Prince Ford Beaumont, who taught at one of the most prestigious institutions in the world, loved his career … until his ex-wife got him fired. On very thin ice with the monarchy, the prince is forced to participate in a reality dating show. However, an unintentional ponytail tug to a very sexy princess permanently changes his plans for the worse. Now, Ford only has two choices available: he can either stay on The Establishment’s planned out course or risk his title for the wild child princess.
Third in line to the throne, Princess Belle Deschamps ran from Emerald Isle years ago. She only returns to her birthright out of contractual obligation. Unfortunately, one very public fight with a handsome prince forces her into a one-sided deal that could destroy everything she built for herself.
Ford held the door to Belle’s office building open. As she passed by, the warm scent of apple and cinnamon filled his nose, begging him to get a stronger whiff. The entire time they’d waited in the coffee line, the need to taste her bee-stung lips had distracted him. They were plump with the perfect bow that tipped up. A strong urge to feel her pretty, painted mouth on his consumed his thoughts since … shit, since when, junior high?
He mildly remembered a small crush on the middle child Deschamps, but at the time who didn’t have one on Belle? Even though they had run in different circles, his friends mooned over her. Then one day, poof, she’d been sent off to boarding school.
That memory must have been bricked away. The flashback confused the shit out of him. Teenage years were hormonally trippy, but he couldn’t remember why Belle had been the only child from the monarchy to obtain her education off the island.
Following her farther into the building, he admired the way her curly, black hair cascaded down the back of her sweater, complementing her silky, chocolate coloring. More than once he averted his eyes from that amazing face to concentrate on the conversation at hand. While this easygoing, funny princess belonged to the Windy City, the stuck-up version must have been reserved strictly for their homeland.
Ford didn’t know what he would find once he touched down in Chicago. He’d planned to give her a heads-up, but that idea got nixed somewhere between JFK and O’Hare.
The last time they were in each other’s presence it didn’t go well. Basically, he’d wound her up, finally getting under her skin, and she took the bait. The consequences for the princess had far outreached a little ponytail tugging on his part.
Still, what he absolutely hadn’t expected this morning before his second cup of coffee was the urge to kill one of the best centerfields in the league.
They continued their trek down a corridor. Once they reached the end of the hall, they were greeted by brick walls with wood inlay and sliding glass doors. A few desks intermingled with a foosball table putting the finishing touches on Belle’s cool kids’ club.
“Is it usually this quiet?” he whispered, hoping Belle didn’t beat her employees. The room full of twenty wide-eyed, staring people reminded Ford of a doomsday cult.
“No, they’re just bedazzled.”
“You… He won’t bite,” Belle announced to the room.
“Are you sure? Because that would be fun.”
Her employees laughed, which helped cut the weird tension, as a very cheery woman broke away from the pack.