Royally Romanov

Royally Romanov

by Teri Wilson

NOOK Book(eBook)

$4.99
Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
Want a NOOK ? Explore Now

Overview

Royally Romanov by Teri Wilson

In this charming modern day retelling of the 1956 classic Anastasia, a museum curator falls for a mysterious man who may or may not be a long lost heir to Russia’s imperial Romanov dynasty.

Finley Abbot is organizing the most prestigious art exhibit of her career at the Louvre museum—a retrospective of art from the House of Romanov. But the sudden appearance of Maxim Romanov threatens to turn her into the biggest laughingstock of the art world. When she finds herself falling in love, she realizes there’s even more at stake than her career. How can she trust a man with her whole world when he can’t remember a thing about his past?

After suffering a violent blow to the head, Maxim’s only clue to his identity is a notebook containing carefully researched documentation in his own handwriting indicating that he is the sole surviving descendant of the Grand Duchess Anastasia, previously thought dead in the murder of her family during Russia’s Bolshevik revolution. His struggle to put the mysterious pieces of his past back together leads him to Finley. At first, she’s convinced Maxim is nothing but a con artist. But there’s something undeniably captivating about the beautiful, brooding man who claims to be searching for his identity—something Finley can’t quite bring herself to resist. When he reveals a secret about one of the imperial Fabergé eggs in the collection, she accepts he may actually be telling the truth. But as soon as Finley and Maxim act on their feelings for one another, Maxim is confronted with evidence that calls into question everything he’s begun to believe about himself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501160509
Publisher: Pocket Star
Publication date: 07/17/2017
Series: Royals , #2
Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 366,270
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Teri Wilson is the author/creator of the Hallmark Channel Original Movies Unleashing Mr. Darcy, Marrying Mr. Darcy, and The Art of Us, as well as a fourth Hallmark movie currently in development. Teri is a double finalist in the prestigious 2018 RWA RITA awards for her novels The Princess Problem and Royally Wed. Teri also writes an offbeat fashion column for the royal blog What Would Kate Do and is a frequent guest contributor for its sister site, Meghan’s Mirror. She’s been a contributor for both HelloGiggles and Teen Vogue, covering books, pop culture, beauty, and everything royal. In 2017, she served as a national judge for the Miss United States pageant in Orlando, Florida, and has since judged in the Miss America system. She has a major weakness for cute animals, pretty dresses, Audrey Hepburn films, and good books. Visit her at TeriWilson.net or on Twitter @TeriWilsonAuthr.

Read an Excerpt

Royally Romanov

CHAPTER

ONE

He should have been dead.

That’s what they told him, anyway.

The doctors in Hôpital Hôtel-Dieu in the fourth arrondissement of Paris didn’t mince words. He’d been told time and time again how lucky he was to be alive. The internal bleeding alone should have killed him. His head injury was just icing on the cake.

He didn’t feel so lucky—he felt like hell. Every bone in his body hurt. It hurt to move. It hurt to breathe. It even hurt to blink.

According to the médecin, the sharp ache that pierced his side every time he inhaled was the result of a rather impressive collection of broken ribs. But the ribs were nothing compared to the unrelenting throb in his head. He’d never experienced a headache so excruciating. The pain was so severe he could see tiny sparks of light when he closed his eyes. The medication they were giving him left a bad taste in his mouth. Chemical and bitter. It was as though he’d licked one of the drainpipes in the dank recesses of Paris’s underground sewers. Not that he’d ever licked a drainpipe before . . .

But possibly he had. Maybe it was one of the memories that had become lost when he’d been mugged. Overnight, so much of his life had slipped through his fingers. Days. Weeks. Months.

Years.

Licking a drainpipe seemed like something that would leave an impression, but how would he know when he couldn’t seem to remember his own name?

“Bonjour, monsieur.” The morning nurse padded into the room and swished the curtains open. They’d been keeping his room dark while his head healed. Lights off. Curtains closed.

But today the outside world was rainy and gray, so apparently he was being rewarded with his first glimpse of Paris in two days. Raindrops pattered against the glass, blurring the horizon like a Monet painting.

“You have a visitor.” The nurse smiled as she injected something into his IV drip. The wave of warmth that crept down his body told him it was more pain medication.

Dieu merci. Thank God.

He took as deep a breath as he could manage and swiveled his head a fraction of an inch to meet her gaze. “A visitor?”

Someone had come looking for him. At last.

“Oui.” She straightened the already-straight sheets on his bed and staunchly avoided looking him in the eye. “Un policier.”

A policeman. Not exactly the visitor he’d been hoping for.

Where were his friends and family? His coworkers? Hadn’t he been seeing someone recently, too?

Or maybe he hadn’t. He honestly had no idea.

But why did he keep seeing the same woman in his dreams? Thick waves of long, blond hair. Full, generous lips. Eyes that carried a lifetime of secrets.

He closed his eyes, conjuring up her image again. She wore the same black turtleneck, cigarette pants, and elegant stilettoes she’d worn in his dreams. Her fringe skimmed her eyelashes. He felt a strange and dangerous pull.

Who was she? And why wasn’t she here?

“Bonjour.”

His gaze flitted to the doorway, where a man in a plain dark suit holding two leather notebooks fished a police badge out of his pocket and held it up for inspection.

A detective. Marvelous.

“Puis-je entrer?” He slid the badge back into his coat pocket.

“Oui. Come in.” He supposed he’d have to talk to the police eventually. He’d been the victim of a crime, apparently. A particularly violent crime. They’d want answers.

Unfortunately, he didn’t have any.

“How are you feeling?” The détective unbuttoned his suit jacket and rested a hand on the back of the lounge chair in the corner of the room.

“I’ve been better.” I think.

The detective dragged the chair closer to the bed, allowing the legs to scrape against the tile floor. The hideous noise reverberated throughout his body, from his injured head to the tips of his toes poking out from beneath the covers in blue hospital socks.

“I’m here to ask you some questions about the night of your injury.” His visitor flipped open the smaller of the two notebooks and squinted at one of the pages. “Three nights ago. Is that correct?”

“I think so.” He wasn’t sure. Time had taken on a blurry, disorienting quality since he’d woken up in the hospital. He’d been on a steady stream of pain medication, punctuated by brief moments of clarity. As soon as he’d come close to remembering, he’d feel himself slipping under again, succumbing to sleep.

And her. Always her.

The detective’s gaze lingered on the morphine drip at the head of the hospital bed. “It says here you were found unconscious in the cathedral square at Notre Dame at around three in the morning. Can you tell me what you were doing in that area at that time of night?”

“I’m afraid I can’t.” His eyes were beginning to feel heavy. He fought to keep them open.

“Can’t.” The officer lifted a brow. “Or won’t?”

“The former. I suffered a grade three concussion. It’s left me with no memory of the incident.” Or much else.

“None whatsoever?”

“I’m afraid not, but the doctors tell me it’s not unusual to suffer short term memory loss around the time of a head injury.” A blessing, they’d called it. As if remembering how he’d ended up this way would be more terrifying than forgetting who he was.

“What’s the last thing you remember doing that day?” The officer’s pen remained poised over the notebook.

“I can’t answer that either. My memory loss is rather . . .” He swallowed. “Extensive.”

“I see. And do the doctors assure you there’s nothing unusual about that either?”

Why did he feel guilty all of sudden? He’d done nothing wrong. At least he didn’t think he had.

But it didn’t sound altogether good, did it? Was he the type of person who roamed the streets of Paris in the middle of the night? He didn’t think so.

Yet something about the scenario sounded familiar. Once or twice since he’d awakened in the hospital, he’d been struck by an image so vivid, so precise that it couldn’t be anything but real. He’d seen a copper sun embedded in cobblestones and a pair of feet. His feet, surrounded by coins.

It was an odd thing to remember, but the doctors had told him time and time again that head injuries were unpredictable. There was nothing to worry about. His MRI and CT scans were both clear. His brain would fill in the gaps in his memory eventually.

Probably.

“They expect me to make a full recovery. It’ll just take time. Believe me, Détective, no one wants me to get my memory back more than I do.” It was strange how the human brain worked. He remembered being carted off the grade school playground in an ambulance after his skinned knee wouldn’t stop bleeding. He remembered how he liked his coffee—black. He remembered the metro stop closest to his apartment in Montmartre—Lamarck Caulaincourt. He even remembered the cool fragrance of the orange tree on his balcony.

But he couldn’t remember if he even lived in Montmartre anymore. Nor could he remember his own name.

Whenever he tried, his mind went blank. The pain in his head became unbearable. He kept thinking it’d come back to him when he least expected it, that one day he’d open his eyes and say, “I’m John,” or “My name is Hugo.”

But it hadn’t happened. At least not yet. His identity remained as elusive as the myriad of other things he’d forgotten.

To make matters even more unsettling, he remembered snippets of things that made no sense. The coins. The shoes.

The girl.

Thinking about her brought a smile to his lips until he realized the détective was staring at him as if he were some sort of science experiment. “So you have no memory of visiting Point Zero on the night you were attacked?”

“Point Zero.” He frowned. “You’re right. I was there, wasn’t I?”

The officer’s gaze narrowed. “That’s where you were found. You remember now, oui?”

He wished he could say yes. But he didn’t remember. He’d simply pieced together what little information he had.

The Paris Point Zero marker was a circular piece of granite inlaid in the cobblestones at the location known as Kilometer Zero. It was the official center of Paris, the point from which all distances throughout France were measured. The place where everything in Paris began.

Tourists often tossed coins in the octagonal center of the marker for good luck. The middle of the octagon dipped into the shape of a sun, and the marker itself sat just opposite the main entry of Notre Dame Cathedral.

He could remember his grandmother taking him there when he was a boy, decades ago. What he’d been doing there at three in the morning just two nights ago was a mystery he couldn’t begin to fathom.

“I don’t remember.” He knew what the détective was thinking. It was written all over his face. “I wasn’t buying drugs. There were no drugs in my body when the ambulance brought me in. The doctors can verify that.”

“Yes, I know. I’ve already checked.”

He balled the bedsheets in his fists. Why did he feel like the criminal all of a sudden rather than the victim?

“We’re doing everything we can to locate the person who did this to you, Maxim. But we’ve got very little to go on, as you can see.”

He took a sharp inhale.

Maxim.

Was that his name? It didn’t sound familiar at all. Nor could he attach it to any sort of last name in his mind. That couldn’t be normal, could it?

Nothing about this situation is normal.

“The entire city is distressed over what happened to you. Notre Dame is one of Paris’s biggest tourist attractions, and now those tourists are afraid to go there after dark.” The detective sighed.

Merde. As if Maxim didn’t have enough to deal with at the moment, now the Parisian tourism industry rested on his shoulders.

“Do you understand that the investigation can’t proceed without more information?” The officer looked at him expectantly. Waited for him to say something.

He had the sudden urge to scream. Why was this happening? How was it possible to wake up in the hospital with an identity he knew nothing about?

“I understand,” he said quietly.

He knew precious little about his own life, but he understood plenty. The police thought he’d been involved in a drug deal gone wrong or something equally nefarious. He was almost inclined to agree. Wasn’t there a saying about nothing good ever happening after 2:00 a.m.?

He didn’t want to believe it. But he also couldn’t figure out why he’d been at Point Zero when he should have been sleeping, or why someone felt the need to beat him within an inch of his life.

The policeman flipped his notebook closed and shoved it in the inside pocket of his jacket. “We’re still searching for witnesses who may have been present at the time of your attack. I’ll be in contact if anything turns up. Once you leave here I’m assuming you’ll return to your address in Saint-Germain-des-Prés.”

This stranger knew more about him than he knew about himself. “Saint-Germain-des-Prés?”

He’d moved up in the world. Maybe he was a drug dealer. Or maybe he lived with his grandmother now. She’d lived in a spacious flat on Boulevard Saint-Germain since before his parents had died. He’d grown up there.

Either he’d turned to a life of crime or he was a grown man living with his grand-mère—neither seemed like an ideal option. But as he took in the detective’s dubious gaze, he pinned all his hopes on the second one.

The officer cleared his throat and reached for the brown leather notebook that had been resting in his lap. “The handwriting in this journal matches the penmanship on the forms you filled out for the hospital, and the journal was the only piece of evidence recovered from the crime scene. It’s undoubtedly yours, but I’m gathering you have no memory of it either.”

The detective flipped it open. A phone number that failed to spark even the slightest memory was written in the front cover. Just below it was an address on Boulevard Saint-Germain.

His grandmother’s.

His sigh of relief was audible. “May I have it?”

“Oui. My office has already made a thorough photocopy.” The officer stood and set the journal down on the small plastic tray attached to the hospital bed.

Maxim stared at it, suddenly wary of opening it.

“Call me if you remember anything else. Anything at all.” He nodded in the direction of the leather notebook. “My card is inside.”

The detective lingered for a moment. Clearly he wished to see Maxim open the notebook, either out of some perverse curiosity or to gauge his reaction to its contents. Maxim wasn’t sure which, but he wasn’t inclined to give him the pleasure.

“Je vais.” I will. He meant it. He needed to know what had happened to him and why. Sooner rather than later. How could he walk out of the hospital and charge headlong into the future when so much of the past and present was a mystery? “Merci.”

The detective nodded and buttoned his coat.

Maxim closed his eyes and feigned sleep until the echo of retreating footsteps faded into nothingness. He dragged his eyes open, ignoring the ache in his skull, and pulled the tray closer.

He rested the palm of his hand on the journal’s smooth brown cover, hoping for some sense of muscle memory to kick in. The brandy-colored leather beneath his fingertips was aged. Worn. He’d obviously been carrying this thing around for a while.

The beeps on his heart monitor sped up as he turned to the first page. He wasn’t sure what he expected to find. An autobiography would have been nice.

The page was covered in some kind of family tree. Interconnected rectangles stretched from margin to margin. The names within the boxes seemed as if they were from another time and place.

Natalia Narychkina. Eudoxie Lopoukhine. Anne Leopoldovna.

They meant nothing to him. Yet for some reason, he’d been carrying these strangers around with him in the middle of the night.

The ache in his head blossomed. His vision began to blur around the edges. Trying to read while recovering from a concussion was about as effective as a dog chasing its tail.

Concentrate.

He blinked a few times and looked at the chart again. Then he noticed that someone—himself, he presumed—had written a title across the top of the page.

Les monarques de la dynastie Romanov.

The monarchs of the Romanov dynasty.

Well that explained why none of the names looked familiar. These were historical figures. Royalty. None of these people had anything to do with his real life.

Then why are their names meticulously documented in your handy dandy notebook, genius?

Good question.

He turned the page. The next double-page spread contained an even more detailed family tree. More names. More dates. More Romanovs. What the hell? He’d turned into some sort of Russian history nerd.

He could live with that. It was a strange thing to be into, but it was better than the less appealing options he’d considered after he’d woken up without a memory, beaten to a pulp.

But it still didn’t explain why he’d been at Point Zero in the middle of the night.

Maybe he’d had some kind of urgent nerd emergency. The lines on his handwritten charts were razor-straight. He’d lost his ruler and gone out for a new one. Or possibly another journal since this one seemed full.

He flipped through the rest of the pages, but found nothing new. Just more charts documenting the Romanov Empire and pages upon pages of notes about the royal family.

What the hell was he looking at? He wasn’t just a history nerd. He was obsessed.

His head ached. His gut churned.

As he sat pondering what was beginning to look like his own unhealthy fascination with a Russian dynasty that had died out almost a century ago, a card fell from the notebook into his lap. He picked it up.

Julian Durand, Détective

Préfecture de police de Paris

The detective’s phone number was listed below his name and title. Maxim stared at it until the numbers blurred. His reality, however, remained crystal clear.

This wasn’t a game. This was his life, and he no longer remembered a thing about it.

What the hell am I going to do?

He didn’t have much of a choice, did he? As soon as he was well enough to leave the hospital, he’d find out as much as he could about himself. One way or another, he’d put the pieces of his life back together.

He already knew far more than he had an hour ago. He knew his first name. He knew where he lived. He knew he’d developed some weird, hyperspecific form of OCD.

He should feel encouraged. But he couldn’t help wishing he’d learned something . . . anything . . . about the girl.

Tomorrow, he promised himself. If not tomorrow, the day after. Soon.

The throb in his head grew too insistent to ignore. He needed sleep. Maybe when he woke up his life would make more sense. It could happen, right?

He opened the journal to stick the card back inside. But his hands shook with pain, and the book slipped from his grasp. It landed on the tray with a thud and flipped open to the final page. Unlike the other pages, which contained lines upon lines of handwritten notes, this one contained only a single sentence. Four words.

Maxim stared in disbelief.

Je suis Maxim Romanov.

I am Maxim Romanov.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Royally Romanov 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An American assistant curator in the most prestigious museums in France and a guy that was attacked which resilted to amnesia, came together to learn who he is. And all signs are pointing to him being the grandson of the long lost Anastasia. The book was quite slow for me. It took me awhile to actually get into the book. It was written in a he said, she said PoV, which was nice, but still slow. There was even a time I was thinking when they're going to have sex already. Once I started emercing myself to the story, I have come to like it. I especially love the research made in this book and how history was very incorporated with the story line. I definitely give props to the author on the timeline, laws, artworks, made for her story. And that is the best thing about the book for me. I also need to praise the characters. Finley is an amazing woman who holds herself as an individual and as an independent woman. Maxim was okay for me. I think him not knowing who he is, is interesting for the story, but not so much as a character. Besides the book being slow, I also did not like how Maxim got his memory back. It left me with confusion and unbelief. I also wish there was an epilogue or some sort. The ending, I thought, was quite abrupt. All in all though, it was an okay romance for me. I like the love story, and it still holds true as a romance book. *i recieved a copy of this book from a giveaway
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings The second in a series, but this is one of those series where book two is is a whole new story with different characters so this can be ready completely out of order. This story is about Finley Abbot and Maxim Romanov. It is a twist on the Anastasia story and I loved how they used that story as a foundation, but flipped it on its end a little. This story took place in Paris and I just loved it. Finley Abbot is a curator at the Louvre and has been working on this huge exhibit about the Romanovs as an anniversary is coming up of their execution. And at a book reading for a book she has written about the Romanovs up shows Maxim who after ending up in a hospital has woken up with a journal full of Romanov genealogy and he has an inkling that there is some truth in it all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A feel good commoner meets royalty story. Made me want to research more about the Rominovs. A good, well written romance.
KatsNook More than 1 year ago
3.5 Stars for Royally Romanov Royally Romanov is a modern-day retelling of Anastasia mixed with romance and intrigue. I enjoyed reading this second book in Teri Wilson’s The Royals series. The animated film Anastasia is one of my favorites and I loved how Teri Wilson added her own twist to this classic. After suffering a violent attack that left him with amnesia, Maxim has no memory of who he is and only has two clues to his past: a notebook filled with Romanov facts and an image of a beautiful woman in his dreams. As he tries to regain his memory he meets Finley Abbot, the beautiful woman in his dreams and a museum curator organizing a Romanov exhibit. As they spend time together more clues of Maxim’s identity are discovered but also a strong connection is formed between Maxim and Finley. I liked how the author brought two strangers together with a connection that is not just physical but also an emotional one. But their romance felt rushed. The mystery surrounding his identity was thought out well and kept me interested and guessing for the truth. Overall, I thought this was a good story and was creative. The romance was passionate and the mystery was intriguing. This was a quick read and is perfect to add a little romance to your summer reads.
reececo331 More than 1 year ago
Royally Romanov (The Royals, #2) by Teri Wilson Teri Wilson is the epitome of the romantic heart. Set in the sights and sounds of the most romantic city in the world, (Paris) this story shows the human heart and desire for the world to be a different place. The story of Anastasia Romanov has always been tragic, her exceptional death at the hands of the Boslovics is one of Europe's greatest tragedies. The idea that she escaped this horrific end has fueled speculation and dreams of Beauty and the Beast fairy tales. It fits that this book comes out on the eve of the remake of Beauty and the Beast movie. Teri Wilson’s timing could not have been better. Her story of love in Paris, and the idea that the Tzar Nicholas II did not end his dynasty with the deaths of himself and his family at the hands of revolutionaries is hopelessly romantic. This is a great story on its own for love in Paris, the royal sparkle is just that the sparkle in the jewel of the Faberge` Egg. Great job my lady.
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
In front of Notre Dame Cathedral, on Point Zero, Maxim Laurent is found beaten half to death. The problem is, he has no idea why. Because of being beaten so brutally, he has temporarily lost his memory. All he is left with is a notebook, a sinking feeling he must have done something terribly wrong and the vision of a girl who he has never met before in his life – only in his dreams. Barely remembering his own name or who he is, he searches his notebook for clues. Only one specific detail stands out, one sentence on the page: “I am Maxim Romanov.” With the Romanovs being dead for nearly 100 years, executed by the Bolsheviks, this seems unbelievable, however, his notebook states that the Grand Duchess Anastasia is, in fact, his grandmother. While many believed her to be alive as a result of escaping, her remains were said to have been found, making Maxim’s forgotten past just that much more difficult. It’s clear the Maxim is going to need help to put his broken past together. Finley Abbot, a curator for the Louvre, just finished a book about the Romanovs and is preparing an exhibit of art from their dynasty. An expert in her field, with a distinct interest in the Romanovs, she seems to be Maxim’s best bet. Although she is taken by his relatable story of being assaulted and interested in his claims that he is a Romanov, she believes him to be a con-artist, as it’s widely known Anastasia’s body has been found and there is no way she could have escaped. Even more suspicious is the fact that Maxim suddenly appears and claims to be a Romanov, as the hundred year anniversary approaches. The Century Rule states that those who have been victimized by government policy have 100 years to claim any art or objects of value that have been taken. Those who have been victimized get to take back the art as restitution. Maxim could lay claim to the entire exhibit, if it's proven he is a Romanov, and not only ruin everything Finley has worked for, but it could also put her reputation and career in jeopardy. However, something keeps holding her back from simply dismissing his claims and she is unable to walk away or separate herself from his situation. Is it because of his deep, dark eyes and brooding demeanor? Is it because she’s actually falling for him? Or is there truly something there that could change all of history, in many more ways than one? Just like Royally Roma, the first in the series, Royally Romanov is addicting and hard to put down. The hint of mystery and suspense propelled the story and served to enhance the romance in a way that kept it from being overbearing. Having been to France, it was nice to see the description being so vivid and I especially loved that I learned an entire theory that I didn’t even know existed. With the hundred-year anniversary of the execution of the Romanovs coming up, this was extremely relevant and interesting. I love how many elements mixed together to make this book truly enjoyable, from the mystery and romance to the history and knowledge. Truly a wonderful read. Quill says: Royally Romanov is the perfect blend of mystery, romance and suspense. Just as great, if not better, than the very first in the series.
HeyerF4n More than 1 year ago
Romantic and Charming. I loved this up-to-date version of Anastasia. It would in fact make a great film. The tragic end to the Royal Imperial Family has always spawned legends and this one is top notch. The author weaves a believable story with amnesiac Maxim as the grandson of the Archduchess Anastasia. It doesn't hurt that he is smoking hot and that he falls in love with an assistant curator of the Louvre, who is an expert on Romanov treasures. Highly recommended. 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.
Lashea677 More than 1 year ago
The story of Anastasia has always enamored me. Whether fact or myth, the idea that hope and courage can rise out of one of the most tragic events in history appeals to the heart. Maybe it's the humanity that keeps me from believing that cruelty and hate can be the victor over love and optimism. Teri Wilson gave a fresh face to a haunting story that has echoed through time but still proves no less powerful. The fact that people can't forget shows the impact. Maxim was a creation of that legacy and the fact that Ms. Wilson took on the task of creating a fictional character that embodies such a historical figure is amazing.