Book 1 in The Call of Duty trilogy
When duty wars with desire, which one wins?
With her life mapped out since birth, Princess Evangelina Drakos--known for her dramatic flair--hopes the minor scandal she plans to create will deter potential suitors.
Hired for Eva's security, unemotional bodyguard Makhail Nabatov never makes a mistake, but the impulsive princess pushes his resolve to the limits. It's not long, however, before the beautiful and imprisoned Eva entices him to leave his bonds of duty and honor behind.
While their chemistry reaches fever pitch, Makhail knows he knows he must deny his desire--for Eva is promised to another man....
Don't miss the second book in the trilogy, At His Majesty's Request
The scandalous princess had done it again. Evangelina Drakos had slipped away from yet another one of his top security guards. It was inexcusable. It was something that should never happen. And yet, it had. Three times in as many weeks.
Makhail Nabatov did not tolerate mistakes. Mistakes, no matter how small--from losing the princess one was meant to be guarding, down to the simple act of spilling hot coffee on yourself while driving--could be disastrous.
He slammed his car door and rolled his shoulders forward, trying to ease the tension that had every muscle in his body bound into knots as solid as stone. He didn't believe in letting anything affect him like this. Yet another way Princess Evangelina seemed to be messing with the carefully wellordered life he maintained.
When he'd met her for the first time, all glossy brown curls, dark, glittering eyes and golden skin, she had seemed every inch the demure princess. Nothing like the bold, vivacious party girl who was making tabloid headlines with increasing frequency. He had wondered if the media had exaggerated her image.
Over the past six months he'd discovered that the tabloids were right, and he was wrong. He was never wrong. And yet the Drakos princess had proven him so.
He didn't like it.
It defied logic that one petite royal could cause so much trouble. And yet, this one seemed to have a knack for it.
He punched the speed dial on his phone for the man he'd had watching out for the princess. "Ivan, where did you last see her?"
"The casino. She disappeared into the crowd," Ivan said, his voice filled with fear. More weak emotion. He despised it.
"You're fired." Makhail clicked the end-call button and stuffed the phone back into his pocket, straightening his tie before striding down the electric strip of the only major city on the island of Kyonos. He was willing to bet Evangelina was still in the casino. Gambling away her father's money, no doubt.
He moved seamlessly through the crowd, weaving past revelers on his way through the gilded doors. Princess Evangelina wouldn't be in the main entry trying her hand at the slots. He'd bet she was in one of the high-roller rooms. It was the only place in a casino for a spoiled brat with a penchant for drama and pink champagne.
He passed quickly through the lobby and headed toward a pair of black doors in the back, flanked on either side by guards in suits.
"Name?" One of the men asked.
"Mak," he said. "I'm here to see the princess."
"I'm afraid you can't just..."
One of the doors opened and a socialite in a skin-tight dress breezed out, the scent of alcohol clinging to her body. He took advantage of the moment and gripped the edge of the door, pulling it open the rest of the way and walking in.
He spotted her right away, bent over the table, laughing as she watched the man to her right roll a pair of dice, cheering when the numbers came up favorably. Then she looked up, at him.
Her dark eyes rounded, her pink lips parting slightly. She touched her companion's arm and said something quickly before edging away from him. She wasn't trying to run, not from him. She knew better than that.
One of the guards rushed into the room and everyone looked up from the game. "Princess," he said, "is everything.?"
She regarded Mak cooly, her manner distant, disdainful. "I would prefer it if this man wasn't here, but trust me when I say there's no way you can remove him," she said crisply. "He's in the employ of my father. You can see that that could become...