on January 30th 2018
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Political consultant Amy Fields only experienced jealousy once in her life, and that’s the way she’d like to keep it. Watching her older sister carry-on with the boy she absolutely adored in high school enough to make her never want to feel second-best again. Now, successful in her own right. She’s making strides in her career and meeting interesting people, but one client takes a keen interest in her life – so much so, he’s determined to ensure she never finds a happy ending with the boy she loved long ago. Prince Lucio Aussa can have any woman he wants, but he’s grown tired of superficial relationships. When his brother convinces him that he can find the perfect bride online, Lucio reluctantly agrees to go along with the plan. The search dredges up old feelings about Amy’s older sister, and prompts him to want to rekindle their broken relationship. But when the internet search points to Amy as his perfect mate, that changes everything. Now, he must reconcile the feelings he had for her sister with the realization that Amy is far more interesting than she ever was. To make matters worse, as his feelings for her grow, an enemy emerges threatening to ruin any hope of love for either of them. Can the overcome their preconceived notions about each other and find common ground together or will yet another obstacle stand in their way?
She stilled and the sensation disappeared once the man went into the elevator and was out of sight. Her pulse returned to normal. She waited another few seconds and headed back out into the dreary evening. The fog made the world seem darker.
Amy opened the door, head down, and walked right into a wall of muscled chest. Worried it was the man in the bowler hat, she swallowed a cry, stepped back into the foyer of the building and looked up at the man who was at least a foot taller than her. Her breath caught in her throat. Lucio Aussa still seemed larger than life.
“Amy Fields?” His rich tones were deeper and brought a chill of adult awareness.
She dropped her umbrella to the linoleum. She knelt down to pick it up, as did he. They almost bumped heads but she let him get her umbrella and he handed it back to her. “You’re prettier than I remember.”
“You remember me?” She straightened, her legs shaky.
“You’re Evie’s little sister.” He stood too.
Right. Her stomach shouldn’t flip. He had to get married soon, as the world knew, and her sister was the Fields girl he’d been interested in. It was too bad Evie intended to marry His Grace Michael Flynn, and be his duchess. Why was Lucio here, speaking to her right now? “That’s right. My sister doesn’t work with me or anything…”
“It’s raining pretty heavily. Let me give you a ride.” He opened the door, allowing a cool rush of air inside.
There was no reason her stomach should tense. His dark, shining hair curled over his ears and those dark brown eyes tempted her to swoon. Amy Fields never swooned. She lowered her head, her face hot with embarrassment. “I don’t want to be a bother, Your Highness.”
“I came to talk to you,” he said. “So it would be my pleasure, Amy.”
He had? Her named rolled off his tongue with ease. Her chest warmed from his nearness, and her cheeks must be scarlet at this point. “If you’re here to order an analysis of your country, you’ll need to come back in the morning and sign a contract with my boss.”
“I’m not here to hire you.” A servant with a six-foot wide umbrella met them at the front door and Lucio led her toward his waiting limo on the street corner. “Not exactly anyway.”
The servant opened the rear passenger door and she slid in across the leather seat. As Lucio closed the door, sitting so close to her their legs touched, she was rocketed back to high school Amy, who’d stared at him with longing as she wished he’d notice her, but then her sister would jump in front of her and throw herself at him. Evie had been relentless in her quest to one day be a princess. Amy shook off the memory as the car rolled down the street. She said, “I live out in Clapham.”
“I know. You’re doing pretty well for yourself.” Drops of rain glistened on Lucio’s shoes. “I was hoping you’d join me for a quick dinner so we can talk.”
Dinner? With him? It seemed like a dream where any second someone would yell “gotcha”, but she reigned in her imagination. He was a prince, and he’d belonged to Evie. She lifted her chin, intending to say no, but his brown eyes persuaded her to change her mind. “Okay. Dinner. I am curious, I’ll admit.”
Giving in was a bad trait she needed to work on. His hand brushed against her leg but jerked back fast so she knew it had been an accident. However, the jolt she felt was unexpected. “Thanks.” He turned toward the driver. “Please take us to Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester.”
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