The royals of coradova, BOok 1

Heart of Mine

He was a royal prince. She was his best friend from childhood. Their forbidden love will cost them everything.

Twenty-year-old Madison Kavanaugh grew up in a small, modern-day kingdom in the Mediterranean Sea. Her life in the paradise of Coradova was better than any fairytale—until she fell in love with the last person she ever expected: Her best friend and heir to the throne, Crown Prince Alexander.

Now everything has changed. As they fight against a love they can’t give into, Alexander and Madison find themselves walking the thin line of friendship.

When a growing danger lurks nearby, the enemy is closer than they realize. Although Madison’s life hangs in the balance, she will willingly risk everything for the prince who holds her heart.

FROM THE AUTHOR

As my debut novel, this book is very near and dear to my heart. It’s a story I spent years thinking about, before finally putting pen to paper. And it all started with the notion of meeting someone’s eyes from across a crowded room.

When I first wrote about Crown Prince Alexander, I instantly fell in love. He was charming and passionate, and loved his country as every good king should. He was the perfect Prince Charming. The problem was, what sort of woman could possibly capture his heart?

As the heir apparent of a Mediterranean kingdom, Alexander was highly sought after. It was a struggle to determine who wanted him because of his title, or the man beneath it. As I began to write the scene where he meets a woman’s eyes from across the ballroom, I knew I wanted them to have a connection, a history. This was not love at first sight. The emotions between them had been brewing for a long time.

Alexander needed someone who could challenge him, support him, and love him through his weakest moments. Someone who could see the man behind the title, and love him for all that he was. Who better than Madison, his best friend from childhood? The only woman he had ever allowed to see behind the royal mask.

Alex and Maddy’s royal romance is more than just a modern-day Cinderella story. It’s a deep, passionate, and abiding love that stays with you and never lets go.

EXCERPT FROM HEART OF MINE

The look Alexander sent me was undeniably tender. “I’d do anything for you, Madison. I know things have been weird lately … but you’re still my best friend.”

Touched beyond measure, I whispered, “Thank you, Alex.”

He smiled and bumped my arm with his shoulder. “Anytime, dolcezza.”

His words made me cringe. They were a brutal reminder that my time here had an expiration date. I couldn’t stop the tears that suddenly ran free. Embarrassed, I turned away from him and wiped at my eyes, trying to stop the flood.

“Ah, Maddy,” Alexander murmured, his voice heart-achingly compassionate. He sat up and drew me into the comforting warmth of his arms.

Unable to resist, I pressed my face into his chest and finally allowed the pain to pour out in buckets of tears. Alexander held me close, whispering soothing words in Italian and occasional French. He pressed more than one kiss to my forehead in a gesture so sweet that it only made me cry harder.

I never expected my life in Coradova to come to an end.

As my tears eventually slowed, I burrowed closer into Alexander and tried to lose myself in his arms. I didn’t want to think anymore—about the future, about our broken friendship. Or the longing that coursed through my veins, wanting to feel more than just his kiss on my forehead.

My feelings for him had been changing over the last year, but today it felt like I was completely falling apart at the seams. The fairytale life I’d once led had suddenly become cursed—and I doubted that even a kiss from my Prince Charming could fix it.

“Alex, I don’t want to leave,” I whispered brokenly against his neck. I didn’t want to leave Coradova, but mostly, I didn’t want to leave him.

Alexander hugged me tighter and pressed another one of his sweet kisses to my forehead. “I know, dolcezza. I don’t want you to leave either.”

I tipped my head back to look up at him. We were so close that I could see every shade of blue in the concerned eyes that explored my face.

His gaze focused in on a lingering tear. Alexander cupped my cheek and gently wiped it away. “I hate it when you cry,” he murmured, still holding my face.

“I know, I’m such an ugly crier.” I lowered my gaze, suddenly feeling self-conscious, and tried to shift backward out of his arms.

But Alexander held me in place as his warm voice flowed over me. “Even when you cry, you’re still beautiful.”

My eyes darted back up to his. He met my gaze unabashedly, and for once it felt like the longing between us was mutual.

“You think I’m beautiful?” I whispered.

A small smile lifted the corner of his mouth. “You’ve always been beautiful to me, bellissima.” With his eyes locked on mine, Alexander lowered his head. I didn’t even dare to breathe, afraid to break the spell.

But at the last moment, Alexander moved to kiss my cheek instead. He let out a ragged sigh that matched my disappointed one, then touched his forehead to mine and whispered hoarsely, “We can’t do this.”

Closing my eyes on a wave of regret, I whispered back. “Why not? Because it might ruin our friendship?”

Alexander hesitated for the barest of heartbeats. “Because it could ruin everything.”

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