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Fury riding him like an angry stallion, Crown Prince Maksim of Volyarus let loose with a punch-cross-hook kickboxing combo against his cousin and sparring partner.
Demyan blocked, and the sound of flesh hitting pads mixed with his grunt of surprise. "Something the matter, your highness?"
Maks hated when his cousin, older by four years and raised as a brother with Maks in their family's palace, referred to him by his title.
Demyan was well aware, but the older man liked pushing buttons, especially during their workout sessions. He said it made the sparring more intense.
Today would have been sufficiently punishing without the added irritation. Not that Maks warned Demyan of that. His cousin deserved what he got.
"Nothing wiping the smug look off your face won't take care of." Maks danced back before driving forward with another fast-paced, grueling combo.
Well-matched in stature and strength, they both kept their six-feet-four-inch frames in top physical condition.
"I thought tonight was the big night with Gillian," Demyan said, scrambling in a way he rarely did during their sessions. "Don't tell me you think she's going to turn you down?"
"If I were going to ask, she'd say yes." And a day ago that certainty had given Maks a great deal of pleasure.
Now, it just taunted him with what he couldn't have. Namely, Gillian.
"So, what is the problem?" Demyan demanded as he went on the offensive, forcing Maks to defend against a barrage of punches and kicks.
"Her medical tests came back."
"She's not sick, is she?" Demyan asked, sounding sincerely concerned.
Coming from a man with a reputation for cold ruthlessness, it would have shocked anyone else.
But Maks knew how much Demyan cared about their family. And for the last eight months, the beautiful, sweet Gillian had been moving closer and closer to joining that group.
"She's perfectly fine." If you didn't count poorly functioning ovaries. "Now."
"What does that mean?"
"She had appendicitis when she was sixteen."
"That was ten years ago, what bearing does it have on her health now?"
Demyan stopped and stared at Maks in confusion.
In no mood to give his cousin a break, Maks took advantage of the other man's inattention and knocked him on his ass with a well-timed kick.
Demyan jumped to his feet, but he didn't come back for more like Maks expected. "Knock it off and explain what the hell appendicitis as a teenager has to do with an adult woman's fallopian tubes."
Demyan was no idiot. He knew Maks's interest in Gillian's reproductive system was of paramount importance to the House of Yurkovich, the royal family of Volyarus.
"She has a poorly functioning reproductive system." Maks adjusted his thin sparring gloves. "There is less than a thirty percent chance of pregnancy."
A lot less by some estimations, slightly more by others, according the specialist Maks had consulted.
Demyan shoved hair the same dark color as Maks's own off his forehead. "With fertility treatment?"
"I have no intention of becoming the next father of sextuplets."
"Don't be an ass."
"I'm not. You know I cannot marry a woman who won't be able to produce the next heir plus a spare."
Demyan didn't reply immediately. They were both too personally aware of the costs associated with those issues.
"You aren't your father. You don't have to marry a woman you don't love in order to provide an heir."
"I have no intention of doing so. Neither will I marry a woman I like whose only hope of providing that child would be via often painful and not always successful fertility treatments."
"You could adopt."
"Like my parents adopted you?"
"They didn't formally adopt me. I am still a Za-retsky. It was never your father's intention that I inherit the throne."
"You were just his spare," Maks muttered with some bitterness.
Demyan shrugged. "Duty is duty."
"And my duty precludes asking Gillian Harris to marry me." His personal sense of honor also dictated he break things off with her as soon as possible.
"You don't love her?" Demyan asked with only mild curiosity.
"You know better."
"Love only leads to pain," Demyan quoted one of Maks's mother's favorite refrains.
Maks added the rest. "And a compromise on duty."
Both men had reason to believe it, too.
"What are you going to do?" Demyan asked, dropping back into a sparring stance.
Maks executed a simple forward jab-left hook combo. "What do you think?"
"I'll miss her."
Maks didn't doubt it. One of the reasons he'd decided to ask Gillian to marry him was that despite her mostly small-town upbringing, she got along surprisingly well with his family and successfully navigated social situations many would find overwhelming.
The daughter of a renowned world news correspondent, Gillian had been attending events with the world's richest and most powerful since a young age.
Demyan blocked Maks's kick and returned one of his own. "Are you going to tell her tonight?"
"I may not need to." The lovely blue-eyed blonde would have gotten a copy of the results of her latest physical.
Gillian would know about the reasons behind her irregular menses now as well. She already knew the responsibilities associated with his position. She should be expecting the dissolution of their relationship.
A more practical woman than most, he had hopes there would be no awkward "breakup" scene.
"Yes, Nana, I think tonight's the night," Gillian said into the phone mashed to her ear with her shoulder as she hopped around the room trying to get her shoes on.
"Has he told you he loved you yet?" Evelyn Harris, Gillian's nana and the woman who had raised her, asked.
"Your grandfather has told me every night before we go to sleep for the last forty-eight years that he loves me."
"I know, Nana." But Maks was different.
He held his emotions in check like it was a royal imperative, and ever the dutiful prince, he obeyed. They came out when he was making love, though. After a fashion.
Maks made love with the single-minded intensity of a man who was thinking of nothing else but pleasing and getting lost in the woman who shared his bed.
For the past seven months, that woman had been Gillian.
They'd dated a month before he took her to bed the first time. She'd found that odd at the time, considering his reputation, but later she'd realized that, as unbelievable as it might seem, Maks was looking for more from her than a casual bed partner.
And while she'd been more thrilled than shocked, she'd been stunned all the same.
She didn't belong in his circle. She was not rich, famous, or powerful, but Gillian's father still liked to see her when he was in town. That inevitably meant going to some function or other on his arm. He couldn't dedicate time simply to visiting her, so he included Gillian in his schedule.
As the famous news correspondent's unremarkable daughter, Gillian had attended more than her fair share of diplomatic and high society events.
No one had been more shocked than she when it turned out that Crown Prince Maksim Yurkovich of Volyarus seemed to like unremarkable. Several comments made by him, and a couple by his mother on the few occasions Gillian had met the queen, had made it clear that royalty did not look for notoriety when choosing a mate.
Though regardless, she would have thought Maks would be looking for someone with more personal cache than Gillian to bring into the royal family. Apparently Volyarussians did not have the same requirements for pedigree in a mate than other royal families of the world.
And there couldn't be anyone less notorious than the small-town girl from Alaska who made her living as what her father termed a "chocolate-box" photographer.
There was nothing objectionable, or even questionable in Gillian's past. Her parents hadn't stayed together and neither had been interested in raising her, but they'd entered into a short businesslike marriage prior to her birth and hadn't filed for divorce until a year after.
"I may as well hang up now, your mind is clearly in the clouds again, child," Nana said over the phone line.
Gillian shoved her blond hair behind her ear and adjusted the phone. "I'm sorry, Nana. I didn't mean to—"
"I know. You get to thinking about Maks and the rest of your brain shuts off, especially the part attached to your ears."
"It's not that bad."
Her grandmother's snort said the older woman did not agree. "You make that boy tell you that he loves you before you agree to be his wife."
"He's hardly a boy, Nana." Gillian had made the same protest before, but to little effect.
"I'm seventy-five years old, Gillian. He's a boy to me."
"Some people never say those words," Gillian pointed out, returning to the subject she knew her grandmother considered most important.
"Some people have less sense than God gave a gnat then."
"Rich doesn't say it, but he loves me." Even as she said the words, Gillian knew she wasn't actually certain that they were true.
Her father wasn't an affectionate or demonstrative man. Rich Harris had made little more than a moderate effort to be part of her life, but he'd also been the one to make sure she had two people to raise her who loved and cared for her. The two dear people who had raised him.
"Your daddy is an idiot, no matter what those Pulitzer Prize people say."
Gillian laughed, knowing her grandmother didn't mean the words. Nana was hugely proud of her world famous son and still held out the hope that one day he would take on the role of Gillian's father.
That ship had sailed a long time ago, but Gillian would never say so to the older woman.
She owed too much to Nana to hurt her in any way. "Don't you let him hear you say that. He'll take back the motor home."
"I'd like to see him try. I still have a wooden spoon and I'm not afraid to use it."
Gillian couldn't help more laughter at that. Nana'd had the same fabled wooden spoon all the years of her growing up, too, but her backside had never felt the flat side of it.
"I swear, I don't know what makes that boy of mine think like he does."
"He's fine, Nana. His dreams didn't include having a family. That doesn't make him bad."
"Well, he has a daughter, whether he dreamed you up or not."
"I know." She'd spent her whole life knowing that while she had not been precisely wanted, both her parents had given her the gift of life and that was as far as the sacrifice was ever going to go.
"I don't like to see you settling," Nana said in that tone Gillian hated.
It was the I-worry-about-you-child-I-really-do tone and it came five minutes before Nana decided she needed to give up whatever adventure she and Papa were on to fly back to Seattle and check in on her granddaughter.
"I'm fine, Nana. Better than fine." She was on the verge of getting engaged to the man she loved with her whole heart. "I don't need the words."
And she didn't. She needed the actions. She needed Maks to put her first, to treat her like she mattered and he did that. His life was both high-profile and extremely busy, but Maks didn't cancel dates, he didn't show up late, and he didn't dismiss her interests or her career as a studio photographer.
That sound was almost as concerning as the older woman's tone earlier. It implied that Nana would be having a talk with Maks.
Gillian sighed. The man would have to be strong enough to withstand a talking-to, or ten, if they were going to be married.
"Are you and Papa enjoying Vegas?" she asked, hoping to turn to the topic.
"He lost money at the blackjack tables, but I won on the slots." The glee in her grandmother's tone brought a smile to Gillian's face.
"Is Rich still meeting you two for dinner next week?"
"He hasn't texted us to cancel." Nana's lack of fondness for texting came through in the way she said the word.
"I suppose we'll have good news to tell him."
"I think so." The doorbell rang. "That's him, I've got to go."
"You call us tomorrow, you hear?"
"Yes, Nana." With news.
Smiling, Gillian rushed to answer the door summons. Her gaze fell on the manila envelope with the results from her latest physical. She hadn't read it yet, but didn't expect anything surprising.
Gillian had her physical yearly, something her father had insisted on since she'd nearly died from appendicitis at the age of sixteen. She chose to see it as proof of affection he never gave voice to.
Maks looked serious and devastatingly attractive in his black Armani suit as Gillian pulled the door open.
She smiled up at all six feet four inches of muscular male towering confidently in her doorway. "You're early."
"And yet you are ready. You are no ordinary woman, Gillian Harris." He didn't return her smile, but his espresso-brown eyes traveled down her body like a caress.
He always did that, making her feel like all the super models in the world wouldn't take his attention from her decidedly normal blond hair, blue eyes, average height and curves.
She stepped back to let him in. "Nana didn't stand for tardiness."
"And here I believed you were so eager to see me, you could not wait to get dressed," he teased.
She grinned up at him. "That, too."
He lowered his head and kissed her, his lips brushing hers in polite greeting. She returned the kiss, letting her mouth open just slightly because she liked the feel of their breath mingling.
He made an inarticulate sound and deepened the kiss, pulling her body flush to his as he maneuvered them back into her apartment. As so often happened when they kissed, time stopped moving for her and the only thing her consciousness registered was the feel of his lips on hers and his hard body so close.
When he pulled back, they were both breathing a little heavily.
Posted September 5, 2013
3 1/2 stars This is a fairly classic story line. Maks is all set to make his lover Gillian his bride until her medical report comes back showing fertility problems. Big issue for the Prince of a country that requires at least an heir and a spare.
So of course he dumps her, after a last magic night of lovemaking.
Gillian is not clueless, she's seen where the relationship is heading and is expecting her HEA to be announced that night. She thinks that magical night was all about leading up to the big moment so in the afterglow she tells Maks she loves him which is a big deal for her as she's never been shown love by her parents, only her grandparents.
Maks response is to dump her but he feels guilty about it. In fact he feels really bad for a whole host of reasons he'd rather not deal with, so he doesn't.
So...9 weeks later...a little bird tells Maks that Gillian is off to the obstetrician. Duty requires he go and take responsibility. It's a tough job but he's up for it. Only trouble is that Gillian isn't as happy about his return as he expected.
The rest of the story is largely about how they resolve the conflict between his declaration that he does not love her but wants her and the baby and Gillian's despair that she loves a man who will never love her back but she wants a proper family life for her child.
I enjoyed the story though occasionally the back and forth over the 'you love me I love you not' got a little repetitive. The ending was satisfying and could have done without the the Epilogue which was a rushed tidy up with a link to the other story in the duet about Maks cousin.
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Posted July 26, 2013
We have all at some point falling in love and really trusted the other person,but then it all comes crashing down and the truth and real intentions on the other person is revealed. It seems your life is over,you have failed and there is noting left and surely things cant get any worse.
This is the actual situation for Maya Sabbatini, she went from rags to riches after meeting powerful,domination and sexy Giorgio Sabbatini. She had it all and the only thing missing was a baby to complete their perfect union. Five years on Maya and Giorgio’s marriage is about to come to an end,after many miscarriages and of no hope for the future it seems all over for this couple.But a explosive one night reunion leads to some rather unexpected and thrilling consequences.
So here she is with Giorgio staying over for a few days after dropping the bombshell that his grandfather is dying and needs to see them “reunited” before he dies,Maya is torn ,their one night of explosive lovemaking as left her pregnant and telling Giorgio wont do any good. After all they are divorcing and he has moved on to dating some snobby lingerie model,and who says she will even carry the baby to full term. So Maya decides it best to keep the information to herself.
She does not account for Giorgio finding out and totally exploding ! He never loved Maya ,only married her so she could father him a heir and besides love is not in his vocabulary, when you love something it only gets taken away. So faced with Maya being pregnant yet again does he go through with the divorce or stick around and do what a father or hoping to be father needs to do?
You guessed it as always in the world of romance the men always do the right thing. So now with Maya and Giorgio reunited for the sake of the baby they both so desperately want and need their marriage takes on a new dimension. Giorgio deals with his childhood demons amongst trying to protect his wife against the hurt that will come if she looses the baby again.
Maya deals with the hurt of her husband betraying her,leaving her and now demanding she follow his orders,and the stress of not knowing if she will again loose yet another baby ,will she name this one only to see it buried along with the rest?
This is the second book in a trilogy like no other. In the story of Maya and Giorgio Melanie Milburne shows us that no matter how bad things seem life can throw you a curve ball that will change all. Review by Desere. Book was purchased by Reviewer. Review Originally posted @ Romancing the Book.
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Posted October 26, 2014
Posted July 15, 2014
He finds out she can' t have children and ditches her. And he ditches her with 'no regret over his decision' as he looks back on his previous choice to leacr her as it was the best thing for his country, but now she's pregnant. He's trying to get her to marry him after finding out she was pregnant and he still shows very little emotional connection to her, and she accepts him back with very little trouble, outside of the concern that she.might still miscarry. Basically he didn't show any real emotion until about page 109 (out of 130+ pages) that he had to give her up.
Add in the secondary characters of the king sleeping around with his long term misstress and his queen who had loved him before leading basically her own life, but apparently with no affection from a man for herself, and i don't come away with any great romance feeling..
Posted December 16, 2013
Posted July 8, 2013
Posted July 5, 2013
One Night Heir by Lucy Monroe is heartfelt and sizzling with emotions.
Crown Prince Maksim is all set to marry his lover Gillian Harris. But there is a slight hiccup; Gillian may not be able to bear the royal heir. Maksim must have an heir in order to maintain the legacy of the Yurkovich family legacy. As much as he hates to end his relationship he must do what is best for his family and country. Before their relationship ends he gives into the searing passion with Gillian one last time.
Gillian Harris is all out in love with Maks. In and out of bed they are in perfect sync. When Maks is willing to let her go since she is unable to have his child, Gillian heart is broken. On their last night together their hunger for each other was so great that neither thought about protection. Imagine several weeks later when Gillian’s pregnancy test comes back positive.
Maks connections find out the news of an heir on the way and he will stop at nothing to marry Gillian. Maks doesn’t believe in love thus causing Gillian to be less then receptive to Maks and his plans to become a family. Gillian wants the man but also wants his heart as well.
Can Gillian convince Maks that they can be a family and flourish in their love for each other?
One Night Heir will make you feel a multitude of emotions from anguish to absolute joy. I enjoy these Present stories, they back a lot in a shorter format but they are well writing and are an enjoying read. This book is no exception. Maks and Gillian love story will stay in your heart for a long time after you are finished. Looking forward to Maks cousin Demyan story coming in August.
Posted July 4, 2013
Posted July 2, 2013
I love Lucy Monroe’s books. They bring me back to the first romance novels that I ever read as a teenager. One Night Heir was the same. There were some new twists, that I loved and some of the good ole stuff. I am glad that Gillian didn’t give into Maks immediately. She wanted love and didn’t give up the hope for that easily.
I love that Maks was so determined to be a good King he was willing to sacrifice everything, even his own happiness while not realizing he wouldn’t be a very good King without it. I hope that his mother, meddlesome as she is gets her own story as well. She truly deserves to have someone love her as she loves her husband.
I look forward to book 2 and Demyan’s story. It should be a lot of fun with trouble thrown in to make it interesting.
Posted July 1, 2013
Posted June 19, 2013
One Night Heir is a fast enjoyable read. There are love scenes which I skimmed over. A familiar plot but good. I like Gillian and Maksim. They both have been scarred by their parents about love.
Maksim is a Crown Prince and he is about to ask his girl friend to marry him when he gets her medical file and it shows that it would almost be impossible for her to become pregnant. He knows he needs to brake it off. He hopes she will do it for him. When after dinner she invites him in he wonders if it will be a good idea.
That night for the first time he doesn't use a condom for the first time.
Gillian is expecting a proposal not a goodbye. She has not read her medical file. She is heart broken and having flue that won't go away. She goes to doctor and is shocked at finding herself pregnant when just weeks ago told she could not have children. Gillian fears miscarriage so does not plan to tell anyone till after 3 month mark.
Maksim has tried to date other woman but misses Gillian. When his cousin Demyan tells him what their hacker has found out about Gillian medical appointment visit. He knows he is the father. He goes to Gillian's apartment and proposes marriage. He is shocked when she says no not yet. She will decide after the first trimester is over.
I want to read Demyan story next to see what he is really like. I like Lucy Monroe stories. Just not all the sex scenes.
I was given this ebook to read and asked to give honest review of it in return by Netgalley.
publication: June 18th 2013 by Harlequin Presents 256 pages ISBN:0373239254
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Posted December 29, 2013
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Posted July 15, 2013
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