Princess Charming (Legendary Lovers Series #1)

Princess Charming (Legendary Lovers Series #1)

by Nicole Jordan

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Princess Charming (Legendary Lovers Series #1) by Nicole Jordan

In Nicole Jordan’s dazzling new Regency series, the scandalous Wilde cousins seek true love by imitating history’s legendary lovers . . . beginning with Ashton Wilde, Marquis of Beaufort, who takes on the daunting role of Prince Charming to an unlikely Cinderella.

Thanks to the mischievous meddling of his matchmaking sister, Ashton Wilde meets a damsel in distress during the midnight magic of a lavish ball. But Maura Collyer isn’t looking for a prince—or an intimate pairing with any member of the scandalous noble Wilde family.

Intrigued by Maura’s beauty and daring, Ash is determined to aid in the rescue of her beloved stallion, gambled away by her wicked stepmother to an evil viscount. As their adventure becomes rife with peril and passion, Ash suspects he’s found his heart’s desire.

Even though her dearest friend may be her self-proclaimed fairy godmother, Maura is mortified at being pushed into a romance with a notorious rake such as Ash. Dashing and charming, he comes to Maura’s rescue just in time to help her steal back her precious horse. As they flee across the countryside, she can’t resist his sweet seduction. But is her prince playing a role in a fairy tale to test an improbable theory, or is the love awakening in her heart proof of her own happily ever after?

From the Paperback edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345525284
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/31/2012
Series: Legendary Lovers Series , #1
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 74,145
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Nicole Jordan is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous historical romances. She lives with her real-life hero (her husband) in the Rocky Mountains of Utah, where she is at work on her next enthralling tale about the sparks that fly when Regency lovers play the matrimonial mating game.

From the Paperback edition.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

London, May 1816

The flash of amber silk intrigued him, although not as much as the lovely woman wearing it.

Lounging negligently against a column in his crowded ballroom, Ashton Wilde, eighth Marquis of Beaufort, narrowed his gaze in speculation. The blond beauty had followed one of his noble male guests through the French doors onto the terrace beyond.

Maura Collyer, his sister’s bosom friend. What the devil was she up to?

Curiosity warred with odd disappointment as Ash considered her intent. It appeared that Miss Collyer was trysting with Viscount Deering.

For all her beauty, he would never have taken Maura for the scarlet woman sort. As far as he knew, she didn’t even like most men, and at four-­and-­twenty she was long on the shelf. And yet she had accompanied Lord Deering onto a moonlit terrace in the middle of a grand ball for what looked like an assignation.

His boredom suddenly evaporating, Ash pushed away from the column and forged a path through the glittering, bejeweled sea of company. He had expected better of Miss Collyer—­

Wry amusement twisted his mouth at the quaint thought. That the leading member of the passionate Wilde clan could condemn a lady for flouting propriety with a lovers’ tryst was the height of irony. The Wildes had long been legendary for their scandalous exploits, their surname synonymous with a blatant disregard for the rules governing the Beau Monde, and Ash himself was currently his family’s worst offender.

Still, he couldn’t banish his contrary stab of displeasure at the notion of Katharine’s closest friend taking Deering as a lover.

The terrace doors had been flung open to alleviate the heat from the chandeliers and the crush of perfumed bodies. Upon reaching the threshold, Ash paused to let his eyes adjust to the dimmer light on the terrace and focus on the couple near the stone balustrade.

Although not embracing, they were standing close together—­ or rather the lady was standing before the gentleman. Her position offered Ash a view of her profile, so he could see that her delicate jaw was set while her hands were tightly clenched.

It did not appear to be a romantic tryst but a confrontation, he decided. He could overhear her low, impassioned voice imploring the viscount, although the noise from the chattering, dancing throng behind him drowned out most of her words.

Ash moved a step closer just as a momentary lull in the music brought Miss Collyer’s urgent declaration to him.

“Emperor did not belong to her, I tell you! She had no right to sell him to you.”

“I have a legal deed of sale that says otherwise,” Deering responded in an arrogant drawl that evidently grated on the beauty’s nerves.

She inhaled a deep breath, as if striving to maintain control of her emotions. “Then allow me to buy him back . . . Please.”

“You cannot afford my price, Miss Collyer.”

“I can raise the funds somehow. I will sell the entire stables if I must.”

When Deering laughed in that supercilious way of his, Ash felt the same grating irritation.

He knew Rupert Firth, Viscount Deering, fairly well. Of similar age—­a year past thirty—­they had attended Cambridge at the same time. Like Ash, Deering had dark curling hair, a noble title, and a significant fortune. But there the similarities ended. Most notably, the viscount was a head shorter, with a body that was turning to flab from an overindulgence of fine port wine.

Ash had never liked Deering, mainly because of his attitude of snide superiority. That dislike only increased as the discussion continued:

“I might be persuaded . . . for a price,” Deering said with a smirk that made Ash itch to intervene.

“What price?” Miss Collyer asked warily.

In answer, the nobleman reached out and trailed a languid finger along her bare throat to the low neckline of her gown.

When she visibly gritted her teeth, Ash felt some satisfaction that she wasn’t soliciting the viscount’s advances, far from it. Yet he was surprised by his own violent reaction: The urge to wrap his hands around the lecher’s throat speared through him.

Then Deering gave a low, seductive laugh that raised his ire even further.

“I see you take my meaning, Miss Collyer. If you are truly interested in regaining your property, you will accommodate my wishes. You are quite lovely. I find I want you almost as much as I coveted your magnificent stallion.”

Flinching, she took a step backward, out of reach, distaste written in every line of her face. “I regret I must decline your proposition, Lord Deering.”

“You should realize that beggars cannot be choosers.”

“I am not a beggar quite yet.”

The viscount moved closer, but she stood her ground. When his fingers covered her breast and squeezed, Ash took a reflexive step toward them.

But Maura Collyer evidently did not need defending, for she brought her heel down hard on the viscount’s instep, forcing him to release her. Even with her soft evening slippers, the impact must have hurt.

It did, if the viscount’s pained growl was any indication.

“Your stubbornness reminds me of your damned father!” Deering ground out through his teeth. “I could not persuade him to sell, but I found a way to win in the end. Your stepmother was far more accommodating.”

For a moment Miss Collyer froze, her expression one of devastation. Only then did Ash recall the bad blood between her family and the viscount. Deering had accused her father of cheating at cards two years ago, but Noah Collyer had died before the matter could be resolved.

When Deering reached for her breast again, she broke out of her paralysis with ferocity. Uttering an audible curse, she brought her knee up to contact with the viscount’s satin breeches at an especially vulnerable point.

Deering gave a harsh groan and doubled over, clutching his bollocks. Then Maura stamped down on his other instep for good measure.

Ash didn’t know which of his emotions was strongest just then—­amusement, admiration, or anger.

Amusement because he’d wanted to do the same thing to Deering for years.

Admiration because very few females outside those in his own family had the spirit or courage to engage in a physical brawl with a significantly larger man.

And anger because a genteel young lady had been accosted in his own home. Specifically this young lady, who was Katharine’s friend and therefore deserved his protection.

Deering was clearly angry also; in fact, he was in a fury. “You . . . will regret this . . . you damned vixen!” he panted, still bent over.

“The only thing I regret,” retorted Miss Collyer, “is thinking you were honorable enough to let me plead my case! I was fully prepared to purchase my horse back, not sell myself to you!”

She was panting as much as her suffering adversary, but her breathlessness stemmed from outrage instead of pain. Even at a distance, Ash could practically see sparks flashing from her eyes. When she balled her fists as if she might strike a blow at the viscount’s sneering face, Ash decided it was time to intervene.

“It is time you took your leave, Deering,” he declared, striding across the terrace toward them.

At his sudden appearance, Miss Collyer gave a start, while the viscount straightened painfully.

“This is none of your affair, Beaufort!” Deering snapped.

“It is very much my affair. You assaulted one of my guests.”

“I assaulted her?” he sputtered. “That she-­devil is the one who assaulted me!”

Ash bit back a smile. “I would not advertise that fact if I were you, Rupert. You will only invite scorn and make yourself a target for the cartoonists. Do you need assistance calling for your carriage?”

“Bloody hell . . . no, I can summon my own infernal carriage.”

“Then pray do so. You are no longer welcome here.”

The viscount shot Ash a look of extreme dislike. “This is no way to treat a peer, Beaufort, ordering me to leave while taking that witch’s side.”

“Spare me your protests. You got exactly what you deserved. I would have hurt you myself if she had not.”

Deering’s expression only darkened. After another fierce glare at Miss Collyer, though, he limped off in the direction of the ballroom.

Alone on the terrace with her, Ash turned and found his gaze arrested by the enchanting picture she made. Maura stood with her fists still clenched, her cheeks flushed with anger, her bosom heaving softly. In the candle glow spilling from the ballroom windows, she looked fiery and beautiful, her honey-­colored hair only a few shades lighter than the gold-­embroidered amber silk gracing her tall, lithe figure.

What People are Saying About This

Cathy Maxwell

Loved Princess Charming! Loved, loved, LOVED it! Nicole Jordan's new series will steal your heart. (Cathy Maxwell, New York Times bestselling author)

Sherrilyn Kenyon

One of my all time favorite writers, Nicole Jordan delivers romance like no one else. Captivating, enticing, and irresistible, her books are always on my must buy list. (Sherrilyn Kenyon, #1 New York Times bestselling author)

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Princess Charming 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 60 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Maura Collyer wants nothing to do with the scandalous nobleman Ashton Wilde or his attempts to rescue her. But Ashton is determined in his pursuit to make him her hero. Together with a not-so-cruel step-mother, and downright sweet step-sisters, this story kept me turning pages. I really enjoyed Ashton's relationship with his sister whose 'meddling' made him come to the aid of Maura in the first place. Then there's the horse-stealing villain whose comeuppance is greatly in store. The sensuality between characters is, as always, related beautifully. An intriguing spin on an age-old fairy-tale that will tug at your heart. Nicole Jordan has managed two incredible feats in one book. She's told a wonderful love story for a couple you cheer out loud for, Maura and Ashton. And she's set up a HUGE collection of lovable characters who will hopefully get their own books. I cannot wait to read each and every one of them! I'm already totally invested in the happiness of all the Wilde family members. Overall, for my first Nicole Jordan book I was very happy. I love stories that are centered around big, lovable, "Wilde" families and this looks to be a great start to a possible five books for the Wilde family. I enjoyed how even though Maura and Ash have known each other since childhood, there new found attraction to each other seemed natural. The part that really piped my interest was the fact that Maura was a horse breeder. A very unusual profession for females during that time period. We don't get to see much of that unfortunately, but it adds a unique back story.    
valsagers More than 1 year ago
Nicole Jordan has never failed to deliver and this time was no different. I have loved her new book PRINCESS CHARMING, and what an ingenious way of retelling our childhood favorites with a lot of spice. Maura was a delightful "cinderella" and all of the other characters was well developed giving a wonderful idea of what is to come. Can't wait to read about "romeo" Jack. Kuddos Nicole!
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judiOH More than 1 year ago
this is a fast paced romantic story. it was not at all what i expected in a period romance, and i was enthalled with it. i couldn't put it down, i had to know what happened next. i think i finished reading it somewhere around three in the morning. i've ordered the next three books and can't wait to get them!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I usually love Nichol Jordan but this was awful. No character develipment and just boring.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A new author to me but i loved the book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book a few days ago but so far I only have the sample.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I usually start reading a book and have trouble putting it down until I am done. I have read Nicole Jordan before and enjoyed her writing. This book was not bad and I did finish it, but didn't have any trouble putting it down. It was just ok for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love that book
MyBookAddictionandMore More than 1 year ago
PRINCESS CHARMING by Nicole Jordan is an exciting new Regency historical romance. Book 1 in the "Legendary Lovers" series. Ashton Wilde, Marquis of Beaufort, the eldest Wilde cousin and is looking for true love by imitating history's legendary lover's,starting with Prince Charming. However, we have a Princess charming instead of the other way around. Enter, Maura Collyer,who isn't looking for a Prince or a husband at all. What follows is witty banter, a matchmaker,a fairy Godmother,passion,romance,danger,and true love. When Ash decides to help Maura regain her beloved stallion,he awakens a long forgotten feeling,starts a seduction that only could be a true fairy tale. A fast paced, adventure filled with passion,and danger,if they get caught with Maura's beloved stallion they both could hang. Wonderful new series. I can hardly wait for the next installment, the Wilde cousins will prove to be a match for love. Ms. Jordan is one of my favorite historical romance authors and I have many,"Princess Charming" was no exception, I enjoyed it tremendously. Received for an honest review from the publisher and Net Galley. Details can be found at the author's website, Ballantine,an imprint of Random House Publishing and My Book Addiction and More. RATING: 4.5 HEAT RATING: MILD REVIEWED BY: AprilR, My Book Addiction and More/My Book Addiction Reviews
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rebekah1119 More than 1 year ago
I liked it, however I was kinda disappointed that she didn't give the name of the next book in the series.
shannschoice More than 1 year ago
Maura became independent with the passing of her father. Using her champion race horse to start a stud farm. Becoming a woman way ahead of her time. Ashton, became a Marquis. After the unexpected death of his parents and his aunt and uncle in a boating accident. Maura goes to London, to try get her horse Emperor back, after her step mother decided to sell him with out Maura's permission. Ashton comes to Maura's aid when she was to confront Lord Deering about buying Emperor back. Ashton throws himself into helping Maura get her horse back. In the process Maura and Ashton fall in love, both afraid are that the other has no feelings for the other. Maura also has a hard time trusting Ashton, and sharing with him. Maura tries to keep all of her problems to herself. Ashton and his family try to get Maura realize that she isn't alone and that there are people wanting to help in care for her. I liked how Maura is best friends with Ashton's sister and cousin. The plot was of Princess Charming is fast paced and keeps you on your toes threw out the whole book. The relationships between the character were complex and interesting. Also all the interactions between the character were well written. I could feel the emotions coming of the page with some of the interactions between the characters. I really enjoyed how Maura and Ashton relationship progressed from a simple friendship to a strong and burning passion. Princess Charming was a really great read it is now one of my all time favorites. I give Princess Charming five cocktails! Reviewed for Cocktails and Books.
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