A Prince of a Guy by Leslie KellyHunky rock-and-roller Rafe is sure it's a case of mistaken identity. After all, he doesn't know Olivia, the gorgeous woman who accosts him outside his club. But he'd sure like to. So when she assumes he's her runaway prince and tells him she intends to take him home with her, he's more than game. Sure, he might not be a true prince. But a few nights in Olivia's bed make him feel like a king!Goldie and the Three Brothers by Jennifer LaBrecqueGoldie Dawkins works with three sexy brothers. And she's willing to go the extra mile to convince them of her ideas for the business. Too bad that extra mile gets her stranded at their remote cabin, in a storm, all alone. So what's a girl to do but check out the food, the recliners and the bedrooms to discover which one is just right? Only once bad-boy brother Jake Malone shows up, Goldie has no doubt which bed she intends to occupy....
Having been trained to believe it was her duty, and a great honor, to die protecting a member of the royal family, Olivia Vanderbrook tried very hard not to dislike her queen.The bitch didn''t make it easy.Queen Verona, the dowager who had ruled the kingdom of Grand Falls for sixteen years, since the death of her husband, was the most unpleasant person Olivia had ever known. The jewels dripping from every pudgy finger might sparkle, but the woman''s true personality couldn''t be brightened with all the gold in Elatyria.Verona-once called Fair Verona-was petty and vain. Greedy and hungry for wealth. Impatient and capricious, she would hold a grudge for a hundred years after she was put in her grave.To top it all off, she had truly awful taste in clothes. Olivia might always wear a simple black-leather uniform, designed for free movement in battle, but she knew a really bad dress when she saw one. Made with yards of heavy fabric and gaudy trimmings, the queen''s ugly gowns would look better on that nudist emperor who liked prancing about his kingdom without a stitch on.Despite all that, Olivia knew she should admire the woman. In this man''s world, Verona had managed to defeat enemies who wanted to wrest the kingdom away from her young son, heir to the throne. She had become renowned for her shrewd dealings and her ruthless nature. Though not loved, Verona was feared and respected by all her subjects. Well, feared, anyway.So as the captain of the all-female, Amazonian Royal Guard, Olivia should have been down with all of that. Women-supreme, chicks rule. Power to the va-jay-jay.But no. As she stood in one of the queen''s private receiving rooms, her head slightly bowed, feet apart, the butt of her longbow braced between them, she could only think it was a shame the king had died all those years ago, rather than his spiteful wife.Olivia''s father and the late king had been close friends. She remembered the former ruler as a kind man who had never ordered the head lopped off even the most saucy peasant. Renowned for his merry nature, he''d had a deep belly laugh and blew huge smoke rings from his pipe. He''d enjoyed playing chase-the-chambermaid, and so loved to dance that he kept a trio of fiddlers on call at all times.Looking on him as an uncle, Olivia remembered anxiously awaiting his royal visits to her family''s estate. He''d always brought wonderful presents for the Vanderbrook children. Frilly dolls and bows for her sisters. Books for her studious brother.And weapons and miniaturized suits of armor for Olivia.When she''d been but a child, the king had recognized in Olivia the same fighting spirit her most famous ancestor-her great-great-great-grandmother-had, a woman who''d been the leader of the last free-roaming Amazon band. The king had encouraged Olivia to join the Guard, and urged her parents to let her.Considering they had several other daughters to marry off, and one studious, serious son who showed no interest in soldiering, Olivia''s parents hadn''t fought the idea. Every family needed a warrior-theirs would just be their second-oldest girl rather than their only boy. That she would be giving up a normal life-husband, family and everything else-hadn''t bothered her, or them, one bit. Because nobody had ever assumed she''d wanted them.Everyone had known her destiny, and none had been surprised she''d risen through the ranks to achieve the highest rank-Captain of the Guard-by her twenty-eighth year. Her only regret was that the old king, who''d so encouraged her, hadn''t lived to see it.Oh, yes, if he were still her monarch, the idea of laying down her life would be a whole lot easier to swallow.For Queen Verona, though? Not so much."Ahh, there you are, Captain," the queen said, imperious as she swept into the private chamber where Olivia had been kept waiting at attention for nearly an hour."Greetings, Your Majesty," Olivia said, her head still down. Nobody looked the queen directly in the eye unless invited.The queen draped herself ac
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May 01, 2010
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