Hey everyone! I’m back with another excerpt! This one is from my upcoming release Heart of a Prince! It comes out July 31! YAY! You can still get it for the discounted price of 2.99 until the release date :). I love this story – I love Jordan and Astrid and I’m loving delving into a new series! It does connect with my previous books, but comes earlier in continuity than Reclaiming Hearts (we’ll catch up to them in the timeline in… book 4 I think – we’ll see some of what we didn’t know was happening in the Eyjanian royal family, etc. before we get to the Reclaiming Hearts portion of the timeline).
So here’s the beginning of Chapter 1! I can’t wait for y’all to get to know Astrid and Jordan too!
Jordan Haines gripped the bar and leaned his weight backwards. The wind shifted, again, and he found himself windsurfing toward an unfamiliar beach in a sheltered cove. Posted signs warned that this was a private area, but Jordan ignored them. He knew himself. He knew his body.
He knew his limits.
And he was about at the end of his sometimes frustratingly short endurance.
The time had come to get off the ocean and onto the beach for a rest, until he could call someone to pick him up or get enough of his oomph back to get back out on the waves. The former was more likely, but the latter was his preference. He’d packed some energy bars, just in case.
A few minutes after ignoring the signs, he sat on the beach, his gear dismantled for the time being. Under a conveniently placed umbrella, Jordan opened his pack to remove the protein bars and water bottles with energy drink flavoring.
Jordan sat there, mesmerized as the waves moved in then out then in again. He loved the ocean, always had. More and more in the last two years, something about the clear blue salt water called to him like a beacon.
He turned to see a woman walking onto the beach from a staircase a short distance away. Jordan lifted a hand in a friendly wave.
“What are you doing here? Did you not see the private beach signs? Do you know what private means?”
She came closer with each step. Slender, with wavy golden-brown hair, a gorgeous accent, and an attitude. This could be fun. Unless she had him arrested for being on private property.
Jordan held up both hands in mock surrender. “The wind got a bit out of control, and I needed a break before I could go any further. I promise I’ll be out of your hair soon.” One way or another, he would be.
The wind swirled her skirt around her knees as she dropped her basket next to him. “You’re under my umbrella.”
“So you own this property?”
“My family does, and I asked for an umbrella to be set up down here. For me.”
Jordan moved to one side. “I don’t mind sharing.”
“It’s not yours to share. It’s mine.”
Up close, he realized everything about her screamed money. That shouldn’t be a surprise, not given her presence on a private stretch of sand. Manicured nails. Jewelry that dazzled. Way too fancy for a day at the beach.
“Are you really planning to spend the whole day on the beach with nothing but whatever you’ve got in that basket?” He reached over and peeked inside. A book. A tablet. Food. Water.
“Yes. I plan to do just that. I’m going to read a book or two. Eat. Spend time alone.”
Was she near tears?
“Hey.” His tone changed from teasing to concerned. “What is it?”
“Today is my least favorite day of the year.” She sat next to him, her skirt tucked neatly underneath her. “I want to spend it alone on the beach. Without you or anyone else.”
“Not even your family?”
“No. Not even my family. None of them know exactly what today means to me. They don’t understand how difficult it is.”
Jordan picked up a handful of sand and let it slowly trickle back to the ground. “I understand tough days. I’ve had more than my share.”
She didn’t reply but continued to stare at the waves.
“If you want to talk about it, I’m a great listener.” What made him say that? Did he really care what this woman had been through?
Something deep inside told him that, yes, he did care. Far more than he should.
“I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Then we can just sit. I’m good with that.” He took a long drink of water. “Does everyone in your life know this is a tough day, or are they going to expect you to put on a happy face for all of them?”
“Yes to which?”
“Both. Everyone knows why today is a difficult day. Today and tomorrow, actually. But, in my family, you put on a happy face no matter what. At worst, you are allowed to be stoic.”
Jordan winced. “Ouch. That can’t be fun.”
She shrugged. “It is what it is.”
He wiped the sand from his hand off on his wet-suit-covered leg, then held it out to her. “If you’re not going to have me arrested, at least I should introduce myself. I’m Jordan.”
She shook his hand without looking at him. “Sofia. And I won’t have you arrested. Yet. But we are under surveillance, so don’t try anything.”
He chuckled. “You have nothing to worry about from me, Sofia. Do you have a last name? Mine is Haines.”
Sofia hesitated then shook her head. “Just Sofia.”
Jordan tried to stifle a grin. “I’m not sure I believe you don’t have a last name.”
“That is your choice, but it is the only answer you’re going to get.”
He didn’t reply for a moment. “So, Sofia, what do you do?”
It took her a minute to answer that question as well. “My family is wealthy. I will never have to work a day in my life until I take over for my father. I do charity work, and look pretty, mostly.”
It didn’t sound like a great life. “Well, you’ve got the look pretty part down.” Jordan tipped his water bottle like it was something to toast with. “There’s that.”
She glared at him. “It’s not much of an accomplishment.”
“If that’s basically your job, I’d guess you have to look your best at all times. No one can do that without feeling the pressure and eventually cracking under it.”
“I don’t have the luxury of cracking under pressure.”
Jordan hesitated. “You don’t always have a choice. Sometimes it just happens. Don’t ask how I know.” He took a big swig of water. He couldn’t let his thoughts go there.
There you have it! They’re off to a… start anyway ;). Maybe not a great one, but they’re both intrigued by the other :D. In the comments, let me know your favorite summer beach read for a chance to win an ecopy of Heart of a Prince! You can preorder here if you haven’t alreaedy!
Crowns & Courtships
Book 1: Royals of San Majoria
Canadian Jordan Haines is on vacation in the Caribbean. After the summer he’s had, a couple months of fun in the sun is just what the doctor ordered. What he didn’t count on was meeting a beautiful woman on a private beach – or falling hard.
Crown Princess Astrid of San Majoria seems to lead a charmed life. Just like everyone, there’s tragedy in her past, but she lives in a palace, has aides to do everything – and paparazzi hounding her private moments. Her sanctuary on her family’s beach is broken one day when a tired windsurfer takes refuge in her cove – and works his way into her heart.
But it’s just a summer fling, isn’t it?
After all, Jordan will be returning to Canada before long, won’t he?
When pictures of the two of them, and what looks like an engagement ring, appear in the tabloids, they have to deal with fallout – and the beginnings of a real relationship. Secrets kept become hearts broken as they try to discover if Jordan really has the heart of a prince.