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Prince Albert is the notorious bad boy of the royal family, his chiseled jawline and rebel antics famous for gracing the front pages of international gossip magazines. But even a rebel prince needs a break from the daily grind, and the childhood days spent at his royal countryside estate have always been close to his heart—especially when they involve a little local girl with freckles and a stolen first kiss that still haunts his memories to this day.
On Ella Robertson’s first night serving drinks at the local pub, she never expects to find herself soaking the lap of one very charming royal in top-shelf whiskey before being promptly fired for her clumsy misstep. She’s even more shocked when the rebel Prince Albert hires her on the spot to work at his estate. She only has to agree to meet him in the morning.
But the only thought in Ella’s mind as she gazes into the prince’s captivating eyes: could he possibly remember the night they shared their first kiss together under the stars as little kids and then never saw each other again?
Warning: Prince Albert is a man on the search for the other half of his heart, and once he finds her again, he’s got endless surprises in store—in and out of the sheets. I hope you enjoy this romantic royal and his rebellious romp finding true love!
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“Prince Albert von Asshat is more like it. I saw His Royal Highness playing polo on the telly last week at me mum’s house and had to turn it off it was so pathetic.”
“And not even a fraction as pathetic as you looked last night after that third round of Scotch,” I shot back at the old barkeep. The drink was enough to put hair on a woman’s chest, and old Louis was always quick to bust my balls. That’s what kept me coming back to King’s Pub.
That and the fact that the men of my family had been coming to this local dive for more than half a millennium.
“Speaking of rounds… How about another for your old childhood friend here?” Graham slurred at my side. “Manchester is about to kick some Italian ass tonight, and we’ve got the best seats in the house.”
“At the bar?” I nodded at Louis to pour all the men, in various states of drunkenness, around me another round. “Sounds like you need to get out a little more.”
“Ah, feck off!” chimed an Irish brogue at my other shoulder. “Italians are going to piss all over Manchester.”
I nodded at a pretty little thing working the bar alongside Louis tonight. He was watching her out of the corner of his eye now as she poured our shots onto a tray. Her hands shook, long waves of dark hair contained into a ponytail falling over one side of her shoulder.
The longer my ass was glued to the barstool, the more I thought how absolutely breathtaking she was. I could feel my body’s reaction to her in ways that I didn’t think was possible.
I looked at the ice floating in my glass, chuckling to myself at the realization that my heart had been just as cold as I remembered as I thought about the eight-year-old girl who’d stolen it all those years ago.
If only Granny knew that her bad boy grandson was really a pathetic sap. She’d probably stroke out in a state of shock and disbelief. I’d played the cards close to my heart over the years. I could only imagine the great relief it would be to everyone if I finally settled down.
A cheer from the tiny pub erupted around me, followed by a shriek. Liquid splashed across the bar and landed in an amber wave on my gray, custom-tailored button-down.
“Oh no.” Watery tears were already forming in the new girl’s eyes when I caught her gaze.
I shook my head once, frown deepening when Louis pounced on the mess with clean dish towels.
“How many times do I have to tell you to watch your step? I can’t just replace a thousand-year-old floor, and that Scotch you just spilled would cost about as much.” He turned from her shaking form to meet my eyes. “I’m so sorry, sir. This won’t happen again. I can promise you that.”
“No worry, Louis.” I waved off his help. “And consider that bottle paid for. Don’t even think twice about it.”
Louis shook his head, still frowning as he watched the shaken girl picking up the broken pieces of a shot glass. “I can’t accept anything from you, but your generosity is appreciated, Prince Albert.” He turned to the girl. “I’m afraid this isn’t going to work out.”
My cold little heart stumbled with his words as fresh tears swooped down her cheeks. I felt like I should comfort her somehow, but my family wasn’t one for showing much emotion, so…
“Why don’t you pack up your things and head out for tonight. Stop by on Friday, and I’ll cut you a check for your training.”
“No, I can do better. I’ve just never served before. Please, I really need this if I’m going to help my dad out with his house.” Her soft green eyes held his.
I swallowed, feeling my chance to make this right. “Please, I’m sure she can do something else around here that doesn’t require so much—” I glanced around the tiny pub, brick floors in a wild state of upheaval “—balance?”
The other men laughed at my response, but Louis’s frown held fast. “Sorry, kid.”
The girl, who—from the soft angles of her face—looked not much older than nineteen or twenty, nodded once and then hung her head and walked off behind the bar.
“You didn’t have to do that, man. She seems to be working hard.”
“Oh, she’s a hard worker, but truth be told I only hired her because I felt bad. The busiest this old place gets are the night’s you’re in town and the tourists are trying to catch a peek of the famous rebel prince. I just don’t need the help otherwise.”
“What was she saying about her dad?” I inquired, finding myself drawn to her.
Louis only shrugged. “Used to come in here a lot when she was a kid. He’s old and sick now. Heard he was cleaning the property up to sell. Lives in the shack up the hill.”