About the Book
Author: Jessica Peterson
Publisher: Self-published (Kindle Unlimited)
Released: January 18, 2018
Series: Flings with Kings #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author contact links: Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram, Release Day Notification
Emily looked at me. “I can’t imagine what the pressure must be like.”
“You get used to it,” I replied. Another rote answer. Another half-lie.
“Do you ever get scared you’ll f*ck it up? Not to imply you ever would. But sounds like you walk a thin line.”
I met her eyes. All the time, I wanted to say. I was scared out of my mind all the time I’d f*ck up. I was up on a pedestal, all by myself. I dealt with competing objectives every day. Put on a smile while doing important but often tedious, dull work. Make my siblings happy while keeping them in line. Always put the prince above the person.
One wrong step, and the whole house of cards could tumble down.
“It is difficult,” I said. What a rubbish reply. But opening up to Emily—telling her how I really felt—seemed like a dangerous precedence to set. “So. What do you say? Will you play the part?”
Emily stared at me. “I don’t get any time to think it over?”
“You’ll get time if you want it.” I folded my napkin and set it back down on my lap. “But you know this is a good trade for you. Three months in exchange for your entire future. I’ll be by your side every step of the way. I’ll do everything in my power to protect you. I’ll make it worth your while, Emily. I promise.”
Her eyes, darker now, narrowed. I’d forgotten just how lovely she looked when she was thinking. It’d been an admittedly bold move to imply she already had her answer. But I knew Emily. At least I’d known her a while ago. Some things about her had changed. But that ambitious streak of hers—the one I’d known so well—I was betting that hadn’t.
Emily put a hand to her neck. “Will I have to live with you?”
“Yes.” She winced. “I know. It’s weird. But Primrose Palace is a fortress. You’ll be safe there. Part of the contract—”
“There’s a contract?”
“Of course. That way you know what to expect. I’ll email it to you when we’re done with dinner. Even if you verbally agree tonight, you won’t be legally bound to anything until you sign the contract. Fair enough?”
After a beat, Emily tipped her head. “Fair enough.”
“Is that a yes?”
Another beat passed. Then another. For half a second I worried I’d made a mistake. Maybe she’d burst into laughter and tell me to stick my inane proposal up my ass.
I didn’t want to do this any more than she did. But we both had our reasons. Good reasons. Reasons that mattered.
“It is.” She nodded. “Yes. Subject to review of the contract, I’ll be your pretend princess.”
I nearly choked on my mine. Holy f*ck. This was actually happening.
I put the glass down. “Brilliant. Thank you.”
Was that relief I felt? Or anxiety? You’d think I’d be able to tell, considering the two were complete opposites.
“When do we start?” Emily asked.
Swallowing the thump of my heart, I reached across the table and covered her hand with mine.
Royal. Ridiculously Hot. Totally Off Limits.
SUBJECT: ENGAGEMENT CONTRACT (Marked Confidential)
FROM THE DESK OF HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCE CHRISTOPHER
Emily—Thank you for joining me for dinner tonight. And for agreeing to my proposal, as ludicrous as it is. Desperate times call for fake engagements. At least in my family.
I am attaching the contract we discussed. Our lawyers asked that I highlight the following clauses:
- The engagement shall last ninety days
- Both parties are to appear genuinely in love at all royal appearances
- Beyond required public displays of affection, there shall be no contact of any kind between the parties
The first half of your payment will be deposited into your account upon the signing of this contract. Be sure to note your ring size. We would like to make prompt delivery of the family emerald. The Queen and I thank you in advance for your discretion.
P.S.—Sorry to hear about your divorce. Your ex sounds like a proper knob head.
P.P.S—You looked stunning tonight.
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