Cordina's Royal Family: Affaire Royale, Command Performance, and the Playboy Prince (Cordina's Royal Family Series)

Overview

It seems a fairy-tale kingdom. But a scheming traitor lies in wait . . .

Nora Roberts weaves a mesmerizing tale of palace intrigue ...

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Overview

It seems a fairy-tale kingdom. But a scheming traitor lies in wait . . .

Nora Roberts weaves a mesmerizing tale of palace intrigue and royal romance in three sizzling stories about Cordina's royal family.

Affaire Royale:
Recently kidnapped Princess Gabriella has amnesia, but in the arms of bodyguard Reeve MacGee she finds a passion that's unforgettable.

Command Performance:
Though His Royal Highness Alexander is destined to rule Cordina, it's regal — and elusive — Eve Hamilton who rules his heart.

The Playboy Prince:
Why is reserved Hannah Rothchild so intriguing to dedicated ladies' man Prince Bennett? Is it her secret mission — or the fascinating lady herself?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780373484836
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 7/1/2002
  • Series: Cordina's Royal Family Series
  • Pages: 576
  • Product dimensions: 5.05 (w) x 8.04 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

Nora Roberts
One of the most prolific and popular writers in the world, Nora Roberts (who also writes as her edgier alter-ego J. D. Robb) publishes multiple books a year. Not that it’s enough for her fans, who tear through her unconventional romances. With her trademark mix of fantasy, mystery, and romance, Roberts has created her own genre -- and romance fans are grateful for it!

Biography

Not only has Nora Roberts written more bestsellers than anyone else in the world (according to Publishers Weekly), she’s also created a hybrid genre of her own: the futuristic detective romance. And that’s on top of mastering every subgenre in the romance pie: the family saga, the historical, the suspense novel. But this most prolific and versatile of authors might never have tapped into her native talent if it hadn't been for one fateful snowstorm.

As her fans well know, in 1979 a blizzard trapped Roberts at home for a week with two bored little kids and a dwindling supply of chocolate. To maintain her sanity, Roberts started scribbling a story -- a romance novel like the Harlequin paperbacks she'd recently begun reading. The resulting manuscript was rejected by Harlequin, but that didn't matter to Roberts. She was hooked on writing. Several rejected manuscripts later, her first book was accepted for publication by Silhouette.

For several years, Roberts wrote category romances for Silhouette -- short books written to the publisher's specifications for length, subject matter and style, and marketed as part of a series of similar books. Roberts has said she never found the form restrictive. "If you write in category, you write knowing there's a framework, there are reader expectations," she explained. "If this doesn't suit you, you shouldn't write it. I don't believe for one moment you can write well what you wouldn't read for pleasure."

Roberts never violated the reader's expectations, but she did show a gift for bringing something fresh to the romance formula. Her first book, Irish Thoroughbred (1981), had as its heroine a strong-willed horse groom, in contrast to the fluttering young nurses and secretaries who populated most romances at the time. But Roberts's books didn't make significant waves until 1985, when she published Playing the Odds, which introduced the MacGregor clan. It was the first bestseller of many.

Roberts soon made a name for herself as a writer of spellbinding multigenerational sagas, creating families like the Scottish MacGregors, the Irish Donovans and the Ukrainian Stanislaskis. She also began working on romantic suspense novels, in which the love story unfolds beneath a looming threat of violence or disaster. She grew so prolific that she outstripped her publishers' ability to print and market Nora Roberts books, so she created an alter ego, J.D. Robb. Under the pseudonym, she began writing romantic detective novels set in the future. By then, millions of readers had discovered what Publishers Weekly called her "immeasurable diversity and talent."

Although the style and substance of her books has grown, Roberts remains loyal to the genre that launched her career. As she says, "The romance novel at its core celebrates that rush of emotions you have when you are falling in love, and it's a lovely thing to relive those feelings through a book."

Good To Know

Roberts still lives in the same Maryland house she occupied when she first started writing -- though her carpenter husband has built on some additions. She and her husband also own Turn the Page Bookstore Café in Boonsboro, Maryland. When Roberts isn't busy writing, she likes to drop by the store, which specializes in Civil War titles as well as autographed copies of her own books.

Roberts sued fellow writer Janet Dailey in 1997, accusing her of plagiarizing numerous passages of her work over a period of years. Dailey paid a settlement and publicly apologized, blaming stress and a psychological disorder for her misconduct.

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    1. Also Known As:
      J. D. Robb; Sarah Hardesty; Jill March; Eleanor Marie Robertson (birth name)
    2. Hometown:
      Keedysville, Maryland
    1. Date of Birth:
      1950
    2. Place of Birth:
      Silver Spring, Maryland

Read an Excerpt

Cordina's Royal Family


By Nora Roberts

Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.


ISBN: 0373484836


Chapter One

She'd forgotten why she was running. All she knew was that she couldn't stop. If she stopped, she'd lose. It was a race where there were only two places. First and last.

Distance. Every instinct told her to keep running, keep going so that there was distance between her and ... where she'd been.

She was wet, for the rain was pounding down, but she no longer jumped at the boom of thunder. Flashes of lightning didn't make her tremble. The dark wasn't what frightened her. She was long past fear of such simple things as the spread of darkness or the violence of the storm. What she feared wasn't clear any longer, only the fear itself. Fear, the only emotion she understood, crawled inside her, settling there as if she'd known nothing else. It was enough to keep her stumbling along the side of the road when her body screamed to lie down in a warm, dry place.

She didn't know where she was. She didn't know where she'd been. There was no memory of the tall, wind-whipped trees. The crash and power of the sea close by meant nothing, nor did the scent of the rain-drenched flowers she crushed underfoot as she fled along the side of a road she didn't know.

She was weeping, but unaware of it. Sobs wracked her, clawing at the fear, doubling it so that it sprinted through her in the absence of everything else. Her mind was so clouded, her legs so unsteady. It would be easy to simply curl up under one of thosetrees and give up. Something pushed her on. Not just fear, not just confusion. Strength-though one wouldn't guess it to look at her, though she herself didn't recognize it-drove her beyond endurance. She wouldn't go back to where she'd been, so there was no place to go but on.

How long she'd been running wasn't important. She'd no idea whether it'd been one mile or ten. Rain and tears blinded her. The lights were nearly on her before she saw them.

Panicked, like a rabbit caught in the beams, she froze. They'd found her. They'd come after her. They. The horn blasted, tires squealed. Submitting at last, she crumpled onto the road, unconscious.

* * *

"She's coming out of it."

"Thank God."

"Sir, you must step back for a moment and let me examine her. She may just be drifting again."

Over the mists she was swimming in, she heard the voices. Hollow, distant. Fear scrambled through her. Even in her half-conscious state her breath began to catch. She hadn't escaped. But the fear wouldn't show. She promised herself that. As she came closer to the surface, she closed her hands into tight fists. The feel of her fingers against her palms gave her some sense of self and control.

Slowly she opened her eyes. Her vision ebbed, clouded, then gradually cleared. So, as she stared into the face bending over her, did the fear.

The face wasn't familiar. It wasn't one of them. She'd know, wouldn't she? Her confidence wavered a moment, but she remained still. This face was round and pleasant, with a trim, curling white beard that contrasted with the smooth, bald head. The eyes were shrewd, tired, but kind. When he took her hand in his, she didn't struggle.

"My dear," he said in a charming, low-key voice. Gently he ran a finger over her knuckles until her fingers relaxed. "You're quite safe."

She felt him take her pulse, but continued to stare into his eyes. Safe. Still cautious, she let her gaze wander away from his. Hospital. Though the room was almost elegant and quite large, she knew she was in a hospital. The room smelled strongly of flowers and antiseptics. Then she saw the man standing just to the side.

His bearing was militarily straight and he was impeccably dressed. His hair was flecked with gray, but it was still very dark and full. His face was lean, aristocratic, handsome. It was stern, she thought, but pale, very pale compared to the shadows under his eyes. Despite his stance and dress, he looked as though he hadn't slept in days.

"Darling." His voice shook as he reached down to take her free hand. There were tears under the words as he pressed her fingers to his lips. She thought she felt the hand, which was strong and firm, tremble lightly. "We have you back now, my love. We have you back."

She didn't pull away. Compassion forbade it. With her hand lying limply in his, she studied his face a second time. "Who are you?"

The man's head jerked up. His damp eyes stared into hers. "Who-"

"You're very weak." Gently the doctor cut him off and drew her attention away. She saw him put a hand on the man's arm, in restraint or comfort, she couldn't tell. "You've been through a great deal. Confusion's natural at first."

Lying flat on her back, she watched the doctor send signals to the other man. A raw sickness began to roll inside her stomach. She was warm and dry, she realized. Warm and dry and empty. She had a body, and it was tired. But inside the body was a void. Her voice was surprisingly strong when she spoke again. Both men responded to it.

"I don't know where I am." Beneath the doctor's hand her pulse jerked once, then settled. "I don't know who I am."

"You've been through a great deal, my dear." The doctor spoke soothingly while his brain raced ahead. Specialists, he thought. If she didn't regain her memory in twenty-four hours, he'd need the best.

"You remember nothing?" The other man had straightened at her words. Now, with his ramrod stance, his sleep-starved eyes direct, he looked down at her.

Confused and fighting back fear, she started to push herself up, and the doctor murmured and settled her back against the pillows. She remembered ... running, the storm, the dark. Lights coming up in front of her. Closing her eyes tight, she struggled for composure without knowing why it was so important to retain it. Her voice was still strong, but achingly hollow when she opened them again. "I don't know who I am. Tell me."

"After you've rested a bit more," the doctor began. The other man cut him off with no more than a look. And the look, she saw at a glance, was both arrogant and commanding.

"You're my daughter," he said. Taking her hand again, he held it firmly. Even the light trembling had stopped. "You are Her Serene Highness Gabriella de Cordina."

Nightmare or fairy tale? she wondered as she stared up at him. Her father? Her Serene Highness? Cordina ... She thought she recognized the name and clung to it, but what was this talk of royalty? Even as she began to dismiss it, she watched his face. This man wouldn't lie. His face was passive, but his eyes were so full of emotion she was drawn to them even without memory.

"If I'm a princess," she began, and the dry reserve in her voice caused a flicker of emotion to pass over his face briefly. Amusement? she wondered. "Does that make you a king?"

He nearly smiled. Perhaps the trauma had confused her memory, but she was still his Brie. "Cordina is a principality. I am Prince Armand. You're my eldest child. You have two brothers, Alexander and Bennett."

Father and brothers. Family, roots. Nothing stirred. "And my mother?"

This time she read the expression easily: pain. "She died when you were twenty. Since then you've been my official hostess, taking on her duties along with your own. Brie." His tone softened from the formal and dispassionate. "We call you `Brie.'" He turned her hand up so that the cluster of sapphires and diamonds on her right hand glimmered toward her. "I gave you this on your twenty-first birthday, nearly four years ago."



Excerpted from Cordina's Royal Family by Nora Roberts
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2007

    Cordina's Royal Family

    I thought the Cordina's Royla Family stories were fabulous. I have read them all over and over again. Each time I read the stories again i cant put the book down. I can keep reading these book forever. This is one of my favorite books by Nora Roberts. She just surprizes me everytime I read a book by her.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2006

    The absolute best!

    This was a very exciting and interesting book,i could'nt put it down and read it throughout the night. I liked the way Alex and Reeve showed their emotion, altough Alex had some trouble. Bennet was an excellent character, i like the fact that his best friend was his brother's love interest and also i love his compassion.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2005

    couldn't put it down

    I loved this book. I just started reading Nora Roberts. And this is one of the best so far. I can't wait to start on another one. She never disappoints a reader.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2004

    yawn

    Well it's a good thing I was a Nora Roberts fan before I read this book, because I guarantee if this had been the first of her books I had read I would not have been reading any more. She is usually such a great writer and storyteller...but these stories (especially Affaire Royale) were just plain boring. Unless you're a hardcore fan and have to read all her books, I would definitely skip this one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2004

    Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    this is the first book i have ever read from Nora Roberts and i love it. I am already looking forward to read another book by Mrs. Roberts

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2003

    A Mesmerizing One!

    This is another of Nora Roberts' more riveting works. She pulls you in and you're trapped in her stories to the finish. My only warning, don't start if you don't have the time, because with Nora Roberts' books people tend to alter their priorities and things can fall by the wayside as you read...and read...and read. :) This is one of those books...Enjoy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2002

    Loved It!

    Such a great 'escape' book! Royalty, murder, mystery, money and romance... how could you ask for more!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2002

    I Love Nora Roberts!

    Nora Roberts is my favorite summertime author. Just finished Three Fates and couldn't put it down. Can't wait to read Cordina's Royal Family - I have heard it is incredible, intriguing story, great characters. While you are waiting for this to come out, check out Shade of the Maple by Kirk Martin - very deep, incredible story you can't put down. Someone called him the male Nora Roberts! Ha! Keep them coming, Nora!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2002

    Fantastic!

    Realistically depicts family life. If you like this book, you'll love the novel In-Law Drama which also realistically depicts family life.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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