The Prince She Never Knew

By: Kate Hewitt




The Prince She Never Knew

Behind the royal wedding…

While the world believes her romance with Prince Leo Diomedi, Alyse knows it’s just a calculated sham.

Yet beneath his icy exterior, Leo’s kisses give Alyse a taste of the man behind the crown… But will their fairy tale survive the headlines threatening to rip everything apart?

Kholodov’s Last Mistress

An innocent in Moscow

Cold-hearted Sergei Kholodov was shocked by Hannah Pearl’s wide-eyed approach to the world. Fearing her effect on him, Sergei obliterated all traces of her from his life.

One year later, he returns. Unable to escape her memory, could one more night allow him to forget her forever…?





Dear Reader,

I must confess to a fascination with royalty, and the kind of life princes and princesses, kings and queens lead—one of glamor, of course, but also one of duty. I’m not the only one fascinated by royalty; the media are, too, and this is what sparked the idea behind The Prince She Never Knew. What if a couple had to pretend to be in love for publicity’s sake, but then began to fall in love for real? Alyse and Leo have been playing the happy couple to restore his country’s reputation, but when their vows are finally spoken, they have to face the truth of their feelings—and that’s when both the fun and difficulty begin!

Kholodov’s Last Mistress is a story that is close to my heart. My niece spent several months working in a Russian orphanage and the stories she told me were heartrending. I used that inspiration for the hero Sergei’s background, as well as those of two of my favorite secondary characters ever. And as always, I love to write a romance that provides healing and redemption—in this instance for Sergei, and his tragic past.

I hope you enjoy reading both The Prince She Never Knew and Kholodov’s Last Mistress. Visit www.kate-hewitt.com for information about my upcoming releases!

Happy reading,

Kate





The Diomedi Heirs

Who will become the next King of Maldinia?

To restore the reputation of the monarchy, darkly brooding Prince Leo has sacrificed everything. His marriage might be for show, but the feelings his new bride, Alyse, evokes in him are threatening his iron-clad control.

Black sheep Prince Alessandro has returned home to claim the throne—and the woman he discarded years ago—but he meets his match in the woman Liana has now become!

The world’s media is waiting with bated breath for the estranged brothers to be reunited and the rightful King—and his chosen Queen—seated upon the throne!

This month, read Leo’s story in:

THE PRINCE SHE NEVER KNEW

December 2013

And watch for Alessandro’s story

A QUEEN FOR THE TAKING?

March 2014








The Prince She Never Knew





To Maisey, Caitlin and Jennie, who first inspired me with the idea for this story! Love, K.





Contents

CHAPTER ONE

CHAPTER TWO

CHAPTER THREE

CHAPTER FOUR

CHAPTER FIVE

CHAPTER SIX

CHAPTER SEVEN

CHAPTER EIGHT

CHAPTER NINE

CHAPTER TEN

CHAPTER ELEVEN

CHAPTER TWELVE





CHAPTER ONE

TODAY WAS HER wedding day. Alyse Barras gazed at her pale, pinched face in the mirror and decided that not all brides were radiant. As it happened, she looked as if she were on the way to the gallows.

No, she amended, not the gallows; a quick and brutal end was not to be hers, but rather a long, drawn-out life sentence: a loveless marriage to a man whom she barely knew, despite their six-year engagement. Yet even so a small kernel of hope was determined to take root in her heart, to unfurl and grow in the shallowest and poorest of soils.

Maybe he’ll learn to love me...

Prince Leo Diomedi of Maldinia seemed unlikely to learn anything of the sort, yet still she hoped. She had to.

‘Miss Barras? Are you ready?’

Alyse turned from her reflection to face one of the wedding coordinator’s assistants who stood in the doorway of the room she’d been given in the vast royal palace in Averne, Maldinia’s capital city, nestled in the foothills of the Alps.

‘As ready as I’ll ever be,’ she replied, trying to smile, but everything in her felt fragile, breakable, and the curve of her lips seemed as if it could crack her face. Split her apart.

The assistant Marina came forward, looking her over in the assessing and proprietary way Alyse had got used to in the three days since she’d arrived in Maldinia—or, really, the six years since she’d agreed to this engagement. She was a commodity to be bought, shaped, presented. An object of great value, to be sure, but still an object.

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