Every little girl dreams of being a princess. Every woman longs to be treated like royalty. We’re all just a little bit fascinated by royal weddings and the princess that lives in every woman. That’s why I hope readers will fall in love with Once Upon a Prince, the first release in my Royal Wedding Series.
I hope you enjoy this sneak peek into a very special scene!
She wore the only white gown in a sea of color. She tried not to notice she’d missed the dress code as she turned about the floor—on gold Louboutin tip toe—in Nathaniel’s arms. And everyone watched. Gawked.
Then there was Avery, dressed in a black sheath, watching and smiling with her nose in the air. A small cluster of young men had noticed her and started their approach.
Susanna’s plan was to sneak into the ball well after the svelte Lady Genevieve had been introduced. After she’d captured every man’s eye and sparked every woman’s envy. After the first waltz had been danced.
But the movie-usher-looking dude at the door, the gentleman with the formal voice, saw them, and when she told him their names, he beckoned them inside, killing her plan to sneak inside.
“I can’t believe you are here.” Nathaniel finally spoke, guiding her through the dance.
“Am I not supposed to be wearing white?” She stayed on the toes of her Louboutins and waltzed with the king to the melody of the music. “Because it feels like I should be wearing a vivid, colorful gown?”
“Susanna, how did you get here?”
“I received an invitation.” His expression confirmed her suspicion. He didn’t know. “You didn’t send it, did you?”
“No, but I’ll reward the person who did.” His smile rivaled the stardust floating about the ballroom. “I wanted to call?”
“You don’t owe me anything, Nate.”
“I’m sorry for the way I left you on the beach.”
“Your father had died, Nate; please, no apology. If you hadn’t run off, I’d be worried about your soul.”
He spun her with the music. “I apologize for the way I spoke about the marriage act.” He held her close, bending his cheek to her hair. “As if it were your problem, not mine.”
“I’m glad you told me. Better than waiting twelve years . . .” She laughed, and he snatched her closer, his own laugh rising as he spun her around.
The couples nearest them “oohed” and gave a wide berth.
“I look ridiculous, don’t I? Spoiling the whole décor of the ball. How did I not think a colors ball required a colorful gown? Did I miss the asterisk in the blue book?”
“I don’t know about any asterisk, but you look amazing.” He’d not stopped making her feel treasured since they first said hello. “Color is not a requirement, just tradition. The Colors Coronation Ball started in the 1850s when everyone wore bright colors to King Mark III ball. I’m sure white is fine, though.” He fixed his gaze on her. “I’m sorry no one told you, but white looks good in this room.”
“Then I’m not sorry.” Susanna couldn’t resist him a moment longer. She closed her eyes and leaned against him. Just be in the moment. No expected outcomes.
The waltz ended and Nate gripped her hand, curling it to his chest. “Follow me.”
He covered the dance floor in long strides, the marble pattern that of the Brighton flag. He ducked in and around the guests, leading her toward a dim exit.
They curved around a wall and into a lean crevice, which ended abruptly at a paneled wall.
Rapping on the top right corner, a wooden lever released. When Nate engaged the handle, a panel opened.
“A secret door. Ooh, a mystery.”
“Watch your head.” Nate patted the low doorway as he ducked inside.
“This isn’t the tower, is it? Off with my head for wearing a white gown to the Colors Ball. Avery’s going to be so jealous?”
“It’s not the tower.” Nate pulled her into him. “I’ve missed you.”
In the secret room, he held her in a way that made her feel a part of him.
“Susanna,” he touched her chin to raise her face to his, but she broke out of his arms.
A kiss? He’d steal her heart for sure, and she feared she’d never get it back.
Excerpt ©2013 Zondervan. Used with permission.
Rachel Hauck is the bestselling author of ACFW Book of the Year winner Sweet Caroline, RITA Finalist Love Starts With Elle, bestselling and RITA Finalist The Wedding Dress, and of the critically acclaimed fiction collaboration with multi-platinum country artist Sara Evans, The Songbird Novels. Hauck’s latest release, Once Upon A Prince, is already receiving rave reviews, including a Starred Review from Publishers Weekly.
Visit her website at www.rachelhauck.com to sign up for her newsletter, read her blog and follow her on Facebook (Rachel Hayes Hauck) and Twitter (@RachelHauck).
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