First he’ll steal away the bride…then he’ll make her his!
Princess Marit’s elopement isn’t exactly all she’d dreamed, but at least it is on her terms. That is, until Greek billionaire Lykos Livas steals her away in her wedding gown!
Enlisted by the king, Lykos must return Marit to the palace—unwed. Yet hearing about her duty-bound life painfully recalls the memories of his own hard-won freedom. He offers her a week of rebellion traveling around Europe with him. But as the chemistry between them becomes undeniable, so does the deadline for Marit’s royal return!
Book Two in the Royals of Svardia Trilogy
Marit followed Lykos’s voice down a white-walled corridor to a rich walnut door at the end. It was slightly ajar and she could just make out what Lykos was saying.
‘Yes, I know. But she’s here now.’
‘And André?’ her brother’s voice asked though the speaker of the phone.
Marit held back a little then, unable to resist, she peered through the crack in the door to see Lykos moving about what must be a bedroom beyond. He was in the process of removing his cufflinks.
‘Won’t be a problem.’
‘You know this for sure?’
Lykos huffed out a laugh. ‘Yes.’
Marit felt her cheeks colour with embarrassment at how easily André had let her go. He’d not even uttered a single word to stop Lykos. It hurt more than it should, digging into an older wound, a deeper one. She looked up to find Lykos shrugging out of his shirt and her breath caught in her lungs.
Her hand flew to her chest as her heart thudded against her ribs, while her eyes traced every single line and plane of Lykos’s body. The muscles on display weren’t puffed from excessive exercise but honed, earned, lithe and powerful. As if Lykos knew how to use what he had rather than just rely on brute force. Even his body hinted at a lethal intelligence that seemed to run contrary to the strange cynical sense of humour she’d seen him display. Broad shoulders tapered into thin hips, the dusting of hair across his pecs seemed a handspan to Marit, her fingers flexing outward as if to test her guesstimate.
‘And Marit? How is she?’ The concern in Aleksander’s voice caught Marit by surprise. It was years since they had been anything that resembled ‘close’. And his ascension to the throne in the last three months certainly hadn’t helped that.
Her gaze returned to Lykos, who had stopped with his hands on his belt, frowning towards the phone as if unsure what to say. She flattened herself back against the corridor wall when his eyes turned towards the door, her pulse pounding in her throat.
‘She is…fine,’ Marit heard him say and the snap of leather told her he had removed his belt. Biting her lip, she was about to turn back to see if she could…
‘Lykos, I need you to keep her.’
Lykos’s voice had been as harsh and shocked as her own internal voice.
‘Just for the week.’
‘A week? Aleksander—’
‘I will explain later.’
‘I don’t want her.’ The explosive words cut into her like shrapnel.
‘You would make a king beg.’ It was less of a question from her brother, more of a statement.
‘I will expect something very great in return,’ she heard Lykos growl.
Nausea rose in Marit’s stomach and the fingers that pressed against her lips shook.
He didn’t want her here.
‘I’ll see to it that you have it.’
She turned to lean against the wall, her breaths short and puffy as she wilted down to the floor.
No one wanted her. Not unless they were paid for it.
It wasn’t an unfamiliar feeling and she tried to tell herself that she should know this by now. She hadn’t been the important sibling, she hadn’t been taught the same things, treated the same way, wanted the same way. Loved. She had been unseen for so much of her life. Until now. And even now she wasn’t really wanted. She was the only stand-in available. She was the worst-case scenario.
‘What is it that you expect me to do with her for a week?’
‘Just…keep her away from here and out of trouble.’
She bit her lip until a faint metallic taste hit her tongue. The sharp sting pulled her back to the present, her brother’s words finally registering. He should have known better.
She heard Lykos sigh. ‘She’s a princess. How much trouble can she be?’
Poor man, Marit thought. He had no idea.
Bree Hill, 5*, Goodreads