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Authors: Olivia Gates

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Temporarily His Princess

BOOK: Temporarily His Princess
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Temporarily His Princess
Olivia Gates
Harlequin (2013)

"Get a wife. ASAP."
When his king says Prince Vincenzo D'Agostino must marry, the confirmed bachelor knows only one woman will do: Glory Monaghan, the lover who betrayed him six years ago. By forcing her hand, he'll appease his ruler--and get the woman he can't forget out of his system forever.
But Vincenzo's proposal is the last thing Glory expects. His long-ago rejection nearly destroyed her--how can she say yes now, even for show? Yet she has no choice. Becoming Vincenzo's temporary bride will save her family--even if giving in to the prince of Castaldini's passion will surely leave her yearning for more....

“Get a wife. ASAP.”

When his king says Prince Vincenzo D’Agostino must marry, the confirmed bachelor knows only one woman will do: Glory Monaghan, the lover who betrayed him six years ago. By forcing her hand, he’ll appease his ruler—and get the woman he can’t forget out of his system forever.

But Vincenzo’s proposal is the last thing Glory expects. His long-ago rejection nearly destroyed her—how can she say yes now, even for show? Yet she has no choice. Becoming Vincenzo’s temporary wife will save her family—even if giving in to the prince’s passion will surely leave her yearning for more….

“When I Take You To My Bed This Time, It Will Be Far Better Than Ever Before.”

“I will never sign an agreement to that!”

“And I’d never ask you to. This has nothing to do with the marriage deal. I’m only letting you know I want you in my bed. And you will come. Because you want to. Because you want me.”

Her pupils fluctuated, her cheeks flushed. Proof positive of his claims.

Still she scoffed. “You really have to see someone for that head of yours, before it snaps off your neck under its own weight.”

He buried his face in her neck, inhaled her, absorbing her shudder into his. “I don’t want you in my bed. I need you there. I’ve craved you there for six long years.”

Dear Reader,
Temporarily His Princess
was such a treat to write! It was a much anticipated return to an exotic world I created years ago: my Mediterranean kingdom of Castaldini with its rich history and glamorous present. I revisited some of my most beloved characters, to get a delightful glimpse into their happily-ever-after. All that, while going along for the intensely passionate ride of two new star-crossed lovers as they navigate a turbulent journey to their own happiness, among so many obstacles, secrets and twists.

I loved writing Vincenzo and Glory’s story as they overcome so much heartache, tear down so many barriers, inside and out, and come together in a much-deserved and glorious destiny. I really hope you enjoy reading their story as much as I did writing it!

I love to hear from readers, so please visit my website for my latest news at
www.oliviagates.com
, email me at
[email protected]
, and connect with me on Facebook, Goodreads and Twitter.

Thanks for reading!

Olivia Gates

Olivia Gates

Temporarily His Princess

Books by Olivia Gates
Harlequin Desire
The Sarantos Secret Baby
#2080
**To Touch a Sheikh
#2103
A Secret Birthright
#2136
††The Sheikh’s Redemption
#2165
††The Sheikh’s Claim
#2183
††The Sheikh’s Destiny
#2201
§
Temporarily His Princess
#2231

Silhouette Desire
*
The Desert Lord’s Baby
#1872
*
The Desert Lord’s Bride
#1884
*
The Desert King
#1896
†The Once and Future Prince
#1942
†The Prodigal Prince’s Seduction
#1948
†The Illegitimate King
#1954
Billionaire, M.D.
#2005
In Too Deep
#2025 “The Sheikh’s Bargained Bride”
**
To Tame a Sheikh
#2050
**
To Tempt a Sheikh
#2069

*Throne of Judar
†The Castaldini Crown
**Pride of Zohayd
††Desert Knights
§Married by Royal Decree
Other titles by this author available in ebook format.

OLIVIA GATES

has always pursued creative passions such as singing and handicrafts. She still does, but only one of her passions grew gratifying enough, consuming enough, to become an ongoing career—writing.

She is most fulfilled when she is creating worlds and conflicts for her characters, then exploring and untangling them bit by bit, sharing her protagonists’ every heart-wrenching heartache and hope, their every heart-pounding doubt and trial, until she leads them to an indisputably earned and gloriously satisfying happy ending.

When she’s not writing, she is a doctor, a wife to her own alpha male and a mother to one brilliant girl and one demanding Angora cat. Visit Olivia at
www.oliviagates.com
.

To everyone at Harlequin, RWA,
RT Book Reviews,
NINC and
CataRomance
who helped me realize a dream and get to a much better place. No thanks are enough.

Prologue

Six years ago

V
incenzo froze as he heard someone fumbling open the door.

She was here.

Every muscle turned to rock, every nerve fired like a high-voltage cable. Then the door slammed with an urgent thud and frantic footsteps followed, each jarring his equilibrium with the force of an earthquake.

There’d been no alert from his guards. No doorbell had announced her arrival. She was the only one he’d ever given unlimited access and keys to his penthouse.

But he’d given her more than access to his personal space—he’d given her dominion over his priorities and passions. She’d been the only woman he’d fully trusted, believed in. Loved.

And it had all been a lie.

The spear embedded in his gut twisted. Rage. Mostly at himself.

Even after he’d gotten proof of her betrayal, he’d clung to the belief that it would be explained away. She’d had him that deeply in her power.

That alone should have alerted him something was seriously wrong. It wasn’t in his nature to trust. He’d never let anyone come that close or become anywhere near that vital. As a prince of Castaldini, he’d always been suspicious of people’s intentions. After he’d become
the
rising-star researcher in the cutthroat field of energy alternatives, he’d believed any hope of a genuine relationship was over.

Until her. Until Glory.

From the first glance, he’d reeled at the attraction that had kept intensifying. From the first conversation, he’d sunk into a well of affinity, the deepest he’d ever known. It had been magical, how they’d hungered, connected. She’d aroused his every emotion, appeased his every need—physical, intellectual and spiritual.

But he’d just been a means to an end. An end she’d achieved.

After the first firestorm of agony had almost wrecked him, logic had doused it with its sobering ice. Seeking retribution would have only compounded the damage. He’d decided to let pain consume him, rather than give her more than what she’d already snatched from him. He’d walked away without a word.

Not that she’d let him walk away.

Her nonstop messages had morphed from worried to frantic. With each one, his heart had almost exploded, first with the need to soothe her, then with fury at falling for her act yet again. Then had come that last message. A heart-stopping simulation of a woman going out of her mind fearing for her loved one’s safety.

The pain had been so acute it had seared him with clarity.

He’d realized there could only be one reason behind her desperate persistence. Her plan must not be concluded yet. Even if she thought his avoidance meant he suspected her, she seemed to be willing to risk anything to get close to him again, to pull the strings of his addiction to her for the opportunity to finish what she started.

So he’d let her find out he’d returned. He’d known she’d zoom right over to corner him.

But though he’d planned this face-off, he wasn’t ready. Not for the sight of her, or for what he had to do.

Mannaggia!
He shouldn’t have given her the chance to invade his life again for any reason. He just wasn’t
ready
….

“Vincenzo!”

A pale creature, who barely resembled the vibrant one who’d captured him body and heart, burst into his bedroom.

She stumbled to a halt, eyes turbid and swollen with what so convincingly looked like incessant weeping, and stood facing him across the bedroom where they’d shared unimaginable pleasures for the past six months.

Before another synapse could fire, she exploded across the room. Before he could draw another breath, her arms were around him, clinging like a woman would to a life raft.

And he knew. He’d missed it all, every nuance of her. He’d yearn for her, the woman he’d loved but who didn’t exist, until the end of his days.

His mind unraveled with the need to crush her back, breathe her in so he could breathe again. He struggled not to bury his aching hands in her hair, not to drag her face to his and take of her breath. His lips went numb, needing to feel hers, just one last time….

As if sensing his impending capitulation, she surged up, pulled his head down and stormed his face in kisses.

Temptation tightened around his throat like a noose. His hands moved without volition.

They stopped before they closed around her, his body going rigid as if guarding against a blow as what she’d been reiterating in that tremulous, strangled voice sank into his fogged awareness.

“My love, my love.”

Barely suppressing a roar, he clamped her arms before she sucked him dry of will and coherence.

She reluctantly let him separate them, raised the face that had embodied his desires and hopes. Her heavenly eyes were drowning in those masterfully feigned emotions.

“Oh, darling, you’re all right.” She hugged him again, seamlessly changing from overwrought relief to agitated curiosity. “I went insane when you answered none of my calls. I thought something…terrible must have happened.”

So that was her strategy. To play innocent to the last.

“Nothing happened.”

Was that his voice? That inhuman rasp?

Pretending not to notice the ice that encased him, dread entered the eyes that hid her soullessness behind that facade of guilelessness. “Did you have another breach? Did your security isolate you this time until they could identify the leak?”

BOOK: Temporarily His Princess
8.88Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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