also had an accent, but she couldn’t place it. It was subtle, but it vibrated in his baritone voice, signaling quite clearly that he had not spent his entire life in America.

“Okay, so what or who are you?”

“Bond. James Bond.” He popped the martini olive into his mouth with a lopsided grin.

Yep, he was adorable. Desire flamed inside Chloe, and its intensity startled her. She had just met the guy, for goodness sake! She wasn’t the type of girl to sleep with a complete stranger. But he was so hunky. He filled out the black tux to perfection—better than Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan, or Daniel Craig.

BOOK: Courting His Royal Highness
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ads

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