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Anne Patrick
October 25th, 2009, 03:56 PM
Tara, the Crown Princess of Gautier, a small European island country west of France, has gone to the finest schools in the world, was raised in the luxury of a beautiful palace in a country that was fast becoming one of Europe’s hot spots. In the eyes of the public she lives in a fairy tale world, is admired and adored by her people. But in the shadows lurks an evil far greater than even the king can imagine.

Babysitting a beautiful princess sounds like an easy job for former CIA agent Alex Girard, but when it becomes clear that the assassin trying to kill Tara is the same man responsible for killing his father he knows keeping her alive may be the toughest assignment of his life. Just as disturbing is the growing attraction he has for the future queen. Determined to find the answers that will save the monarchy and finally bring the murderer to justice, Alex and Tara team up with friends on an international quest that will change all their lives. <O:p

Excerpt

Alex watched as the woman exited the motel room. She was much taller than he expected, at least 5’8. Her light auburn hair was bound in a ponytail, which stuck out the back of a New York Yankee’s baseball cap, and the faded blue jeans she wore formed well to her shapely hips and legs underneath a baggy Yankee’s sweatshirt. “She’s a beauty,” he commented as he turned to the man in the passenger seat.

“Yeah she is, and she can be quite a hand full. So don’t underestimate her.”

“Sounds intriguing, this might not be as boring as I thought.”

“Your job is to keep an eye on her, that’s it…Understand?”

Alex nodded, then shifted his eyes back to the woman as she paused to talk with a cleaning woman. “Is she really a princess?”

“Not only is she a princess, she’s King Edward’s only child.”

“You mean that’s Princess Tara?”

“The one and only.”

She wore dark sunglasses but he was still surprised he hadn’t recognized the Crown Princess of Gautier from the supermarket tabloids where she often appeared. The small European island was almost mystical in its history, and like most royalty, Princess Tara, was highly sought after to help sell their magazines, fetching handsome rewards to the photographers lucky enough to catch her off guard. There was hardly a week that went by that her lovely face didn’t grace one of their covers.

“Since when are you interested in the comings and goings of royalty?”

“Since she hired me last year to find her brother.”

“It’s been over fifteen years since Prince James was kidnapped. If her own government couldn’t find him what makes her think we can?”

“Because we have better connections than they do.”

“Do I need to remind you that I was terminated by the CIA eight months ago?”

“You’ve still got friends and so do I.”

Alex grinned. He’d know Scott Humphreys long enough to know when he wasn’t being completely honest. “Why is it I get the feeling there’s more you’re not telling me?”

“The two of you have a mutual acquaintance. Diablo Lazario.”

Alex stiffened at the name as if an old wound had been ripped wide open. “What’s he got to do with this?”

“Nothing I hope. But according to the official investigation by the Gautiern government he was one of the main suspects in her brother’s disappearance.”

“How can that be if he was killed in ’83?”

“Like you said, a body was never found.”

“So you think her brother’s abduction was politically motivated?”

He nodded. “Giving me all the more reason to believe her life is in danger.”

“You do realize if this gets out of hand there could be international ramifications.”

“That’s why she’s keeping a low profile outside her royal duties. Anything happens to her and the future of her country could be in jeopardy.”

Alex watched the princess stroll to the awaiting cab, waited till the driver came around and opened the door for her, then with a generous smile slid into the back seat.

“She has a charity benefit tonight but I’ve got to meet a contact in Jersey so I need you to stay with her. She’s to meet me at Paddy’s bar & grill to go over the details. I’ll try and make it back before our flight to Richmond.”

“Why are we going to Richmond?”

“As you know, Lazario has a son living here in the states. His last known address is in Richmond.”

The hairs on the back of his neck stood on end. What was he getting himself into? True he needed the money, he hadn’t worked in eight months, and his savings was almost gone. But babysitting some spoiled princess was the last assignment he needed.

“She isn’t much for surprises so it might be better if you didn’t mention my not making it to the benefit until you reach Crown Center. I’ll have a tux waiting for you inside.”

“Does she even know you’ve hired me as her bodyguard?”

“I don’t want to frighten her. Besides, she hates bodyguards.”

Great! “What am I suppose to tell her?”

“I’m sure you’ll think of something.”


Coming Jan 2010