Prince Albert:A Billionaire Stepbrother Romance

By: Sabrina Paige

DEDICATION



To my husband, who’s the best man I know.



To my darling daughter, who is the light of my life.



To Joanna Blake and Jordan Marie, who put up with so many emails from me that began with “So…does this go too far?”



To all of the readers who have been so supportive: I apologize for all of the over-the-top ridiculousness of this book. But not for the anal.





CHAPTER ONE

Belle



“You,” I say. I blink my eyes several times in quick succession, silently offering up a prayer that I’m not seeing what I’m seeing. Or, more accurately, who I’m seeing. Maybe I’m having a mental breakdown and this is actually just some type of stress-induced hallucination.

Losing my mind would be preferable to this. Hell, pretty much anything would be preferable to this.

“You,” he says. He stares at me, unblinking. I swear, time stops completely. The rotation of the earth comes to a grinding halt as he stands there, no more than ten feet away, looking at me. Then, the corners of his mouth turn up -- just a hair. The movement is most likely imperceptible to anyone else, but I definitely notice.

That asshole. It’s like he’s pleased with this development. It’s as if he expected this.

You’d have to be a fucking lunatic to be happy about this.

“I wasn’t aware that the two of you had met before.” My mother looks back and forth between us, her expression unwavering. If there’s one thing Sofia Kensington excels at, it’s revealing absolutely nothing when confronted with something potentially scandalous. She’s entirely unflappable, standing there motionless in her sage green silk shift and heels, her chestnut-colored hair pulled up in a chignon, perfectly-manicured hands folded neatly in front of her.

She’s always looked regal. Becoming the Queen of a small European country is a perfect fit. I know, without even asking, that it’s the culmination of her life’s ambitions. It's everything in the world she's hoped for.

And now, I'm standing here harboring a secret that could jeopardize all of that.

If my mother knew the whole truth about me and the boy standing not more than ten feet away from me…

Let’s just say the scandal would be one of epic proportions.

A scandal of royal proportions is probably more accurate, given the particular circumstances.

“I –“ I start, then stop. My mouth suddenly feels like I swallowed twenty cotton balls, and my heart is thumping so wildly I think it might actually beat right out of my chest.

“I recall bumping into Isabella in Las Vegas last week,” he says, his voice light, teasing, the hint of an accent on his lips. Everything he says, even the raunchiest of things, comes out sounding like it’s spoken by a person who’s well-bred, well-educated, pedigreed.

Of course, that’s because he is the ultimate in well-bred.

“I didn’t realize who she was," he says.

And I definitely remember the way he speaks the raunchiest of things.

"Yes," I murmur, the word barely audible. "I believe we bumped into each other."

That much is true.

"Oh my God. Why don’t you watch where you're going!" I don’t even bother to look up at the asshole who just ran into me. I’m too focused on the fact that there’s a wet spot spreading across the front of my dress, gin and tonic seeping through the fabric and causing my nipples to harden under the amped-up air conditioning in the casino.

"My apologies for your dress, although I'm not sorry I bumped into you," he says. And a handkerchief appears in front of my face. Who the hell carries a fabric handkerchief nowadays? "I'd be happy to pat that dry for you, if you’d like."

The accent is what throws me – European or something I can’t quite place, but definitely out of the ordinary here in a Vegas casino – and I look up at him, ready to give him a piece of my mind. The combination of alcohol and the fact that this is the worst day of my entire life has made me edgy and beyond irritable.

Holy shit.

Even in my drunken haze, this guy is spectacular, gazing down at me with blue eyes filled with mischief. Literally, spectacular is the only word for it.

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