When an old friend calls in a favor that sends me to the UK to pose as a nanny, I’m not thrilled. Kids and me? Not a great mix. But Prince Nicholas and his wife, Kyra, turn out to be the most relaxed royal parents ever, and their little girl is actually a sweetheart. Protecting their family turns into something I want to do. Maybe this undercover nanny job will be easier than I thought.
The only problem? The prince’s cousin Milo, the Earl of Ross, is living here, too, and this guy is a huge complication. He’s arrogant, elitist, and haughty. Oh, and he’s also handsome, sexy, and super hot.
I don’t want to feel this attraction to him, but it seems I can’t help it. How can I do my job if I’m more worried about protecting my heart from falling for him?
The deep, mocking voice, coming from just beyond my view, startled me, making my already racing heart leap. Suddenly, I was in defense mode, madly taking stock of my surroundings so that I could act instantaneously to protect my small charge.
“This is private property,” I yelled, instinctively lowering the timber of my voice to sound more confident and threatening. “Get out. The protection officers are already on their way.”
“I don’t think they are.” The speaker stepped into view, and my breath caught. He was tall, topping out at over six feet, I’d guess, and he was built like the swashbuckling hero on the front of one of those romance novels I often saw at the airport bookstores. His dark gray dress pants fit snugly around a narrow waist, and the long-sleeved black button-down shirt clung to an impossibly broad chest. Silky black hair was cut short except for a few locks that fell over his aristocratic forehead.
“Who are you?” I demanded, even though I was pretty sure I knew the answer. “And why are you here?”
He lifted his face to gaze up into mine then, and my traitorous, idiot heart went into race car mode, thumping madly to a beat that said, we want him! We want him now!
“I’m Milo Beaumont. The Earl of Ross, at your service, madam.” Those nearly black eyes brimmed with sardonic amusement as they wandered over me, sprawled over the top of a child’s play set, still trying to keep hold of Alice. “I’m here because I am an invited guest—and part of the family. I was on the terrace taking a phone call when I heard a shout and thought someone might be in need of assistance.” He lifted one eyebrow. “Clearly, I was correct.”
“I don’t need help,” I shot back stubbornly. “I’m fine. The situation is under control.”
“Despite all appearances to the contrary,” the Earl answered, his tone lazy and mocking. His gaze flickered to Alice. “Slide down and I’ll catch you.” He looked at me again. “You can let her go.”
“How do I know you are who you say?” I managed to choke out.
“You don’t.” He shrugged. “But you’re not really in a position to be choosy about who comes to your rescue then, are you, Miss . . .?”
I refused to have this conversation now, in this undignified position. I estimated that I could let go of Alice and then leap to the ground in time to tackle this guy if he tried to take off with the little girl. But I had a hunch he wouldn’t do that; it was more likely that he was who he claimed to be, although his status as an invited guest was questionable, given the conversation I’d had the night before with the Duke and Duchess.
“Fine,” I ground out. “Get her at the bottom, but then don’t move at all. Not one bit.”
The Earl raised both hands and sauntered to the base of the slide. I released my hold on Alice and scrambled to roll over and launch myself off the play set, trying not to hit my head for a second time. I landed on my feet and was by the side of tall, dark, and broody in seconds.
Tawdra Kandle writes romance, in just about all its forms. She loves unlikely pairings, strong women, sexy guys, hot love scenes and just enough conflict to make it interesting. Her books include young adult and new adult paranormal romance, new adult and adult contemporary romance and adult paramystery romance. She lives in central Florida with a husband, kids, sweet pup and too many cats. And yeah, she rocks purple hair.
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