USA Today Bestselling Author
Duty requires her to marry—
but she’s having second thoughts.
Princess Julianna dreams of marrying for love, but no one cares what she wants. The future of her kingdom—and countrywomen—depends on her arranged marriage. Too bad, her intended’s brother is the one who captures her interest with his good looks and sailing skills. She’ll just have to push aside her attraction and do what’s right for everyone else, if not herself…
Prince Alejandro wants nothing more than to relinquish his title. He can’t wait for his older brother to marry and have a child. That is, until he meets the beautiful princess destined to be his country’s future queen. Julianna holds the key to his freedom, yet he recognizes a kindred spirit—someone trapped by the demands of being royalty—and finds her utterly irresistible.
Knowing the royal wedding must occur for the sake of their countries doesn’t stop them from wanting to be together. A happy ending could be theirs if they are willing to accept the consequences of following their hearts. Will duty or love reign supreme?
Princess Julianna captured my attention in ‘The Reluctant Princess’ and I really wanted her to get her own HEA. Her father has arranged several matches, and not one of them have panned out to this point. They were all in love with another. This time her match is the Crown Prince of an Island in the Mediterranean.
With her love of sailing, she is pretty sure that living on an island will afford her many opportunities to sail the ocean.
Prince Enrique has signed a somewhat unique marriage agreement, one that Julianna would not be happy with.
Then there’s Alejandro, the second son. He designs, builds and races sailboats. His goal is to attract more tourism to his island country, improving the economy in a way very different from his father’s and brother’s ideas.
Of all the introductions when Julianna reaches the island this is a favorite.
Jules forced herself to breathe. That might slow her heart rate.
“Are you injured?” Brandt’s concern over her well-being was unmistakable.
“I’m fine,” Jules assured her brother. She was more interested in the man— the prince— who saved her from hitting the floor and still held her with his strong arms. Such wide shoulders, too.
Awareness seeped through her.
“My apologies.” His deep, rich voice and Spanish accent sent her rapid pulse into a mad sprint. “The kitten darted out of the room before I could grab him.”
Ortiz raised his chin. “As I said, there are no rats in the palace.”
With a sharp inhale, the prince set her on her feet. He kept hold of her after she was standing.
“Stable?” he asked.
She nodded, forcing herself not to stare at his muscular chest and ripped abs.
He let go of her.
A chill shivered through Jules. She wasn’t used to being in close contact with anyone, but she missed having his nicely muscled arms around her.
She studied him, eager for a better glimpse.
Over six feet tall with an athletic build, he was more pirate than prince with shoulder-length dark brown hair, an earring in his left ear, khaki shorts, and bare feet.
His strong jawline, high cheekbones, and straight nose appeared almost chiseled like the sculpture. But his full lips and thick eyelashes softened the harsher features.
The result— a gorgeous face she would be happy to stare at for hours. Days. Years. Decades.
Jules’s heart thudded. “Thank you.”
Warm brown eyes met hers. Gold specks flickered like flames around his irises. “You’re welcome.”
Everyone else faded into the background. Time seemed to stop. Something unfamiliar unfurled deep inside her.
With one hand, he scooped up a black ball of fur. As he checked the kitten, his tenderness melted her heart. She would love for a man— this man— to gaze at her that way.
The kitten meowed. As he rubbed the small cat, he returned his attention to her. “You’re Princess Julianna from Aliestle.”
It wasn’t a question.
“Yes.” Jules had never believed in love at first sight until now. She hoped their children looked exactly like him. A smile spread across her lips and reached all the way to her heart.
Her father had gotten this right.
She would realize her dream of marrying for love. A warm glow flowed through her. “You must be Enrique.”
“No.” His jaw thrust forward. “I am Alejandro.”
Her heart sank. Who was Alejandro?
Melissa McClone. The Not-So-Perfect Princess ARC (Kindle Locations 411-438). Cardinal Press, LLC.
Oh the tangled webs that surround this match. So delightful and heart-rending to read. Julianna’s brother is so not a chaperone.
While Enrique is the ‘perfect’ Crown Prince, he knows nothing of dating or wooing.
Alejandro on the other hand is looking forward to being freed from Royal duties and pursuing his own agenda of business.
I loved the emotions, the subterfuge, and all the elements that make this a love story one you won’t be able to put down. I’m not sure who’s book I want next.
5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!
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USA Today bestselling author, Melissa McClone has published over forty novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group.
With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters.
Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities.
Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds, and cats who think they rule the house. They do!