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Be My Prince (Royal Trilogy #1)

Be My Prince (Royal Trilogy #1)

4.0 21
by Julianne MacLean

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Attention one and all. His Royal Highness, Prince Randolph of Petersbourg, will set sail for London in early June and reside at St. James Palace for one full month . . . Some say the true motive for the prince's visit to our fair country is to seek and marry his future queen. I will therefore pose the question to our devoted and reflective readers: Who among us


Attention one and all. His Royal Highness, Prince Randolph of Petersbourg, will set sail for London in early June and reside at St. James Palace for one full month . . . Some say the true motive for the prince's visit to our fair country is to seek and marry his future queen. I will therefore pose the question to our devoted and reflective readers: Who among us will be the chosen one? -From the London Ballroom Society PagesLady Alexandra Monroe has been told in no uncertain terms that she must set her sights on a proposal from Prince Randolph to better her family's situation. Instead, she finds herself falling for his charming but dangerous younger brother Nicholas, a man whose passionate nature-and irresistible good looks-makes it impossible to remember her duty. But while she is torn between ambition and desire, a wicked scandal brews, shocking secrets are revealed, and soon she begins to wonder: can true love really conquer all?

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Julianne MacLean's writing is smart, thrilling, and sizzles with sensuality.” —Elizabeth Hoyt on Julianne MacLean

“Scottish romance at its finest, with characters to cheer for, a lush love story, and rousing adventure. I was captivated from the very first page. When it comes to exciting Highland romance, Julianne MacLean delivers.” —Laura Lee Guhrke on Julianne MacLean

“She is just an all-around, wonderful writer and I look forward to reading everything she writes.” —Romance Junkies on Julianne MacLean

“Sparkles with life and emotion…delightful.” —Jo Beverly on Julianne MacLean's Bestselling Romances

“A sizzling treat.” —Karen Hawkins on Julianne MacLean's Bestselling Romances

“Brimming with incredible passion.” —Cathy Maxwell on Julianne MacLean's Bestselling Romances

“It takes a talented author to segue from a lighthearted tale of seduction to an emotionally powerful romance that plays on your heartstrings…a very special, powerful read.” —Romantic Times Book Reviews on Julianne MacLean's Bestselling Romances

“McLean's compelling writing turns this simple, classic love story into a richly emotional romance, and by combining engaging characters with a unique, vividly detailed setting, she has created an exceptional tale for readers who hunger for something a bit different in their historical romances.” —Booklist on Julianne MacLean's Bestselling Romances

“Five hearts…a special kind of love story…truly compelling.” —The Romance Reader on Julianne MacLean's Bestselling Romances

“Julianne has the ability to transport the reader.” —Once Upon a Romance on Julianne MacLean's Bestselling Romances

Product Details

Tantor Media, Inc.
Publication date:
Royal Trilogy Series , #1
Edition description:
Unabridged CD
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 5.30(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt

Be My Prince

By Julianne MacLean

St. Martin's Paperbacks

Copyright © 2012 Julianne MacLean
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780312552770

Chapter One
Carlton House, London
June 16, 1814
There were certain days of her life when Lady Alexandra Monroe wished she had been born a man.
This, perhaps, was the most noteworthy of those days, for here she stood in the regent’s overcrowded London reception room, glancing about at all the other impeccably dressed young ladies, each vying for a chance to meet a handsome foreign prince and win from him a proposal of marriage.
It was quite sickening, really, and she was half-tempted to walk out—for surely, she was above all this—but she could not do as she wished, for she had a duty to fulfill. She had been waiting a very long time for this moment.
“Upon my word, look at the jewels on that one,” her stepmother, Lucille, said as she snapped open her ivory-handled fan. “How frightfully vulgar. Just behind me in the blue gown. Do you see?”
Alexandra leaned to the left to peer over her stepmother’s shoulder. “Indeed I do.”
She, too, opened her fan with a smooth flick of her wrist and took note of an older woman by the mantelpiece, studying her with boiling menace. The woman leaned closer to her own charge and whispered something that caused the girl to swing her head around and sneer.
Honestly. This whole evening was nothing short of a bloodthirsty, cutthroat competition. All the ladies were trussed up in their best gowns and jewels, eyeing each other with icy rancor.
If only we had swords and muskets, then the portrait would be complete.
She cheered herself, however, with the notion that it would all be over soon, for she had every intention of charging ahead in the next few minutes and tramping them all down into the dust. Every last one of them. Quickly and without mercy, because no one in this room deserved to sit on the throne of Petersbourg more than she did, and she was not going to surrender without a fight.
*   *   *
“They say he wishes to marry for love,” the Duchess of Pembroke said as she picked up a glass of champagne from a passing footman. “It’s quite charming, do you not agree?”
“I think it’s a silly batch of nonsense,” Lord Brimley replied. “The man is a future king. He must choose a bride who will serve some political purpose. He is responsible for the welfare of his kingdom. Such romantic notions are pure folly, and it arouses great doubt in me that we should even desire a naval alliance with Petersbourg, if this is what we will be subjected to in years to come. Kings must be sensible, and sometimes, when necessary, they must be ruthless. Romance and sentimentality have nothing to do with it.”
“Well, that’s the problem, right there,” Baron Westley added. “The man wasn’t born a royal. He has no understanding of such things. They say his grandfather was a blacksmith.”
Hush,” someone hissed, from outside their circle.
Alexandra glanced over her shoulder at the daring offender—another mother of a marriageable young daughter who, in all honesty, had very little hope of catching the eye of any prince, for she was wide-eyed and fretful, like a mouse trapped in a corner by cats.
“His father has been king for ten years,” the duchess said, “and that will not change. The people of Petersbourg adore Prince Randolph. Make no mistake about it, Lord Westley, we are about to bow and curtsy to the future King of Petersbourg, and I, for one, find his sizable naval fleet immensely desirable.”
The others, most of them red-nosed and brandy-faced, threw their heads back and laughed.
“I do not understand,” the young lady whispered to Alexandra. “I thought Prince Randolph was a real prince.”
Alexandra leaned close to whisper in her ear, “He is, but without royal blood. His father was general of the military and leader of the Petersbourg Revolution. Do you not know of it?”
The girl quickly shook her head.
Alexandra struggled not to let out a weary sigh and instead searched for a way to explain. “Twenty years ago, the true King of Petersbourg was deposed by the military. The general—Randolph’s father—seized power for himself and formed a democratic government. He was such a compelling leader that they crowned him king a decade later. They now have a constitutional monarchy.”
Eyes as wide as saucers, the young lady nodded, but Alexandra was quite certain she was more confused than ever.
“Do not fret,” Alex whispered. “He’s a real prince and very handsome. That’s all you need to know.”
“But what happened to the old king?” the young woman asked.
Alexandra bent close again, for she did not wish to be overheard speaking of events that were best left in the past—at least while in the company of all these powerful Whigs and Tories. “He was exiled to Switzerland and died there. The official story is that it was a brief illness, but some say he was murdered by the New Regime. The queen, unfortunately, passed away a few months later after giving birth to a stillborn child.”
“My word. How tragic.”
Just then the doors to the reception room flew open. A hush fell over the crowd, which split in two and formed a wide corridor down the center of the red carpet.
“His Royal Highness, Prince Randolph of Petersbourg!” the majordomo announced. “And Her Royal Highness, Princess Rose of Petersbourg!”
The guests curtsied and bowed as the young royals stepped into view and progressed elegantly down the long red carpet to meet the regent, who stood waiting to greet them at the opposite end. With keen eyes, Alexandra took in their appearance—the prince’s especially.
It had been widely reported from many informed sources that he was a handsome man, and Alexandra had no choice but to concur. Only a fool would argue that point, and she was no fool.
Dressed in his impressive royal regalia—a scarlet double-breasted tunic with brass buttons and gold tassled epaulets upon his shoulders, and a jeweled saber sheathed in a shiny black casing—he was a striking figure to be sure. He was tall and dark. His hips were slim, his legs muscular beneath tight knee breeches, his eyes an uncommon shade of blue.
His sister, Rose, the young princess on his arm, was equally handsome in both appearance and stature. She carried herself with confidence and bright, smiling charm. Her hair, styled in the latest fashion, was a shiny golden hue, and she was blessed with a tiny upturned nose, deep green eyes set wide apart, high cheekbones, and full lips.
Alexandra fought to crush the resentment she felt upon seeing the princess’s exquisite white gown and stunning headdress while she herself had been forced to wear rags up until a month ago.
The royal couple approached the regent, who welcomed them with a smile, and the crowd closed the corridor and resumed chattering.
“What do you think?” Lucille asked. “Is he everything you imagined him to be?”
“Handsome, at least.”
Which would remove a certain degree of unpleasantness on the wedding night.
She turned to smile at the Countess of Risley, who approached with her son, a future earl. The gentleman bowed, and Alexandra curtsied.
For the next few moments they exchanged pleasantries and demonstrated the immaculate manners and wit expected of their rank and station. He was a future peer of the realm, she the beautiful eldest daughter of one of the highest-ranking dukes in England.
She, however, like the prince, was the subject of much interest and fascination, for she’d been concealed from society since the death of her father, the Duke of St. George, six years ago and, though impoverished since that day, had recently been dubbed the Hidden Jewel by her generous benefactor, who had come for her at last. According to many, she was the woman most likely to win this race for the prince’s heart.
For that reason, handsome though he may be, she had no interest in this future Earl of Risley. All that mattered was the fulfillment of her duty. To that end she must be true.
As soon as the young man and his mother took their leave, Alex turned her attention back to the prince. By some stroke of luck their eyes met, and she permitted him to look at her for a long, lingering, and very satisfying moment before she gave him a cheeky smile—as if they were secret paramours—then averted her gaze and strolled off in the other direction.
Twenty minutes later, while she stood with her stepmother near a potted tree fern, fanning herself leisurely in the heat of the crowded reception room, His Royal Highness approached her with curious interest.
Just as she suspected he would.
*   *   *
The regent gestured toward Lucille with a white-gloved hand. “Prince Randolph, may I present to you Her Grace, the Dowager Duchess of St. George, and Lady Alexandra Monroe, eldest daughter of the late and greatly beloved Duke of St. George.”
Alex and Lucille each performed a deep curtsy. “It is an honor, Your Royal Highness,” Alex said as she rose to her full height.
The prince took in the details of her gown while she took note of the large emerald ring upon his right forefinger—one of the many crown jewels she knew he was entitled to as heir to the throne.
He smiled, displaying fine white teeth. “The honor is all mine.”
Many eyes watched them, curious ears listened, and Alex felt more determined than ever to beguile him straightaway.
“I trust your journey was smooth and uneventful?” she said. “Not too arduous, I hope.”
He inclined his head politely. “Not in the least. It was a smooth and pleasant voyage. You hail from Yorkshire, I understand? It’s beautiful country there, from what I hear of it. I was also told that your father’s palace is an architectural masterpiece, one of the greatest estates in England.”
“How kind of you to say so,” Alexandra replied. “Perhaps you might travel to the north while you are visiting our fair country and see it for yourself?”
He narrowed his gaze flirtatiously. “Is that an invitation, Lady Alexandra?”
She gave him a warm smile mixed with a hint of desire that went no deeper than the powder upon her skin. But he would not know that. He would see only what she wished him to see. “If it would please you, sir, you would be most welcome.”
Though she had no right to extend such an invitation, for she’d not set foot in St. George Palace for seven years. Others resided there now.
The dinner gong rang out, and he bowed to her. “It has been a pleasure, Lady Alexandra. I trust you will honor me with a dance later this evening?”
“Most certainly.”
He bowed to her stepmother as well. Then he turned to offer his arm to his sister, Rose, who waited a distance away.
Together with the regent, they led the guests into the large banqueting hall.
“If he only knew,” Lucille sighed with casual triumph as she watched him disappear.
Alexandra exhaled sharply and fought to steady her breathing. “I am relieved he does not.”
For if he or anyone else in the room knew that she was the true blood heir to the throne of Petersbourg, she might very well end up dead.

Copyright © 2012 by Julianne MacLean


Excerpted from Be My Prince by Julianne MacLean Copyright © 2012 by Julianne MacLean. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Julianne MacLean is a USA Today bestselling author with degrees in English literature and business administration. Her many books include the American Heiress series and the Pembroke Palace series. She is a three-time RITA finalist and has won numerous awards, including the Booksellers' Best Award, the Book Buyer's Best Award, and Reviewers' Choice Award from Romantic Times for Best Regency Historical of 2005. She lives in Nova Scotia with her husband and daughter, and she is a dedicated member of Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada. Anne Flosnik is an accomplished British actress with lead credits on stage, television, commercials, and voice-overs. A seasoned narrator, she has garnered two AudioFile Earphones Awards, an ALA Award, and three Audie Award nominations. Her narration of Little Bee by Chris Cleave was chosen as one of the Best Audiobooks of the Year by AudioFile magazine and one of the Top 40 Best Audiobooks of 2009 by Library Journal.

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Be My Prince 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
The_Reading_Reviewer More than 1 year ago
If what I want conflicts with what I must have, how do I choose? When you are destined to be queen there is not much you will not do to make sure that dream comes true. Lady Alexandra pretends to be just another woman in search of a love match when in fact she is chasing after His Royal Highness, Prince Randolph of Petersbourg. Randolph is about to rule the land once controlled by Alexandra’s family before they were unceremoniously evicted and forced to live in poverty. Having lost everyone she loved Alexandra is determined to have what she is owed. The question becomes what it will take for her family to be restored to the throne. What Alexandra did not expect is Randolph’s handsome and beguiling brother Nicholas to capture her attention. Alex is trying to stay focused on the prize she has to have but Nicholas is standing in the way and she can’t stop the desire and passion she feels for him. Nicholas tries desperately to give Alexandra the match she seeks but if that means he must give her up, he is not sure he can comply with that request. In this game of lies, deceit, and perhaps betrayal, nothing is as it appears and the truth really is more powerful than the two people standing together in a heated embrace. Julianne MacLean writes the romance readers crave showing her mastery in the craft of the twisted plot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book it was really good!! Quit reading my review go read the book and write yours!!!! You will love it(:
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved how well-developed all the characters are. Story pulled me in & so realistically took me to another time in history. I fell in love with these characters - not only with Randolph & Alexandra, but w/ their families as well. Such an intricate and well-written story. I immediately purchased the rest of this trilogy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
RtBBlog More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Sarah L. Book provided by the publisher for review Review originally posted at Romancing the Book Be My Prince is book 1 in Julianne MacLean’s newest trilogy. Having read everything that Ms. MacLean has published in the past, I eagerly looked forward to her newest book. While not necessarily unique, the plot sounded very appealing. I do not want to give away any spoilers but let’s just say the synopsis on the back of the book does not do justice for all the twists and turns the story takes. Between the murder, intrigue and shocking truths revealed, it kept me on the edge of my seat for about the first 75% of the story and I was able to read it in a matter of a few hours. The first love scene however did briefly throw me off kilter because it just didn’t seem like the right place or time for our main characters. Alex visits the hero to share her secret only for them both to be overcome by passion with people waiting for them in the next room? It just seemed out of place. Also, this was my first experience with the hero starting to inch his way under my skin and not in a good way. Both characters’ secrets come to light during this scene and Alex was a much stronger more compassionate character at this point. Much more understanding of the truths revealed to her. Actually, I greatly enjoyed getting to know Alex’s character. She was a pleasure to read about and seemed like a genuinely nice person. Initially, I really enjoyed the hero’s character but eventually his “you lied to me I can’t trust you attitude” with Alex started to grate on the nerves. Once he got under my skin, he didn’t let go until the very end. I realize he was royalty and had preconceived expectations of people and perhaps his character was too realistic in that regard. It would have been nice to see him “loosen up” with Alex a bit more. It seemed like his emotions and attitude towards Alex ran hot and cold and after a while, it got old. Ms. MacLean did a great job developing the plot and mystery. There were definitely some “wow I didn’t see that coming moments”. Considering the time frame of the story and the fact that we are dealing with royalty, it has some very believable and realistic moments. Just when I thought I had it all figured out, we went reeling down a totally different path. Overall, I did enjoy the story and look forward to reading future books in the series. While the spark fizzled a bit towards the end and the hero’s attitude held on too long, I enjoyed the plot and Alex’s character immensely.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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A quick read.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am curious if the plot and characters in the second book of the series will be better.
DComfort More than 1 year ago
ABOUT THE BOOK: Attention one and all. His Royal Highness, Prince Randolph of Petersbourg, will set sail for London in early June and reside at St. James Palace for one full month…Some say the true motive for the prince’s visit to our fair country is to seek and marry his future queen. I will therefore pose the question to our devoted and reflective readers: Who among us will be the chosen one? —From the London Ballroom Society Pages Lady Alexandra Monroe has been told in no uncertain terms that she must set her sights on a proposal from Prince Randolph to better her family’s situation. Instead, she finds herself falling for his charming but dangerous younger brother Nicholas, a man whose passionate nature—and irresistible good looks—makes it impossible to remember her duty. But while she is torn between ambition and desire, a wicked scandal brews, shocking secrets are revealed, and soon she begins to wonder: can true love really conquer all? REVIEW: I adored this book! The entire thing was DEVINE! Okay, I don’t want to give away too many secrets on it, as they are so worth waiting for but let me say this book doesn’t disappoint. While one part could be guessed, the rest of it was both frustrating (in a good way!) and such a great read. The sensuality between these two characters smoked up the pages and the action packed scenes in between gave the book that much more oomph to follow. I loved how Ms. MacLean built up the drama occurring behind the scenes as well as the characters before letting it all explode together. The entire piece was masterfully crafted and very well written. If you are looking for a read that will keep you up late at night, with your nails bitten off, again in a good way, then this piece is for you. Five out of five stars for an amazing job!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Romanticist More than 1 year ago
This was my first book by this author and I was not disappointed! It was thrilling from beginning to end, the action, the romance, the suspense and most of all just enough fighting between the two lovers making way for incredible make up sex......LOVED IT! I anxiously await the next in the series.......this book was 5++ stars.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was my first book from this author. I thought the plot sounded great and the sample was good. However, that was about where the greatness ended. The beginning of the book held so much promise but somehow, the characters fell short. It started getting redundant with the back and forth between Rand and Alexandra......I love you but I don't trust you....I love having sex with you but I don't trust you.....UGGGHHH!!!!! Rand initially comes across as a handsome, thrilling, sexy Prince but quickly turns into a little whining, sad, soft, pitiful excuse of a man. Alexandra started out so strong, confident and driven but allowed herself to settle, let him use her body and pine over this insipid trust issue, when they both lied to each other. REALLY ?!?! I feel that this author is a marvelous writer but just made an unfortunate error of maybe taking too many breaks while writing. Or, alas, making the grave error many authors who decide to write a trilogy make.......trying to spread thin a story that could really have been more extraordinary as one book instead of meager, sad samplings divided into three unfulfilling, sparse portions. I'm left still hungry.........(FRG)
ReadersGroupsLiaison More than 1 year ago
In May 2012, USA Today bestselling author, Julianne MacLean debuts a wonderful new Regency Royal Trilogy with Book #1, BE MY PRINCE for St. Martin’s Press. In 1814, his Royal Highness, Prince Randolph of Petersbourg has come to England to discuss a military alliance with the Prince Regent after the recent defeat of Napoleon. However since there is also a grand ball being held in his honor, the gossip of the ton feels he is really in London to seek and marry his future queen. Prince Randolph has been accompanied by his sister, Princess Rose and his younger brother, Prince Nicholas. Unfortunately he has lost hope in finding an honorable noblewoman to marry for love after a disastrous engagement in his home country. Lady Alexandra Monroe wishes she had been born a man! The beautiful eldest daughter of the late Duke of St. George has been living impoverished in Wales with her sisters since her father’s title was passed to a distant cousin. However, thanks to a generous benefactor, she is making her debut into society at the ball in hopes of becoming Prince Randolph’s bride. After dancing with the handsome polite prince, she ventures onto the terrace for a breath of air and meets a darkly debonair stranger, who she discovers is the prince’s younger brother Nicholas. The sparks immediately fly as they dance and are drawn toward each other in the most intense way. After a refreshingly candid conversation where Alex tells Nicholas despite their attraction she must marry Rand to help her sisters, Nicholas agrees to aid her in landing the prince. But does he really intend to keep his promise? Just when readers think they have figured out what’s going on in BE MY PRINCE they’ll discover nothing and no one is as it seems in Ms. MacLean’s highly intriguing Regency historical. In fact, half way through the book this unique tale takes the reader to the kingdom of Petersbourg where treachery abounds and threatens repeatedly to keep the lovers from their happy ending. Julianne MacLean’s BE MY PRINCE is an exceptionally enthralling Regency romance and her fans will be delighted and anxiously awaiting the next two books in The Royal Trilogy, PRINCESS IN LOVE (Nov. 2012) and THE PRINCE’S BRIDE in 2013.