Crown Princess Adeline of Montevaro has her life planned out for her: get her Master’s in international relations, marry nobility, produce an heir, inherit the throne. There’s no room for romance with the single father she meets when their cars collide on an icy winter night. Parliament – and her father – would never approve.
Charlie Brewer grew up without roots. The son of an archaeologist father and anthropologist mother, he either traveled along or lived with his aunt and uncle in the States. He’s determined to give his daughter the stability he never had. He also wants to give her a mom, but the beautiful European he’s falling for refuses to move to Serenity Landing, Missouri permanently.
He won’t move. She can’t stay. What will happen when they try to forget each other by dating someone “acceptable”? They find themselves drawn together by one of the girls in the after school program Addie supports – a girl who happens to be Charlie’s daughter. How will Charlie, and his daughter, feel when they find out the woman they’ve both fallen for is a… princess?
A trip halfway around the world shows Charlie and Addie how much they long to be together – and how impossible it is. Is there any way he can prove he is Good Enough for a Princess?
I have to say I’ve read several of Carol’s book and this one is my favorite! I am partial to a good princess story, so the fact she has a lovable princess in it does help. Yet, this story goes beyond the royal trimmings.
Good Enough for a Princess tells the story of two people who question if they are meant to be together. While both characters are seeking God’s will for their lives, they can’t see past the responsibilities they have which seem to grow bigger than their own desires as one issue after another comes up.
This is a story people will enjoy because of the characters. If I had to pick a favorite it would Charlie’s daughter, Lindsey. She brings a fun lively element to this book. I love how she brings the two characters together over and over.
Carol writes books that make you feel good, so you don’t want to them put down. She leaves us wanting more at the end of each chapter with her ability to build tension while creating interesting characters. Which means it’s a good thing that the second book is a follow-up… Along Came a Prince is now available on Amazon for pre-order click here. The second book in this series follows Addie’s younger brother, Prince Richard Antonio David Nicklaus, the spare, when he falls for an American girl who prefers backpacking to ballroom dancing.
Carol provided us with a sneak peek into Good Enough for a Princess:
Charlie Brewer pushed the hood of his heavy winter coat back with one gloved hand. A fender bender? Really? Like he didn’t have anything else to do? Like get home to… Screaming interrupted his thoughts. He rapped on the window and prayed for it to stop. “Ma’am. Are you okay?” Stinging bits of ice pelted his face and peppered the car as he prayed she wasn’t hurt.
Abruptly, her mouth clamped shut.
Bits of sleet pelted his face as he knocked again. “Are you okay?”
The girl looked up and the first thing he noticed was her big hazel eyes, filled to overflowing with tears.
“Are you okay?” Broken records had nothing on him. He cupped his hands and peered in the window. She didn’t look hurt. He flinched. Except maybe for the gash on her forehead.
She nodded but didn’t say anything and didn’t roll down the window.
“I need to give you my contact information.”
The window creaked down half an inch or so.
“No. I do not need your information. I will take care of my own vehicle, thank you.” Even with the frantic note in her voice, he knew it would be almost melodic in a calmer situation. The window scratched its way back up and slid into the rubber casing.
He tried to take a deep breath but the frigid air pierced his lungs. “Let me buy you a cup of coffee. You’ll need a tow. Your wheel well is all messed up and you’ve got two flat tires.”
She bit her bottom lip as her eyes flickered to the café across the parking lot. The look in her eyes suddenly reminded him of a scared little girl.
With both hands held up, Charlie tried to look less threatening than he must have when she first saw him with his hood up and face shadowed. He gave the best smile he could with frozen cheeks. “I promise I’m a good guy.”
Finally, with a nod, she grabbed her purse from the front seat of the SUV, and turned the engine off. She reached for the handle on the inside of the driver’s door. It didn’t budge.
Bright lights caught him in the eye. A semi-truck passed a little too close for Charlie’s comfort. If she had that door open and slipped…
“This side,” he hollered at her and pulled on the handle.
She nodded and climbed across the center console while he pulled again.
Ice continued to fall, sliding down the back of his neck and into his shirt. If he wasn’t already frozen through, that would have done it.
“You push from that side,” Charlie yelled. “I’ll pull.”
Another nod and she pushed with one hand but it didn’t move. He closed his eyes and breathed a quick prayer. “Put your shoulder into it.”
Tears flowed, but she pushed against the door with her shoulder as he pulled. The door popped free and she tumbled out.
He caught her by the elbow to steady her on her feet, caught off-guard by the whiff of sunshine in her hair. “Are you okay?”
She nodded, her chin quivered just a little and Charlie gentled his hold on her. “I am. Thank you, sir.”
There was something in her voice, or maybe her perfect posture, that brought visions of Mary Poppins to mind. He shrugged them off and closed her car door behind her. With a slow steady pace, he continued to hold her arm as started toward the inviting warmth of the café.
Warmth? Yes. He couldn’t feel his nose anymore.
“You do not need to help me.” The dismissive note in her voice bothered him until she jerked her arm away.
And slipped, wobbled, then righted herself. But she didn’t fall.
Charlie contained his smirk and a dutiful bow. “I’m sure I don’t, miss, but I’d feel much better if you’d allow me. I already crashed into your car. If I let you get hurt in the parking lot, I’d never forgive myself.”
She sighed. A puff of white air blew out in front of her but she didn’t pull away again. The thirty-second walk took nearly five minutes. Slow, half-steps, muscles tensed, toes bunched inside his boots trying to grip the slippery surface on top of the asphalt. They finally made it to the door. Hot air and the smell of sizzling bacon blasted him.
“Have a seat anywhere, kids!” a woman’s voice called.
Charlie turned toward a row of booths along the front window. “After you?”
The woman pulled the knit cap off her head. Golden brown curls tumbled around her shoulders. She looked around carefully before walking all the way to the far end and sliding in the seat against the wall.
He sat across from her and held out a hand. “I’m Charlie.”
One corner of her mouth twitched up before she shook his hand. “Adeline.”
“A pleasure to meet you, Adeline. I just wish it was under other circumstances.”
“Agreed. A car accident…” A flash of awareness crossed her face and she set her large black bag on the table. She flipped open one flap and dug around. “Where is it?” she muttered as she searched. Somehow, even that action seemed delicate. She wasn’t from here.
“What are you looking for?”
“My phone. I need to call…” She stopped abruptly, gaze traveling to the café window. “Do we need to move the vehicles?”
Charlie shook his head. “We’re far enough out of the main lane and the cars are stuck together. We’ll have to wait for a tow. It could be a while.” He pulled out his own phone to call roadside assistance.
“Should we call 911?” Adeline asked as she took a sleek black phone out of her purse. He tried to control an eyebrow quirk but failed. There were cell phones. There were nice smart phones. There were really nice smart phones. Then there was this one.
“No. They’re on emergency status only. As long as no one’s hurt, you deal with it yourself.”
“Of course,” She whispered and stared at her phone for a long moment. “I do not have a card for roadside assistance. Perhaps you could ask your service to send an extra tow truck for my vehicle?”
Something in the way she asked made him wonder if she’d ever called for auto help. The tilt of her chin and honest curiosity in her eyes reminded him of the children’s fairytales he used to read. Did fairies come into the real world during ice storms? “I’ll take care of it.” It made him feel protective. Almost manly. When was the last time he’d felt the need to protect a woman? Ever? He found the right entry and pressed the screen. After listening and going through the process, he finally got a real person. Holding up one finger to Adeline, he stood and walked toward the front door to explain the situation.
* * *
Crown Princess Adeline Julianne Elizabeth of Montevaro relived the sickening crunch of metal as her car slid to a stop in the ditch outside. She could still feel the steering wheel as she’d gripped it, trying to keep the tears, and the panic, at bay. Her unsuccessful attempts now showed on her face, she was certain. Red, blotchy eyes. Tear-stained cheeks. Moisture still leaking out from time to time. Her mother would be mortified.
She knew when she left the house an accident could happen. No one ever dreamed of letting the Crown Princess learn to drive on ice, of all things. But she had taken matters into her own hands. Adeline, the girl who never did anything wrong, who always did what was expected of her, had slipped away from her security detail, taken the safer of the two vehicles at her disposal, and left. All because she wanted a few moments of freedom before the ice storm settled in.
A shaking hand had pushed the hair back from one side of her face as she ran through her mental checklist.
No airbag deployment. Good.
Pain in her head meant she likely hit the steering wheel. Bad.
Slow speed at time of impact. Good.
As long as she did not have a concussion or bruising from the steering wheel or seat belt, she would be able to convince Mark and Todd she was fine. They would read her the riot act. Debate long and hard about calling her father. Eventually, they would call their superiors, debate some more and, sooner or later, her father would find out. She had rested her head on the steering wheel. He did not need the additional stress. The last two times she visited Montevaro, her father had seemed off. She feared what he would tell her when she returned home for good in a few months.
She had contemplated digging her cell phone out and giving a preemptive call. Cut them off at the pass. Reassure Mark she was rattled but fine and his relief would overwhelm his anger and concern.
She took a deep, shuddering breath and dug her phone back out of her purse. Addie closed her eyes and finally turned her phone back on. Three times, her finger slipped off the “on” button. It went through its start-up procedure and buzzed with missed calls and text messages. Every one of them came from Mark, Todd, or the house. Before she could listen to any of the twenty voice mails, the phone rang again.
With a deep breath and a whispered prayer, she pressed “answer.” “Hello?”
Mark’s bellow did not help her headache. “Where are you?”
She sighed. “At the Serenity Landing diner on Highway 60 about two miles from town.”
“What are you doing there?” His voice softened slightly as she heard the garage door open in the background.
Just saying the words made her wince. “I was in an accident.”
His bellow returned. “What?”
“I am fine, Mark. A gentleman ran into the back of the SUV. He helped me out of the vehicle and to the restaurant. He is calling tow trucks right now.”
“We’re on our way.” His words were clipped and nearly cut off by the sound of a slamming car door.
Once the connection severed, Addie set the phone on the table and rested her face in her hands, biting back the groan threatening to escape her throat.
“Tow trucks will be here when they get here.” Charlie scooted into the seat across from her. “We’re way down on the list since we’re not on a major highway. We’re somewhere safe and warm, we’re not blocking traffic, and no one’s hurt.”
“I will likely be gone long before they get here.” She put her phone in the side pocket of her purse and snapped the flap closed.
“At least let me buy you that cup of coffee.” He turned to look for a waitress.
Addie looked at Charlie for a moment before deciding she could trust him. Something about his curly, dirty blond hair and mocha eyes convinced her to give a curt not. “Very well.”
The waitress, stereotypical for a restaurant of this kind, bustled up. “Sorry, kids.” She handed them each a menu. “What can I get ya?”
With a smile, Addie looked at her. “Hello, Melony.”
A wide grin split Melony’s face. “Well, hey there! How are ya, sugar? Where’s Mark and Todd? What’re they thinkin’ lettin’ ya out here in this weather?”
Addie nodded toward the street. “Mr. Brewer and I had a bit of an accident. We are fine. Mark and Todd will be here shortly.” She tucked her hair behind her ear. “Could I get a cup of tea?”
Melony gasped. “You’re bleeding.” She grabbed a napkin, sending a fork and spoon clattering to the floor.
“I am fine, Melony. I promise.”
* * *
“Nonsense.” Charlie watched as Melony pressed the napkin against Adeline’s forehead. “You need to go to the hospital.”
“No. Mark and Todd will be here soon. Mark has medic training. If I need stitches, he can do it.” The girl took over holding the napkin to her own head, leaving Charlie wondering who Mark and Todd were and why she seemed both annoyed and comforted by the idea of the two men.
Her brothers maybe?
But if they were on their way, he needed to get to know her and fast. Because he’d never met a woman who intrigued him so much from the first moment he heard her speak. Was it the accent? The lilting tone? He didn’t know but he wanted to find out. Charlie turned his best smile up to the waitress. “Melony, is it?”
The dark curls bounced up and down as she nodded. “Sure is.”
“Melony, would you get Adeline that cup of tea? I’d love some coffee if you’ve got it. Do you still have breakfast?” He’d driven by the diner many times but had never stopped. Most of these places had breakfast all day, didn’t they?
“Sure do, hon. Twenty-four seven. Why don’t you two decide what you want and I’ll get those drinks?” She looked pointedly at Adeline. “Keep pressure on that.”
More than anything Charlie wanted to reach out and brush the hair back, away from the cut in the otherwise smooth skin. He tilted sideways and pulled a handkerchief out of the pocket of his pants. He dipped it in the water glass Melony had set there. Half-standing, he leaned over the table. “Let me see?”
Adeline nodded and pulled the napkin away. “It feels as though the bleeding has stopped.”
The cut didn’t look good, but it didn’t look too bad either. “Here.” With slow movements, he did his best to wipe off the dried blood. “I think you’ll be okay.”
“Thank you, Charlie.” Her eyelashes lifted enough for him to see the gold-flecked hazel of her eyes then moved downward again.
He finished cleaning around the wound, refolded his handkerchief, and held it to her head. “You might still want to hold that, though.”
Her fingertips brushed his hand as she reached up, sending chills, the good kind, down his spine. “Thank you, again.”
He settled back in his seat. “You’re not from around here, are you?”
The silky brown hair shifted as she shook her head. “No. I am not.”
“Where are you from?”
Melony set two steaming cups in front of them. “Just like you like it.”
“You are a queen among women, Melony.” Her voice drew Charlie further in.
“Don’t you know it?” Melony winked, covering one of her pale green eyes. Charlie couldn’t help but compare them to Adeline’s. Though they were both primarily green, they were as different as the Amazon rain forest and split-pea soup. “Now, what can I get you to eat?”
Charlie ordered pancakes and bacon. Adeline decided on her “usual,” whatever that was.
Once Melony headed for the kitchen, Adeline resumed their conversation. “Have you ever heard of a country called Montevaro?”
With his brow furrowed, Charlie tried to think, but came up mostly blank. “I think I have but that’s all I can say.”
One corner of her mouth tipped upward. “It is a small nation, sandwiched between Mevendia, Switzerland, and Italy.”
“Yes. It is even smaller than we are, on the southeastern border of Switzerland. We have cultural and historical ties with Mevendia and Ravenzario. Ravenzario is…”
“Two islands off the coast of Italy and France in the Mediterranean. I think I visited there as a kid.”
Adeline nodded. “Yes.”
“And you’re from Montevaro, is it?”
She nodded. “Yes. Three of us were chosen to come here and study International Relations at Serenity Landing University.”
“Chosen?” He quirked an eyebrow at her. “Did you do the best on some sort of test?”
This time the smile was a bit more full-fledged but still didn’t reach her eyes. “Something along those lines, yes.”
“I’m sorry I hit you, but I’m glad you’re here so I could meet you.” Deep inside, he cringed. That sounded like such a line.
“You did not hit me, Charlie. You hit my vehicle. And given the weather conditions, it could hardly be considered your fault.”
“Still. I’m glad we’ve met. But what exactly does one study in international relations?”
“The relationship between countries. The relationship between countries and all kinds of different organizations: intergovernmental organizations, nongovernmental organizations, multinational corporations. Things like that.”
“So will you work for the State Department of your country?” Charlie wrapped his hands around the mug to warm his fingers and sipped his coffee.
“We do not have a state department like America’s, so no. But yes, I will be involved in foreign relations between Montevaro and any number of other entities.”
“Is it interesting?” He didn’t see how it could be, but different strokes for different folks and all.
She gave a bit of a half shrug. “It is not uninteresting. International relations is the family business.”
Family business? Like the Kennedys? Or what was the local family he saw in the tabloids while stuck in the checkout lane? The last name was Langley, he thought, because it always made him think of the CIA.
“So it’s expected of you.”
“Something like that.”
Melony chose that moment to come back and set their food in front of them. “Here ya go. If you need anything else, just holler.”
They ate in silence for a few minutes until lights flashed across them. Charlie looked outside. A dark sedan with tinted windows pulled up.
Adeline set the rest of her sandwich on her plate and picked her napkin up from her lap. “That is my ride. Thank you again for your assistance.”
Charlie chuckled. “I hit you. It’s the least I could do to offer to help.”
She reached for her gloves and hat before setting them back down and reaching into her purse. “Here is my card if you need to reach me.” She left it on the table.
The door jangled open behind him and he heard boots stomping.
“Adeline, let’s go.”
Turning his head, he saw a giant hulk of a man standing near them.
“Of course.” She slid out of the booth and stood.
Charlie followed suit.
“Thank you again, Mr. Brewer.”
He took a deep breath, ignored the man towering over him, and plunged in. “Can I call you? Once this storm blows over?”
Adeline smiled, this time showing perfect rows of pearly white teeth. “I suppose that would be all right.”
Charlie watched as she and the man walked toward the front door. He wondered if he’d see her again. The thunderous expression on the face of the man in front of him said, “no.”
If you would like to win a copy of Good Enough for A Princess for your kindle, then leave a comment!
A random drawing will be held on Saturday, March 14th.
When she’s not writing about her imaginary friends, Carol Moncado is hanging out with her husband, four kids, and a dog who weighs less than most hard cover books. She prefers watching NCIS to just about anything, except maybe watching Castle. She believes peanut butter M&Ms are the perfect food and Dr. Pepper should come in an IV. When not watching her kids – and the dog – race around her big backyard in Southwest Missouri, she’s teaching American Government at a local community college. She’s a founding member and President of MozArks ACFW, category coordinator for First Impressions, blogger at InspyRomance, and represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Agency.