Hiya, and welcome back! Today, we’re sharing the first chapter of Royally Wed by Pamela DuMond!
First, here’s a bit more about the book, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end!
About the book
Royally Wed: A Romantic ComedyAuthor: Pamela DuMond
Series: Ladies-in-Waiting #2
Release date: October 13th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Comedy, Romance
Add to TBR: Goodreads
Ring the wedding bells, pour the champagne, and get thee to the cathedral for Royally Wed, the LOL sequel to Part-time Princess (Ladies-in-Waiting, #1)!
Lucy Trabbicio, former cocktail waitress and down-to-earth American commoner, is about to marry the man of her dreams, Prince Nicholas of Fredonia in the posh royal wedding of the year.
But something goes very wrong on the way to the altar. Now it’s up to Lucy, her party-hard, take-no-prisoners Ladies-in-Waiting, and Nick’s opinionated Royal Nana to solve the debacle, and get her back into sexy Prince Nick’s arms in time to be Royally Wed, as well as royally bed.
A modern day, sexy tale with romance, twists and turns, laughter, and a whole lot of hanky-panky!
I lay collapsed on my back, naked except for the tiara on my head. An ornate silver cheese platter rested on the bed next to me. “Hey, aren’t we supposed to be attending a surprise party tonight?” I fanned my face.
“No, Lucy.” Prince Nicholas Frederick Timmel of Fredonia picked up the tray and placed it on a nightstand. “But thanks for the appetizers.” He wrapped his muscular arms around me and squeezed me tight as he lay next to me—scratch that—for-the-most-part on top of me, on the king-size feather top bed. “We’ve attended back-to-back pre-wedding galas, cocktail parties, and family gatherings. Tonight is blessedly free. I think you’re simply exhausted from the jet lag and the time change.”
“You mean from our most recent round of toe-curling sex.” I pinched my forearm and reminded myself for the hundredth time that this was not a dream, nor had I been out boozing with my ladies-in-waiting.
“Ow!” Nick said. “You need to be nicer to HRH if you want him to make another royal appearance.”
Oops—that wasn’t my forearm.
“Sorry! I totally thought you were kidding when you told me your—I mean—the little prince’s nickname.” In a former life, I was a cocktail waitress. Now I was engaged to a real Prince, he of the black hair, the blue eyes, and the remarkable royal jewels. How could this be?
“I would never kid about HRH,” Nick said. “He can be overly-sensitive.”
“An admirable trait,” I said. “I don’t know, Nick. I distinctly remember an invitation that mentioned a surprise party. There was a photo of a woman’s finger pressed over her lips and the word ‘Shh!’ was engraved in big black letters on the cover.”
“No, Lucy. You’re remembering that time a few months ago when we visited the Viking Museum in Oslo.” He snuggled his five o’clock scruffy shadow into my cheek and nibbled on my ear. “The docent went out of her way to publicly admonish us.”
“You mean the cranky woman whose face resembled a pickle when she said ‘Shh!’ and told us to ‘cease our boisterous laughter?’”
“The very same,” he said. “I still remember her warm spittle striking my cheek when she uttered the words, ‘Hold opp!’ Emphasis on the hard d and ps.”
“Docent Marte,” I said. “Was she the one who was upset that we were kissing in public?”
“Kissing?” He waggled his eyebrows. “She complained that I was fondling your—”
“Right,” I said and mimicked Docent Marte’s outraged alto voice, complete with her thick accent. “‘Only women who are BREASTFEEDING are allowed to go TOPLESS in the Royal Viking Museum!’ Jeez! I was totally not topless.”
Nick smiled. “Well sweetie, you kind of were—”
“A nipple slip is technically not topless. I think she was jealous. You had your haircut that week, Nick, and you looked exceptionally handsome. Very rugged. Very royal.”
“You flatter me.” Nick kissed the palm of my hand. “Honestly, Lucy, I don’t remember receiving an invitation to a surprise party. But there are too many invites and far too many bloody events. It makes me want to call off this formal wedding and simply elope.”
“We can’t elope.” I smoothed an errant lock of hair off his forehead. My Nick was in his late twenties with high cheekbones, jet-black hair with a hint of a curl, come hither eyes, and a smoking bod.
“Why not?” He found his way to my neck and buried his lips in its sweep.
I shut my eyes and fantasized for a few seconds that he was a hot vampire, like the one young Brad Pitt played in that movie they adapted from the Anne Rice book. But then I remembered that I bruise easily, and the whole sexy fang thing would grow old quickly when my neck resembled an heirloom tomato. “We can’t elope because we’d disappoint too many people: your mother, my uncle, your grandmother, my ladies-in-waiting—”
“You mean your ladies-in-trouble.”
“Oh, come on!” I bit my lip. “We haven’t gotten into that much trouble lately.”
“The police reports regarding your recent trip to Monaco might have been destroyed but they’re seared into my memory.”
“There’s nothing to remember.” I cleared my throat. “That was a quick weekend ski jaunt to the French Riviera and perfectly innocent. No one was arrested. No one called the police.”
“Oh, but there was a call,” he said. “Someone called the royal Palais Princier de Monaco, got through to Princess Charlene, and asked if Prince Albert was in the can.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” I rolled away from him, but his strong arm encircling my waist stopped me mid-turn.
“And when sweet, unsuspecting Charlene said she didn’t know what the caller was talking about, one of your ‘Ladies’ replied, “For the love of your country, it’s time to let Prince Albert out of the can!”
“I thought that was funny.” I tried to stifle my giggles but snorted instead.
“No, that was not funny,” he said. “I had to send a formal letter of apology, twenty pounds of Friedricksburgh chocolate, and lederhosen outfits for the royal twins.”
“I’m sorry,” I said. “We were just goofing around.” I glanced at the antique ruby ring that he slid onto the fourth finger of my left hand ten months ago when he asked me to marry him. It was gorgeous, the main stone circled in diamonds, understated, and perfect, just like him. How was it even possible that I had scored such a great guy? Oh, right…Through a web of lies and deception when I posed as Lady Elizabeth Billingsley.
Yes, it was a part-time job. No, I wasn’t a drug smuggler, jewel thief, or a high priced prostitute. But hey—at least I copped to my crimes and even busted my own cover when I was standing at the church altar, right before I was about to marry his brother, Crown Prince Cristoph George Edward Timmel the Third. I said, “I don’t” instead of “I do,” and confessed to being a fake, a phony, and a hired impersonator. Then I ran back to my pathetic, mundane life in Chicago and stayed out of the spotlight.
But Nick tracked me down, declared he’d fallen in love with, and wanted to marry the real me: Lucy Trabbicio, not Lady Elizabeth Billingsley. Now I was in a royal palace sharing a king-size bed with a gorgeous man instead of lying on a lumpy twin mattress in a one-bedroom apartment that I normally split with my yellow Labrador, Tulip, on the Windy City’s Southside. I’d visited half of the countries in Europe, hobnobbed with royalty, and I was living in heaven instead of purgatory.
Nick kissed my neck, his lips venturing out along my collarbone. All the tiny hairs on my arms stood up tall and straight like soldiers on parade. This felt pretty good. No, no, we had a million things to do and this wasn’t the right time. I struggled to keep my wits about me and concentrated on boring things: Brussels sprouts, the national debt, vice presidential political debates…
Nick trailed kisses down my abdomen but I grasped his hair and stopped him in his tracks. “Wait a minute. Wait just one minute. What do you think you’re doing? We just finished round two. Give a girl a breather, please.”
He looked up at me and grinned. “We’re young, lusty, and healthy. Round three, darling.” He tickled my stomach and I giggled. “And then we can wander down to the kitchen and raid the pantry. I’m craving a Friedricksburgh chocolate croissant.”
“No-no, too many carbs. I have to squeeze into my wedding dress in a few days. It’s super dark in here, Nick, and I can’t see my Fitbit. I promised my Ladies that I’d walk ten thousand steps today. We’re supporting each other in our Say Yes to Fitting in the Dress quest.”
“Support groups are great. I’m sure you got in those steps,” he said and lightly slapped my ass.
“Hey!” I jumped.
“Albeit horizontally.” He winked.
“Those still count,” I said and stuck out my chin. “Maybe we should turn on the lights. Get serious about the dress, the exercising, the over the top parties. We could embrace the whole crazy royal wedding extravaganza thing, put the pedal to the metal, and get this puppy done.”
“Lucy, my love, you look delectable in candlelight and I’d rather embrace you.” He ran his thumb down my cheek. “I’m tired of the glare of the cameras, the crush of people, and all the chores that need to be scratched off the ‘To Do’ list. We’re getting married in a few days, and tonight I just want—no—actually, I need some quality quiet time with you, the girl I fell in love with. The girl who captured my heart.”
“Whatever we just did, Nick, was definitely not quiet, and might be outlawed in a few of the flyover states in America’s Heartland.”
He smiled. “Until twenty years ago, it was also forbidden in several European principalities and parts of Russia.” He grazed the flat of his palm across my collarbone. “Let’s do it again. Except this time—a little wilder. I think I was holding back a bit. You’re a firecracker in the sack, my love.”
“Fine!” I sighed. “Carry on, soldier. Your country needs you.”
“You’re my country?” He ran his index finger over my lips and my breath caught in my throat.
“You asked me to marry you, you put a ring on it, and you just planted the royal flag,” I said. “You’d better believe I’m your country.”
“It’s within my royal duties to serve and protect, Lucy.”
“Why don’t you serve first and we’ll deal with the protect part later?”
And then he served. Oh, how he served. I grasped the headboard with both of my hands and tried not to scream his name, or the lyrics to Fredonia’s National Anthem, which I’d dutifully memorized.
But something was wrong. Through our gasps and moans, I heard the distinct creaks of a door opening and muffled whispers. Someone switched on an overhead light, and the soft glow of a crystal chandelier that dangled overhead from the vaulted ceiling illuminated the room.
“Oh my God!” I scrambled for sheets and blankets but could only find plates of appetizers. I grabbed the festive cheese and cracker silver platter off the nightstand, slid it over my private girlie parts, and slapped my free hand and forearm across my boobs. “Who are you people and what do you want?” I asked.
“We’re not just people,” Lady Joan Brady said. “We’re your ladies-in-waiting.”
“We brought a few more folks,” said Lady Cheryl Cavitt Carlson.
“Because if you won’t come to the surprise party, Lucy,” Lady Esmeralda Ilona Castille Hapsburg piped in, “then we’ll bring it to you.”
The overhead lights in Nick’s bedroom clicked on and a robust crowd of people shouted, “Surprise!”