and February 9th, 2016 (Print)
His dark eyes heated her with memories as he strode toward her. His long legs ate the ground in giant slices, his khakis and sports jacket declaring him in the middle of a work day. He stopped in front of her, his broad shoulders blocking the sun and casting his handsome face in shadows. But she didn’t have to see to know his jaw would be peppered with the stubble that seemed to grow in seconds after he shaved. Her fingers – her body – remembered the texture of that rasp well.
Her breath caught somewhere in her chest.
He folded his arms over his chest, just under the Hurricanes logo stitched on the front of his jacket. “Welcome to the States, Erika. No one mentioned your intention to visit. I thought you don’t like sports.”
“And yet, here I am.” And in need of privacy out of the bright Louisiana sun and the even brighter curious eyes of his team and staff. She needed space and courage to tell him why she’d made this unexpected journey across the Atlantic to this muggy bayou state. “This is not an official royal visit.”
“And you’re not in uniform.” His eyes glided over her wrap around dress.
“I’m out of the service now.” About to return to school to be a nurse, the career field she’d hoped to pursue in the military but they would not allow her such an in-the-field position, instead preferring to dress her up and trot her around as a figure-head translator. “I am here for a conference on homeopathic herbs and scents.” A part of her passion in the nursing field, and a totally made up excuse for being here today.
“Are you here to share specially scented deodorant to my players? Because they could certainly use it.” His mouth tipped with a smile.
“Are you interested in such a line?” Still jet-lagged from the transatlantic flight, she was ill-prepared to exchange pleasantries.
“Is that why you are here? For business?”
She could not just banter with him. She simply could not. “Please, can we go somewhere private to talk?”
He searched her eyes with for a long moment before gesturing over his shoulder. “I’m in the middle of a meeting with sponsors. How about supper?”
“I am not here for seduction,” she stated bluntly.
“Okay.” His eye brows shot upward. “I thought I asked you to join me for gumbo, not sex. But now that we’re talking about sex–”
“We are not.” She cut him short. “Finish your meeting if you must, but I need to speak with you as soon as possible. Privately. Unless you want your personal business and mine overheard by all of your team straining to listen.”
She definitely was not ready for them to hear she was pregnant with the heir to the Reynaud family dynasty.
The first book in the Bayou Billionaires series about four sexy (and rich) Louisiana brothers by Catherine Mann and Joanna Rock, His Pregnant Princess Bride gets the series off to a solid start.
Princess Erika Birgitta Inger Freya Mitras of Holsgrof (sadly, the monarchy has been defunct for more than 45 years) and football team owner and billionaire Gervais Reynaud spent one memorable weekend in London a little more than two months ago. It’s about to become a whole lot memorable for both of them, because Erika’s got some surprising news. That infamous 12% condom failure rate statistic? Yeah, it’s about to change both of their lives forever.
Erika, the youngest of five royal princesses, has been struggling for years to reconcile what she wants to do with her life with what her overbearing family will allow her to do. She joined the military; she hoped to be a field nurse, but instead was placed in a translator position. Her plans after service are to become a nurse practitioner; her family’s less than thrilled, but she’s already been accepted into a program in London, England. That was before finding out she’s carrying twins, however…now, she’s promised Gervais she’ll give him two weeks at his home in New Orleans. Two “getting to know you” weeks, after which they’ll decide what they’re going to do.
Gervais had tried to contact Erika after their amazing weekend together, but was ignored and finally gave up. Now he’s determined to show her and the rest of the world that he’s nothing like his philandering father. He wants to be there for both her and their children. He offers to marry her when he finds out her secret, though at first it’s more of a business arrangement than anything else, despite his strong attraction to her. Erika, however, keeps turning him down…
There aren’t a whole lot of surprises in the storyline–the main conflict can and finally is fixed with some simple communication (just at about the time I was ready to shoutjust talk to each other already! to my ereader, they did!)–instead it’s the characters that really make the book. I liked both Erika and Gervais–they’re a cute couple, and it’s easy to root for them to finally get their act together–but really, it’s the rest of the Reynaud brothers and their strong family bond that make the book. As soon as I reached the final page of this one, I added the next three brothers’ books to my TBR. I’m definitely looking forward to watching them all get to their own HEAs.
And hopefully we’re not going to have to wait for book four to finally meet Erika and Gervais’s children! 😉
Rating: 4 stars / B+
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
USA Today bestseller and RITA Award winning author Catherine Mann writes contemporary romance for Berkley, Harlequin, Sourcebooks and Tule. With over sixty books released in more than twenty countries, she has also celebrated six RITA finals, an RT Reviewer’s Award finalist, three Maggie Award of Excellence finals and a Bookseller’s Best win. Catherine and her flyboy husband live on the Florida coast where they brought up their 4 children – and still have 5 four-legged, furry “children” (aka pets). Catherine is an active volunteer with an animal rescue, serving on their Board of Directors and fostering over 200 puppies, ill dogs, and dogs with service/working potential.