Royally Fake Fiancé
It’s the age old love story: Girl meets Duke. Girl hates Duke. Duke proposes marriage.
The only thing I hate worse than stuck up rich guys are ones with royal titles. But the Duke of New Arcadia has an image problem only a fiancée can fix, and I’m the only woman who can play the part.
For college tuition and permanent citizenship, I’ll pretend to be his Cinderella. I can handle royal makeovers, fancy balls, persistent paparazzi, and suspicious family members.
But then our fake attraction turns real. Forget glass slippers, this Cinderella is in danger of losing her heart.
Royally Fake Fiancé is a stand alone royal romance starring one arrogant Duke and the klutzy commoner who steals his heart. Witty banter, slow burn shenanigans, explosive private moments (literally, things explode) — the royal house of New Arcadia will never be the same again!
“Oh yeah, baby. That’s the spot. That’s the spot.”
Not again. I swivel in my chair and give the kitchen wall the evil eye.
“Give it to me, big boy. Oh yeah. Oh yeah.”
The espresso maker gurgles and shoots a stream of frothed milk into my mug. I slide off the chair and walk around the bar to collect it.
The shrieking continues a few rooms over, faint but clear. “Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Oh yeah.”
I detour and slam my hand against a patch of bare wall between two oil paintings of lemons. “Will you stop?”
Silence. I check the paintings to make sure my thumping on the wall didn’t disturb them and head back to the new love of my life, the object of my desire, the fresh steaming liquid from heaven that is my morning latte.
I’m about to take a sip when the voice calls again, “Give it to me, big boy.”
“Enough!” I set down my cup with all the reverence of the Archbishop of Canterbury lowering a crown. Then I stride out of the palatial kitchen, my splurge purchase silk robe billowing out behind me like a cape. “I don’t think so. Not again.”
I round the corner and almost take out a giant vase. With a growl, I gather my robe close and ease sideways between two Louis XVI armchairs. I keep forgetting this place is a museum. It’s a miracle I haven’t taken out a Ming vase by now.
“Give it to me. Give it to me. Oh yeah. Oh yeah!”
Another corner, and I narrowly miss getting impaled on a lance. I stop long enough to carefully retract the gauntlet and its ancient weapon, glaring at the suit of armor as I maneuver its arm into its regular, upright position. “Bum arm, Sir Fred? Carpal tunnel?”
The suit of armor doesn’t answer.
I hustle past Sir Fred—gingerly—and speed through the outer hall, past more oil paintings full of naked folk frolicking through epic landscapes. The naked frolics are all the more creepy with the porn-like commentary.
“Oh yeah! That’s the spot!”
The closer I get to the voice, the smaller and more crackly it sounds, like it’s coming from a hidden radio. I open a door and humidity blasts me in the face. Sunlight shines full bore from a skylight onto a thick canopy of leaves. The room before me is a jungle. A literal jungle. Or as close to one as a sunroom full of jungle plants can be.
The voice falters a moment, then continues full force: “That’s the spot! Oh yeah!”
“Oh no,” I shout. “I’ve waited. I’ve been patient. You have been at it… All. Night. Long!” I step over the threshold to the grand sunroom, batting giant banana leaves out of my way. My robe brushes fountaining ferns that have been growing since the Jurassic era. I bushwhack gently towards the hot’n’heavy commentary, wishing I’d brought a machete.
Not for the plants. For the loud-mouthed ‘lover’ who has crowed for the last time.
“Big boy! Big boy!” The sound of wings fluttering makes me change course. I duck under a flowering branch and head to the front of the room where giant windows overlook a manicured garden.
A parrot, grey except for white patches around his eyes and a splash of red on his tail, sits on his perch in a patch of light, bobbing his head in time to his cries. “Yes! Yes! Yes!”
I clear my throat.
The sound cuts off abruptly. The bird twitches, cocking his head at me.
I fold my arms across my chest. “Are you finished?”
“Big boy?” the bird gurgles.
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