An IVF clinic mix-up means eternally single Alison Whitman is now carrying the child--no, the royal heir--of Maximo Rossi, Prince of Turan!
Maximo had given up on the hope of fatherhood a long time ago--until this surprise second chance. Now, the dynamic ruler will seize this opportunity with both hands. However, tradition is high on the prince's agenda and he'll never stand for an heir born out of wedlock....
Alison is about to find out that royal marriage is a command, not a choice!
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March 31, 2011
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Excerpt from An Accidental Birthright by Maisey Yates
"Oh, please don't rebel on me now." Alison Whitman put her hand over her stomach and tried to quell the rising nausea that was threatening her with immediate action if she didn't get a hold of some saltine crackers or a bottle of ginger ale. Morning sickness was the pits, and it was even worse when it lasted all day. Worse still when you were about to tell a man he was going to be a father.
Alison put her car in Park and took a deep breath, almost relieved to discover a roadblock in her path. The wrought-iron gates that partitioned the massive mansion from the rest of the world looked impenetrable. She didn't know a lot about this man, the father of her baby; nothing really other than his name. But it was clear that he was way out of her league, both financially and otherwise.
Her eyes widened when she saw a man in a dark suit with security-issue sunglasses prowling the perimeter of the fence. Was Max Rossi mafia or something? Who had security detail in the middle of nowhere in Washington State?
The guard, because that's what he had to be, exited through a smaller pedestrian gate and walked toward her car, his expression grim. He gestured for her to roll her window down and she complied, self-conscious of the crank handle that she had to use to perform the action. Her car wasn't exactly a new, fully loaded model.
"Are you lost, ma'am?" He sounded perfectly pleasant and polite, but she knew that his right hand, which looked as though it was resting on his hip and was partly concealed by his dark suit jacket, was likely gripping a gun.
"No. I'm looking for Mr. Rossi. This is the address I was given."
The man's lips turned up slightly. "Sorry. Mr. Rossi isn't receiving visitors."
"I'm..." She swallowed. "I'm Alison Whitman. He's expecting me. At least I think he is."
The guard held up a hand, pulled a cell phone from his pocket and hit Speed Dial. He spoke rapidly in a foreign language, Italian, she guessed, before hanging up and turning his attention back to her.
"Go ahead and pull in. Park your car at the front." He walked to the gate and keyed in a code. The iron monstrosities swung forward and Alison pulled the car through, her stomach now seriously protesting.
She really didn't know Max Rossi; she had no assurance he wouldn't harm her in some way. Maybe she hadn't thought this through.
No, that wasn't true. She had thought this through. From every angle until she was certain she had no choice but to come here and see the father of her baby, despite the fact that she wanted to bury her head in a hole and pretend the whole thing had never happened. She couldn't play ostrich on this one, no matter how much she might like to.
The house was massive, its bulk partially concealed by towering fir trees. The intensity of the saturated greens surrounding her was almost surreal, compliments of the year-round rainfall. Nothing new to a native of the Pacific Northwest, but she rarely ventured outside the Seattle city limits anymore, so being surrounded by this much nature felt like a new experience. And seeing such a pristine, modern mansion set in the middle of the rugged wilderness was akin to an out-of-body experience.
Of course, the past two weeks had also seemed like an out-of-body experience; first with the positive pregnancy test, and then with all of the revelations that had followed.
She parked her ancient car in front of the house and got out slowly, really hoping she didn't lose her lunch in the middle of the paved driveway. Not exactly a way to make a good impression on a man.
The security detail appeared out of nowhere, his hand clamping firmly on her arm as he led her to the front door.
"I appreciate the chivalrous gesture, but I...