Julia London has a delicious story of misbehaving royalty coming up in November. Don’t miss this exclusive excerpt!
About The Princess Plan
Princes have pomp and glory — not murdered secretaries and crushes on commoners.
Nothing gets the tongues of London’s high society wagging like a good scandal. And when the personal secretary of the visiting Prince Sebastian of Alucia is found murdered, it’s all anyone can talk about, including Eliza Tricklebank. Her unapologetic gossip gazette has benefited from an anonymous tip about the crime prompting Sebastian to take an interest in playing detective — and an even greater interest in Eliza.
With a trade deal on the line and mounting pressure to secure a noble bride, there’s nothing more salacious than a prince dallying with a commoner. Sebastian finds Eliza’s contrary manner as frustrating as it is seductive, but they’ll have to work together if they’re going to catch the culprit. And when things heat up behind closed doors, it’s the prince who’ll have to decide what comes first — his country or his heart.
“What must they think, Eliza? That you’ve received a gentleman caller in the night?” He smiled, apparently pleased with the idea.
“They will think that the caller has come for my father, as they always do. Please step aside so I may close the drapes.”
He didn’t move.
Eliza pushed her way in front of him, her back against his chest, and yanked the drapes shut. And still he didn’t move. She cleared her throat and turned around. He didn’t move as much as an inch, so she was still squeezed in between the window and him. So close to him that she could see the folds in the knot of his neckcloth. Or the tiny script on the medal he wore on his chest.
She could see the way his beard had begun to show itself again, and how his mouth tipped up in one corner in a grin of amusement, ending in a soft dimple. She could see the low light in his green eyes and could feel that light rushing through her.
He was staring into her eyes, almost as if he was searching for something there. Eliza could feel her nerves crackling like fire on a new log. They stood so close. The air around them was charged with the heat between them.
Sebastian lifted his hand and slid two fingers very carefully beneath her chin, hardly touching her at all, and slowly tipped her face up. Her skin turned to gooseflesh with anticipation. She knew what she wanted him to do. She knew what she wanted desperately to do. She was bold and she was brazen, but when it came down to the moment, she didn’t have the courage to kiss a crown prince. So if he didn’t kiss her, if he continued to stand there and look at her like he was that very moment, she would disintegrate. There were no degrees of disintegration for her—it would be complete.
“You’ve been a tremendous help to me, Eliza.”
Oh, but the way he says my name. She swallowed. “I’m happy to be of any assistance.”
The tip of his tongue skirted over his bottom lip as he considered her. His fingers traced a feathery line from her chin, down her neck, to her collarbone. “I don’t know how to properly thank you.” This, he said to her mouth, and the flames of the fire began to lick at her spine, little waves of heat scorching through her.
“There is really no need,” she said to his lips.
“There is every need.” He lowered his head, his mouth so close to hers. He hesitated, as if he wasn’t certain what he meant to do. “Do not search for the delivery man, do you hear me?” he murmured, and touched his soft, rose-petal lips to hers.
Eliza closed her eyes. She thought she might have sighed. It had been so long since she’d been kissed, so long since she’d felt a man’s touch. It had been so long since her hopeful life had ended and her life of the invisible spinster had begun.
He deepened the kiss. Still soft, but insistent. Easy, but demanding. She was feeling things cracking open, things she’d not felt properly in a very long time. She was sparkling. Blood and bone were sparkling in her, and the heat was running a course over and over in her, down to her toes and fingers, and up again, to her head and her heart.
He slipped his tongue into her mouth. Eliza moaned softly. She shifted closer, so that her body was fully touching his. His arm went round behind her back and pulled her tighter to him. She could feel the hardness of his body pressed against hers from her knees to her chest. He was a rock, all muscle and sinew, and she angled her head and slid her hands up his firm chest. Was she allowed to do that? She couldn’t stop herself from doing it. She was not going to have a virile man, a prince, kiss her and stand like a chaste log, oh no. She was going to squeeze every bit of pleasure out of it. Gather round, children. I once met a royal prince and I kissed him.
About The Author
Julia London is the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today bestselling author of more than fifty novels. She writes historical romance and contemporary women’s fiction, including the popular Highland Grooms historical series, and the acclaimed The Princes of Texas contemporary series. She is a recipient of the RT Book Reviews Best Regency Historical Romance award for The Dangerous Gentleman and is a six-time finalist for the renowned RITA Award for excellence in romantic fiction. She resides in Austin, Texas.
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