New Adult Romance
Releasing April 23rd 2013
Samantha Rousseau is used to getting her hands dirty. Working toward a master’s degree in wildlife biology while helping take care of her sick father, she has no time for celebrity gossip, designer clothes, or lazy vacations. So when a duchess from the small country of Lilaria invites her to dinner, Samantha assumes it’s to discuss a donation for the program. The truth will change the course of her life in ways she never dreamed. Alex D’Lynsal is trying to keep his name clean. As crown prince of Lilaria, he’s had his share of scandalous headlines, but the latest pictures have sent him packing to America and forced him to swear off women—especially women in the public eye. That is, until he meets Samantha Rousseau. She’s stubborn, feisty, and incredibly sexy. Not to mention heiress to an estate in his country, which makes her everyone’s front-page news. While Sam tries to navigate the new world of politics and wealth, she will also have to dodge her growing feelings for Alex. Giving in to them means more than just falling in love; it would mean accepting the weight of an entire country on her shoulders.
After a while I pulled my headset off and set down my book. Alex was sketching in a notepad and I’d been curious to see what he was working on. “So, you draw?”
“Some. Not much.” He looked at me over the pad of paper, his eyes thoughtful. “When something strikes me.”
“Can I see?” I leaned over the table and tried to peek at the paper.
“Hm. I don’t know.” He tilted the book away from me. “I’ll play you for it.”
“Play me for it?” I sat back in my seat. “Play what?”
“Don’t do it, Samantha. He never loses.” Rose didn’t look up from her paperwork.
“We’ll see.” I narrowed my eyes at him. He was smiling like he had already won. “What is it?”
“Well, wait a minute. If you win, you get to see my sketch. What do I get if I win?” He leaned forward, his eyes sparkling.
“I warned you.” Rose shook her head and stood up from her seat, stretching. “I think I’m going to try to nap for a while.” She moved back to one of the open benches and pressed a button. It slid out from the wall to make a small bed. I shook my head at the idea of a bed on a plane.
“Well? My prize?” Alex brought my attention back to him.
“What could you possibly want?” I had been thinking he had everything, but as soon as the words left my mouth I realized my mistake. His eyes flashed with triumph and his smile made my blood race.
“Oh, there are a lot of things I want.” His eyes ran over my face. “What are you willing to give?”
“Friends, Alex,” I hissed at him under my breath, worried the others had heard him.
He chuckled and leaned closer. “If you win, you see the sketch. If I win, you have to volunteer at the FBT.”
“Seems a bit uneven.”
“Take it or leave it.” He leaned back in his chair, his eyes watching me carefully.
“What would I have to do at the FBT?” I narrowed my eyes at him.
“Whatever I think appropriate.”
I studied him for a minute, considering what he could possibly force me to do. Clean out bird cages? Been there, done that. Cut up mice? Didn’t bother me anymore.
“Fine. But I get to keep the sketch if I win.”
“Deal.” He held out his hand and I shook it even though he still hadn’t told me what we were going to play. Hopefully not cards. I hated poker.
He stood up and moved toward the back of the plane. When he came back with a box in his hand, I laughed.
“What? You’re too good for Monopoly?” He set the box down on the table and proceeded to set up the game. “What do you want to be?”
“The shoe?” He looked at me doubtfully. “Are you sure?”
“My mom was always the shoe.” The words popped out of my mouth without thought. I hadn’t thought about that in a long time.
“Very well. The shoe it is.” He set out the shoe and the top hat before distributing the money.
It didn’t take long to see why Rose had told me to not take the deal. Alex was incredibly lucky when it came to the game. Always passing GO, always collecting money, never landing on any of the spots normal people feared.
“You’re cheating! Give me the dice!” My sad stack of paper money was shameful.
“How dare you!” He mock-glared at me.
“No one is that lucky. How are you doing it?” I reached over the table, trying to swipe the dice from his hand. He laughed while I tried to pry his fingers loose.
“I don’t cheat! I’m just incredibly smart. And it’s my turn again.”
“Being smart doesn’t get you to land on the Pass Go spot every time!” I sat down and Alex opened his hand to show me the dice.
“Normal dice. Nothing to see here.” He rolled double sixes and I groaned loudly. Another good move.
“You’re so cheating. Magnets or something.” I grumbled as I collected the dice for my roll. Eight spaces put me on one of his hotels. Cursing under my breath, I took half my remaining money and threw it at him.
He laughed. “Thank you. I appreciate your patronage.”
“Shut up and roll, cheater.”
AUTHOR BIO:Nichole Chase is a daydreamer. No, really, just ask any of the math teachers that had the misfortune of seeing her name appear on their class schedule. For years she has had story lines and characters begging for attention, but she resolutely pushed them aside to focus on more normal (read, boring) jobs. Well, no longer! She is currently heeding the voices in her head and frantically writing their stories. Ms. Chase is the author of the Dark Betrayal Trilogy, Flukes, and Suddenly Royal (including several short stories). Nichole resides in South Georgia with her husband, energetic daughter, dog, tortoise, and two cats. When not devouring novels by the dozens, you may find her writing, painting, crafting, or chasing her daughter around the house while making monster noises.