Published by Pocket Books on August 30th 2016
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
Nikolai Romanovin, a royal prince of Oxenburg, has travelled to the deepest wilds of Scotland to rescue his grandmother the Grand Duchess, who was abducted while visiting an old friend in the Highlands. Wanting to avoid an international incident, Nik plans to quietly slip into enemy territory disguised as a groom at Castle Cromartie. But his plans go awry when he falls under the cool gray gaze of the laird’s daughter.
Pragmatic and clever, Mairi MacKenzie has been left in charge of the family estate and her unruly grandmother in her father’s absence. Something about the new groom catches her eyes, and makes her think he’s not who he pretends to be—and even more shockingly, stirs her senses. Is it his obviously educated manners? His arrogant, non-servant-like presence? It’s certainly not his towering, powerful form, or slumberous, inviting green eyes!
After confronting the imposter and learning the truth, Mairi agrees to help Nik—for she, too, understands difficult relatives and would do anything for family. Soon their secret partnership leads to growing respect, searing kisses, and then something far more perilous. And when their quest turns dangerous, Mairi and Nik must discover this unknown enemy while facing the dangerous demands of their own unruly hearts.
At the request of the Good Ladies of Buried Under Romance, Lady Ailsa Mackenzie is conducting an interview of Nikolai Romanovin, the Crown Prince of Oxenburg.
Lady Ailsa: (seated at a small table in the parlor, quill and paper nearby) Thank you for agreeing to meet with me. I hope it was nae too difficult for you to get away.
Prince Nikolai: (seated across for her) (tilts his head to one side) Your accent . . . Scottish, nyet?
Lady Ailsa: Quite. Now, aboot you. (dips quill into ink) Describe an ordinary day in the life of a prince.
Prince Nikolai: (leans back in his chair and shrugs) There is not much to tell; princes live ordinary lives.
Lady Ailsa: Ordinary? Surely you jest.
Prince Nikolai: (smiles faintly) I never jest when I’m speaking to a beautiful woman.
Lady Ailsa: (eyes narrow) You should nae say such things.
Prince Nikolai: Why not?
Lady Ailsa: ‘Tis improper. Perhaps we should start this another way. (holds quill over the paper, ready to write) Prince Nikolai, our readers would like to know aboot you, your average day, where you go, what you wear, the type of events a prince might get invited to – that sort of thing. I’m sure princes lead fascinating lives.
Prince Nikolai: I would use the words ‘dull’ and ‘boring’ rather than ‘fascinating.’ (he leans forward and runs his finger over the edge of the paper, his hand close to hers) You did not write that down.
Lady Ailsa: It seemed rather pointless.
Prince Nikolai: Tell me, little one, what do you think princes do?
Lady Ailsa: Me? I’m nae the best person to ask, because you’re the only one I’ve met.
Prince Nikolai: (smiles) Then I am the best, eh?
Lady Ailsa: (does not smile) You are the only prince I know. I was under the impression that princes went to a lot of gorgeous balls, elaborate suppers, and fabulous house parties. That sort of thing.
Prince Nikolai: And at each, we are put on display like a prize spaniel, trotted about like some sort of display. It is not so much fun as you may think.
Lady Ailsa: (looking exasperated) But you’re a prince! Surely there’s some good to be said for being a prince.
Prince Nikolai: There are a few benefits. (he leans closer) Some women, for example, are often impressed with a title.
Lady Aila: I’m nae impressed.
Prince Nikolai: I said ‘some.’
Lady Ailsa: (lips twitch, despite her determination not to smile) People, and nae just women, get excited when there’s a prince aboot – it’s understandable, really. There are so few of you.
Prince Nikolai: (covers her hand with his, the pen now held prisoner between their mingled fingers) Are you excited to meet me?
Lady Ailsa: (flushes) (pulls her hand free) Nae, but then we’ve met before, and under difficult circumstances. Because of that, it’s to be expected that I dinnae regard you with ‘excitement.’
Prince Nikolai: Difficult circumstances? For me, perhaps. The abduction of my grandmother the Grand Duchess has been very hard on my entire family. Fortunately, it does not have anything to do with you.
Lady Ailsa: (stiffens) I beg your pardon? She was my guest, and so she is my responsibility.
Prince Nikolai: (scoffs) Nonsense. She is my grandmother, not yours. I will take responsibility for her. Besides, you have no experience with abductions.
Lady Ailsa: And you do?
Prince Nikolai: (leans forward, his eyes a dark, mysterious green) Krasivitsya, I am very experienced, and not just in abductions. Perhaps I should show you—
Lady Ailsa: (droped her pen, ink splattering over the page as she stands and grabs her reticule from where it sits on the table) Thank you for your time. I’m sure I have enough for the article.
Prince Nikolai: You did not write anything.
Lady Ailsa: I dinnae need to.
Prince Nikolai: (stands) You do not wish me to list all of the balls I’ve attended? Describe the elegant suppers I’ve been forced to endure? (lowers his voice) Tell you the type of woman who most intrigues me?
Lady Ailsa: (flushes again) Nae. (folds ink blotted paper and stuffs it in her reticule) I’ve nae more questions.
Prince Nikolai: (makes his way around the table) Perhaps I have some questions for you.
Lady Ailsa: Me? (her voice squeaks a bit as she starts backing toward the door, her reticule clutched before her like a shield) I’m nae the one being interviewed.
Prince Nikolai: (follows her step for step) Not at first, but now I will interview you, and well, too.
Lady Ailsa: (she reaches the door, slips her hand behind her and finds the knob) That will nae be necessary. I-I’ll see you between the pages of Mad for the Plaid. It comes out tomorrow.
Prince Nikolai: I would not miss it for the world. (bends forward to give her a kiss)
Lady Ailsa: (ducks and whisks herself from the room, shutting the door behind her)
Prince Nikolai: (laughing softly as her footsteps fade) Tomorrow, my love. Tomorrow.
You can follow The Oxenburg Princes series on Goodreads.
Do you enjoy reading the breathless moments when the hero ‘chases’ the heroine, or do you prefer it when the heroine ‘chases’ the hero? I love them both, so I’m not sure which is my favorite … perhaps when the heroine chases the hero just because it allows for a LOT of fun dialogue.
Which is your favorite?
At the end of the day, one comment from those below will be randomly selected to receive a $25 B&N gift card.