The Royal and the Runaway Bride [NOOK Book]

Overview

Phillip, Prince of Silverdorn, was bored by never-ending soirées and fortune-hunting debs. Until, at a ball honoring the new Altarian king, Phillip laid eyes on a most intriguing woman—in a designer gown and Doc Martens.

Why heiress Alexandra Connelly let Phillip believe she was a horse trainer, she couldn't say. Perhaps, like the vacation in her brother's kingdom, it was to help her forget the wedding she'd bolted from. She wanted only an afternoon of fun with the dashing ...

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The Royal and the Runaway Bride

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Overview

Phillip, Prince of Silverdorn, was bored by never-ending soirées and fortune-hunting debs. Until, at a ball honoring the new Altarian king, Phillip laid eyes on a most intriguing woman—in a designer gown and Doc Martens.

Why heiress Alexandra Connelly let Phillip believe she was a horse trainer, she couldn't say. Perhaps, like the vacation in her brother's kingdom, it was to help her forget the wedding she'd bolted from. She wanted only an afternoon of fun with the dashing prince. But then she noticed his heart-melting brown eyes, satin-sheet skin, priceless-sculpture body. The man was downright irresistible....

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426868696
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 6/21/2010
  • Series: Dynasties: The Connellys Series , #1448
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 421,783
  • File size: 244 KB

Meet the Author

Kathryn Jensen lives in Maryland, happily sandwiched between two of the most exciting cities in North America — Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. But the Mid-Atlantic hasn't always been home. The many places in which she's lived — including Italy, Texas, Connecticut and Massachusetts — as well as others visited, have inspired over forty novels of adventure, romance and mystery beloved by readers of all ages.

Her books have hit the Waldenbooks Bestseller List, been nominated for the esteemed Agatha Christie Award and honored by the American Library Association as a Best Book for Reluctant Readers. She has served as a judge on the Edgar Allan Poe Award Committee and continues her advocacy for literacy among children and adults.

While living in Europe as a young military wife, Kathryn's appetite for exotic destinations was whetted, and she has ever since loved to travel with her characters to foreign lands. Before turning to writing full time, she worked as an elementary school teacher, a department store sales associate, a bank clerk and a dance teacher. She still teaches writing to adult students through Long Ridge Writers' Group and the Institute of Children's Literature, correspondence schools that instruct in the craft of fiction and nonfiction for publication. She loves to share her three decades of experience in publishing with new writers.

Today she lives with her husband, Roger, on the outskirts of the nation's capital and visits her grown children and granddaughter as often as she can. Kathryn and Roger spend most of the summers aboard Purr, their classic Pearson 32' sailboat, cruising the Chesapeake Bay. When book deadlines loom, she keeps on writing on her laptop while Roger trims the sails. Their two cats, Tempest and Miranda (named in honor of Shakespeare's final play and its heroine), generally prefer to remain on land, although their mistress can't understand why!

Kathryn is a member of the Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, Novelists Inc. and Sisters in Crime. Some of her favorite places to "get away from it all" are a guest house in Bermuda, called Granaway, once owned by a Russian Princess, and St. Thomas, in the gorgeous Virgin Islands. Ahhhh! Now if those aren't amazing backdrops for a romance, what is?

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Read an Excerpt

The Royal & The Runaway Bride


By Kathryn Jensen

Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.


ISBN: 0373764480


Chapter One

It wasn't that he disliked royal functions. Phillip Kinrowan had grown up in aristocratic circles, attended his first ball before he'd been able to walk, ridden his first Grand Prix champion jumper at Monaco before he turned six, and owned an estate by the time he cleared the hurdles of puberty. It was just that he hated advertising his title because of the attention it got him. Attention that more often than not resulted in trouble. Female trouble.

He was reminded of those dangers as he stepped forward to be announced by the page before the ballroom crowd of beautiful people in formal attire. "The kingdom of Altaria welcomes His Highness, Phillip Kinrowan, prince of Silverdorn!" The page's voice rang out in Italian first, then in French, and finally in English, in deference to the American in whose honor the celebration was being held.

Phillip winced but kept his facial expression neutral as he descended the grand curving staircase to the gleaming marble floor. Already he was bored. The same faces greeted him at nearly every function. Only the Americans were new to him, as they were to everyone else in his elite social circle. But it was protocol to honor a new king, regardless of where he was raised.

Chicago. Phillip hardly knew where the place was. Somewhere in the middle of the United States, he seemed to recall. On a big lake? No matter. Among Daniel Connelly's family, odds werePhillip might find someone of interest to talk to. His glance drifted down the receiving line, finding no one to spark his curiosity until close to the end.

A young woman, her raven hair trimmed almost boyishly short, stood awkwardly behind the guests of honor. She wore an elegant gown that matched the color of her eyes - vivid green. Among the domino black-and-white attire of the rest of the room, she stood out like a gemstone. But what really seized his attention was the way her eyes shifted restlessly around the vast, chandeliered room, not even bothering to hide her impatience with the pomp and circumstance. A kindred spirit!

Phillip stepped out of the line of guests waiting to pay their respects and moved to one side of the room where he could watch her better. She looked so out of place. Who was she? As he watched, she nudged the woman in front of her, whispered something in her ear then hiked up her billowy skirts in both fists and hightailed it for the doors leading to the garden. In a flash she was gone, but he was chuckling to himself at the parting image of chunky brown leather boots, laces dangling loose, revealed beneath layers of satin and chiffon. A little rebel. How charming!

Glancing quickly around the room to make sure no one was paying any attention to her, or him, Phillip followed the young woman. Something drew him toward her, something as natural as gravity and just as impossible to resist yet far more difficult to understand.

A stone balcony off the rear of the palace dropped away in wide steps to a formal garden, baking under Mediterranean heat even as the July sun set that evening. Sculpted shrubs formed arches, a maze and screens for the rose garden, interspersed with statues collected by the royal family over generations. Phillip wondered if the American clan was accustomed to such grandeur, then remembered the gossip that the Connellys were one of the wealthiest families in their own country. He caught a glimpse of emerald fabric whipping around a corner of hedgerow that separated the stables and yard from the prettily manicured greenery.

"Hey, you there, wait up!" he called, breaking into a run.

But if she heard, his shout had no effect. When he emerged from the shrubs to stand at the edge of the exercise yard, there was no sign of the less-than-daintily shod damsel in what had appeared to be Doc Martens. He caught the eye of a stable boy who was leading a chestnut mare across the yard.

"Did you see a young woman in a ball gown come this way?" Phillip asked in Italian.

The boy shook his head and kept going. A low whinny and snort caught Phillip's attention, and he whipped around, moving toward the sound like a cat stalking its prey. Ducking into the dark interior of the stable at the third doorway, he waited for his eyes to adjust to the sudden lack of light, then looked down the long aisle strewn with sweet-smelling straw. She stood on the lowest rail of a stall, reaching over to stroke the nose of a pure white horse. Her attention was so fixed on the animal, she didn't react to his approach.

"Does the stable master know you're messing about with one of his most valued mounts?" he asked.

She jumped and snapped her hand back but recovered quickly, tipping her nose into the air. Her green eyes flashed defiantly at him. "Of course. He asked me to look in on him."

"He did, did he?" Phillip grinned, even more curious about her now. >From a distance, she'd been intriguing. Up close she was dazzling, with a delicious hint of recklessness. "And why would he do that?"

"Because I'm ... I'm a trainer. He asked me to work with -" Her gaze shifted almost imperceptibly to the bronze plaque on the stall's half door. "- with King's Passion."

"A trainer," he repeated, thinking that might well account for her mixed attire and uneasiness in a formal setting. His own trainer would do just about anything to avoid socializing with Phillip's friends. Although why, as a mere employee, she should be included at all in the celebration wasn't clear. "You're an American."

"Yes," she said, hopping backward off the rail. Her narrow shoulders settled firmly and her long, elegant neck straightened until she was looking him in the eye. "I work for the Connellys but came as a favor to lend a hand at the royal stable for the celebration."

"I see," he said. "So you've had a lot of experience with horses."

"Oodles." She flashed him a cocky grin. He walked around her, checking out her physique without hiding his intent. Her shoulders and arms looked strong enough for the job, and she was slender, lightweight as a jockey, and seemed to be coordinated. He guessed she'd look damn fine straddling one of his jumpers. The image excited him. He could see her taking a five-foot rail on his favorite gelding.

"It's hard to find a good trainer these days," he commented.

She shrugged, still looking more interested in the white horse than in him as she stroked the patch of pink flesh between the animal's flaring nostrils.

"I have a problem horse in my own stable. Maybe you could break free of your duties here long enough to come over and take a look at him."

Her brows knit. "Oh, well ... I would of course, but I'm terribly busy here. And I expect I won't be staying all that long."

"Too bad. I would have paid you well." No reaction. "And treated you to a fine lunch. My cook makes a bouillabaisse to die for."

Now her pretty eyes widened. Good, he thought. He'd found a weakness. Food.

"I really don't think I could -"

"Tell you what -" he stopped suddenly. "I didn't catch your name."

"Alex -" She seemed to hesitate, then said again, "Alex."

"Well, Alex, I'll speak to our king before the end of the evening. Perhaps we can spring you for a few hours tomorrow or the next day. I'm sure he won't mind. Besides, he owes me a favor."

"Oh?" Her gaze finally swerved from horse to man.

"I'll tell you about it sometime," he promised with a wink. "So it's a deal? You give my jumper a quick inspection, and I'll treat you to the finest seafood concoction in the Mediterranean."

She sighed, still looking unsure. "Agreed. But all I can spare is an hour or two at most." She was studying him

(Continues...)



Excerpted from The Royal & The Runaway Bride by Kathryn Jensen
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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