Home > Mistress To The Prince (Royal Cordova Family Trilogy #3)

Mistress To The Prince (Royal Cordova Family Trilogy #3)
Author: Elizabeth Lennox

Elizabeth Lennox - Royal Cordova Family Trilogy #3 - Mistress To The Prince

Mistress To The Prince (Royal Cordova Family Trilogy #3)
Elizabeth Lennox



Chapter 1

This meeting was ludicrous!

Prince Maximillian Gregorio Marquenda stifled a spurt of irritation when the bald man banged his fist against the polished conference room table. He pretended to listen politely to the group of elderly gentlemen as they tried to convince him that the government of Cordova needed to fund their latest project.

As soon as the double doors to the conference room opened, Max’s attention was diverted and he wasn’t disappointed. He saw her walking toward him and could feel his body reacting to just the sight of her. Out of the corner of his eye, he noted how long her legs looked in her perfect, business-like suit. Gritting his teeth, he prepared himself for her closeness, for her subtle, flowery perfume that had haunted him for so many nights.

The lead on his pencil snapped when she whispered the urgent message in his ear.

The broken lead had nothing to do with her words and everything to do with her lips so close to his ear. Max had been concentrating on the discussion, quickly taking notes on the margins of the report but with her mouth so close to his ear, all he wanted to do was kiss her sexy lips that were definitely not business-like and smell her incredibly alluring perfume.

But he didn’t. Because Tara Jacobs had never shown any indication that she was interested in Max in any way other than as an employer. In fact, the woman went to great pains to make sure he didn’t get the wrong impression. He gripped his broken pencil and tried to concentrate on her words as she repeated her message. It was useless. Standing up, he put a hand to the small of her back and guided her out of the conference room.

“I’m sorry, what was that?” his deep voice asked as soon as the doors closed behind them.

Tara Jacobs, his sexy, seductive and amazingly efficient and professional secretary repeated the message while standing in front of him this time and Max was finally able to understand her words.

“King Alexander has requested your presence immediately,” Tara explained. “I’m sorry, I wouldn’t have interrupted your meeting for anything less,” Tara said, the apology in her eyes as well as being spoken by those lips that Max had created some vivid fantasies around.

“That’s fine,” Max ground out, and tried to ignore the appeal of her soft, blue eyes or wonder how long her hair was. Every day it was neatly twisted into a tight, professional chignon, painstakingly pinned to the back of her neck without a wisp escaping. It didn’t matter. There was nothing Tara Jacobs could do to diminish her appeal. Even with her hair pulled back harshly, her eyes were too soft and her lips too full for anyone to forget how incredibly beautiful she was.

Refocusing on the task at hand, Max handed her his notes. “Can you sit in on the meeting for me and take notes?” he asked.

With a nod, Tara took his report and entered the room without a backwards glance in his direction.

Max almost cursed under his breath, wishing he could maintain the same detached professionalism that seemed to be effortless to her. Unfortunately, ever since she’d started working for him, he’d been growing more and more fascinated by the woman. Did she even know that he existed as anything other than her employer or the crown prince of her country? He doubted it. She was too business oriented. Tara probably didn’t even know that he was a different gender.

He glared at the closed doors. Other women threw themselves at him and he had heard that he had recently been nominated the most desirable bachelor for some women’s magazine. What did other women see in him that Tara didn’t?

Max turned on his heel, disgusted with himself for even thinking such ridiculous thoughts and walked quickly down the hallway toward his father’s office. The king rarely summoned him during business hours so it must be something important to be called down to his father’s office in the middle of the day. They generally spoke during dinner hours and discussed the business of the country and projects that happened during the day.

“Yes father?” Max asked as soon as he stepped into his father’s private offices.

“Max! Good, good. Very efficient secretary you have there. I only called her five minutes ago.”

“Yes. She’s very good,” he said, thinking of her luscious figure and wondering how good she would feel in his arms. He instinctively knew they would be incredible together.

“Have a seat,” the king said, interrupting Max’s sexual fantasy that starred his not-interested secretary. The king waved behind him indicating the sofa and chairs that were situated in one corner of his office. “I wanted to talk to you without the rest of the family around. Especially your mother.”

Max had a sneaking suspicion he knew what this was going to be about if his father didn’t want his mother involved. Marriage. Or more specifically, grandchildren.

As soon as they were both settled, Max was proven right. “I want to know what you’re doing about producing an heir, son.”

Max settled back and smiled fondly at his father. “I think you have several heirs and the trend will continue if Ana and Mara’s current pattern is any indication,” he joked.

The king was not interested in joking. “Don’t be obtuse, Max. This is serious stuff. You’re thirty six years old. You have an obligation to your title and to your country to marry and produce an heir to the throne. You should already have your nursery set up and well established by now. I want to know what is keeping you from producing my grandson.”

Max wasn’t intimidated by the king’s demands. He smiled and nodded his head. “Just find me the right woman and I’ll marry her, father.” He ignored the image of Tara’s impish smile that popped into his head. She wasn’t interested in him in that way and he needed to accept that.

“Now, you know after the last two marriage experiences in this family, your mother has refused to do anything about arranged marriages anymore. Marabeth’s was a relief to get out of and, well, you know about Anastasia’s shocking behavior,” the king shook his head at the memories. “Didn’t think we’d make it to the alter on that one,” the king said gruffly, remembering the chaos both his daughters had caused during their romances prior to the wedding.

Max laughed at his father’s continued annoyance more than three years after Ana’s wedding. Getting back to the topic, he reminded his father, “I take out every woman mother sees fit to match me up with.”

“And then some,” King Stephan grumbled, eyeing his son with a stern expression. “And if I know your mother, she’s picking eminently eligible ladies to introduce you to. She’s just as interested in having grandchildren but for a whole different reason entirely,” he said stiffly.

Max smiled, knowing his father wanted exactly the same thing his mother wanted. “Are you saying you wouldn’t like a few grandkids to spoil? Don’t even try to convince me that you’re only interested in ensuring succession of the crown,” Max laughed. “I’ve seen you around Mindy, Lucas and Angelica. You love those kids,” he said, referring to his nieces and nephew.

The king smiled fondly at the thought of his three grandchildren. “Yes, but they don’t live here. And none will take over the throne. That’s up to you. So what are you going to do about it?”

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