THE ROYAL TREATMENT
A Crown Jewels Romance, Book 1
By MJ Summers
Enough laughs to satisfy fans of Bridget Jones. Enough sparkly shoes and breathtaking ball gowns for fans of Cinderella…
Twenty-eight-year-old Tessa Sharpe, a.k.a. The Royal Watchdog, hates everything about Prince Arthur. As far as she’s concerned, he’s an arrogant, lazy leech on the kingdom of Avonia. When he shocks the nation by giving her the keys to the castle in an attempt to boost his family’s dismal public approval ratings, Tessa has no choice but to accept and move in for two months. It’s lust at first site, but there’s no way she can give in to her feelings—not if she wants to have a career or a shred of pride left when her time at the palace ends.
Ultra-private, ultra-hot Crown Prince Arthur has always gotten by on his charm. But that won’t be enough now that the royal family is about to be ousted from power once and for all. When Prince Arthur has to rely on the one woman in the kingdom who hates him most, he must learn that earning the love of a nation means first risking his heart…
Can two natural enemies find their forever in each other’s arms, or will they ruin each other to save themselves?
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When we reach the vault room, there are two guards standing at the door. Normally there is just one, sitting on the inside; but for nights like tonight, there are a total of six. I nod, and one of them opens the door.
“Good evening, fellows,” I say.
“Good evening, Your Highness.”
Once inside the room, we go through the same routine with the other four men. I go to the keypad and press the code, then hold my face in front of the camera for a retina scan. When I look down at Tessa, she actually looks impressed.
“A little Bond-esque, no?” I ask.
“Come on, Moneypenny, let’s get you something for that beautiful neck of yours.” I tug her hand and pull her in with me before she can say no.
She’s already shaking her head, but I hold up one finger. “I can see those Sharpe family brains of yours going to work on ten different reasons why you won’t borrow a necklace, but I have already prepared counterarguments, and since we are now twelve minutes behind schedule, please allow me. One, they’re already paid for, some of them hundreds of years ago, so it’s not coming out of anyone’s taxes. Two, like the books in the library, they’re going to waste in here. Three, for the first time in my life, I want to share something with someone else—someone who deserves to feel like a queen, even if she’ll only allow herself that for one measly little evening. Four, I have this fantasy of seeing you in only the jewels. Maybe the heels could stay.”
Tessa laughs and her cheeks go pink. “All right. One necklace, but make it a cheap one.”
I raise one eyebrow. “Define cheap.”
“Less than a kitchen stool.”
“How about less than a car?”
“I said ‘queen.’ Would a queen really wear a sofa around her neck?” I reach up and run my fingertips along the base of her neck.
“Would she wear a car?”
“Good point.” I lean down and kiss the crook of her neck. “How about this? You choose whichever one you like the best, and I won’t tell you how much it’s worth.”
I continue to brush my lips along her skin, then move up to her earlobe. The other night, I discovered a little spot at the base of her ear that turns her to putty. After a moment of some careful work, I get what I want. A breathy, little ‘okay’ escapes her lips.
“I don’t find you attractive at all, really,” I say.
He stops his hand and raises one eyebrow in response.
I hide my smile with everything in me. “I only slept with you because I felt sorry for you.”
“Oh, so that was a—”
“A pity fuck, I’m afraid.” I try my best to look apologetic, but he’s clearly not buying it.
“I felt really, really, really sorry for you.”
Text Conversation between Prince Arthur and Tessa:
Arthur: Any chance you want a plus one for this mysterious family obligation?
Tessa: You would hate it. It’s a horridly loud birthday party for my very wild but adorable twin nephews, who are turning six.
Arthur: Will there be strippers?
Tessa: Not if you don’t count their three-year-old brother who hates to wear clothes.
Arthur: He definitely does not count.
Tessa: All I can promise is that there will be cheap store-bought cake with sickeningly sweet icing and beer.
Arthur: You had me at sickeningly sweet icing.
Tessa: Meet me at the front doors in fifteen?
Arthur: I’ll be there in ten.
MJ Summers currently resides in Edmonton, Canada, with her husband, three young children, and their goofy dog. When she’s not writing romance novels, she loves reading (obviously), snuggling up on the couch with her family for movie night (which would not be complete without lots of popcorn and milkshakes), and long walks in the woods near her house. MJ also spends a lot more time thinking about doing yoga than actually doing yoga, which is why most of her photos are taken ‘from above’. She also loves shutting down restaurants with her girlfriends. Well, not literally shutting them down, like calling the health inspector or something. More like just staying until they turn the lights off.
MJ is a member of the Romance Writers of America, as well as the International Women’s Writing Guild.
MJ would love to hear from you! She does her best to respond to all inquiries and emails personally. If you would like her to attend a book club meeting via Skype please contact her to book a date.
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