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A Nordic King
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A STANDALONE ROYAL ROMANCE
When I first applied for the job I thought it would be like all the others: working as a nanny for an aristocratic family.
Now I’m the new nanny for two adorable little girls who happen to be princesses.
Their father is the widowed King of Denmark.
It’s their father.
Yet the longer I share these palace walls with this man, the more that I’m drawn to him. His chiseled face and sexual swagger are only part of the package. It’s in the long, intense glances at the dinner table, the way we’ll brush up against each other in the halls, the rare glimpses of the man deep inside, like the sun passing through clouds.
You think it’s bad enough being in love with your boss?
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Two Years Ago – Madeira
Everyone remembers the moment they fall in love.
That moment where seconds seem to slow down and for the first time you realize you’re not just living life but feeling it in the biggest, grandest way possible. Like you’ve been let in on a secret that the whole world has known about but you.
Maybe it’s a look, the flirty downward cast of the eyes and a sly smile after you’ve told a painfully bad joke.
It might be the moment when you’re finally vulnerable, a gaping wound of a human being, and they take you all in with open arms and without question.
Perhaps it’s wrought from you after a couple of orgasms, all that sex and pleasure culminating into something more than just physical release but a total takeover of your soul.
There is no one way to fall in love.
It may scar you, make its mark, but that fall, that impact, is different for everyone.
Yet, despite all the various ways you fall in love, there is a distinct, singular feeling in that very moment you realize that someone you love no longer loves you back.
The moment you realize the love you had is gone, having slipped through your fingers when you weren’t looking.
It doesn’t come at you fast, with a blow to the senses. It’s not a bolt of lightning striking you, or a tidal wave crashing over you, or the rug pulled out from under you.
Instead it’s slow and insidious, slinking through you like ink through water, until it permeates every inch of your soul.
It’s a shallow wound to the gut, the kind where pain takes its sweet time to arrive, where you end up on your knees, wondering why you didn’t address it sooner.
Because you thought it would go away.
By then your ruptured heart will slowly bleed you to death.
There’s only one feeling when you know you’ve lost love.
I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.
Except, right now, as I sit in my chair in the sitting room, my eyes locked with the roaring fire, I do wish it on them.
My enemy right now is my wife.
The very woman I so reluctantly fell in love with years ago.
The woman that chased me and hounded me until I agreed to be hers. The woman that promised me that she would be a perfect queen, and that we would raise perfect children, and I’d have that life I thought I missed out on when I was young.
A life where you are loved.
I was wrong.
I know my place in this world. I know I became a king far too young, far before I was ready. And I know how this all works, that marriage for love rarely exists for royals like us. But that didn’t stop the disappointment when I found out about Helena’s…indiscretion.
Instead the anger got stronger. Kindling to a fire.
Disappointment fueling the flames.
I can’t ignore it anymore.
I can’t be that person, that King.
I’m supposed to lead this country and yet I can’t even face the hard truths.
My wife doesn’t love me.
And I don’t think she ever did.
It was all just part of the game, the game of bringing a man like me to my knees, head into the guillotine. She wanted the glory. She wanted to win.
I think about Clara and Freja and I wonder when they’ll realize that everything between their mother and I is a lie. I think about how old I was when I discovered my own parents hated each other. Pretty young, I’d say. It wasn’t hard to miss. You know when there’s a lack of love in the house, a fracture in the family. I don’t know what it’s like to grow up with all of that intact but I know I’ll do whatever I can to ensure my girls don’t have the same upbringing as I did.
Which is why I’m here in the royal estate on the island of Madeira.
Waiting for her.
It’s April, just after Easter, when the two of us used to come here as a kick-off to the summer season. It’s too wet in Denmark to go sailing but Madeira is just warming up. The nights can be cold where the estate is, high up on the slopes of the central mountain range, hence the roaring fire. Helena always complained that we were too far from the beaches but with most of Scandinavia spending their winters here, this site was chosen for absolute protection and privacy.
She doesn’t know I’m here.
You’d think she would but that would require her actually talking to me on a daily basis. We might share the same palace but we don’t even share a bedroom anymore.
She’s flying here, landing in about an hour.
It’s dark already, eight p.m.
If she thinks of me at all, she probably thinks that I’m in Norway still, having a meeting with King Arvid, which is where I was this morning. But in the air on the way back to Copenhagen, I told my advisor Ludwig and the pilot that I didn’t want to go back home.