- Author: Lucy McConnell
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Royal DistractionA Sweet Contemporary Romance
Orchard View Publishing LLC
Copyright © 2021 by Lucy McConnell
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
About the Author
With her family threatened by an assassin and her island balancing on the precipice of a civil war, Princess Nyssa Jobassit embarks on a dangerous mission to obtain allied status with the United States and qualify for military support. A private security company has bled the royal treasury dry, leaving a bad taste in her mouth for privateers. Fully aware of her innocence, having been raised on a small island in the Emerald Sea, Nyssa is determined to be the means of salvation for her people and her family.
Tatum Scott is a retired SEAL turned private security mogul—and, he’s been taken out of the game while he recuperates from a bullet to the shoulder. He wouldn’t mind a contract on a small island where he can semi-retire, but schmoozing royals and dancing at balls is way out of his comfort zone.
On her first night in America, Nyssa hosts a ball. Following tradition, she stands at the door to greet guests. When a handsome stranger mistakes her for the coat-check girl, she doesn’t bother to correct him. When he flirts and his blue eyes spark, she doesn’t <i>want</i> to correct him.
Over the course of her visit to the US, Tatum becomes a romantic distraction from her mission, one she cannot afford. She’ll need to find a way to win America’s support and keep her identity a secret or risk the lives of her family, the island she loves, and the man who has captured her heart.
Princess Nyssa Jobassit of the Island of Zimrada clutched her hands in her lap as she waited for her father to finish his tea.
In 1609, English explorer George Somers colonized Bermuda and claimed it for king and country. He later tried to do the same with Zimrada, one of the many smaller islands clustered within fifty miles from Bermuda’s white beaches. Her people maintained their freedom, though it cost them dearly. In the years that followed, they gladly took two things from the would-be conqueror: the king’s language and the tradition of afternoon teatime.
Father sipped his peppermint tea, and sucked air through his bright white teeth, activating the mint to cool his body. Though the subtropical island maintained comfortable temperatures for most of the year, today the palace baked at ninety-four degrees even with the double doors thrown open to invite the ocean breezes to dance across the tiled floor. Her father had long, thick black hair, which he pulled into a low ponytail. He was six feet tall and wiry with a thick stomach.
With his brown eyes intent on her, Father said the words she’d been longing to hear. “Nyssa, you must represent our family to the United States of America.”
Nyssa’s grip on the chair tightened, causing her knuckles to turn white with excitement. The United States of America! She had left the small island of her birth many times to visit the nearby countries of Riodan, Sidon, Aradus, and Sisa, who were friendly in trade and commerce with her people. There were other islands as well, with people and traditions and beliefs as diverse as the winds. Zimrada and the miles of emerald ocean they shared with their neighbors had seemed large enough—until the Internet reached their shores a few months ago. Nyssa had studied globes and maps—she understood the geography of the world while somehow escaping the vastness of it all. With this knowledge came a hunger to experience life beyond the current.
Though the reason for her travel was not one she would wish on her enemies—well, maybe on her enemies—her stomach did a dolphin flip. America. The land of opportunity. The birthplace of Rock and Roll and Elvis Presley. The melting pot of the world. The—
“Nyssa?” asked her father, King Benito Jobassit. “Are you listening?”
Nyssa checked her cheeky grin. There was really no good answer to that question. If she said yes, he would ask her to repeat what he’d just said. If she said no, he would be disappointed. “I’m sorry, Father. I was thinking of America.”
His eyes softened. “There will be much to hold your attention. For a moment, please focus. We are in the most precarious situation.”
She sat up straighter. “Of course.” She risked a glance at her mother, sitting stately in a wicker chair, her flowing sarong modestly folded over her knees. A small line divided her brow, indicating Mother wasn’t happy with the turn of events.
Turk, the crown prince, was the likely choice for a diplomatic mission. However, he was in the middle of his courtship and tradition required him to remain on the island until the wedding.
As the next in line for the throne, Nyssa was the official representative for the royal family until the betrothal period had passed. Giddy with the possibilities of a week in America, she prayed that Mother’s tendency to hover over her daughter would be curbed by necessity. Nyssa crossed and uncrossed her legs, arranging her skirt as she moved.
Mother cleared her throat. “Are you sure this is necessary, Benito? If the people contributed to the protection of their king, we wouldn’t have to ask America’s military for protection from our own family.”
Nyssa sucked air through her teeth, her mouth burning from the mint tea. The Jobassit family had been on the throne long before Columbus crossed oceans and long after many explorers landed on their pink sandy beaches. In all that time, they had never taken so much as a coconut from their people. Leadership was as much a