He’s too suave. He has too much swagger. And an ego of royal proportions.
I probably didn"t make a great first impression.
Rushing through his apartment door–practically naked aside from the plastic shower cap on my head–and charging for his bathroom as if my skin was on fire.
What was I supposed to do" Wait around for a white knight to swoop through my bathroom window with a wrench and a toilet plunger to save me from my faulty plumbing situation" Insert eye roll here.
Anyway, that’s the story of how I met my new landlord"
But Xavier George Andrew Henry Cambridge is more than just the guy who swings by on the 1st of the month to collect the rent. He’s a real-life prince. Second in line to the throne of a country no one’s ever heard of. Hiding out in this middle-of-nowhere small town to avoid his princely duties.
He’s a charming bastard with an intoxicating accent, a potent smile and muscles. Many, many muscles. He"s also the perfect gentleman when he needs to be. He makes me laugh despite myself. And he sees right through the tough facade I show the world.
I"m falling. I can’t help myself. And I know he wants me, too. But something’s holding him back. He won"t give in and it’s driving me crazy.
I’ve never been one to shy away from a challenge…but getting past the armour around this man’s heart will be my biggest challenge yet.
Rich Boy is a steamy, laugh-out-loud bad boy royal landlord romance set in small town Illinois. It is book 5 in the Blue Collar Bachelors series.Books by Author:Cassie-Ann L. Miller Books
Folkshire Palace, Ridgeland
And by the way, your formal invitation to the annual Mating of the Brown Bottom Geese Ceremony has arrived, Your Highness. Isn"t that lovely news""
With my clammy fingers clenching anxiously around the warm crystal tumbler, I watch the approaching black SUV from the arched window of the tower. The vehicle travels over the historic drawbridge and through the palace"s massive iron gates, following the winding road toward the expansive cobblestone courtyard.
""If you require a companion for the event, I"ve just received a note from the office of Lady Yolanda relaying her interest in accompanying you again this year""
When the car rolls to a smooth halt, Harold, the head of my personal security team, exits the driver"s seat and opens the back door. He extends a hand to his passenger and the little old lady slides gingerly from the cushioned bench.
""Her letter does stipulate, however, that she"d need at least a month"s advance notice since the feathers for her headpiece would have to be flown in from Geneva and you know how overzealous our customs agents can be in their inspections""
At the sight of the newcomer, I feel a roiling pang in my gut. Beneath the glow of the hanging lanterns illuminating her shadowy figure, the old woman could easily be mistaken for my grandmother, the Queen. Tiny and wrinkled and slow-moving with a peach skirt suit and a full head of hair like a teased-out cotton ball.
""Lady Yolanda goes on to add that she"s an avid birdwatcher and, as always, she looks forward to seeing the mating geese this year""
The elderly woman grips Harold"s arm firmly as she makes a shaky ascent up to the imposing wood and iron double doors of the palace.
""She closes the letter by asking that I remind you just how much she loves a good cock…"
No"that"s not just a saucy punch line. This is my life.
Fighting off a chuckle, I throw a pointed glance over my shoulder at Thomas, my fast-talking, slow-thinking personal secretary. Belatedly realizing what he just said, the bald-headed, bespectacled man clams up and his bulbous cheeks go as red as Snow White"s poisoned apple.
He quickly drops Yolanda"s salacious proposition letter to the desk in front of him as if it"s on fire. He tries ineloquently to backpedal his words. ""Although I-I do believe that a male goose is called a "gander", not a "c-cock""b-but linguistics can be confusing for Lady Yolanda at times, Sir. A silly lass, she is.”
I blatantly roll my eyes.
For the record, I"m intimately acquainted with how Yolanda feels about a good cock. My good cock, in particular. She"s shouted it from the top of her lungs on many a night, loud enough to deprive the entire south wing palace staff of their sleep. She isn"t the slightest bit confused about linguistics. She"s just a wild, unrepentant dirty-talking girl. And quite flexible, too, since we’re on the topic.
I don"t say that to Thomas, of course. He"d probably drop dead with mortification.
Thinly-veiled innuendo from overzealous socialites is an occupational hazard I"ve been dealing with since my boarding school days, actually. I"ve long become acclimatized to it. When you"re standing second in the line of succession to the throne, women will go to great lengths in their efforts to claim the spot beside you. I find it mildly amusing at this point. Nothing more.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy sex as much as the next wealthy, handsome royal heir. But I don"t indulge as often as I could since it has one major drawback; it sometimes involves communicating"actually engaging in dialogue with another human being"which is usually rather annoying and completely not worth the trouble.
After a tense beat, my secretary adjusts his glasses and shuffles some papers around on the antique hand-carved tabletop in front of him. Then he resumes his current bout of verbal incontinence. "Moving along. The Queen"s office sent a reminder that she"ll be expecting your presence when she hosts the Hand Embroidery and Crocheting Preservation Society brunch next week. The Palace wants to make a bold statement. To let the people know that the Monarchy fully supports efforts to preserve this dying craft."
She"ll be expecting my presence…
The expectations. That"s my biggest peeve, honestly. As future titleholder to the Crown, I"m expected to observe onerous royal customs and represent the Monarchy at world summits and show face at frivolous social events.
But here"s the thing"I"m all expectations"d out. I"m done.
I refuse to participate in even one more high society gathering where a bunch of self-important aristocrats go all Peeping Tom on the national goose"and gander"as they get their freak on. Or one more Parliamentary circle jerk where idiot MPs puff up their chests and grandstand while no meaningful legal reform gets passed.
I. Am. Done.
And Grandmum is just going to have to find a way to deal with it.