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Stolen Princess (The Princess #2)
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Karim is past the time when he should have chosen a bride, but he never met anyone who caught his eye. Forced to choose, he holds a ball and invites all eligible princesses to attend. And that’s when everything changes.
Giselle’s been tucked away on her father’s land and doesn’t know how the royal world works. It’s her first party, and it’s going terribly until she finds herself alone in a room with a man. A man who wants to make her his.
When Giselle gives him everything and then discovers who he is…well, how good do you think she’ll be at hide and seek?
Warning: It’s instalove at first sight. Literally, like two seconds in. But don’t worry, Karim will find her…and steal her if he has to.
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For fairytales… they are alive and real in your heart.
And maybe your lady business.
I look ridiculous. I lean forward to see my reflection in the mirror and want to roll my eyes. I wanted to get away from the hundreds of people crowding the ballroom, so I snuck in here. I’m wondering why I was even excited to come here to begin with. Oh yeah, because I never go anywhere.
I look at my pink lipstick and soft pink eyeshadow and think about how much I loved it hours ago. I almost tackled my dad when he told me we were going to a party. Something about a king picking a bride tonight and we could go watch, but I didn’t really know what was going on beyond that. I never understood the whole arranged marriage thing. Both my sisters had done it, and I like their spouses. At least when I see them, which isn’t often. No one likes taking the trip out to where my father and I live. The topic of an arranged marriage had never been talked about with me, and I’m glad it’s never come up. Though maybe if I did get married, I could get out and see the world a little instead of being locked away. Being here tonight only further shows me how out of touch I really am with the rest of the world.
Sure, I’m a princess, but my father and I don’t really mix with all the politics of it anymore, since we live so far out. Our estate is small and in the country, but it’s nice. But the only people that are in the estate are paid to be there—the cook, the gardeners and maids, even my tutor. My only friend is George, and a lot of days he doesn’t even like me unless I give him extra dinner. Or he wants his belly rubbed. Other than that, he ignores me like everyone else. I should’ve gotten a dog, but I do love that grumpy cat.
I was a surprise baby late in life for my parents. They had me in their forties, and my sisters were off and married before I even hit my teens. My brother had taken over my father’s spot on the throne not long after. I have no idea where my mother is. She pops in and out of our lives, but she’s more interested in social scenes and being in the city. My dad, by contrast, is content to be at home watching TV with the volume down.
“What to do, what to do…” I debate wiping the make-up off. I thought I looked pretty. Dad had told me two days ago about the party, and I’d spent all that time picking out what I’d wear. I didn’t have anything super fancy, so I thought I could make something out of what I had. I snuck into my mom’s room and stole two of her dresses. I pulled the fluffy tulle out of one of them and made a skirt that fell all the way to my feet. I even dyed it a light pink. Then I found a jewel-covered bodice to pair it with. I had to stitch it a little to make it work, but I thought it looked beautiful.
I pinned half my hair up into two little buns on the top of my head. It took me forever to get it right. By the time my dad called me to go, I was so excited I was about to burst. Until I walked in tonight. I’d never felt more out of place. Now I understood why my dad liked to hide away in the estate. Because right now, that’s what I wanted to do. I looked so out of place.
It helped a little when my dad told me I looked pretty. That was the thing. People here didn’t look pretty, they looked beautiful. At first, I thought this was a movie premier. I even had to walk a freaking carpet.
I turn around. I don’t want to face the mirror anymore.
I’m stuck until my dad is ready to leave. I wonder how long I could hide out in here. Just as the thought crosses my mind, the door opens and man slips in and closes it behind him.
I hear the lock click and kick myself for not having locked it to begin with. He braces both hands on the door like he thinks someone might try to come in, and I stand there and stare.
He’s wearing black pants and a black coat, and I wonder for a moment if he’s a security guard or something. His size makes me think so. I stand there, unsure of what to do.
He slowly turns, dropping his hands from the door. He’s breathing hard, and it’s then I realize he’s in a tux. No, definitely not security.