A Prince for Christmas [Secure eReader]
Click on image to enlarge.
eBook by Rebecca Winters
eBook Category: Romance
eBook Description: When Cupid borrows Santa's suit, just about anything can happen ... unwrap Rebecca Winters's story of a true Christmas fairy-tale romance ... prince included!
eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Special Releases
Fictionwise Release Date: December 2007
10 Reader Ratings:
"ERIC? Will you forgive me for calling you this late?"
Thirty-year-old Eric Thorvaldsen, fifth in line to the Frijian crown, a fact that pleased him no end because he was almost a hundred percent certain he'd never have to rule, jackknifed into a sitting position on the bed. The black Lab Thor lying at his feet lifted his head before putting it down again.
A quick glance at his watch told him it was four in the morning. "Have you made me an uncle?" This would be his sister's first child.
"Not quite yet, brother dear. I had contractions and Stein took me to the hospital, but they finally stopped. Our baby's going to be born prematurely no matter what. But the doctor is hoping I can last one more week, so he has ordered me to bed."
"Four more days and it's Christmas!"
"Wouldn't it be something if my little baby were to have a birthday on the most wonderful day of the year?"
If that were the case, Eric already felt sorry for the baby who would be his nephew. He'd be cheated out of his own special birthday, one he shouldn't have to share with a holiday, but Eric kept that thought to himself.
"It'll be wonderful anytime."
"I know. I can't wait. Anyway, because I've been put on bed rest, I have a favor to ask of you. Please don't say no before you hear what it is. This is really important!"
Everything was important to his compassionate sister who championed a dozen causes in the name of the homeless, the sick and aged, orphans, abused animals…. The list went on and on.
"I would have asked Knute or mom, but he's out of the country attending that economic meeting in Hamburg and won't be back for a few more days. Mother went with him to do some shopping. That leaves you."
Since their father's death from a fatal heart attack last year, their older brother Knute was now king. By Maren mentioning his name, it meant this favor had something official about it. "Official" was a word Eric shied away from—whenever it was possible.
"Eric? I can tell you're cringing."
He chuckled. "Am I that bad?"
"You're worse! Seriously, this is so important I'll have to risk the baby coming early and take care of it myself if you can't."
He blinked. "Well—you've put me in a position where I can hardly refuse now, can I," he drawled.
"I love you."
"I love you too."
They were like twins, only a year apart with her being the elder. They were their parents' second family.
Knute was seven years older. Thank heaven he didn't know any better than to do his duty. With two sons who were being raised to succeed him if anything happened, followed by Maren and her soon-to-be-born-son who'd be third and fourth in line to the throne, Eric had been left free to pursue his work as an oceanographer.
"Do I have to come to the palace?" Thorsvik was only a half hour away from where he lived.
"No. You can stay right there in Brobak."
"That's a plus."
When he wasn't working in the city or attending oceanographic seminars around the world, he preferred to spend what little free time he had at his home in the little village south of the capitol. On a steep slope far away from other people, he could look down on the Oslo fjord and feel rejuvenated.
"I'll ask someone from the palace to bring your ceremonial suit to you in the morning."
Eric's brows met in a frown. He hadn't had to look official since a family photograph had been taken at the time Knute became king.
"This is something I have to do tomorrow?"
"Yes, but let me explain. A year ago the Chocolate Barn in the market square decided to expand their Christmas exports to include a hot chocolate mix.
"Instead of putting the traditional gnome on the packaging, they ran a contest to find the right little Frijian girl to display on the labeling around the can. They're hoping she'll become a recognizable icon throughout the world.
"A child in America, of Frijian descent won the contest. Her prize was a trip to Frijia before the Holidays with her family and—"
"And the highlight would be a special audience with Princess Maren, at the Chocolate Barn, where she'll be given a year's worth of chocolate treats to take home," Eric broke in.
"Something like that," she murmured. "They asked me to do this a year ago, and I agreed. She'll be there at two o'clock to meet you."
"Have you ever turned anyone down for anything?"
"I try not to if it's for a worthy cause. The Chocolate Barn is going to donate part of the proceeds of this new product to my animal rescue charity."
"Surely the owners and the girl's family will understand when they find out you're about to have a baby?"
"Of course they will. But we're talking about a little girl here. A darling little five-or six-year-old who still believes in fairy princesses and castles and magic. No doubt she's been waiting and waiting for tomorrow to come."
He let out an exasperated sound between a laugh and a groan. "I'm hardly going to fill the bill, Maren."
"You're the genuine royal article, and you look like Prince Charming when you're dressed as if you're ready to attend a coronation. Her child's heart will fall in love with you on the spot. She'll forget all about wanting to meet me.
Copyright © 2004 Rebecca Winters.