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EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT from ROYALLY MATCHED

Trying to control my shaking limbs, I turn around and lower myself over the edge, into the water. My cotton sleeping pants and shirt mold to my body, but they’re light, so they don’t drag me down. Still, I hold onto the edge with white-knuckled hands.
And Henry is right there, his skin slick and warm, his arm like an iron band around my waist.
“That’s a brave girl,” he whispers against my ear.
Henry shifts to his back, arranging me on his torso, like he’s my own personal royal floaty. Then he reaches for his drink on the pool’s edge. “Hold onto this for me?”
Smoothly, he pushes us off from the wall, and the water makes little currents against his shoulders and arms as we glide toward the middle. My trembling eases a bit.
“See?” Henry teases. “Water is your friend. Do you want to learn to swim? I could teach you.”
“I don’t know.” I eye the water suspiciously.
“Why are you afraid all the time?” he asks, not in a nasty way but with simple curiosity.
“I’m not. I just like . . . consistency.”
“Consistency is boring.”
“It’s safe. If you know what’s coming, you’re never caught off guard.”
Henry rolls his eyes.
“Why are you sad all the time?” I ask.
“I’m not sad—I’m pitiful. There’s a difference.”
He’s quiet for a moment, and the only sound between us is the gentle swish of water.
“Do you think Charlie Campbell lived?” Henry wonders. “Before he died?”
Droplets glitter on his lashes like diamonds. I try to focus on that and not the heartache wrapped in the question.
“I hope so. Sometimes, that’s all there is. Hope.”
Henry nods. “I suppose you’re right.”
I hold up his drink and toast, “To Charlie.”
Henry smiles softly as I take a sip, before holding the glass to his lips.
“To Charlie,” he says, then drinks.
He takes the empty glass from my hand and sends it floating away. Then he strokes his arms through the water, pushing us gently forward.
And then, he just . . . looks at me. My glasses fog and I slip them off.
“Fuck, but you’re pretty,” Henry murmurs.
Instinctually, my chin dips and I glance down at his chest.
“Hasn’t anyone ever told you that?”
I shrug. “Not really.”
“They should have,” he insists softly. “You should’ve been told every day how pretty you are—inside and out.”
And there’s a great swelling of tenderness in my chest, around my heart, that almost feels too large to contain. Not because of the compliment, but because of him. This beautiful, broken, pitiful prince. Was Henry ever told how brilliant he is? Kind and strong, generous, and good? I don’t think he was and they should’ve told him. Every single day.
Before I know it, we’re across the pool at the shallow end. Henry’s shoulder brushes the slick, tiled edge.
“There.” He stands upright and my feet touch the pool’s bottom. “That wasn’t so bad, was it?”
We’re close enough that I can taste his breath—smoky wood, whiskey, and man.
“No. Not so bad.”
And I feel like I’m in a daze, like I’m in a dream. Our gazes lock and Henry’s finger runs from my forehead, down my cheek to my chin, stroking back a damp lock of hair.
“Sarah . . .” he says, almost groaning.
He leans in closer, slowly . . .

Our Review

‘What a strange pair we are. The sad boy and the frightened girl.’

We’ve just been hit by the Henry Effect and we couldn’t be happier! After loving Nicholas’s story in Royally Screwed, we were craving his brother, Henry’s story after falling for him and his caddish way, desperately wanting know who was going to catch the attention of the party loving, uninhibited heir apparent. One would think it would take a strong, ballsy woman to tame him, not so, it befell the soul of a sweet, innocent and utterly captivating young bookworm to toy with the heart of the wayward Prince.

“Stories inspire us to reach high, love deep, change the world and be more than we ever thought we could. Every book allows us to dream a new dream.”

We were a little skeptical about the Royal Bachelor Reality TV aspect; unsure if it would work for us as we’re not fans of the show itself, so having it played out in a book…..hmmmm we needed convincing. And who better than Emma Chase and her innate ability turn the drab into something genuinely warm and funny, something meaningful with real grit, to do just that. This lady never disappoints. Her comical perception on situations is so incredibly entertaining and soon our reluctance took backstage to the innocent, witty, passionate and beautiful love story that was unfolding before our eyes. We were captivated, mesmerised as warmth spread through our hearts, giggles erupting from our lips.

“You are woven into my soul and you are wrapped around my heart.”

This book was quite different from the first. It would be akin to comparing the British Royal Family to the gregarious Royals of Monaco. Henry and Nicholas such individual characters, their stories were bound to follow suit, yet each both provided the fierceness of love, the comical inner monologues and all the elements that make an Emma Chase book a richly rewarding, entertaining and memorable experience.

“I would have been respected and admired, but Grandmother…he will be beloved. And if I have learned anything since the day Olivia came into my life, it’s that more than reasoning or duty, honor or tradition…love is stronger.” (Nicholas)

After Nicholas abdicated succession for love, it fell upon fun loving Henry to take up the reigns as the heir apparent. But for Henry, just a small taste of Nicholas’ life, leaves him bored out of his scone, looking for something to break the monotony. And so he receives an offer he can’t refuse. A chance to star in a Royal Reality version of the Bachelor. What could go wrong? A few weeks surrounded by a bevvy of gorgeous bluebloods all vying for his attention. Sounds perfect, right?

‘If I’m supposed to be the Great Royal Hope for my country, we’re all well and truly fucked.’

Little did Henry know he was to meet a woman who would challenge him in ways he didn’t anticipate and that challenge would come in the form of the sweet, innocent and utterly beguiling young Sarah Von Titebottum, who was accompanying her sister, Penny who is part of the show.

‘He could crush me; the foreshadowing is clearly written. It’s a tale as old as time: the inexperienced bluestocking and the bed-hopping rogue.
Bloody hell, I’m a trope.’

We adored Sarah and Henry, with Henry’s inner monologue giving us many laughs, courtesy of  his dirty witty thoughts tinged with the harmlessness of a naughty little school boy.  And Sarah, she was our kind of girl. How could we not adore this clever, sweet woman?

“I believe in you, Henry,” she says so softly, “I believe you can do anything…everything you set your mind to, because you care so deeply for everyone you meet. You will be amazing. I know it in my heart and to the bottom of my soul.”

Funny, passionate, sweet, sexy and brimming with pure heart stealing romance, we adored these characters, all the characters, implicitly, feeling more than satisfied with their story yet never wanting to let them go for a minute. We could read about these guys all day long!  So go on, lose yourself to this fabulous rom-com! We know we did and we love, love, loved it!

Synopsis

Some men are born responsible, some men have responsibility thrust upon them. Henry John Edgar Thomas Pembrook, Prince of Wessco, just got the motherlode of all responsibility dumped in his regal lap.

He’s not handling it well.

Hoping to help her grandson to rise to the occasion, Queen Lenora agrees to give him “space”—but while the Queen’s away, the Prince will play. After a chance meeting with an American television producer, Henry finally makes a decision all on his own:

Welcome to Matched: Royal Edition.

A reality TV dating game show featuring twenty of the world’s most beautiful blue bloods gathered in the same castle. Only one will win the diamond tiara, only one will capture the handsome prince’s heart.

While Henry revels in the sexy, raunchy antics of the contestants as they fight, literally, for his affection, it’s the quiet, bespectacled girl in the corner—with the voice of an angel and a body that would tempt a saint—who catches his eye.

The more Henry gets to know Sarah Mirabelle Zinnia Von Titebottum, the more enamored he becomes of her simple beauty, her strength, her kind spirit… and her naughty sense of humor.

But Rome wasn’t built in a day—and irresponsible royals aren’t reformed overnight.

As he endeavors to right his wrongs, old words take on whole new meanings for the dashing Prince. Words like, Duty, Honor and most of all—Love.

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