Wednesday 6 April 2016

I love a man in uniform!

Heather Long has a new story out in the anthology Royals & Rogues  :)
I totally admit that I really love anthology's. They are perfect bathtub reading, or bus reading, or lunch break reading... you get where I'm going here, right? For those times when you want to enjoy a story but life is dictating that you have a time limit on your peace and quiet.  LoL

Royals & Rogues

Sexy and we know it! They’re on the hunt after your heart. Discover 5 brand new passionate tales of royals, rogues, dreams, passion and conflict. Escape with these modern tales, where happily ever after takes hard work, determination, and some good, old fashioned royal luck.

On March 1st, discover the passionate Royals and Rogues with Shelli Stevens, Carole Mortimer, Susan Stephens, Heather Long and J.C Makk.

Warning: Contains royal heroes and heroines, tempestuous passion, second chances, roguish competition, and family ties binding them together. Sometimes a royal’s greatest challenge is love…

Available for .99 (for a limited time) at...

Her Marine Prince by Heather Long

Princess Francesca “Frankie” Grace has no interest in scandal or pomp and circumstance. Her desire for a military career puts her on a collision course with retired Marine Hugh Dillon.

Alexandre by Carole Mortimer

Billionaire ruler of a Mediterranean principality, Prince Alexandre of Androcco took one look at Anastazia Carmichael and knew he wanted her. And he’s determined to have her. In his arms. In his bed. Any way he can get her.

Seducing the Princess by Susan Stephens

Angel: The first time I met Gideon Black, I was a teen who hated him with a passion that kept me awake at night.  Gideon: A tease at sixteen, Angel has grown into an irresistible, kick-ass woman. I know exactly what I want to do to her—how thoroughly, and for how long.

Corrupted by the Prince by Shelli Stevens

On the heels of his worst scandal yet, Prince Kostas of Mykorini decides to keep a low profile at his American beach home in the Hamptons. Taking a lover isn't part of his plan until he meets Eva. Evelynn Fairchild knows she should be wary of the bad boy prince, especially when she's considered the levelheaded one in her high profile family. But one earth shattering kiss makes her wonder if she should ditch her virginity status in what surely will be a one-night stand.

His Royal Redemption by J.C. Makk

Sir Antony Richarden is determined to win the King’s Favor, a prize which will save his family estate and secure his nieces’ future. His only obstacle? Princess Estelle of Dirksbee, the woman he left at the altar is going to make this competition more than difficult. Never mind the fact he still has feelings for Estelle…

Heather was kind enough to give me an excerpt to share here on here for you all. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Her Marine Prince Excerpt:

It took thirty minutes for her and her bodyguards to clear customs. A week after discussing her desire with her father, and she was on her way toward her goal. Her sisters would never understand the drive to follow in their father’s footsteps. Sometimes Frankie didn’t fully comprehend it. She wanted a life with meaning and purpose. Her cousins fought to preserve their life and her mother—her grandmother—these women lived as examples of aristocratic generosity. How did her cousin George phrase it once?
“We won the genetic lottery, though sometimes I wonder what it would have been like to draw some normal numbers.” Frankie appreciated the concept. Her father had been born into a military family. He knew from a young age he would serve, and the only deviation from his ordinary choices in life had been to fall in love with a princess. It changed how he did things, how he had to view the world, yet he remained himself even in light of her family’s eccentricities.
After collecting her suitcase, Frankie continued to follow the line of foot traffic to the final stop on her admission to the United States. The Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport was a major hub. The current lines testified to how many passengers disembarked from their long flights from all over the world, cleared immigration and customs before stepping onto a U.S. domestic flight or, as in her case, meet the car sent to take her to her final destination.
When her turn came, she handed over her declaration form and passport. The officer reviewed the information then gave her a long studying look. “Purpose of visit?”
“Spending time at a fitness camp. Vacation and study.” Not really a lie. It was a vacation of sorts, just a working one.
“Welcome to the United States.” He stamped her passport and returned it to her. After sliding it back into her purse, she adjusted the strap before reclaiming her suitcase.
“Thank you.”
Three weeks to prove her capabilities to her father. He promised her the man in charge of the Marine fitness camp would not go easy on her. If she could demonstrate her proficiency and get the sergeant to sign off on her readiness, her father would take her case to both her mother and to Armand. Excitement curled through her belly as she followed the wave of humanity down the long hallway toward the exit terminal.
She almost wanted to bounce, a highly improper way to behave. Anders and Ford had made it through ahead of her. Once she was on the property, they would have to keep their distance but any suggestion she’d made of going to the Georgia camp unescorted had been nixed immediately.
The men had their own bags and would usually offer to take hers, but with only two of them escorting her, she understood they each needed a hand free. They were armed, their weapons having been checked and certified prior to boarding and returned when they landed. At no point could she recall her guards ever having to draw those weapons, and for that she was grateful. Rose once had a bad experience after overdoing it at a nightclub…
Of course, Rose had a lot of experiences because of her behavior. With Anders leading and Ford close on her flank, she followed them down the escalator to the main floor. Past the surges greeting, waving and hugging, one man stood off to the side. Tall, he possessed near perfect posture, dark eyes and a laser focus. The air seemed to back up in her lungs when their gazes collided, and it took her a moment to process the sign in his hands.
F. Grace.
An inappropriate snicker damn near escaped. It wasn’t the first time she’d seen her initial in front of her last name, but rarely did she see it isolated alone on a placard. “That’s Hugh Dillon,” Ford murmured from behind her. “He matches the identification we were provided.”
So, this was the golden boy her father respected enough to send her to him for training. Adjusting her course to meet him, she shuffled her bags so she could extend her right hand. “Mr. Dillon?”
For a split-second, surprise registered in his midnight blue eyes. She’d thought they were black, they were so dark, but up close she could see the deeper color present. “Princess Grace?” Shock rippled in his tone and she stood there, one hand stretched out to him while he blinked for three long heartbeats before he seemed to notice. His strong grip enclosed her fingers in purely masculine warmth.
“Francesca. Princess Grace was from Monaco and…” Well, she could explain how to handle proper address, but she didn’t really want to go into the etiquette and protocol. “Why don’t you just call me Frankie, please?”
“Frankie?” Southern hospitality rolled through the syllables of her name and turned the excitement in her belly to molten heat. The purely improper reaction added to the tingling sensation on her skin where his hand still held hers. “Frankie is a guy from Brooklyn…which you most definitely are not, lovely lady.”
Unable to fight the smile curving her lips, she tugged her hand free. “Be that as it may, Mr. Dillon, I prefer Frankie. Only my father calls me Francesca.”
He glanced from her to Anders and Ford then back again. “I should probably refer to you as your highness or ladyship?”
Fighting the urge to cringe, she shook her head. “Not at all. Please. Frankie.”
He frowned then nodded slowly before taking possession of her bag. “All right Frankie. I’m Hugh…” He glanced at her bodyguards.
“Ford.” The two men introduced themselves in clipped, solemn tones before returning to their surveillance of their surroundings.
“They are much friendlier when we’re not surrounded by so many people.” She hadn’t wanted to surrender her suitcase, but men like Hugh needed something to do when they were thrown off kilter. Carrying her bag might not seem much, but she understood the desire.
“Fair enough. Do you have anything else you need to pick up? I’m parked outside.” A smile creased his firm mouth, but even as she grinned in response, the light didn’t quite reach his eyes. After hours on a commercial flight, she could appreciate the desire. Then again, were the guys going to let her travel in a vehicle they hadn’t checked out?
Neither Anders nor Ford raised an objection, so she nodded. “We have everything.”
Hugh lifted her suitcase then raised his brows. “It’s light, considering.”
Considering what? She hadn’t packed formals. “I packed what I’d need for training.” She could wear evening dresses and heels with the best of them. She had plenty of practice. No need for them at a boot camp. Her bodyguards stayed close, but once again bracketed her. They must have checked out Dillon extensively, because neither tried to prevent him from walking next to her.
Thank God. Of course, her father made all the arrangements. If they couldn’t trust the major’s judgment, who could they trust? Them trusting her trainer, however, meant she could get the most out of the exercise.
“We’ll get you fitted for fatigues on property. The first week, you won’t need them, but you will for week two.” The clipped formality seemed at odds with his southern drawl.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am. Papa said you run one of the best retired Marine operated fitness camps in the United States.” Outside the terminal, moist air hit her like a slap. Hours of recycled, almost too cool air, didn’t prepare her for the thickness of humidity coating every single breath. She checked her watch, it was still early in Atlanta and autumn. She’d done a lot of research about Hugh Dillon and standard training for the USMC as well as what she needed to make on her entrance exams and to pass her physical. Maybe I should have researched the weather.
“We do a standard physical,” Hugh said as he led the way from the terminal to the parking structure. Traffic flowed around them, heavier than she expected. It was a major hub, but the heavy traffic congested the roads circling the front of the terminal. Fortunately, they were able to cross into the structure. “I scheduled yours for this afternoon.”
“Very well, do we need to stop somewhere on the way?”
“Nope.” An SUV’s alarm echoed as he unlocked the doors, then the motor started while they were still a hundred feet away. Anders strode ahead and checked beneath the vehicle. Long years of habit had Frankie waiting with Ford. Pausing, Hugh frowned as he watched the bodyguard then gave her a long assessing look. “Our physician will handle the physical. He has your medical records and signed the nondisclosures your family required.” No element of question, though instead of focusing on her, he scanned the area around them.
She’d seen that look before. Every single one of the family’s security agents possessed the watchful wariness as they scanned their surroundings. For a split, second his gaze collided with hers and his cool eyes warmed.
“I don’t think you have anything to worry about while you’re here. The property is secure.”
“Anders and Ford believe in cautious optimism.” Her shrug drew his bemused attention. At the questioning raise of his brows, she grinned. “I can be optimistic. They’ll be cautious.”
A smile curved his firm lips, and her heart did a little backflip. He really was quite handsome. The square jaw and strong face hid emotion and wore expressionless well, but when he allowed himself to relax, he transformed. Even his close-shaved haircut seemed to suit him, softening what could have been a blocky appearance. Why am I paying so much attention to his physical details? He’s my training officer. Well, he wasn’t technically an officer, and she didn’t exactly report to him in a formal way, but he was in charge of her training.