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by Kate Hofman
Description: Prince Ricardo, who hides his royal birth from his friends, meets Maya at a dinner party and is intrigued by her. When she discovers he is a prince, she is dismayed, but in spite of her feelings, sparks fly. When duty demands that he return to Santa Cruz de Borbón, he invites Maya to come with him. Several aristocratic women do their best to gain Ricardo's interest, but he wants only Maya. The courtiers object furiously to Maya, doing their best to drive a wedge between the lovers, forcing her to fly back home. Will Ricardo return to Ocean Breeze and Maya? And even if he does, will love be enough to bridge the gap between them?
eBook Publisher: DCL Publications LLC, 2012 2012
eBookwise Release Date: May 2012
1 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [274 KB]
Reading time: 173-243 min.
Their dinner at the Cafe de Paris was delicious. Lucien had excelled himself and the affable Henri was pleased to provide the perfectly chilled Krug Ricardo asked for.
"It seems incredible we've been here nearly two hours," Maya said, as they were waiting for the valet to bring Ricardo's car.
"You must have had a good time, then?" he asked. Tipping the valet, he indicated he himself would seat his guest, and the valet faded instantly.
"You know I did, Ricardo," she smiled.
He helped Maya with her seatbelt, barely restraining himself from bestowing a light kiss on her blonde curls.
When they approached her house, she asked, "Would you like to come in for a coffee--or maybe just water?"
"Yes, I would like that," he said quietly. "Just water."
He drove up the small apron in front of her garage, and quickly went to the passenger side to remove her seat belt and help her get out of the car. She got her keys out of her small handbag, and he gently took the keys from her, inserting the bigger of the two into the deadlock.
She smiled at him. He was always so courteous. Small wonder, she cautioned herself. He's a prince, and I better not forget that.
He gave her back her key and held the door open for her. When she passed him, he placed a hand low at her waist, pushing the door shut behind her. Guiding her gently into the living room, he said, "I shall get the water."
Maya shook her head. "I'll do it, Ricardo."
"Please let me," he insisted, walking across the hallway, where he had spotted her kitchen when he came to pick her up.
He soon found the jug of filtered water, and poured two big glasses, carrying them into her living room. He was glad to see her seated on the sofa, leaving plenty of room for him. Quickly he set both glasses on the coffee table and sat down beside her. He smiled briefly. She is an intelligent woman, she should not have to wonder what my intentions are. All the same--I need to mention that all we can have is a fling--nothing serious.
"Thank you, Ricardo. Espresso always leaves me a bit thirsty."
He nodded. "That is true for me also." He glanced at her, seated there so elegantly, the playful ruffle at the edge of her skirt touching her pretty knees. "That violet-blue colour of your dress is wonderful with your eyes. I have never seen violet eyes before."
Maya smiled. "Thank you. I've never seen eyes as dark as yours either."
He smiled back. "In Santa Cruz, or for that matter in Spain, dark eyes are a given."
"Not this velvety dark, surely..."
"Ah." Might as well flirt a bit. "That velvety look is only there when I gaze at you, Maya."
To his surprise, Maya moved very slowly a bit closer to him, gazing into his eyes. He saw her frown a little, parting her lips as if to speak, then evidently thinking better of it. He waited--curious to see what would happen.