Her mother always told her she'd have to kiss a log of frogs to find her handsome prince – until her sexy new neighbor turns out to be real royalty.
Susan Murphree always heard you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your handsome prince, but she'd settle for one honest man who didn't act like a toad. Her hot new neighbor, research fellow Robert Taj, certainly doesn't look like a toad, but Susan has learned looks can be deceiving. Sure, he has a sexy foreign accent and a drool-worthy body, but anyone that mysterious must have secrets.
Robert's secret is that he's a real prince, heir to the throne in the tiny European country of Cartasia. Now that he's in America all he wants is to focus on his research and be accepted for the man he is, not the title he bears. Once he's fallen for Susan he worries revealing the truth will mean losing the only woman he's ever loved. Can this real life fairy tale have a happy ending?
Susan had just left the kitchen when the door opened and Robert walked in as if he owned the place. She stopped and glared at him. "Do you always just barge in on people?"
He looked affronted. "I knocked."
"You're supposed to wait for me to open the door."
"But I’ve saved you the trouble." He smiled, an ingratiating look.
She quelled the flutter in her chest. She was not going to let this ill-mannered Lothario sweet-talk her into anything. "What do you want?"
He held up her coffee cup. "I came to return this."
"Well, thanks. Look, I'm really busy right now, so I won't keep you." She held out her hand, but he made no move to give her the cup.
Instead, he strolled past her, into the kitchen. "This is a very charming place you have," he said, looking all around. His eyes came to rest on the lingerie scattered across the kitchen table. "Is this the latest fashion in American undergarments?"
She turned around and saw him holding up the bustier. "I can see that it offers a great deal of . . . support," he said. He traced one finger along the underwire and Susan felt her nipples contract, as if he'd stroked her instead.
She grabbed the bustier from his hand. "Give me that." She knew her face was as red as the garment.
He picked up one of the stockings. "These would look very lovely on you." His gaze dropped to her legs.
She shifted from one foot to the other. "They're not mine," she said. "I mean, someone gave them to me. . . as a gag gift."
He looked puzzled. "A 'gag' gift? Someone gave these to you in order that you would keep quiet? In my country this is known as a bribe."
"No, no. A gag is a joke." She grabbed up the lingerie and stuffed it back in the box, then clapped the lid on top.
"You don't seem to find the joke very amusing."
She stared at the gaudy wrapping paper that lay crumpled on the floor. It wasn't funny -- any of it.
"What is wrong?" Robert's voice broke through her brooding. He stepped closer. "You look so very sad."
She covered her eyes with her hand, to hide the sudden tears that threatened to overflow. "I have a headache. You'll have to leave now."
"Please, I want to help you." His voice was a gentle caress. He cradled her head in his hands and began to massage her scalp, his thumbs tracing circles around her temples.
She gasped, then exhaled a long sigh. A pleasurable tingle raced along her shoulders and pulsed down her spine. "Relax," he murmured. "Close your eyes."
She did as he instructed and gave herself up to the caress of his hands. She could feel the heat of his body, overshadowing her, and when she inhaled, the musky scent of him filled her senses with an intoxicating rush. Her every nerve hummed with an awareness of him, a need for him.
"Does that feel better?" he asked.
A sigh escaped her lips. She leaned toward him, anxious to be even closer.
His hands went still, then he moved them away from her head. She opened her eyes and found him regarding her with a look of concern. She saw herself reflected in his tawny eyes, like an image in a magical mirror, drawing her nearer and nearer to him. She tilted her head up, inviting his kiss. One kiss was all she asked -- one taste of him to satisfy her burning curiosity.