The Future King's Pregnant Mistress [Secure eReader]
Click on image to enlarge.
eBook by Penny Jordan
eBook Category: Romance/Romance
eBook Description: Marco Fierezza is used to being obeyed--especially by the women he beds! Emily Woodford loves Marco, but she has no idea he's a royal prince! When she discovers the truth she's devastated--Marco only sees her as his mistress--not his royal wife. But what will this king-in-waiting do when he discovers his mistress is pregnant?
eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Presents
Fictionwise Release Date: July 2007
46 Reader Ratings:
MARCO opened his eyes, and looked at the bedside clock: three o'clock in the morning. He'd been dreaming about Niroli—and his grandfather, the king. His heart was still drumming insistently inside his chest, its beat driven by the adrenalin surges of challenge and excitement that reliving one of his past youthful arguments with his grandfather had brought him.
It had been in the aftermath of one of those arguments that Marco had made his decision to prove to himself, and to his grandfather, that he was capable of achieving success somewhere other than Niroli and without his grandfather's influence and patronage. He had been twenty-two then. Now he was thirty-six, and he and his grandfather had long since made a peace—of a sort—even if the older man had never really understood his grandson's refusal to change his mind about his vow to make his own way in the world. Marco had been determined that his success would come not as the grandson of the King of Niroli but via his own hard work. As simple Marco Fierezza, a young European entrepreneur, he had used his shrewd grasp of finance to become one of the City of London's most lauded financiers and a billionaire.
In the last few years it had caused Marco a certain amount of wry amusement to note how his grandfather had turned to him for financial advice with regard to his own private wealth, whilst claiming that their blood tie absolved him of paying for Marco's services! The truth was, his grandfather was a wily old fox who wasn't above using whatever means he could to coerce others into doing what he wanted, often claiming that what he did was done for the good of Niroli, rather than himself.
Outside, the icy cold rain of London rattled against the windows of his Eaton Square apartment, and Marco felt a sudden sharp pang of longing for the beautiful Mediterranean island his family had ruled for so many generations: a sun-drenched jewel of green and gold in an aquamarine sea, from where dark volcanic mountains rose up wreathed in silvery clouds.
The same sea that had claimed the lives of his parents, he reminded himself sombrely, and which had not just robbed him of them, but also made him heir to the throne.
He had always known that ultimately he would become Niroli's king, but he had also believed that this event lay many years away in the future, something he could safely ignore in favour of enjoying his self-created, self-ruled present. However, the reality was that what he had thought of as his distant duty was now about to become his life.
Was that knowledge the reason for the dream he'd had? After all, when it came to the relationship he would have with his grandfather if he agreed to do as King Giorgio had requested and return to Niroli to become its ruler, wasn't there going to be an element of the prodigal male lion at the height of his powers returning to spar with the ageing pack leader? Marco knew and understood the older man very well. His grandfather might claim that he was ready to hand over the royal reins, but Marco suspected that Giorgio would still want to control whoever was holding them as much as he could. And yet, despite his awareness of this, Marco knew that the challenge of ruling Niroli and making it the country he wanted to see it become—by sweeping away the outdated and over-authoritarian structures his grandfather had put in place during his long reign—was one that excited him.
There had never been any doubt in Marco's mind that when ultimately he came to the throne he would make changes to the government of the island that would bring it into the twenty-first century. But then he had also envisaged succeeding his gentle, mild-mannered father, rather than having his tyrannical grandfather standing at his shoulder.
Marco gave a small dismissive shrug. Unlike his late father, a scholarly, quiet man who, Marco had recognised early in his life, had been bullied unmercifully and held in contempt by the King, Marco had never allowed himself to be overwhelmed by his grandfather, even as a child. They shared a common streak of almost brutally arrogant self-belief, and it had been this that had led to the conflict between them. Now, as a mature and powerful man, there was no way Marco intended to allow anyone to question his right to do things his own way. That said, he knew that taking the throne would necessitate certain changes in his own lifestyle; there were certain royal rules he would have to obey, if only to pay lip-service to them.
One of those rules forbade the King of Niroli to marry a divorcée. Marco was in no hurry to wed, but when he did he knew he would be expected to make a suitable dynastic union with some pre-approved royal princess of unimpeachable virtue. Somehow he didn't think that it would go down well with his subjects, or the paparazzi, if he were to be seen openly enjoying the company of a mistress, instead of dutifully finding himself a suitable consort.
He looked towards the bed where Emily lay sleeping, oblivious to what lay ahead and the fast-approaching end of their relationship. Her long blonde hair—naturally blonde, as he had good reason to know—was spread against the pillow. To Marco's surprise, he was suddenly tempted to reach out and twine his fingers through its silken strands, knowing that his touch would wake her, and knowing too that his body was hardening with his immediate need for the intimacy of her body. That he should still desire her so fiercely and so constantly after the length of time they had been together—so very much longer than he'd spent with any woman before—astonished him. But the needs and sexual desires of Marco Fierezza could not be compared with the challenge of becoming the King of Niroli, he acknowledged with his customary arrogance.
Copyright © 2007 by Harlequin Books S.A.