READ AN EXCERPT BELOW
What’s the difference between Prince Nicholas and a prize winning cucumber? One is long, hard and mostly organic, the other’s a vegetable.
Take one handsome, playboy prince, add a splash of feisty American reporter, and mix until their clothes come off.
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The crowd parts for two men coming up the lawn from the beach. Hollywood hot, both of them, but it’s the one wearing nothing but a pair of board shorts that hang off his hips just low enough to tease the ‘V’ below his perfect row of washboard abs who draws me in. Just out of the water, Prince Nicholas’s dark, curly hair is slicked back, and his skin actually glistens. He beams at the crowd with a perfect smile full of indecent promises. For a moment, his dark eyes fall on me, and the whole party fades. Even the heavy bass becomes a faint rumble as our connection passes in slow motion.
The pictures on my phone didn’t do him justice. Not even close. You could drown in those eyes.
He winks, and then the weight of his gaze moves on. With confident strides, he approaches the Olympic height diving tower and grips the ladder. We watch slack-jawed as he climbs, and we’re not the only ones. Most of the female guests, and quite a few of the men, are following him just as intently as we are.
High above, he looks small as he takes a step forward and leaps gracefully into the air. He twists his athletic body and flips gracefully, straightening just in time to pierce the water’s surface like an arrow. It’s beautiful, a masterpiece in motion. The crowd draws a collective breath the moment his body disappears, leaving only a tiny ripple behind.
“What a time to not have my camera,” Mona says with a sigh I feel deep in my soul.
He bursts from the surface at the moment the DJ drops the beat, with timing so perfect it seems planned. It’s like we wandered onto a movie set. Prince Nicholas shakes his head, droplets spraying out in a fan around him as he treads water and looks around at his captivated audience.
“Is everyone having a good time?” he asks in a charming accent, conjuring up thoughts of exotic liquors and tapas on the terrace during warm summer nights. Not that I have any experience to back any of that up, but I’ve been to Olive Garden and I watch TV.
The crowd cheers, and his face lights up with the kind of smile that walks right up to you, cleverly slips off your clothes and then drags you to bed before you even realize what happened. I can’t speak for Mona, but for the first time in my life, I understand why women sometimes throw their bras and panties at sexy men.
With a laugh, he sets a course for the poolside, cutting through the water with powerful strokes. He plants his hands on the edge of the pool and pulls himself up with ease. Water slides down his body in rivulets, tracing the dips and planes of his muscles like soft, teasing fingers. The life of a drop of water is fleeting, but just now, I’d be tempted to switch places.
Mona grabs my arm and yanks me to the side. “Close your mouth. You’re drooling. We’re blending in, not joining his fan club.”
I nod and do my best to act relaxed and pretend I’m just another guest. “Right. Interview. I’m on it.”
I try not to stare, but still keep the prince in my peripheral vision. He’s pretty friendly with the guests, casually stopping to chat and laugh as he makes his way around the pool. If I wasn’t used to looking for details, I might not have noticed how practiced he is. He’s so smooth, spending only enough time with any one person to seem friendly without getting trapped or being dismissive. Even looking like the world’s biggest party boy, you can see the diplomat hiding under the surface. This is a man who would be easy to dismiss, but I bet there’s more to him than just a pretty face.
Each stop brings him closer. Without being too obvious about it, I hope, I position myself in line with his path and it pays off. A warm hand lands on my shoulder and I turn to find rich, brown eyes staring straight into my own. Even though I was expecting it, my brain still short-circuits.
“H—Hi,” I squeak.