A prince on a quest to find the perfect wife doesn't have time to trifle with a commoner. But Adam Marconi's longtime friend and sometime driver, Danielle St. Claire, has him contemplating a change in plans. Why can't the royal have a little fun before finally settling down?
Then their supposedly quick affair suddenly turns serious. And Prince Adam finds himself in a quandary. Say goodbye to the one woman who sets his heart and body on fire, or defy all of the rules and cause the scandal of the century.
Keep calm and carry on. Danni St. Claire had seen the slogan somewhere and it seemed apt. She flexed her gloved fingers before tightening them again around the steering wheel.
Her passengers, one in particular, behind the privacy partition, would pay her no attention. They so seldom did. Especially if she just did her job and did it well. In this case, that job entailed getting Adam Marconi, heir to the throne of the European principality of San Philippe, and his glamorous date for the evening, back to their respective destinations.
And most importantly without Adam realizing that she was driving for him. She could do that. Especially if she kept her mouth shut. Occasionally she had trouble in that department, speaking when either her timing or her words weren't appropriate or required. But she could do it tonight. How hard could it be? She'd have no cause to speak. Someone else would be responsible for opening and closing the door for him. All she had to do was drive. Which, if she did it well meant without calling attention to herself. She would be invisible. A shadow. At a stop light she pulled her father's chauffeur's cap a little lower on her forehead.
A job of a sensitive nature, the palace had said. And so she'd known her father, although he'd never admit it, would rather the job didn't go to Wrightson, the man he saw as a rival for his position as head driver. Danni still had clearance from when she'd driven for the palace before, back when she was putting herself through college. She hadn't seen Adam since that last time.
All the same she hadn't known it would be Adam she'd be driving for tonight. When she'd intercepted the call, she'd thought all she'd have to do was pick up Adam's date for the evening, a beautiful, elegant Fulbright scholar, and take her to the restaurant. But then, and she should have realized there'd be a "then" because such instructions usually came on a need-to-know basis, she had to drive them both home. It was obvious, with hindsight, that there would be something that justified the sensitivity required.
Her stomach growled. She hadn't had time for her own dinner. And her father never saw the need to keep a wee stash of food in the glove compartment. There'd be all sorts of gourmet delicacies in the discreet fridge in the back but she could hardly ask them to pass her something over. Not appropriate at the best of times. Even less so tonight. She'd had to make do with crunching her way through the roll of breath mints she kept in her pocket.
At a set of lights she glanced in the rearview mirror and rolled her eyes. If the palace had thought that sensitivity was required because there might be shenanigans in the backseat, they needn't have worried. Adam and his date were deep in conversation; both looked utterly serious, as though they were solving the problems of the world. Maybe they were. Maybe that was what princes and scholars did on dates. And Danni should probably be grateful that someone had more on their mind than what they were going to be able to unearth for dinner from the shelves of the fridge.
Still, she would have thought the point of the date was to get to know one another. Not to solve the problems of the world, not to discuss topics with such utter earnestness that they looked like two members of the supreme court about to hand down a judgment. Danni sighed. Who was she to know about royal protocol? Things were different in Adam's world. They always had been. Even as a teen he'd seemed to carry the weight of...