In this enchanting retelling of the classic Audrey Hepburn film Roman Holiday, a royal prince tries to escape his hectic and rigid life and ends up leading a young graduate student on a chase through the Eternal City.
Julia Costa is too busy trying to complete her PhD while also holding down a full-time job as a private tour guide in Rome to keep up with celebrity gossip. So when she crosses paths with a real, actual prince, she mistakes him for a client and takes him on a daylong tour of the city.
Intrigued by the idea of spending time with someone who obviously has no idea who he is, and delighted at the prospect of a day free of royal obligations, Niccolo La Torre, Crown Prince of Lazaretto, acts on impulse and assumes the role of Julia’s client. He swears to himself that he’ll return to his royal duties after only half a day…but he’s having the time of his life.
Until Julia presents him with the bill. Since he snuck out of the hotel without so much as a dime, he tries to escape, only to discover that she won’t let him out of her sight until he can pay her back. She’s determined to get her money…and perhaps more from the handsome stranger she’s fallen for.
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There was a prince in Julia Costa’s bed.
An actual prince.
He was stretched out right there beside her, with his royal head resting on one of the pillowcases she’d bought at the Porta Portese street market in Trastevere. Julia wasn’t sure she’d ever seen a more beautiful sleeping man.
She sat cross-legged on her side of the bed and frowned down at his unconscious form. It was as if Michelangelo’s David had come to life, climbed down from his pedestal at the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence, and settled for a nap right there in her bedroom. And he had her tiny Yorkshire terrier, Valentina, curled in the curve of his very manly, very royal elbow.
There was a prince in her bed.
And he was tangled in her sheets, dressed in nothing but his regal birthday suit. She allowed her gaze to travel down his perfect bare torso to the place where the bedsheets rode scandalously low on his narrow hips. All that sculpted male beauty on such flagrant display—in her bed somehow—made her head spin a little.
In what universe was this remotely possible?
This one, apparently.
But how? She was a commoner, for crying out loud. Actually, commoner didn’t even begin to describe her social status. She was pretty much an outcast in American social circles. Here in Rome, she was just a nobody. And she loved being a nobody. Being a nobody was pure bliss after what she’d been through back home in America.
She glanced at the copy of Novella 2000 in her lap and winced. Over a year had passed since she’d last looked at any kind of tabloid. She’d even sworn off all social media platforms once her family’s turmoil had become a trending topic. Maybe Chiara was right. Maybe she should read up on celebrity gossip more often, because the man on the cover of the magazine, the one right above a caption that screamed His Royal Hotness, was definitely the same man who was in her bed. Same dark, tousled hair. Same straight nose. Same decadent, kissable mouth.
Not that Julia would be kissing it again anytime soon. Or ever again, for that matter. Although she was tempted to touch his hair one last time. He probably used the expensive sort of shampoo and conditioner with olive oil that she’d never be able to afford. Even his bedhead looked regal.
She sighed at the utter injustice of it all. At the hint of Julia’s restlessness, Valentina opened her eyes. The dog gave Julia a cursory glance before swiping her tiny pink tongue on the prince’s perfect cheek. Julia herself might be adamantly against kissing the prince, but her man-hating dog apparently had no qualms about it. So much for loyalty.
“Traitor,” she whispered, pretending that the thought of licking the prince didn’t occupy the top spot of her own imaginary to-do list.
God, she hated herself.
Why, oh why did she fall for the wrong men? Every. Single. Time. Granted, the general population would consider a prince somewhat of a catch. Especially this one.
He didn’t so much as budge, but rather kept on sleeping in all his royal hotness. He was a glorious combination of sun-kissed skin, bone structure that would make any Renaissance artist weep, and a lovely smudge of coal black eyelashes. Perfect, full lips that less than two days ago had been partially obscured by a beard were now fully visible. He was clean shaven, with only the barest hint of a morning shadow. His mouth was closed, of course. Were princes even allowed to drool in their sleep or, God forbid, snore? Julia wholeheartedly doubted it.
She supposed she should have known. Normal people—commoners, such as herself—never looked that good when they slept.
But how could she have had any idea he was a prince? As a private tour guide in Rome, she met new people every day. She’d lost track of how many vacationers she’d taken to the Colosseum. She sometimes went there as many as three or four times in a single afternoon. And not once had any of those wide-eyed tourists turned out to be royal. As far as she knew, anyway.
Of course, none of those tourists had ended up in her bed either.
This isn’t how it looks.
Chiara had laughed when Julia had uttered those clichéd words. She’d laughed hard.
“Shhh.” Julia had gestured to the closed door of her apartment, directly across the hall from Chiara’s. “You’re going to wake him.”
A sleeping prince she could deal with. An alert one? No. Not quite yet. Not when simply looking at him made her forget how to breathe. She needed more time. Time to absorb this bizarre turn of events. Time to figure out what to do with him.
She needed more time, and he needed more clothes. Lots of them.
“You’ve got the man who occupies the top spot of Europe’s most eligible bachelor list in your bed, and you’re telling me you didn’t sleep with him?” Chiara had stared pointedly at the closed door to Julia’s one-room flat.
“It’s not like that,” she’d protested, even though it had been like that . . . sort of.
Okay, it had been completely like that. But sex with the prince really wasn’t any of Chiara’s business.
But that hadn’t stopped Chiara from shooting a long, lingering glance at Julia’s door and sighing. “You didn’t sleep with him. Then you’re either crazy or stupid. I’m not sure which.”
Chiara was Julia’s closest friend, hence the lack of filter. That hadn’t made her assessment of the situation any more flattering, though. Less so, if that were even possible. “Crazy or stupid? Those are my only options?”
Chiara had shrugged. “I’m willing to throw hopelessly naïve into the mix.”
That had been Julia’s breaking point. The point at which the wheels in her head had begun to turn with a speed that rivaled the Fiats and Vespas that notoriously flew through Rome’s narrow cobblestone streets. She despised the idea of anyone thinking she was naïve. She’d already played the role of the trusting innocent. Once upon a time she’d been that wide-eyed girl. And her story couldn’t have ended further from the land of happily ever after. If there was one thing Julia most definitely wasn’t, it was naïve. Not anymore.
But that’s exactly what the entire world would think once this story broke, assuming it did, in fact, break. And it would. Julia was all too familiar with the bloodthirsty nature of the press. Stories like this were destined to end up splashed across the front page. No one with an HRH in front of his or her name could sneeze without photos ending up online and in the gossip magazines.
Prince Harry’s naked backside as he stood beside that infamous billiard table back in America was forever burned into her memory. If what happened in Vegas didn’t, in fact, stay in Vegas, what hope was there for Rome? None whatsoever.
And hadn’t there been another prince in the news as recently as yesterday? Yes, there had. Something about skinny-dipping with the entire French women’s swim team in Paris.
Julia narrowed her gaze at the prince in her bed. What if it had been him? She felt sick to her stomach all of a sudden and resisted the urge to sniff him for chlorine.
Possible headlines flashed before her eyes.
Crown Prince of Lazaretto Spends Night with Daughter of Wall Street Embezzler Lucas Costa.
Disgraced Wall Street Princess Falls into Bed with Lazaretto’s Prince Charming.
World’s Luckiest Girl Claims, “I Didn’t Know He Was a Prince.”
World’s luckiest girl. What a joke.
Just when things were finally turning around. Just when she’d thought fate might actually be on her side for once, she’d gone and met a prince. He’d lied to her. He’d gotten her fired from her job. He’d led her on a wild-goose chase through Rome. Then he’d made her want things. Dangerous things. And now all of that would be front-page news.
They would call her flat a hovel. She would be picked apart, from her messy ballerina bun—emphasis on messy—to the loafers that she’d always thought of as Audrey Hepburnesque but Chiara had declared a disgrace to Italian fashion. She’d be the laughing stock of Italy. Reduced to little more than a scandal. Again. Laughable. Even worse, unemployable. Novella 2000 would only be the beginning. Her face would be on every newsstand on every street corner in all of Europe, right alongside “His Royal Hotness.” God, it was nauseating.
They would dig up her family’s past. Bring up everything that had been front-page news in the States. They would accuse her of trying to extort him. Like father, like daughter.
Even worse, they would all say she’d thrown herself at him. If her best friend didn’t believe her when she said she hadn’t slept with him, then no one would.
She couldn’t allow it.
It wasn’t like that. This wasn’t about sex. Or romance. Or the fire he’d somehow lit inside her when he’d pushed her against a centuries-old wall of stone and taken her mouth with his. A fire that somehow still smoldered low in her belly, even now that she knew what a royally wicked man he was.
Okay so maybe this was a little bit about sex. Only a little. The smallest possible amount.
Right. Her pulse throbbed, warm and wanting—liar, liar, liar. She tore her gaze from his ridiculously lush torso.
This was about a more pressing need than sex. Even the best near-sex she’d ever had in her life. This was about self-respect . . .
. . . and money. He owed her. A lot. And she wasn’t about to let him out of her sight until he’d paid up. She’d made that mistake once. Lesson learned.
What was it that he’d said at the end of the day when she’d presented him with the bill for a full day’s guided tour?
I never carry money.
That’s a bad habit, she’d said, deadpan, certain he’d been joking.
Of course he didn’t carry money. He didn’t have to. He probably had a whole team of people to carry it around for him. Large steamer trunks full of crisp one-hundred-euro notes. She’d even gotten a glimpse of one of those people he had at his beck and call. If only she’d said something to the stranger he’d met at the café. Why had she just sat there, watching? The man owed her a thousand euros. And she intended to collect.
What had the past two days meant to him, anyway? Why was he even here? Was she just some royal joke?
She had the very sudden, very real urge to cover his arrogant, princely head with a pillow and smother him. The jerk.
He was a prince, and she’d dressed him in a glorified trash bag in the pouring rain.
He was a prince, and she’d fed him nothing but cheap Chianti, bread, and a handful of olives for dinner for two nights running.
He was a prince, and he’d given her the first orgasm she’d ever had.
He was a prince.
And he was the biggest liar she’d ever met.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 out of 5 stars!! After feeling beaten down by his own royal responsibilities, Niccolo (Nico/Mano) the heir to the Lazaretto throne decides on escaping his gilded cage by pretending to be someone else when he meets Julia. Julia is an American tour guide living in Rome, who is running from her own notorious past and is in the midst of pulling her life together when she meets Niccolo. Their attraction is instantaneous and is blooming into something more by the minute. Yet when Niccolo’s “quick getaway” turns into something a whole lot more and into a bigger fiasco then he originally planned, will he still be able to go back to his “real” life after all is said and done; or will he be able to change his life for the better with the help of Julia by his side? Okay truth time … this novel is said to be a modern retelling of the classic Audrey Hepburn film ‘Roman Holiday,’ and though I have heard of it I have never watched it so I really didn’t know what it was about. Yet I can definitely say I was not disappointed in the least as I was hooked by Chapter 2. It was the banter between Niccolo and Julia that reeled me in, especially how it seemed that Julia could get to the heart of any situation which made her be able to handle and understand Niccolo better than most people. Together they seemed to light up each page as you learned about their unusual meetup and budding romance. Though both were resistant to the possibility of something more between them because of the reality of their lives it seemed like fate wanted them together no matter what. It was very charming to see them both succumb to fate. I recommend this novel 100% to anyone looking for a quirky contemporary new adult romance! My only regrets, though they didn’t tarnish my love for this novel, was that given today’s technology I kept thinking that Niccolo’s security would find him because of his cell phone AND I wish the ending wasn’t so abrupt. And yet I still HIGHLY recommend it! Review By: From Me to You ... Video, Photography, & Book Reviews -- read more of this review and TWO TEASERS on my blog: frommetoyouvideophoto.blogspot.com --
The first in a series where each book is self contained, it is a remake of a story, but maybe with a little twist. This book was a remake of Roman Holiday and from the beginning I was swept up into this grand story. A prince is mistaken by a tour guide for her private tour of the day and as he wants to get out of his duties, he decides to go along for the ride. From the beginning, I loved Julia Costa the tour guide. She was fun and spunky and I just loved her energy. I almost wanted to try to get a plane to Rome and have her by my tour guide for the day, I loved that she was trying to do the tour guide thing to pay the bills while getting a degree that bled into her tour guide life. The prince was fantastic. He was the brother that never got into trouble and always followed what was told and for one day he wanted to throw caution to the wind and make his own decisions - I loved it. I just adored this book and the writing and the pace. The characters were right on point and with all things royal, I loved it. This one is completely romance so if that isn't your jam you may not like it. It definitely had some sexy times, but they weren't unwarranted or weirdly placed, they were just right. I was excited to start the series and will be reviewing book two and three the next two days.
After years of disappointment and heartbreak at the hands of men who she thought she could trust, Julia Costa believes she has learned her lesson. After her father ended up as Wall Street’s biggest embezzler, dragging her name through the mud and her into the limelight, Julia fled to Rome to study Archeology. In the city of romance, Julia falls hard for a man and becomes far too trusting. When she doesn’t see it coming, he packs up and leaves with every cent she owns. Now, Julia is left to fend for herself with a job as a tour guide in Rome until she can save up the money to complete her thesis in order to earn her Master's degree. Julia, much too involved in getting to where she needs to be going, does not pay attention to tabloids and celebrity gossip, but instead gets lost in the sights and sounds of Rome. Until one day, when a tour goes wrong - or oh, so right. If Julia had paid attention to the news and gossip of Rome, she may have realized that one of the tourists, “Mano Romano,” was not, in fact, a tourist at all, but the crown prince of Lazaretto. Naive as Julia is, she fully believes “Mano” to be the person she is giving a full day’s tour to. Not only is this a costly booking, but one that helps her live and save for her degree. Mano just so happens to be Niccolo La Torre, who is not a client at all, but a Prince tired of living up to his royal day to day duties. How much would he pay for a day of no responsibilities, especially with someone as unnerving as Julia? Everything. Except he has no money and no way to pay Julia for the tour. Is that what Julia gets for being too trusting, yet again, even as alarm bells were ringing in her head? In a rush of emotion, fear and, most of all, anger at losing her job, Julia kidnaps her client until he is able to pay for his tour. Being a Prince, he is not accustomed to carrying money, he has people who do that for him. He’s also used to people giving in to his every whim, however, because Julia does not know who he is, she gives him no special treatment. This is both unusual for Nico, but extremely attractive. With the promise of giving her money the next day, she takes him home with her. After speaking with his secretary the next day, it is discovered that the money could not be secured. Not only because it is such a large sum, but because it happens to be a Sunday. Ironically, even being a Prince doesn’t make for such accommodations to be made. Julia, determined to get her money, insists Nico stay with her, but in a twist of events, he asks her to give him another tour, one in which he will pay even more money - just to be able to have one more day of freedom. With alarm bells ringing, ignoring her past luck, she relents, as there is something about this mysterious man that is utterly attractive and different about him. She is not the only one feeling this way. Will she ever get her money, learn who Nico really is, and maybe even find love despite her past hardships? This book was not only addicting and hard to put down, but it also didn’t come off as a normal “cheesy” romance like so many others do. The descriptions of Rome and the sights made me crave travel and the twists and turns had me guessing until the very end. As the first book in this series, I can hardly wait to begin the next. I can only hope that Wilson's next book in the series is as well-written, enchanting, and adventurous. Quill says: Royally Roma makes it easy to feel as though you’ve travelled and fallen in love
I loved the way Teri Wilson incorporated romance and adventure in “Royally Roma” The genre of “Royally Roma” is Romance. I appreciate the author’s descriptions of the scenery and significant destinations to tour in Rome. The architecture and history of the Coliseum (Colosseum), statues, restored ruins, fountains, and churches are depicted. Teri Wilson describes the characters as complex, complicated, overwhelmed and secretive. Julia Costa has run away from home in America , where her father has embezzled millions of dollars from clients, and now is in jail. Julia is ambitious and is working as a tour guide in Rome to help pay her expenses, so she can finish her thesis for her Masters in Archeology. Niccolo La Torre, is the Crown Prince of Lazaretto, has the responsibilities of traveling to different countries as an ambassador of good will. Niccolo is also responsible for cleaning up his older brother’s embarrassing actions that reflect on his country. Niccolo needs to have some freedom. Julia goes to the hotel to meet her client for her tour. Julia presumes that Niccolo is her client and they start on their adventure. Of course, Julia doesn’t know who Niccolo is and Niccolo has no idea of Julia’s family history. Both have reason to avoid the press or Paparazzi. Is there such a person as Prince Charming? Does Julia finally get her happily ever after? This was a charming, enchanting and sexy story with lots of adventure. I would recommend it highly. I received a copy of this book for an honest review.
Royally Roma (The Royals, #1) by Teri Wilson Teri Wilson worked to create a cliche story but found that she had a piece that looks at human nature and the desires between men and women. The book draws out the relationship, in a short period of time a single weekend two people who find themselves insurmountably attracted to each other, learn that risking everything for each other is what life requires of them. The cliche is that she is the rich daughter of a Bernie Madoff like entrepreneur, who believes that all men who she has loved betrayed her. He is the prince overwhelmed by the demands of the royal life. He is forced to make up for the flaws of not only his father but his brother to. This book shows the strain of desire, and the cost of finding value in someone who does understand where you have been. The only criticism of the text is the illusion to historic information about Rome that is never delivered, it was used to illustrate the intelligence of the leading role of the book, but just made the reader want to know what she was actually talking about.
I have to open this review up with the following disclosure that based on my own reviewer criteria and looking for great wholesome books that readers won't have to be shocked to read when it contains material that wouldn't ordinarily read in their selection of novels. That could be sexual content, profanity or anything you wish you could be advised of before picking up a novel and reading or purchasing it based on the premise on the back. With Royally Roma by Teri Wilson, the premise of a private tour guide, Julia Costa, who unknowingly picks up Niccolo La Torre, Crown Price of Lazaretto for the day. It isn't until she presents him with her bill, that he attempts to sneak out of the hotel until she catches him and vows that until she gets paid, she isn't leaving his side. Sounds like something the Hallmark Channel might produce, until you read the novel. I was so hoping for just that, a wholesome novel about this quirky premise that lends some humor along with romance. The setting is perfect as well as the whole idea until you actually beginning reading the book. What shocked me was that Teri Wilson's other novel Unleashing Mr. Darcy IS a Hallmark Original movie and she is in development for two other films. So where did this novel go wrong? The idea that one man's escapes about being with an entire women's swimming team is now front page news in London and the opening chapter of the book, has Julia waking up with a naked prince in her bed. All he thinks about is his next romance with an attractive female and when Julia shows up mistaking him as her private tour, he finds the idea intriguing of removing himself from all the royal scheduling that has been planned for him. Most of the story line is geared to what each of them think of the other in terms of more than just physical attraction and that is where I lost interest in this. You have Niccolo who loves to drink while entertaining his thoughts about Julia. It is all that he thinks about and that gets downright irritating. I felt that its fine to let the reader know that both characters are initially attracted to one another, but it is as if every single paragraph alludes to the sexual attraction towards one another.There are some sex scenes that I can't believe Hallmark would include if this were to be made into a film. That is beyond tiresome to read over and over again. In fact one such comment from the press release states that this novel "is an enchanting retelling of the classic Audrey Hepburn film Roman Holiday." Yet this novel comes far from accomplishing that. I would have preferred to have a more classic version I guess with far less content dealing with each characters fascination with the other when it comes to romance. For me this one just fell flat with a 3.5 out of 5 stars in my opinion. I received Royally Roma by Teri Wilson compliments of Pocket Star books, a division of Simon and Schuster Publishers.
Loved the story and how the author captured Rome.
Royally Roma is a sweet romance and was a fun story. I really liked this book! Royally Roma is a modern retelling of the Audrey Hepburn film Roman Holiday. I’ve never seen the movie but I liked the references to the famous actress. Julia Costa escaped to Rome to leave her family secrets behind. But her heart is broken again and has lost all faith in romance. Instead Julia is focusing on her PhD and working as a private tour guide in Rome. Niccolo La Torre is the Crown Prince of Lazaretto and has his future all planned for him. But keeping his family secrets and cleaning up his brother’s mess has finally taken a toll on him. For once he’d want to live a normal life and his wish comes true the moment Julia walks in his life. A mistaken identity leads to a day filled with the beautiful sights of Rome. Love is in the air and Julia and Niccolo can’t ignore their strong attraction. But will their secrets get in the way of Julia and Niccolo of their happiness? You have got to read this to find out! Royally Roma came at just the right time for me. I was going through a reading slump and this romance was so fun I had a hard time putting the book down. The love story was predictable but I’m a sucker for a happily ever after ending. I loved Julia’s feisty attitude and her passion for the archaeology of Rome. Niccolo is charming and sexy, I was moved with his devotion to his family and country. I really liked them as a couple and I thought the mistaken identity aspect was a cute touch. It was good to see Niccolo enjoy himself without the pressures of his royal duties. Royally Roma is the first book I’ve read from author Teri Wilson and I look forward to reading more from her. This is perfect for readers who love sweet romance set in an exotic location.
Really cute, easy read. I love getting lost in a good romance and I love being able to experience new places via the written word. Royally Roma is a quick read, one that you can easily finish in just one sitting. The story-line is fun and cute. The characters are entertaining and sweet together. Overall, I thought this was just a really sweet read. It’s definitely going to be one of those that is great for some, but not a hit for others. For me, I’m somewhere in between. While this is sweeter than my usual reads, it was a nice change of pace and I’m glad to have checked it out.
Loved this enchanting story. This was a delightful and charming romance, with all the flavour of the Audrey Hepburn film plus a passing nod to the trials of the current younger generation of British Royals and their mother. HFN ending. Highly recommended. Will look for more by this author. I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley. I was not compensated for my review, and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own.