From the Mediterranean to the Caribbean, the game continuesÔÇª┬á
Zelda Wilder is on the run, this time from the ruthless assassins whoÔÇÖve decided she knows too much to live.
ÔÇ£Playboy PrinceÔÇØ MacCallum Lockwood Tate isnÔÇÖt about to let the beautiful player who stole his heart get awayÔÇöif only he could decide whether he wanted to save her or strangle her for her dangerous choices.
After tracking her down to a casino in St. Croix, Cal follows Zee back to Tortola where he intends to keep her safe. One problem: ZeldaÔÇÖs criminal liaisons are one step ahead of her.
Lives are threatened, and all of the players’ skills are tested in this plot to capture a killer and save a princess.
Cinderella meets Ocean’s Eleven in this CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE DUET featuring secrets, lies, royal high jinks, scams and double-crosses; breathless, swooning lust, cocky princes, dominant alpha future-kings, and crafty courtiers, who are not always what they seem.
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Pick up THE PRINCE & THE PLAYER for FREE in Kindle Unlimited (ends 8/28)!!!┬á
ÔÇ£Tons of laughs, sex, and suspense…THE PRINCE & THE PLAYER had me on the edge of my seat, biting my nails, and blushing like crazy!ÔÇØ ÔÇôShayna ReneeÔÇÖs Spicy Reads
Runaway Zelda Wilder will do whatever it takes to secure a better life for her and her sister Ava. ┬áCrown Prince Rowan Westringham Tate will do whatever it takes to preserve his small country.
When Zee is blackmailed into helping a vengeful statesman take down Rowan, she never expects she’ll be pulled into a web of lies and international intrigue–much less that she’ll find herself falling for Cal, Rowan’s “playboy” younger brother.
Ava’s no help, as she finds quiet walks in the moonlight discussing poetry and leadership with the brooding future king irresistible. Even more irresistible is kissing his luscious lips.
They’re in over their heads, and the more time passes, the more danger the sisters are in. Shots are fired, and it’s soon clear even a prince might not be able to rescue these players.
Ô£»ÔÿåÔÿåÊëÔÇ┐Ô×╣ÔüÇÔÿåÊë ┬á5 StarsÔÿåÊëÔÇ┐Ô×╣ÔüÇÔÿåÊëÔÿåÔ£»
ÔÇ£Cinderella meets Ocean’s ElevenÔÇØ was the phrase used that intrigued me the most about this book. Who doesnÔÇÖt love Cinderella? And OceanÔÇÖs Eleven is one of my favorite movies. Thus, combining the two sounded like heaven and something IÔÇÖd love. And I was right, The Prince & The Player by Tia Louise was suspenseful, captivating, sexy, and had me lost in its pages from the prologue.
ZeldaÔÇöcan I just say how much I love her nameÔÇöis a con artist doing everything she does for her sister, Ava; to keep them save and fed. Ever since she was seventeen and ran away from the foster system with Ava. A chance encounter, an opportunity for blackmail, and desperation to keep Ava save, led them both to a foreign country, in order to deceive a seemingly unfit crown prince and take him down.
RowanÔÇöthe Crown princeÔÇöand his brother Cal are used to being in the spotlight, always surrounded by peopleÔÇöespecially women. Neither one lack of female attention, but an encounter not so much by chance, left both of them reeling. Ava and Zelda turn their world upside down. One a playboy, the other one an arrogant future king, but neither saw the girls coming.
With this starts a journey of deceit, lies, royalty, wealth, love, and family ties that you never saw coming. ItÔÇÖs filled with fun and sexy times. Tia Louise drew me into her world with the first page, had me hooked, and left me wanting for more with her impeccable writing. She made me want to be like Zelda when I grow upÔÇöstrong, independent, and willing to sacrifice her own happiness for her sisterÔÇÖs. All of the characters, from the heroes to the heroines and even the villains, were very well-developed.
I loved this book. It was so very well-written, gave me all the feels, and I couldnÔÇÖt get enough. I canÔÇÖt wait for the next one.
~Review by Anja
Chapter 1: Old Habits
~ Zelda Wilder ~
My heart is beating too fast. Glancing down, I see my hands tremble, and I take a few measured breaths to try and make them stop.
IÔÇÖve never been this anxious on a job, but everything has changed in the last six weeks. Looking over my shoulder has become a nonstop addiction it seems.
For the first time, IÔÇÖm alone with Seth, just the two of us. Unknown hit men took out our longtime partner Helen, and we donÔÇÖt even know how long ago it was. The radio report simply said her body was found in a bathtub in a cheap hotel in Miami. A plastic bag was over her head.
Clutching my black purse, again I look over my shoulder. Through the neon lights and arcade noises of the Divi casino in St. Croix, I see men in black blazers dotted among the gamblers. Men with curly earpieces in their ears, men with dark brows lowered over steely eyes, men sweeping the room for any signs of criminal activity.
I do another quick sweep, and I realize IÔÇÖm looking for Ava. Stop that, Zee. My little sister is far away from this life, and itÔÇÖs because I chose to distance us. I decided her safety is more important than keeping our family together.
The last time I saw her, she was wounded and pale, unconscious in a hospital bed. It tore at my heart to leave her, but at least I know sheÔÇÖs okay. Thanks to the Internet, IÔÇÖve been able to keep up with the ÔÇ£developing storyÔÇØ of the assassination attempt on the future king of Monagasco and the shooting of his fianc├®e, a.k.a., my sister. Rowan has taken Ava from the hospital to the palace, where sheÔÇÖs recuperating under the watchful eyes of his royal guards.
With a steady exhale, I release the nerves, reminding myself itÔÇÖs for the best. SheÔÇÖs with the man who loves her, who promised to take care of her. If a crown prince canÔÇÖt do that, I donÔÇÖt stand a chance.
StillÔÇª it isnÔÇÖt me.
IÔÇÖm not watching out for her.
As the oldest, IÔÇÖve always had that job. IÔÇÖve taken care of us since our parents died, leaving us at the mercy of the foster system. IÔÇÖve protected her ever since that last asshole thought heÔÇÖd try relieving his sexual frustrations on a little girl entrusted to his ÔÇ£care.ÔÇØ It was me whoÔÇÖd bashed him over the head with the lamp, grabbed her hand, and run us out of there.
WeÔÇÖd hidden all night in the pouring rain in a concrete culvert, and I came up with a plan to keep us out of that life for good. Passing the baton to someone elseÔÇöeven a future kingÔÇöhits me harder than I thought it would. My throat aches at her absence, my chest heavy. Stay safe, Ava-bug.
Tonight is the first time IÔÇÖve ever entered a place like this without her. Ava is the only person I can count on in any situation. Every security guard in this room reminds me of how weÔÇÖve always been a team. If anything goes wrong, I grab her hand and we run, just like always. We stay alive.
Only, I made the deal that changed everything. I shook hands with the devil.
I could argue I didnÔÇÖt have a choice. We were facing jail time, felony convictions in Florida for grand theft, and while IÔÇÖd be willing to take my chances in jail, thereÔÇÖs no way in hell IÔÇÖm letting Ava go to prison. So yeah. Agreeing to work with Reginald Winchester might make me a ÔÇ£bad guy,ÔÇØ but IÔÇÖd do it again in heartbeat.
Squaring my shoulders, I slide a lock of jet-brown hair behind my ear and force confidence into my stride. I make my way through the glittering, noisy casino to my targetÔÇöa shiny brass roulette wheelÔÇöand prepare to start the show.
The last time we worked this con in Miami, Helen had been waiting at the table when I got there. I can still hear her gravelly voice and see her ÔÇ£May Contain AlcoholÔÇØ sweatshirt. Sadness followed closely by fear ricochets through my insides. Whoever killed her is looking for me.
We were on our way to Tortola to hide when Seth said we should stop in here and bank extra cash. As Americans, we donÔÇÖt need passports in St. Croix, and we can catch a cheap ferry and slip away in the night to our ultimate destination.
Keeping off the radar is the goalÔÇöas always. WeÔÇÖll pocket a few thousand and disappear unnoticed. At least thatÔÇÖs the plan.
ÔÇ£No more bets!ÔÇØ The dealer passes his hand over the wheel just as I arrive, and I quickly assess the table rules. Minimum ten dollar bet. Decent.
Opening my clutch, I remove two hundreds and pass them to the dealer. He quickly exchanges them for twenty pale blue chips. IÔÇÖll join the fray next spin.
Tonight the transmitter is hidden in my shoe as opposed to my cuff bracelet. IÔÇÖm wearing a strappy black dress that stops mid-thigh, and my black heels show off my legs while hiding the device facilitating our winning streak.
I have to sit with my legs crossed and point my toe to activate it. One dainty point, one shiny silver ball drops right in the tray, predictable at ninety percent accuracy. So far the odds have been in our favor.
WeÔÇÖll play until Seth gives me the signal theyÔÇÖre onto us. Then IÔÇÖll calmly cash out, walk away, and meet him at the pier on Grapetree Point. From there weÔÇÖll make the forty-mile cruise to Tortola.
An elegantly dressed woman shakes her head and gives me a bitter smile as I sit. ÔÇ£DonÔÇÖt stay longer than three spins,ÔÇØ she grumbles.
I smile in response. ÔÇ£ThatÔÇÖs the rule, isnÔÇÖt it?ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£ThatÔÇÖs the rule.ÔÇØ Her expression tells me she lost a lot tonight.
As a student of casinos, I know how steeply the odds in roulette are stacked in favor of the HouseÔÇötheyÔÇÖre the worst of any game. The longer you sit, the greater your chances of losing, times a million. If I were giving advice to a rookie, IÔÇÖd say stick to blackjack. At least there you can use strategy and possibly win a little. Walking away is something I learned early on. You can never be afraid to walk awayÔÇöeven when youÔÇÖre certain youÔÇÖre lucky. Luck is the biggest liar of all.
I place half my chips on the black rectangle and watch as the wheel begins to spin. The dealer snakes his hand to the side and releases the ball. It flies around the shining wood with a sharp rasp. I need to lose this round. The job doesnÔÇÖt start until Seth arrives, and I canÔÇÖt win for longer than a few spins or itÔÇÖll look suspicious.
Another glance over my shoulder. HeÔÇÖs still not here. Casting my eyes down, I watch the wheel spinning, black-red, black-red, black-red, flashing brass.
ÔÇ£Have you been here long?ÔÇØ A man in an elegant suit steps into the space beside me and fishes out his wallet as we wait for the ball to drop.
ÔÇ£I just sat down,ÔÇØ I say without making eye contact. IÔÇÖm not here to make friends.
He passes a crisp one hundred dollar bill to the dealer. ÔÇ£Then we have no way of knowing if itÔÇÖs a good table.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£Sorry,ÔÇØ I shake my head. ÔÇ£I play red or black.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£Not much of a gambler?ÔÇØ
A glance, and I see heÔÇÖs tall and thick with dark brown hair and a cocky expression like he already knows the answer to his question.
ÔÇ£No,ÔÇØ I say in a discouraging tone.
No, thank you. Even if I hadnÔÇÖt left my heart in Monagasco, I never let romance interfere with a job. Well, almost never.
ÔÇ£Logan Thomas.ÔÇØ Mr. Persistent sticks a hand at me.
He waits, and I hesitate. Two first names.
ÔÇ£Regina Lampert,ÔÇØ I lie only barely touching his fingers.
ÔÇ£Regina,ÔÇØ he gives me a nod, but that twinkle of knowledge is in his eyes.
A knot forms in my throat. I donÔÇÖt like this. The ball drops on black seventeen, and a lady at the other end of the table emits a little cheer.
ÔÇ£You won,ÔÇØ LoganÔÇÖs voice ripples toward me.
The dealer adds more chips to my pile, and IÔÇÖm ready to hop up and intercept Seth. A swirl of warmth at my side tells me IÔÇÖm too late.