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Protecting the Princess Paperback

Protecting the Princess Paperback

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  • 167 Pages
  • 3-4 Hours
  • 51K Words

She's a princess doubting the rules of royalty. He's the bodyguard tasked with keeping her in line. Will a relationship destroy both of their goals?

Princess Emma Somerset struggles to find purpose and fulfillment in her life. With her brother and cousins all married and in their new roles, she’s the only one left at the palace. When Queen Nicolette, her aunt, asks Emma to undertake a trip to the north as a good-will ambassador, she agrees, despite her lack of experience.

Ryan Sterling is a new protection officer for the royal house of Durham. He has aspirations for a high-profile assignment, but when Princess Emma’s long-time female bodyguard is injured a week before departure, he’s called to replace her. Now he’s stuck babysitting a spoiled princess instead of proving his worth to advance his career.

After floods strand Emma and Ryan in the remote countryside during the trip, their fledgling friendship slowly turns into something more. But is a new relationship between them doomed to fail when they return to the palace?

If you love sweet romance stories with a hunky bodyguard protecting his princess, you'll love the you'll love this fresh take on a sweet royal romance! Meet the Somersets, heirs to the royal throne of Durham, as they find forever-after love in this contemporary royal romance series. Perfect for fans of Once Upon a Prince,A Christmas Prince, and The Prince & Me

Main Tropes:

  • second chance
  • secret identity
  • You've Got Mail

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Synopsis

She longs for the man who’s been writing to her for fifteen years. He wishes he could tell her it’s him. Can they come to the truth before it’s too late?

Simon Ackerley arrives in Lisbon for his temporary job as a consultant, not expecting to find his secret penpal easily. After all, he doesn’t know what she looks like or what her real name is. But when a biking accident reveals that Simon’s prickly co-worker Isabel is the elusive Amélie, he has to win her trust before he can confess his true identity.

Isabel Antunes is content with her life as director of the English Academy in Lisbon, until the chairman hires a consultant without her knowledge. Despite Simon Ackerley’s repeated assurances to the contrary, Isabel believes he’s after her position, and she won’t hand it over without a fight. As if dealing with him at work isn’t enough, he shows up at her book club as well. Her only solace is writing to the penpal friend she knows simply as Elliot.

As they work together, Isabel realizes Simon is nothing like her first impression and a tentative friendship grows between them. But how can she explore the possibilities with him when her heart belongs to Elliot?

If you loveYou've Got MailandTo Sir, With Loveyou'll love this sweet twist on a romantic classic!Always Youis a sweet secret identity romance with a cinnamon roll hero, a reluctant heroine, and their long penpal relationship! It can be read as a standalone story and has a guaranteed happy ending!

Intro into Chapter One

What was so magical about a letter from Elliot that she could hardly wait to read it?
Isabel Antunes passed a hand over the pocket of her blazer. She’d been biding her time all day, going through her duties as director of the academy while the paper rustled against the satin lining of the pocket. But the opportunity never came, not even at lunch. Instead, she’d had to solve a minor crisis in the absence of the chairman.
She walked out of the iron gates and the security guy closed them behind her. She turned to look at the familiar building, gray stone and red roof tiles ablaze in the late summer sun, and its clean lines and large square windows blending in with the Lisbon neighborhood of squat apartment buildings and tree-lined streets. The air was still warm and she took a deep breath. The last bell had rung forty-five minutes before, and she was finally leaving. If anything else came up, it would have to wait until Monday.
She shifted her crossbody bag and looked around. Cristina was supposed to have waited for her but was nowhere to be seen. She had probably stopped to chat with the lady who worked at the newspaper stand. Again. Isabel started up the street, treading carefully to avoid catching her high heels on the spaces between the black and white cobblestones. The sidewalks of Lisbon were renowned worldwide but should have come with intermittent warnings about wearing sensible shoes. She knew better, but once or twice a month her shoe weakness over-ruled her sensible side. Unfortunately, when it came to fashion and regret, her memory was usually short. Soon enough she’d make the same mistake again.
At the intersection, Isabel stopped by the crosswalk. Friday’s early evening traffic buzzed past her and she took a step back behind the other people waiting to cross. She reached in her pocket and drew out the envelope, her gaze lingering over the block letters that spelled her name. A small smile tugged at her mouth. He still mixed upper case letters with lowercase ones, just as he had in high school.
The light changed to green and Isabel stepped forward with the others as they moved to cross the street.
“Isabel. Stop.” Cristina’s voice reached Isabel from behind the crowd.
Isabel turned and craned her neck to find Cristina. From the corner of her eye, a large object barreled toward her. A jolt of pain caught her left side and a body slammed into her shoulder, hurtling her backward against the pavement. Her teeth rattled, snagging her lower lip. She squeezed her eyes shut. Screams and a whoosh of breath rang too close to her.
For a moment, there was nothing else but the act of breathing.
In. Out. In. Out.
She lay flat on the hard surface, her eyes still closed. The smell of rubber and asphalt competed with another scent, something closer and more pleasant.
“Are you all right?” a male voice said near to her. A deep, rich voice. Someone she didn’t know. Someone who spoke English. Not Portuguese.
A hand touched her forehead and the hairs on her arm rose. The touch was firm, almost with a sense of urgency. Another hand slipped something soft behind her neck. Slowly, other sensations returned to her: the heaviness in her limbs, the dull throb on her head, the light pressure of fingers against her cheek. It was a comforting gesture, and Isabel exhaled with relief.
“Let me through. I’m her friend!” That voice she knew. Cristina.
The warm touch withdrew and someone gripped her hand. Long, strong fingers. Another hand touched her side at the hip. She winced. It hurt there too.
“Isabel, can you hear me?”
Isabel opened her eyes. Two faces looked down on her, one with straight brown hair in a side braid, another framed with red hair and freckled skin. Lots of pale, brown freckles. And a pair of warm, green eyes, filled with concern.
The freckled man helped her sit up slowly. He kept her hand in his until she was stable. Isabel studied the place where his fingers met hers. Even his knuckles had freckles. She raised her eyes to him and his expression softened. His hair stuck up in all directions, a mass of unruly, thick red strands the color of oak leaves at the tail end of autumn. The strange thought stopped her. She must have hit her head hard to be comparing a man to the colors of the season.
Cristina grabbed Isabel’s hand away from his. “Just sit here for a minute. Don’t try to stand up.”
Isabel did as she was told. Sharpness had taken over her body and breathing wasn’t easy.
At the sound of a siren, the small crowd of onlookers shifted. After a moment, they parted, and a paramedic came through, kneeling on the asphalt. He shined a light in Isabel’s eyes and asked her stupid questions she wouldn’t want to answer under normal circumstances, much less after falling on the street in broad daylight at the busiest time of day.
Had it been just a fall? Not too far from where she sat, a bicycle lay on its side, straddling the sidewalk and street. The chain had come off and some of the spokes were bent.
The paramedic grabbed her chin. “Look this way, please.”
Isabel protested his ministrations but it didn’t matter. Apparently, hitting her head on the pavement stripped her of good sense and free agency, and she was unable to persuade anyone that she retained her normal mental capacity. They ignored her reassurances and strapped her onto a gurney.
The red-haired man stepped into her field of view. He stretched out a hand and wrapped his fingers around Isabel’s wrist, then turned to the paramedics. “Where are you taking her? What’s the name of the hospital?”
If anything, the look of concern had deepened. Why did he look so worried? Were her injuries more serious than she thought?
His voice grew insistent. “Please, you need to tell me where she’s going.”
As the paramedics loaded her into the back of the ambulance, he took a step to follow her, but someone held him back.
“You’ve helped enough already,” Cristina said in a tight voice. “I’m the one going with her, not you.”
The paramedics took Isabel to the emergency room for a long wait before she would be able to have an X-ray. Aside from a goose egg on the back of her head, she had a cut on her lip, scratches on her hands, and bruises on her forearms. She was probably bruised in other parts she couldn’t see but didn’t have a concussion, which was good. When they finally released her, Cristina called a taxi to take Isabel home.
Isabel exited slowly when the taxi arrived in front of her apartment building. Unfortunately, her body had caught up after the adrenaline surge from the fall, and the soreness in her muscles bothered her with the smallest of movements, even mounting a few steps to the lobby where the elevator awaited.
Cristina took the keys from Isabel and opened the door to her apartment. “Are you sure you don’t want me to call anyone?” She flipped the light switch.
Isabel shuffled to the living room and sank on the sofa. “No, I’ll be all right.” She took a breath and touched her temples. There was no one to call who could come. “I’ll just take a shower and rest.”
Cristina sat across from her. “Maybe you should leave the door open, in case you need some help.”
Isabel looked down at herself. Her pantyhose were torn and her blouse had grease stains on the wrists. Maybe the dry cleaners could do something for it. “I won’t be long.” She rose slowly.
Cristina stood as well, her arms raised as if ready to catch Isabel. “Okay, you go do that, and I’ll fix some tea.”
Once in her bedroom, Isabel eyed her bed. As much as she wanted to crawl in it and forget about the past few hours, she padded to the en suite bathroom and changed out of her battered clothes.

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