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Matrimony with His Majesty (by Royal Appointment)
Darrell Collier is an ordinary, small-town single mom. And when Alexandre Valleder sweeps into her life, she's determined not to be pressured into marriage by royal command!
Alex is a good ruler and a responsible king. But one secret night, years ago, he rebelled a little. The result, as he's just discovered, was a child. Now he has to make things right. It will shock his family and shake up the monarchy. But first he must persuade this beautiful, stubborn commoner she has the makings of a queen!
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April 09, 2007
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Excerpt from Matrimony with His Majesty (by Royal Appointment) by Rebecca Winters
"Since the last two major college riots, we have to
take what happened today seriously, Alex. I'm urging you to move yourself and your loved ones to one of your residences in the mountains away from the public where you're not so vulnerable."
"We've been over this ground before, Leo. I refuse to let fear rule our lives."
"then at least consider permanently closing off public access to the castle and estate. there are too many radical student elements out there wanting to bring down the monarchy. they never stop thinking up new and ingenious ways to wreak havoc for the sheer hell of it."
"I agree there have always been those fringe elements in society, but I'd rather employ more security than shut myself off from the people."
In Alex's six years as king of the Romanche-speaking Valleder Canton in Switzerland, Leo had kept everyone safe, freeing Alex to attempt to do the job his father had done so superbly over a thirty-year period as sovereign.
He eyed Leo, the forty-year-old widower who'd been Interpol's top agent before becoming Alex's head of state security. They'd grown to be close friends.
"Tell me what happened."
"An extremely attractive American woman came through on the 10:00 a.m. tour of the castle. After it was over she told the guide she had business with you and asked that she be given an audience on a private matter. When told you didn't meet with the public she said, "Not even if I have something of value to return to him?"
"Naturally the guide called for security. they brought her by police car to the downtown office. During my interrogation she said she had a ring of yours and knew you would want it back."
Alex shook his head. "Where do these crazies come from? the only ring I have is the one my father gave me prior to his death six years ago. you're looking at it."
Leo folded his arms. "it's obvious the woman intentionally created a scene to see what would happen, and of course she got her wish.
"She was searched and her passport seized. When I asked to see the ring, she said she hadn't brought it with her because it was too valuable. But she had photos of it in the purse we confiscated."
A sound of incredulity escaped Alex's lips. "This woman knew she would be detained and questioned. I'm positive she wanted to see how our security system works at the castle. Since the last demonstrators" attempt to storm the north gate, it isn't out of the realm of possibility they're hatching another plan to get the whole canton's attention and stir up trouble. Frankly I don't like it. Especially with your wedding only three weeks away."
"I don't like it, either," Alex admitted in a grim tone. If any of those incidents had hurt one of his family, he'd never forgive himself for not taking greater precautions. Thankfully Leo had been on top of things.
"What do you know about her?"
"She's a resident of Aurora, Colorado, named Darrell Collier."
Alex had been there, but he'd also been to several of the states in the U.S., even lived for a short period in Arizona.
"the woman is traveling alone under a newly issued American passport. She's never applied for one before. Her nonstop flight to Zurich originated in Denver, Colorado, yesterday morning.
"When she deplaned, the douanier asked her the reason for her visit. She said she was taking a short vacation. She rented a car and drove here last night where she stayed at the Hotel Otter. This morning she showed up for the tour.
"I checked her employment. She works for Gold Jet Airlines in the States making reservations. there's no police record on her, no outstanding warrants for her arrest in the U.S.
"I suppose she could be someone with a mental condition who stopped taking her medication. But my gut is telling me she's very much in her right mind and working for some antiroyal group trying to discover the castle's vulnerabilities.