Brandishing a Crown. Rita Herron

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Brandishing a Crown - Rita Herron

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      “Tell me, Jane. Does the fact that I kissed you bother you, or that we were interrupted by your colleague?”

      “That kiss never should have happened,” Jane said.

      He gave her his most charming smile. “It should not have happened here, but it will happen again, Jane.” He forced himself to drop his hand before he forgot his promise, slanted his mouth over hers and took what he wanted. “Only, next time it won’t be at work. And it will be a proper kiss.”

      She gulped. “Proper?”

      “Yes,” he said with a wink. “A proper kiss from a prince.” He lifted a strand of hair from her cheek. “And I promise it will be one you remember.”

      Brandishing a Crown

      Rita Herron


      MILLS & BOON

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      To my sister:

       May she find her own prince one day…


      Award-winning author Rita Herron wrote her first book when she was twelve, but didn’t think real people grew up to be writers. Now she writes so she doesn’t have to get a real job. A former kindergarten teacher and workshop leader, she traded her storytelling to kids for romance, and now she writes romantic comedies and romantic suspense. She lives in Georgia with her own romance hero and three kids. She loves to hear from readers, so please write her at P.O. Box 921225, Norcross, GA 30092-1225, or visit her website at


      Prince Stefan Lutece—He has come to the U.S. to make trade agreements between his small island nation, Kyros, and America, but someone wants him dead. Who can he trust?

      Jane Cameron—This sexy forensics specialist knows everything about processing crime scenes, but nothing about matters of the heart.

      Lieutenant Ralph Osgood—Jane’s superior and the head of her CSI unit believes Stefan and the COIN members are in the States on a fishing expedition to improve their military efforts and knowledge about bombs. How far will he go to prove he is right?

      Prince Thaddeus Lutece—Stefan’s brother wants his home, the island of Kyros, to remain a resort instead of a site for oil drilling, and he wants his brother to go through with the marriage his father has arranged to Princess Daria El-Shamy. Would he hurt his brother to stop the trade agreement from going through and to ensure Stefan agrees to the marriage?

      Jihad Issam—The head of Kyros’s tourist trade opposes oil drilling on the island, claiming it will ruin the country’s idyllic setting and environment. Would he kill Stefan to keep his country from venturing into mining?

      Prince Butrus El-Shamy—Princess Daria’s brother is against the arranged marriage. But what are his reasons?

      Hector Perro—Stefan’s chief aide and loyal friend—or is he?

      Edilio Misko—The head of Stefan’s security team; can he be a mole?

      Fahad Bahir—He’s coordinating the security teams for all the royals.

      Danny Harold—This news reporter seems to know more than he should; where is he getting his inside information?


      Chapter One

      Chapter Two

      Chapter Three

      Chapter Four

      Chapter Five

      Chapter Six

      Chapter Seven

      Chapter Eight

      Chapter Nine

      Chapter Ten

      Chapter Eleven

      Chapter Twelve

      Chapter Thirteen

      Chapter Fourteen

      Chapter Fifteen

      Chapter Sixteen

      Chapter Seventeen

      Chapter Eighteen

      Chapter Nineteen

      Chapter One

      “Stefan, if you would simply return to Kyros and marry Princess Daria, our problems would be solved. In exchange for the marriage, King Nazim El-Shamy has agreed to give our nation as much financial and military support as we need to fend off Saruk.”

      Prince Stefan Lutece sighed as his private jet began its final descent into the Wyoming airport. “Father, you know I have other plans for Kyros.” And for himself.

      And an arranged marriage was not on his agenda.

      Saving Kyros from being swallowed by Saruk, the larger militant nation nearby, however, was.

      But he didn’t intend to succumb to his father’s outdated means, or force his people to be swallowed into the folds of another nation. He wanted to utilize the oil on their land which could make them financially independent. That was the prime reason he’d joined COIN, the Coalition of Island Nations in the Mediterranean, and the purpose for his trip to America now.

      And as far as marriage—if he ever indulged it would be with a woman who stirred his passions, not a woman like Daria who although physically beautiful, possessed a coldness in her eyes that chilled him to the bone.

      “If this summit meeting goes as planned,” Stefan continued, “and the coalition succeeds in making the trade agreements with the U.S., Kyros will prosper and gain independence without becoming indebted to King Nazim or Saruk.”

      The sound of the plane’s landing gear rumbled, the plane tipped slightly, then righted, dropping altitude. Stefan glanced out the window at the rugged Wyoming land, the white-tipped mountains, the acres of untamed prairie land, and momentarily missed the lush tropical beauty of his own country.

      Kyros, with its century-old ruins and stone temples, was rich in culture and history. With tourism as its main industry, the island was picturesque, boasting plush green foliage, colorful gardens, and inviting private resorts nestled along the Mediterranean coast.

      But the island had been forced to become a member of the EU, and with the euro so strong and with additional import costs, fewer and fewer people could afford the exorbitant costs of vacationing on the remote island.

      He and his people had discovered several untapped areas prime with oil, though, that could turn around their economy.

      “You know Thaddeus and I are both opposed to polluting our nation with mining,” King Maximes growled.

      “I do know that, Father. But as I’ve explained countless

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