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Dancing With the Prince

Dancing With the Prince

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Lindy's Mediterranean cruise is nothing like she had planned. Her cousin, who was supposed to keep her occupied and help her forget her ex ends up seasick and stays in the cabin, and Lindy is left to her own devices. When a handsome stranger with a sexy Spanish accent runs into her one night, she’s surprised he’s not as overbearing as some of the other men she’s met so far so Lindy agrees to see him the next day.

Carlos is on the cruise to convince the spoiled son of a rich investor to bring his business to Carlos’s home country of Aragonia. As the second son of the royal family, Carlos doesn’t have much free time, so meeting the beautiful American tourist is just a fun diversion. Yet the more time he spends with her, the more he wants to push his princely duties aside and enjoy the fascinating woman’s company. After news leaks out that Prince Carlos is seeing an American commoner, Lindy is shocked to learn that she’s the subject of tabloid gossip around the world. Lindy knows Prince Carlos is too far out of her league and Carlos knows he should follow the rules of his title, but are either of them brave enough to see where things could lead if they just give it a chance?
A short Novella

Intro into Chapter One

Lindy was sick of men and didn’t want to ever see one again. She took another drink and shook her head at the bartender who asked if she needed another. One was enough and it was time to leave before all the single men descended on the cruise ship’s ballroom. She’d turned down four separate invitations for a visit to their cabins and didn’t want to deal with it again tonight.
Her cousin Paul was still struggling to get his sea legs and had decided to go to bed early, hoping the motion sickness pills they’d gotten from the on-ship pharmacy would help. Once again, she wondered why she had even decided to do this cruise.
She and her almost-fiancé had planned on taking a backpacking trip through Europe for their honeymoon. He’d never proposed, just kept stringing her along until she’d finally had enough. So to treat herself for surviving his egotistical ways and short man syndrome, she’d decided to go on a vacation by herself. But being too chicken to do that, she’d invited her cousin Paul to join her on the Mediterranean cruise.
Lindy climbed off the bar stool and adjusted the slit in the skirt of her red dress to make sure it didn’t show too much leg. Working her way to the double doors that would lead to her escape, she glanced behind her to see the room one last time. She caught sight of the guy with the thin pencil line lip mustache she’d dubbed Pierre, one of the men from last night who had practically shoved his room card in her hand.
She’d flicked it back at him, disgusted by his behavior, but almost wished she would have kept it and run up a huge bar tab buying drinks for everyone in the room. Not that they would have let her since the cards all had pictures on them, but she and Paul had laughed at all she could have done if that was her style. Instead, she would miss out on enjoying the night while trying to avoid the pervs who thought they could have whatever they wanted just because they had money.
As she left the room and stepped out into the night air, she decided she didn’t want to go directly to her room. The sky was clear and the stars were just beginning to appear. She longed for what peace it seemed to offer. An amorous couple passed her, barely
even noticing she was there and she smiled to herself at how in love they were, then was once more reminded she never wanted to be in love again.
She would be better on her own and she was completely fine with that. Love hurt too much.


Philippe pushed Carlos forward and Carlos wondered how drunk the man already was. He wished he could ditch the guy, but his father wanted him to build a better relationship with Philippe in order to convince the man’s father to build one of their warehouses in Aragonia. Carlos bit his tongue, but straightened himself to his full height to remind Philippe, even subconsciously, that Carlos wasn’t the kind of man he should push around.
“That’s the one.”
“The one what?” Carlos asked.
“The one you won’t be able to convince to give you her number.”
Carlos looked to where Philippe was pointing and saw a shapely blonde slip off the barstool and straighten her red dress before tucking her clutch purse under her arm. She headed toward the doors on the other side of the room. He could completely understand why she would have turned Philippe down. She was way out of his league, even if he was the son of the richest man in Galia. But why was she leaving the bar right when everyone else was beginning to arrive?
“Five grand says you can’t get her number,” Philippe said as he slid up to the bar a few stools down from where the woman had been.
“Whatever,” Carlos said. He had no intention of pursuing any kind of relationship on this cruise. He was here on business, and wouldn’t let some woman get in the way of his plans. Besides, his bodyguards would want to do a full background check on her if he even looked twice.
“No, seriously,” Philippe said. “You, with all your money and titles, would never get her.”
“I’ll take your word for it.”
Philippe downed a drink and Carlos looked at the woman again before she made it out the door and disappeared into the night. Why would she be leaving the bar right when the evening’s social activities were beginning? As she turned to look into the room she caught sight of Philippe and Carlos saw her shudder. He couldn’t blame her.
As she left the room, he had a strange desire to ditch Philippe, leave the idiot to his own devices, and go after the woman. Anyone with enough sense to steer clear of Philippe would be someone worth knowing. If only he could leave the man behind. But his father wanted to make sure they could count on their backing.
Besides, he didn’t need some short fling. His family didn’t want him making the headlines unless it had something positive to say about their family. There were enough royal scandals everywhere else. The most prominent one currently was Prince Alex of Durham who’d had a nasty breakup with some actress. He didn’t want to be one as well.
After sitting with Philippe for less than twenty minutes, the man had already drunk enough to put an elephant down, but he was still going strong. Carlos motioned for the bartender and when he was close enough, Carlos said, “You guys have people here that can get him back to his room, correct?”
The bartender nodded. “Of course, sir. We’ll take care of him.”
Carlos stood, glad he’d only had one beer. He was still in complete control of himself and could go make a few calls home to report to his father how things were going. If they had the documents for the contract, he would have gotten Philippe’s signature with only the request. The man was completely ready to commit, but they couldn’t do it here and had to wait until they were both back in Aragonia with their lawyers there to complete the deal. Yet, after only a few days with Philippe, Carlos was ready to be done.
He should have never agreed to come on this cruise. Just associating with the man was giving him a headache. Before leaving the room, Carlos looked back at where Philippe had been. The man had moved in on one of the young women who must have smelled his wealth. She didn’t seem to mind his behavior because she laughed as if he’d said something hilarious, and then moved to the bar with him.
At least Carlos would wash his hands of the man for the night. He hoped the woman wouldn’t regret Philippe in the morning.
After the crowded bar, the extra space of the next room felt wonderful. The glass walls of the room showed the open deck and the dark night. He needed to clear his head and a walk out in the night air would do him good. The first deep breath refreshed him enough he felt immediately better. He turned to the left toward the stern of the boat and walked along the railing, looking down the levels into the calm water.
He knew his bodyguards were near, and they did an excellent job of keeping their distance, allowing him to feel normal for a while. And without having them really close, it allowed others to almost not recognize him. Some people noticed who he was, but being the younger son, he wasn’t in the spotlight as much as Marcus. The cruise line had assured his family and guards that they fully checked everything from backgrounds to luggage to staff in order to ensure the safety of all passengers.
Carlos let his men do their jobs and continued on his walk down the lighted deck. Not many people were out since most of them were either enjoying the movies, theater performances, spending time in the bar lounges or at dinner. He looked down a hallway that would take him into another lounge toward the center of the ship, but he didn’t want to go inside. Staying on the fringes felt right.
Before he turned forward again, he ran into someone and his foot stepped on theirs. He reached out instinctively to steady the other person. “Lo siento,” he apologized in his native tongue. “I am so sorry.” Carlos found himself staring into the eyes of the woman in the red dress Philippe had pointed out. “Are you injured?” Carlos asked.
The woman shook her head, but looked down. Her toes were bright red and he leaned over, still keeping hold of her. Had he bloodied up her toes? As he did a quick examination of her tiny feet, he was relieved to see the red sparkled in a bright and shiny pedicure.
“Please forgive me for my lack of manners. I should have been watching where I was going. I did not mean to knock into you.” He let go of her when he was sure she was steady and offered his hand. “I’m Carlos.”
She looked at him for a moment, as if studying him and his motives. As the seconds ticked by without her giving a response, he wondered if Philippe was right and that she wouldn’t even acknowledge him. Instead of shaking his hand, she crossed her hands over her stomach, making him wonder if he’d bumped her too hard in the middle as well.
“Lindy,” she said. “Please excuse me.” She stepped around him and he caught her wince as she placed her foot down.
“Wait,” he said. “I did hurt you. Please, let me make sure you get it checked out. I can call for the ship’s doctor.”
“No, that’s okay. I don’t need to see a doctor for this. It’s only a little stubbed toe.”
“Then at least take a moment to rest until you are able to walk without pain.” Carlos pointed to a few lounge chairs that were tucked against the wall of the ship. He offered his arm and she studied him for a moment again before placing her hand on his and allowed him to help her limp to the chairs.
“Are you here alone?” Carlos asked.
“Isn’t that kind of personal?” Lindy asked.
“I’m just wondering if we need to let your companions know where you are.”
“I’m fine,” Lindy said as she leaned over and looked at her toe. She touched the middle toe and sucked in a breath, making Carlos feel horrible.
“Please let me call for some help.”
“No,” Lindy said. “I think it just chipped the nail back a little. A tiny bandage would be fine.” She reached into her small clutch and pulled out at tiny zipper pouch. Carlos stared, dumbfounded as she pulled out a little bandage and unwrapped it before putting it around her toe.
“Are you always this prepared?” Carlos asked. “Or did you just know some fool was going to come bumbling into you?”
For the first time, Lindy smiled and he was smitten. Her eyes lit up and she cocked her head to the side in order to see him better. “Well, the frequently asked questions page did say the deck was often a dangerous place. What else was I supposed to do?”
Carlos laughed at her wit. “Maybe I should start carrying one as well. I only have a handkerchief, which if I had been thinking clearly, I would have offered you to clean your wound.”
“That wouldn’t be very sanitary,” Lindy said. “Especially if your hanky is anything like what my grandfather uses his for.”
“That’s where you’re wrong. You see, I don’t carry a hanky. I carry a hand-kerchief. That is a much more manly thing to have.”
“I see,” Lindy said, sitting up straighter and looking him over. “You are very manly, so forgive me for wounding your pride.”
“No wounds,” Carlos said. “But if you had inflicted one, I’m sure you could have bandaged it well.”
Lindy smiled and Carlos nodded. “See, right there you’ve already soothed me with that beautiful smile.”
Her cheeks got a little darker and he watched in fascination as this woman responded to him. He thought of Philippe’s dare and almost wished the man was there to watch the interaction. He would be able to see how well Carlos was doing with Lindy. He wanted to ask for her number, just to shove it in Philippe’s face, but he decided against it, not wanting to seem anything like the type of man Philippe was.
“Will you be able to make it back to your room?” Carlos asked.
“Oh, eventually,” Lindy said.
“Does it still hurt?” he asked, feeling immediate concern again.
“Oh no,” Lindy said. “I just wasn’t planning on going back very soon. I was enjoying my time out here under the stars. I don’t get to see them very much back home. Too much light pollution. But out here, it’s breathtaking.”
Carlos nodded. “I agree. That’s why I came out here as well instead of going to the other side of the ship where my suite is.”
“I’m on this side,” Lindy said.
“This deck?” he asked.
She looked him over. “I think that’s getting into the too personal territory again.”
“Of course,” Carlos said. “You’re right. I promise I’m not some creep that will bother you, but I do hope over the next few days we might be able to see each other.”
“That might be possible.”
“Would you like to meet me for breakfast?” He smiled. “I’ll be a perfect gentleman.”
Lindy smiled, making him feel like he might actually have a chance. “Sure. What time?”

She's on vacation to forget her ex. He's trying to win a business contract. Can they find a happy ever after on a Mediterranean cruise?

Main Tropes

  • Vacation Romance
  • Prince in Disguise
  • Hidden Identity
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