(The Shilling Agency #3)
Author: Jen McLaughlin
Length: 174 pages
Publication Date: December 15th, 2014
Rating: 5 Stars
A sexy category romance from Entangled's Brazen imprint...
He'll give her exactly what she needs…
Protecting a princess is not what former marine Gordon Waybrook signed up for when he joined the Shillings Agency. But instead of the spoiled, regal little creature he expects, Isabelle VanGuard is a fiery, sexy-as hell woman who's been denied what she needs for too long. And he's just the man to break through her frozen public facade and give it to her.
When she's with Gordon, all Isabelle can think about is pleasure. Their blistering chemistry is immediate and intense, but volatile. In fact, the only thing they agree on is that their one night together is just that—one night. Even after it becomes more. But tempers and temptation can't disguise reality. Isabelle is a princess, and a hot, hard, and tattooed bodyguard isn't the Prince Charming her country expects…even if he's exactly what she needs. -Goodreads
Seducing the Princess
by Diane Alberts
Copyright © 2014 by Diane Alberts. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce, distribute, or transmit in any form or by any means. For information regarding subsidiary rights, please contact the Publisher.
Gordon Waybrook sighed and shifted his weight in the overly padded seat of the coffee shop booth he’d been sitting in for the last twenty minutes. The seat next to him was empty. Not for lack of trying, though. He’d already sent three women away, but he wasn’t hanging out in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, trying to pick up women.
He was there to scope out his charge, Princess Isabelle VanGuard of Maldeva.
All he knew about the woman was she was a spoiled princess, magnificent in a way that screamed for him to see if she was as stunning under her clothes as she was in them— and she was late. He glanced down at the copy of her official schedule to double-check the time, and sure enough, coffee was penciled in at four o’clock in the afternoon.
Of course, the Princess didn’t have to worry about being on time. People just waited for her and didn’t dare to complain because, well, she was a fucking princess. She
probably never said please or thank you. Just expected life to be handed to her with a shiny silver bow. Wait, no. Platinum.
With priceless diamonds.
If she thought he’d bow at her feet and kiss her toes, she had another think coming. She might be royalty and way above his reach, but he was an American.
And he didn’t bow at anyone’s feet unless he fucking wanted to.
Fifteen minutes and thirty-six seconds later…the royal princess herself walked in. As soon as he saw her, he stiffened. She wore big brown sunglasses, and held herself so stiffly he couldn’t believe she didn’t faint from the sheer energy it must take to stand so damn perfectly. Her long legs were covered in black pantyhose, and she wore heels that looked to be at least three inches high. Her blonde hair reached halfway down her back and was flawlessly smooth.
She was drop-dead gorgeous.
Way too much so for royalty.
Two women, who looked to be assistants of some sort, flanked her, their eyes narrow, and their mouths pinched tight. Isabelle scanned the room, her gaze slipping over him and then popping back immediately. When she didn’t look away, he raised a brow and stared right back at her. He expected her to blush from being caught staring at a tatted up dude in a shop…
But she stared right back at him.
Not only that, but she sashayed over, too. That was the only word for it, because her hips swung like he couldn’t believe. Holy mother of fucking shit, she was going to kill him before this mission was over. He cleared his throat and tugged on his collar. Great. Now he’d actually have to talk to her and introduce himself as her guard.
“Staring at me,” she said, her soft accent washing over him. “Do we know each other, or do you make it a habit to stare at strange women in coffee shops?”
“Well…” Looking her up and down, he smirked. “You don’t look all that strange to me, so…?”
She laughed, then cut it off and glanced over her shoulder quickly. It was almost as if she was surprised she’d laughed at all. “You must not know me at all, then, because I’m one of the strangest women you’ll ever meet.”
He grinned. “I doubt that.”
“So you just like watching women in shops, then?” she asked, a small smile playing on her lips. They were soft and pink.
“Pretty women?” He shrugged. “Hell yeah. But no, we haven’t met.”
“Ah.” She tilted her head. “I’d hoped we had met, so my coming over here wouldn’t seem quite so…forward.”
He chuckled. “Lady? This is America. You don’t need a proper introduction to walk up to someone. You just do it.”
“In that case…” She nodded at the two women frowning at her from across the room, slid out the empty chair next to him, and smiled. They moved to the opposite side of the room, watching him closely the whole time. Especially the pinch-lipped one. “Nice to meet you.”
Grinning, he nodded. “Likewise. Please. Have a seat,” he said sardonically.
She laughed that musical laugh again. “Thank you. Don’t mind if I do. That’s an adorable accent you have.”
The grin slipped off his face. Adorable? Adorable was
for tiny puppies and little orange kittens that chased their own tails. He’d never once been described as adorable.
“I don’t have an accent at all.”
She smiled. “Not to you, but for me? It’s quite unique.”
“As is yours,” he said. After taking a sip of coffee, he motioned the barista over. “Not quite British, but almost French.”
Pursing her lips, she said, “Close enough.”
So, she wouldn’t tell him where she was from. She got an A+ for secrecy.
The woman who’d been watching him from behind the counter came over, all smiles. “Yes?”
“Can you get my friend here a…?”
“Fat free caramel mocha, please. No cream,” she said, smiling and friendly the whole time. “Thank you.”
So much for her never saying please and thank you.
She was proving him wrong on so many aspects without even trying. Usually, that pissed him off, but in this case? It was refreshingly good news. “Living dangerously, I see,” he murmured. “Who doesn’t get whipped cream?”
Tossing her hair behind her back, she met his stare head on. “I don’t live dangerously at all, for the most part. Taking risks is foolish and irresponsible.”
Spoken like a true princess.
“I agree.” He leaned back in his chair and laced his fingers in front of his stomach. “If everyone got whipped cream on their mochas, just think of the madness that could ensue. Rioting. Murder. Downright insanity.”
She laughed. It was perfect. Almost as if she practiced it everyday until she got it just right. “All right, Mr. Ass Pants.”
He choked on a laugh. “Mr. What?”
“Umm…” She froze, looking mortified. “Isn’t that a phrase here?”
“No.” Laughing fully now, he reached out and squeezed her hand. “I think you were going for Mr. Smarty Pants. Or maybe smart ass. But the two don’t really get combined.”
“Oops. See what happens when I try to be silly? Utter madness.”
“I think it’s refreshingly cute,” he countered. “Not mad at all.”
She blushed. Actually blushed. “Thank you.”
That was twice in one minute. He’d been so wrong.
And he had no idea what to do with that knowledge.
He shook his head, unable to look away from her. She was so…beautiful. Even more so now that he knew she didn’t have a stick lodged permanently up her ass as he’d originally suspected. He didn’t know if that was a good thing or a bad thing just yet, though, because it made her even more tempting than before.
The barista came over, a to-go cup in her hand. “Here you go. That’ll be four twenty-six.”
Isabelle reached into her purse, but Gordon beat her there. After handing the cash to the worker, he smiled at Isabelle. “I’ve got it.”
“This isn’t a date,” she said, her lips twitching. “I should pay.”
“In America, we pay when we want to.” He locked gazes with her. “And I want to.”
“You keep throwing that statement at me. ‘In America, we…’ fill in the blank.”
He snorted. “I’ll be honest. We love ‘filling in’ stuff here in America. I can’t argue with that.”
She covered her face. “Oh my.”
“It’s okay. You kinda walked into—”
“Excuse me?” the stern faced, pinch-lipped, gray haired woman interrupted. Gordon recognized her as one of Isabelle’s assistants…or whatever they were called. “We need to go now.”
“Hello,” he said. Time to come clean and tell Isabelle who he really was. He didn’t mind doing so anymore, because he liked her now. A lot. Too much, maybe. “Don’t worry. I’m her—”
“I wasn’t speaking to you.” She frowned at him, as if he was dirtying Isabelle by simply being near her. Truth be told…he might be doing precisely that. He wasn’t exactly a prince or anything. “We need to go. You have a schedule to stick to.”
Isabelle’s hands dropped, and she looked up at the woman. “Yes. Yes, of course. I’ll be right over, Mary.” She sat up straighter, her face falling back into that regal expression. “Thank you.”
And right now, he saw the princess he’d expected to see. Regal. Proper. Uptight. Spoiled. “Duty calls, huh?”
She glanced at him. “I’m afraid so. It was lovely meeting you, though.”
“You as well.” He held his hand out, waiting for her to take it. She studied it, then slid her fingers into his palm. Staring at her, he raised her knuckles to his mouth and kissed it. “I have a feeling we’ll be seeing each other again.”
She flushed, her fingers wiggling in his. “I doubt that. I have a very busy visit planned.”
“We’ll see,” he said, grinning.
After glancing over her shoulder nervously, she turned back and whispered, “But maybe if you’d like to—?”
“Miss.” The gray haired woman crossed her arms and stepped closer. “I really must insist we continue on. There is a lot to do before six tonight.”
The cranky assistant referred to Isabelle’s dinner plans later on.
“Right.” She offered Gordon one last smile. “It really was nice meeting you.”
“You, too.” He let go of her hand reluctantly. “See ya later.”
“Goodbye,” she said, slipping out of the chair.
He watched her walk away, her hips swinging gracefully
with each move. As she walked out of the door, she glanced back at him, the light in her eyes subdued. With a small smile, she slipped her sunglasses on and left.
He couldn’t wait to see the surprise on her face when he introduced himself later as her guard, couldn’t wait to hear his name on her lips. Would it be as soft and lilting as everything else she said? What if she screamed it out in pleasure as he went down—shit.
He was screwed, because he wasn’t supposed to touch her…
And that’s all he could think about, but he wouldn’t even think about trying to pursue that avenue. She was a princess, and he’d never be good enough for a woman like her. She’d expect castles, horses, world tours, and jewels.
Not cape cods, dogs, Maine, and nightmares.
This book has everything that makes Brazen romances great. A strong, caring, and supportive leading man; a self assured, powerful, and passionate leading lady, and sexy, sexy, sexy, sex. It also doesn't seem to hurt that she just happens to be a princess and he is the guard assigned to...well, guard her.Throw in an intense attraction that neither expected, a few well timed and rather kinky rolls in the Mustang, bed, (insert place here_____) a scandal of international proportions, and a whole lotta love...and you have Diane Albert's Seducing The Princess.
Gordon may not have 'blue blood', but it is quite clear from the start that he has the 'knight in shining armor' thing down.
The gleam of the steel in his spirit is the perfect accompaniment to the glint of the iron in that of his princess. Nothing about this worldwind romance can be referred to as staid, boring, or expected.
There is a great deal of twisty and turny to be had plot wise, making the story a great balance of the sensual and the fanciful, and proving that even royalty has to sometimes go that extra mile to truly find her prince.