Romancing The Crown: Leila and Gage. Kathleen Creighton
Royalty is their birthright, power and passion are their due!
ROMANCING THE CROWN: LEILA & GAGE
Two captivating stories of regal romance from two fantastic favourite authors
ROMANCING THE CROWN: LEILA & GAGE
MILLS & BOON
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ROMANCING THE CROWN
The crown prince of Montebello is home at last. Now the Montebellan royal family extends its hand in friendship to the Tamiri sheikhdom and journeys to Tamir to celebrate a royal wedding – or is that weddings?
Leila Kamal: The youngest Tamiri princess’s impulsive actions have stirred up a hornets’ nest. But what stings most is that her new husband has yet to make love to his wife!
Cade Gallagher: This brash American knows he’s all wrong for a pampered princess. Still he’s never seen anyone so lovely…or wanted a woman so much.
I was thrilled to be asked to participate in this wonderful series, ROMANCING THE CROWN, but I must confess that when I learned I would be writing about the princess of a mythical Arab kingdom, my first thought was, “Who, me? But I don’t do Arab sheikh books!” How, I wondered, would I ever be able to write convincingly of a people and a culture I knew absolutely nothing about?
But as I began the research for Virgin Seduction, it suddenly came to me: this isn’t a book about sheikhdoms and Arabs and Eastern Mediterranean culture, it’s the story of two complete strangers, who don’t even know they’re in love yet, struggling to find a way to make a life together. Throw in the fact that they are already married to each other for a dash of suspense, I thought, and, lo and behold, here are all the elements I love most to write about! From that moment on, Virgin Seduction truly became for me a labour of love.
Now perhaps you, too, will fall in love with Princess Leila and her handsome Texan, Cade Gallagher, as I did, as they seek their very own happily-ever-after.
All the best,
Sheik Ahmed Kamal, absolute ruler of the Mediterranean island kingdom of Tamir, had reason to count himself among those whom Allah has richly blessed. Indeed, he was the happiest of men as he stood in the modest but beautifully appointed mosque that was his family’s traditional place of worship and prayed for divine guidance and blessings for his youngest son, Hassan, on the solemn occasion of his marriage.
Before him were the bride and groom—at this moment, at least, appropriately separated—with eyes downcast as befitted such a solemn and worshipful occasion. Today the bride—as well as many of those assembled for the Nikah ceremony, and Sheik Ahmed himself—was modestly veiled and dressed in the traditional costume of her husband’s people. In Ahmed’s opinion, it was a much more pleasing mode of dress to both the eye and the spirit than the Western styles he’d grudgingly adopted in recent years.
A fine woman, Elena Rahman, Ahmed thought to himself. Hassan had chosen well—or so Ahmed had been assured by Alima, his wife, whose judgment in such matters he had learned to trust. To be honest, he’d had reservations about the girl at first—she was, after all, an American. And the daughter of a terrorist! But as Alima had pointed out, she was at least a true believer by blood and birth. And it must not be forgotten that Elena Rahman was CEO of one of the most prosperous oil refining companies in the American state of Texas. Yes, thought Ahmed, who had ambitious plans for his country’s own oil resources…Hassan had made a very good choice, indeed.
As he began the first of the required Quranic verses, Ahmed’s gaze expanded to include the two people standing with the bride and groom as witnesses, and his heart grew near to bursting with pride and thanksgiving. His eldest son, Sheik Rashid, and Rashid’s wife, Princess Julia of Montebello, were only recently wed themselves, and parents of Sheik Ahmed’s first grandchild, Omar—already the apple of his grandmother’s eye, and, it must be confessed, of his grandfather’s as well.
As serene and happy as the couple appeared today, the truth was that Rashid and Julia’s union had come about only after much intrigue and extreme peril. In the end, it had brought about the reconciliation of a century-old feud between their respective countries, and as a result, prospects for a future of prosperity and mutual cooperation between Tamir and Montebello had never been more promising.
It was time now to conclude the ceremony with the traditional prayers for the bride and groom, for their families and friends and for the community at large. As he intoned the beautiful and time-honored words, Ahmed raised his head and his arms to encompass them all: his two sons and their wives; his own beloved Alima, still as lovely as the day of their own Nikah ceremony; their three daughters, Nadia, the eldest; gentle Samira; and Leila, the youngest and secretly his favorite—and most vexing—child.
The ceremony was almost concluded. Quickly, Ahmed’s eyes continued their sweep of those assembled inside the mosque—a small, select group, for the most part close family and friends, according to the traditions of his people. There in the back, he caught sight of Butrus Dabir, his trusted advisor and—who knows?—perhaps soon-to-be son-in-law, if only Nadia—stubborn daughter!—would see fit to accept him.
But that small cloud over the sheik’s happiness passed quickly.
Also among the guests assembled in the mosque were the bride’s two guests, from Texas—that rather outspoken woman who was Elena’s friend—what was her name? Oh yes, Kitty. And the tall and somewhat mysterious man who had come as the bride’s guardian and protector. According to Elena, the man was her adopted brother and only family, although, since there was no actual blood tie between Cade Gallagher and Elena Rahman, and Ahmed being a suspicious and extremely traditional man by nature, he thought it a strange relationship.
Near the front of the assembly, dressed in well-tailored Western-style suits, was the contingent from Montebello. Several, including Ahmed’s new ally and in-law King Marcus Sebastiani and his firstborn son, Prince Lucas, stood with heads respectfully bowed. The day after tomorrow, to conclude the weekend’s festivities, there would be a state dinner and reception to celebrate the joyous occasion of the prince’s miraculous return from the dead as well as the new alliance between the two countries as personified by the marriage