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His True Queen – Smoke and Mirrors Book 2 by Jodi Ellen Malpas


His True Queen
Smoke and Mirrors Book 2
By
NY Times Bestselling Author
Jodi Ellen Malpas

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The breathtaking conclusion of The Smoke & Mirrors Duology.

A beautiful, defiant princess. A renowned, sinfully gorgeous Hollywood actor.

A love affair that is sure to rock the British Monarchy…and the world.

Their love affair began intensely and passionately. Princess Adeline and Josh Jameson knew any future together was impossible—her status as a princess and his standing as a Hollywood heartthrob dictated that. But the heights of pleasure they could take each other to were wildly unanticipated by them both. Josh’s absolute disregard for Adeline’s status quickly drew her into his hedonistic world. And her perfectly worn mask and false façade captivated Josh to the point of obsession. The boundaries became blurred. The physical became emotional. Their hearts became entwined.

But a cruel turn of events rips their worlds apart and Adeline is more bound than ever by the protocol and expectations her title commands. The army of royal advisors who guard the secrets and scandals of the Monarchy will go to unthinkable lengths to keep the smoke and mirrors in place…and Josh away from Adeline. She knows the power she possesses comes with agonizing sacrifices. Walking away from Josh devastates her…but it keeps him safe from the corrupt institution that has ruled her life.

Yet Josh refuses to lose the woman who has consumed him so completely, distorted his boundaries, and stripped him of all sensibility.

Will the power of the British Monarchy triumph? Or will their fierce love for each other change the course of history?

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After the death of the King and the Heir Apparent, many things come to light that are both shocking and intriguing. Prince Edward would not be King he was not the King’s son but the product of an affair. Yet one more thing to be hidden behind smoke and mirrors. After a blood test, the results prove that Adeline would be queen whether she wants it or not.

The devastation felt by both her and Josh carries through the funerals and the further still. He gets to confront her while she riding to alleviate the overwhelming stress.

This is a favorite scene.

“I’m in love with the Queen of England, England, Your Majesty. You need to help me find a way to be with her.”

His words could make me cry, and for a second my wobbly lip gets the better of me. I mustn’t cry. I mustn’t. “It’s impossible.”

“Who says?”

“Everyone.”

“Well, I don’t. Nothing has changed for me.”

“But everything has changed for me,” I say. “We’re a train wreck waiting to happen.”

“My train has already crashed, and it’s in fucking tatters since I left you at the palace. Nothing can feel any worse than that, Adeline.”

“Trust me, Josh.” I take his hands from my face. “It really can.”

He looks to the sky, his Adam’s apple rolling with each hard swallow he takes. He’s trying to calm himself down, trying desperately to see reason like me. It pains me to see him like this, as much as it pains me to feel as I do. “You didn’t even break up with me,” he whispers. “You watched them escort me away, and all I could do was watch it all play out on TV. You didn’t answer my calls, my messages.” Dropping his eyes to mine, he circles my neck with his palms and holds me firmly in place. “I wanted to be there for you. I was waiting for the bomb to drop, the news of your succession, and now it finally has. I can see it in your eyes, Adeline. No one else can, but I see it. You don’t really want this. Guilt and responsibility shouldn’t dictate your heart.”

“And what would you have me do? Throw my mother to the wolves? My brothers, my father, my entire family history? Just to feed my own selfish need?”

“No, to feed mine,” Josh replies shortly, and I flinch at his frankness. “I’m sorry,” he sighs. “I didn’t mean that. Just . . .” He growls under his breath. “Just don’t be hasty. Don’t write us off yet.”

I smile, finding his determination admirable, if a tiny bit frustrating. “You’ve already had your warning, Josh. Your hotel was trashed, and that was when I was a mere princess. They’ll ruin you.”

“They can shove their warnings up their asses.” Releasing me, he stands back, scuffing the mud with his boots. “There must be a loophole somewhere. A chink in the armor of the stupid laws you royal people have to abide by. I’ll find it.”

There is no loophole, and if there was, it would be sewn shut pretty speedily. “It’s impossible.”

“No. I won’t let you believe that.”

I don’t counter this time, because I know he won’t listen. Part of me is wishing he’s right, that there is a loophole, though I know there are none. We can’t be together. “Josh . . .”

Looking past me, he frowns. “What’s wrong with Stan?”

Oh goodness. I shoot over to my horse who looks somewhat lethargic. “I think he’s dehydrated. I brought him through here to get him a drink.”

“Let me see.” Josh takes his head and looks Stan over. “His eyes are dry.” Taking his reins, he clicks him down to the stream, and I thank heavens when my beloved horse slurps some water. “He’s real thirsty. You should get him looked over.”

“I will,” I promise, stroking down his neck, waiting patiently for him to finish up. God, he might drink the stream dry. “I should go before Damon starts to worry.”

The solemnness of Josh’s face matches my own downheartedness as I pull Stan back toward the bridle path. “Adeline?” he calls, and I look over my shoulder. He doesn’t say anything, and instead approaches me, giving me a soft kiss on the lips. “This won’t be the last kiss I give you,” he vows, and I inhale a little dreamily, ignoring the voice in my head that’s disagreeing with him. Because I desperately wish it isn’t our last kiss. “I’m leaving for South Africa tomorrow for a week. I’ll be back in London as soon as I can. I’ll call you, and you will answer.”

I nod, if mildly. “Goodbye.”

“For now,” he adds, stroking down the bridge of my nose before stepping back and letting me walk away. “I love you, Adeline.”

I swallow down the wretchedness those words evoke. Words like that shouldn’t make a woman feel so utterly hopeless. They should fill her with life. But I’m no ordinary woman.

Each step I take is forcefully measured to ensure my stability, and I touch my nose to feel the heat still lingering from his touch. Oh, how I wish I didn’t have to leave. That it wouldn’t involve headline news, MI5, and the government if Josh took me away to a faraway land and hid me there forever.

When I breach the trees, I force myself to locate my ever-depleting mask and have it firmly in place for when I meet Damon. “I heard you shouting,” he says dryly as I slip my foot into one of Stan’s stirrups and pull myself up.

Once I’m settled in the saddle, I look across to him. “And you didn’t come to find out why?”

Flicking away his cigarette, likely the second or third he’s had since I left him, he falls into the seat of the Land Rover. “It sounded like you were handling handling things just fine on your own, Your Majesty.”

“I was. It was just—”

“Or was the American handling you just fine?” His smirk is slap worthy, and my mouth falls open, my shock profound.

“I have no idea what you are talking about, Damon.”

“I’ve heard that before.”

“Drive on,” I order petulantly, only making his smile widen. “This minute.”

“Yes, ma’am.” He starts the engine and honks the horn, pointing across the field. I’m totally mortified when I see Josh cantering away in the distance.

My lips twist, my eyes closing. “I’ve only been Queen for a few hours, and I’ve already demonstrated how utterly weak I am. I’m a terrible Monarch.”

“Love doesn’t change because the world does, ma’am,” Damon says gently.

His statement, so profound and true, brings more wretched tears to my ever-crying eyes.
Malpas, Jodi Ellen. His True Queen (Smoke & Mirrors Duology Book 2) . Jodi Ellen Malpas. Kindle Locations (795-843). Kindle Edition.

Needless to say there is far more going on than meets the eye.

A dance at the White House leads to yet another encounter with Josh. The seemingly hopeless situation just gets more intense. With far more eyes watching and waiting.

Then there is the persistent suiter Haydon, who does manage to get a ring on her finger, totally under protest. Followed by a most embarrassing first appearance as an engaged couple.

As the series name implies, there are many smoke and mirror effects going on and the revelations are truly astonishing.

A nail-biting, suspenseful and sizzling conclusion to this duology.

5 Contented Purrs for Jodi!

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Jodi Ellen Malpas

“I write for myself. Not what I think people want to read.” ~ JEM

#1 New York Times Bestselling Author Jodi Ellen Malpas was born and raised in the Midlands town of Northampton, England, where she lives with her husband, her boys, and a beagle. She is a self-professed daydreamer and has a terrible weak spot for alpha males. After writing in secret for too long, Jodi exploded onto the scene in 2012 with her debut novel This Man, starring the prolific Jesse Ward.

Writing powerful love stories with fierce, memorable characters is her passion – a passion that has taken her on an amazing journey into the limelight of romantic fiction. Her work is now published in more than twenty-five languages across the world.

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The Controversial Princess – Smoke and Mirrors Book 1 By Jodi Ellen Malpas


The Controversial Princess
Smoke and Mirrors Book 1
By
NY Times Bestselling Author
Jodi Ellen Malpas

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Her father is The King of England.
She is The Controversial Princess.

Regarded as down to earth by the press and rebellious by The King, Princess Adeline refuses to bow to the royal expectations her title carries. She knows better than anyone that the united front of the royal family is nothing but smoke and mirrors – lies and secrets masked by power and privilege. She wants no part of it, and she will never surrender to The King’s demand to marry a man she does not love. But despite Adeline’s determination to retain her free will, she remains deeply unfulfilled, feeling caged and suffocated.

That is until she meets Josh Jameson. Drawn in by his confidence, Adeline is soon captivated by the scandalously sexy American actor. His ability to penetrate her defences overwhelms her – his touch is pure fire, and his allure overpowering. Nothing has ever made her feel so alive in a world where she’s otherwise slowly drowning. However, while Josh may be Hollywood royalty, he’s not actual royalty, and Adeline knows The King and his advisors will do everything in their power to keep them apart.

But Josh Jameson becomes the princess’s ultimate vice.
And although she bows to no one, she bows to him.

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Princess Adeline is celebrating her 30th birthday, the celebration, a garden party at the palace is nothing more than a chore for her. Spending time with her cousin Matilda, the Duchess of York is the only thing relieving the tedium. That is until she spots Josh Jameson, American Actor and Sex Symbol heading their way.

This is a favorite scene.

Someone I actually do recognize, though what he’s doing here is a mystery. “Is that Josh Jameson?” I ask Matilda, nodding discreetly through the crowds.

“You mean the actor? The hot American actor?” Her neck cranes to see, and then there is a small gasp from my cousin. “Oh, golly, yes. What is he doing here?”

“I have not the faintest idea,” I say quietly, taking a few small steps to the right to get a better view. I breathe in controlled, but exhale a little shakily. By gosh, he’s even more striking in the flesh. One is a little speechless. Twinkly blue eyes that harbor mischief and pure sex, permanently roughed-up brown hair, and scruff to match. He’s perfectly rugged and dangerously handsome. Josh Jameson. I sigh, smiling to myself, enjoying my new delightful view. He was recently voted the World’s Sexiest Man Alive and has an Oscar under his belt to boot. He is the perfect male specimen, every woman’s fantasy. A Hollywood poster boy. A bloody god. But to me, he is prohibited. The World’s Sexist Man Alive is off limits. Typical. I pout to myself as I continue to admire his fine form, silently damning my royal bones to hell and back. But then he looks in my direction and our eyes meet. I quickly turn away from him, a little taken aback by the blaze in his stare. What is he doing here?

“It’s the London premiere of his new movie soon,” Matilda muses, popping a canapé in her mouth. “I read it in a magazine.”

“But why is he here? At my birthday party?”

She ignores my question, her eyes widening somewhat. “Oh, gosh. Adeline, he’s coming over.”

“He is?” I feel my body straighten out, all the stressed muscles unkinking. “Why ever would he do that?” Josh Jameson’s face and body is splashed on millions of billboards and magazines across the world, his playboy reputation renowned, and now he is here? In the flesh? In a suit, looking all handsome and ruggedly distinguished? At my birthday garden party?

A slow, lazy smile stretches my red lips through my increasing fluster. Josh Jameson.

My, oh my.

“Your Highness.” The rough American accent takes my simmering blood and directs it to my epicenter. And I don’t mean my heart, though it is certainly thrumming. The thrill is electrifying. <em.Your Highness. Never before have those words turned me on. I always feel the inclination to shove them back down the throat of whoever has spoken them to me. Not today. I turn slowly and cock my head in question, suggesting he should prompt me on his name. Of course, I know exactly who he is, yet a deep desire in me does not want to let on that I am privy to his identity.

“Josh Jameson.” He smiles, all bright and dazzling, with a hint of cheek, but it is one hundred percent knowing. Who doesn’t know who this man is?

I don’t try to conceal my demure grin. “What a pleasure, Mr. Jameson. Please, there is no need for formalities. You may call me Adeline.” I’m lying. There is every need for formalities, as expressed in Matilda’s shocked look when I catch her eye. But the truth is, I want to hear him say my name. Softly. In that gorgeous, rough American drawl.

“Adeline,” he muses delicately, taking my charging blood to boiling point. I am far from disappointed. On the love of the King, holy bloody hell. “Happy birthday.”

I inhale deeply, allowing my eyes the pleasure of journeying his long, svelte body to his feet. His three-piece screams bespoke, and his shoes are without doubt handmade. But he looks effortlessly well turned out, the pale pink hanky poking out of his breast pocket not neatly folded, but more stuffed inside as if it could have been a last-minute addition to his attire. He does perfectly roughed-up so well, a mix of neat in his clothes and messy on his face. Goodness, he is edible.

A nudge in my elbow knocks me out of my silent admiring, and I turn to find Matilda staring at me with too many questions in her eyes. I quickly gather myself and shoot my gaze up, immediately finding Josh Jameson regarding me closely, no doubt relishing the scrutiny he’s under. Clearing my throat, I raise my glass to my cousin. “Mr. Jameson, this is Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Kent.”

“Pleasure, Mr. Jameson,” Matilda purrs. “You may call me Matilda.” Her sarcasm has me peeking out the corner of my eye to her.

“The pleasure is all mine.” Josh smiles, another knowing smile. It is almost too much.

“So how did you come to be at my birthday celebrations?” I ask flippantly, trying not to express too much interest.

“My father met the King during his time in the military many years ago.”

“But you are American.”

“No shit,” he retorts quickly, reining in a cheeky smile. I’m both outraged and in awe. “You Brits and us Yanks are allies, ma’am.”

“I know that.” I roll my eyes dramatically, buzzing with something wild and electric. He cursed at me. It’s unheard of to use such vulgar language in the presence of a royal.

“My father is now a senator.” He points across to the King, who is talking to a rather round man in a black tux. “He was in town, and the King thought we might like to join him and his wonderful family today.”

“How lovely,” I muse. “So you are gatecrashing, for a lack of a better term?”

“Well”—he shrugs—“no man in his right mind would turn down the opportunity to meet the beautiful and illustrious Princess Adeline of England. And I must say, Your Highness, your pictures do you no justice.”

I force my eyes not to widen, gathering myself. “Touché.” My murmured reply is loaded with lust and suggestion. I toast the air, smiling around my pout. “I hope you are having a splendid time.”

“Oh, I am. And you?”

“Things are looking up.” I take a measured sip of my champagne, mesmerized by the sparkle in Josh’s blue eyes.

On a smile, he looks around the grounds. “I’ve often thought how alike we are.”

“Oh? How so?”

“You seem very passionate.”

“I do?”

“Yes.” His smile is now suggestive. “As am I.”

“Interesting.”

“And you seem to know what you want.”

“Indeed.”

“I like to have fun.”

“As do I, Mr. Jameson. As . . . do . . . I.”

“So we’re a match made in heaven.”

I laugh lightly, feeling Matilda’s despair as she endures this outrageous flirting match. I plan on winning. “In your dreams, Mr. Jameson.”

“Or maybe, Your Highness, in yours.”

Josh flashes another one of those dashing smiles, and I’m ashamed to admit it, but I am struggling to maintain my composure. So I do what is best and free myself from the suffocating intensity of Mr. Jameson’s presence before I make a fool of myself and start dribbling. “Excuse me.” Putting one foot in front of the other is far more difficult than it should be. “Delightful to meet you, Mr. Jameson.”
Malpas, Jodi Ellen. The Controversial Princess (The Smoke & Mirrors Duology Book 1) . Jodi Ellen Malpas. Kindle Locations (282-334). Kindle Edition.

Much happens at this garden party as Adeline sneaks off to a maze on the property to meet with Josh. Also the announcement of her brother John, the Heir Apparent, wife’s pregnacy, takes the shine off her party.

Plenty of subterfuge as the princess and the actor have several secret rendezvous. It’s also the nature of these encounters I have a bit of a problem with. I’m no stranger to kinks in a book, but there were elements here I felt should have had more of an explicit consent rather than an implied one.

This book was supposedly set in today’s world and that also made it a bit difficult for me. The English Monarchy and Aristocracy is well known and even with the landmark name changes and a totally different Monarchy I kept looking for the familiar.

I love the characters especially Damon and Bates, Adeline and Josh’s bodyguards respectively. What their charges put them through really is above and beyond.

Adeline is indeed strong and determined only to marry for love, and Josh is determined to be the winner in this battle of love v. tradition. The twists and turns in this book particularly at the end had me buying the second book in this duology.

4 Contented Purrs for Jodi!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Jodi Ellen Malpas

“I write for myself. Not what I think people want to read.” ~ JEM

#1 New York Times Bestselling Author Jodi Ellen Malpas was born and raised in the Midlands town of Northampton, England, where she lives with her husband, her boys, and a beagle. She is a self-professed daydreamer and has a terrible weak spot for alpha males. After writing in secret for too long, Jodi exploded onto the scene in 2012 with her debut novel This Man, starring the prolific Jesse Ward.

Writing powerful love stories with fierce, memorable characters is her passion – a passion that has taken her on an amazing journey into the limelight of romantic fiction. Her work is now published in more than twenty-five languages across the world.

newsletter - for blog

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Amazon Author Page