Spotlight & Giveaway: A Royal Without Rules by Caitlin Crews

Posted August 20th, 2013 by in Blog, Spotlight / 54 comments

Today it is my pleasure to welcome back USA Today bestselling author Caitlin Crews to HJ!

Hi Caitlin, Welcome to HJ!

If you gave one of your characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say about you?

Caitlin CrewsOnly good things, I hope, given that I introduced them to each other!

What are you currently working on? What other releases so you have planned for 2013?

I’m currently finishing up revisions on a VERY exciting project I can’t talk about yet, but will be out next summer. But I still have a bunch of stuff yet to come in 2013.

On September 10, TEMPT ME, COWBOY come out. It’s the first novella in a brand new multi-author series called the Montana Born Copper Mountain Rodeo. (Look for more novellas in this series all fall, from fantastic authors Lilian Darcy, CJ Carmichael, Jane Porter and more!) I’m really excited about this project. It’s my first non-Presents romance (unless you count my time-travel 80s romance, I Love the 80s, but that takes place mostly in 1987)–and it has a VERY yummy cover! You can find more information about these books here: https://www.facebook.com/MontanaBornBooks

Back to Presents: A SCANDAL IN THE HEADLINES, my entry into the Harlequin Presents Corretti continuity, will be out in November, ASITH1and it’s a very dark and delicious story I hope readers will love. I certainly do! And then in December I’m very excited to announce that I have two full books in one coming out: NOT JUST THE BOSS’S PLAYTHING, which features the very alpha brother of Ivan Korovin from NO MORE SWEET SURRENDER (February 2013) as well as one of my favorite books, A DEVIL IN DISGUISE, which includes one of my most favorite scenes, ever. I’ll give a hint: it involves swimming. Both of those books in one package! How fun!

Where can readers get in touch with you?

A good starting place is my Facebook page, which has buttons to access all my online hangouts: Twitter, Instagram, both my web pages under both my names: https://www.facebook.com/MeganCraneAndCaitlinCrews?ref=hl

Please summarize your latest release A Royal Without Rules for the readers here ….

He’s a very naughty prince. She’s supposed to keep him in line. Guess who wins?

Character Q & A

Please introduce your characters Prince Pato & Adriana Righetti from your novel A Royal Without Rules to HJ readers

ARWRI think Prince Pato introduces himself best in the opening scene of the book, when Adriana walks in to find him sleeping off a debaucherous night–and he’s not alone! Adriana comes from a scandal-ridden family and Pato is a scandal-magnet, so, obviously, they rub each other the wrong way. At first.

How would you describe your Characters in one sentence?

Destined.

What do you like best about your characters? Least? Admire most/ Least?

These two are possibly my favorite couple so far, so I like pretty much everything about them!

What does your character do for a living?

Pato is a prince, so he spend a lot of his time making appearances. Adriana is an assistant to the Crown Prince, Pato’s older brother, and then to Pato–so she actually does more typical work.

Is your character ruled by emotion or logic or some combination thereof?

I think both of them would claim that they live their whole lives guided by logic. Happily, they’re both wrong–especially when they meet each other!

Was it love at first sight for your character? If not what was the pivotal moment of change?

You’ll have to read the book!

What is your character most proud of about in his / her life?

Pato is inordinately proud of his many scandals. As well he should be–but you’ll have to read the story to see why.

How your character feel about life right now? What, if anything, would he/she like to change?

That would be telling. 🙂

How did your character spend the week just before the story starts?

Adriana was doing her job. Pato was making an ass of himself on some or other tabloid cover.

 

Thank you for stopping by HJ!

Giveaway: 2 copies of A Royal Without Rules (Print or Digital)

To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and post a comment to this Q:Who do you like better, Prince William or Prince Harry? Why?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excerpt:

His Royal Highness Prince Patricio, the most debauched creature in the kingdom of Kitzinia—if not the entire world—and the bane of Adriana Righetti’s existence, lay sprawled across his sumptuous, princely bed in his vast apartments in the Kitzinia Royal Palace, sound asleep despite the fact it was three minutes past noon.

And he was not, Adriana saw as she strode into the room, alone.

According to legend and the European tabloids, Pato, without the pressure of his older brother’s responsibilities as heir apparent, and lacking the slightest shred of conscience or propriety, had not slept alone since puberty. Adriana had expected to find him wrapped around the trollop du jour—no doubt the same redhead he’d made such a spectacle of himself with at his brother’s engagement celebration the night before.

Jackass.

But as she stared at the great bed before her, the frustration that had propelled her all the way through the palace shifted. She hadn’t expected to find the redhead and a brunette, both women naked and draped over what was known as Kitzinia’s royal treasure: Prince Pato’s lean and golden torso, all smooth muscle and sculpted male beauty, cut off by a sheet riding scandalously low on his narrow hips.

Although “scandalous” in this context was, clearly, relative.

“No need to be so shy.” Somehow, Adriana didn’t react to the mocking gleam in Prince Pato’s gaze when she looked up to find him watching her, his eyes sleepy and a crook to his wicked mouth. “There’s always room for one more.”

“I’m tempted.” Her crisp tone was anything but. “But I’m afraid I must decline.”

“This isn’t a spectator sport.”

Pato shifted the brunette off his chest with a consummate skill that spoke of long practice, and propped himself up on one elbow, not noticing or not caring that the sheet slipped lower as he moved. Adriana held her breath, but the sheet just preserved what little remained of his modesty. The redhead rolled away from him as Pato shoved his thick, too-long tawny hair back from his forehead, amusement gleaming in eyes Adriana knew perfectly well were hazel, yet looked like polished gold.

And then he smiled with challenge and command. “Climb in or get out.”

Adriana eyed him in all his unapologetic, glorious flesh. Prince Pato, international manwhore and noted black sheep of the Kitzinia royal family, was the biggest waste of space alive. He stood for nothing save his own hedonism and selfishness, and she wanted to be anywhere in all the world but here.

Anywhere.

She’d spent the last three years as Crown Prince Lenz’s personal assistant, a job she adored despite the fact it had often involved handling Pato’s inevitable messes. This paternity suit, that jilted lover’s vindictive appearance on television, this crashed sports car worth untold millions, that reckless and/or thoughtless act making embarrassing headlines… He was the thorn in his responsible older brother’s side, and therefore dug deep and hard in hers.

And thanks to his inability to behave for one single day—even at his only brother’s engagement party!—Pato was now her problem to handle in the two months leading up to Kitzinia’s first royal wedding in a generation.

Adriana couldn’t believe this was happening. She’d been demoted from working at the right hand of the future king to taking out the royal family’s trash. After her years of loyalty, her hard work. Just when she’d started to kid herself that she really could begin to wash away the historic stain on the once proud Righetti name.

“Pato needs a keeper,” Prince Lenz had said earlier this morning, having called Adriana into his private study upon her arrival at the palace. Adriana had ached for him and the burdens he had to shoulder. She would do anything he asked, anything at all; she only wished he’d asked for something else. Pato was the one part of palace life she couldn’t abide. “There are only two months until the wedding and I can’t have the papers filled with his usual exploits. Not when there’s so much at stake.”

What was at stake, Adriana knew full well, was Lenz’s storybook marriage to the lovely Princess Lissette, which the world viewed as a fairy tale come to life—or would, if Pato could be contained for five minutes. Kitzinia was a tiny little country nestled high in the Alps, rich in world-renowned ski resorts and stunning mountain lakes bristling with castles and villas and all kinds of holiday-making splendor. Tourist economies like theirs thrived on fairy tales, not dissipated princes hell-bent on self-destruction in the glare of as many cameras as possible.

Two months in this hell, she thought now, still holding Pato’s amused gaze. Two months knee-deep in interchangeable women, sexual innuendo and his callous disregard for anything but his own pleasure.

But Lenz wanted her to do this. Lenz, who had believed in her, overlooking her infamous surname when he’d hired her. Lenz, who she would have walked through fire for, had he wanted it. Lenz, who deserved better than his brother. Somehow, she would do this.

“I would sooner climb across a sea of broken glass on my hands and knees than into that circus carousel you call your bed,” Adriana said, then smiled politely. “I mean that with all due respect, of course, Your Royal Highness.”

Pato tilted back his head and laughed.

And Adriana was forced to admit—however grudgingly—that his laugh was impossibly compelling, like everything else about him. It wasn’t fair. It never had been. If interiors matched exteriors, Lenz would be the Kitzinian prince who looked like this, with all that thick sun-and-chocolate hair that fell about Pato’s lean face and hinted at his wildness, that sinful mouth, and the kind of bone structure that made artists and young girls weep. Lenz, not Pato, should have been the one who’d inherited their late mother’s celebrated beauty. Those cheekbones, the gorgeous eyes and easy grace, the smile that caused riots, and the delighted laughter that lit whole rooms.

It simply wasn’t fair.

Pato extricated himself from the pile of naked women on his bed and swung his long legs over the side, wrapping the sheet around his waist as he stood. As much to taunt her with the other women’s nakedness as to conceal his own, Adriana thought, her eyes narrowing as he raised his arms high above his head and stretched. Long and lazy, like an arrogant cat. He grinned at her when she glared at him, and as he moved toward her she stiffened instinctively—and his grin only deepened.

“What is my brother’s favorite lapdog doing in my bedroom this early in the day?” he asked, that low, husky voice of his no more than mildly curious. Still, his gaze raked over her and she felt a kind of clutching in her chest, a hitch in her breath. “Looking as pinch-faced and censorious as ever, I see.”

“First of all,” Adriana said, glancing pointedly at the delicate watch on her wrist and telling herself she wasn’t pinched and didn’t care that he thought so, “it’s past noon. It’s not early in the day by any definition.”

“That depends entirely on what you did last night,” he replied, unrepentant and amused, with a disconcerting lick of heat beneath. “I don’t mean what you did, of course. I mean what I did, which I imagine was far more energetic than however it is you prepare yourself for another day of pointless subservience.”

Adriana looked at him, then at the bed and its naked contents. Then back at him. She raised a disdainful eyebrow, and he laughed again, as if she delighted him. The last thing she wanted to do was delight him. If she had her way, she’d have nothing to do with him at all.

But this was not about her, she reminded herself. Fiercely.

“Second,” she said, staring back at him repressively, which had no discernible effect, “it’s past time for your companions to leave, no matter how energetic they may have been—and please, don’t feel you need to share the details. I’m sure we’ll read all about it in the papers, as usual.” She aimed a chilly smile at him. “Will you do the honors or should I call the royal guard to remove them from the palace?”

“Are you offering to take their place?” Pato asked lazily.

He shifted, and despite herself, Adriana’s gaze dropped to the expanse of his golden-brown chest, sun-kissed and finely honed, long and lean and—

For God’s sake, she snapped at herself. You’ve seen all this before, like everyone else with an internet connection.

She’d even seen the pictures that were deemed too risque for publication, which the palace had gnashed its collective teeth over and which, according to Lenz, had only made his shameless brother laugh. Which meant she’d seen every part of him. But she had never been this close, in person, to Prince Pato in his preferred state of undress.

It was…different. Much different.

When she forced her gaze upward, his expression was far too knowing.

“I like things my way in my bed,” he said, his decadent mouth crooking into something too hot to be any kind of smile. “But don’t worry. I’ll make it worth your while if you follow my rules.”

That crackled in the air, like a shower of sparks.

“I have no interest in your sexual resume, thank you,” Adriana snapped. She hadn’t expected he’d be so potent up close. She’d assumed he’d repulse her—and he did, of course. Intellectually. “And in any case it’s unnecessary, as it’s been splashed on the cover of every tabloid magazine for years.”

He shocked her completely by reaching over and tugging gently on the chic jacket she wore over her favorite pencil skirt. Once, twice, three times—and Adriana simply stood there, stunned. And let him.

By the time she recovered her wits, he’d dropped his hand, and she glanced down to see that he’d unbuttoned her jacket, so that the sides fell away and the silk of her thin pink camisole was the only thing standing between his heated gaze and her skin.

Adriana swallowed. Pato smiled.

“Rule number one,” he said, his husky voice a low rumble that made her wildly beating heart pump even faster. Even harder. “You’re overdressed. I prefer to see skin.”

For a moment, there was nothing but blank noise in her head, and a dangerous heat thick and bright everywhere else.

But then she made herself breathe, forcing one breath and then the next, and cold, sweet reason returned with the flow of oxygen. This was Pato’s game, wasn’t it? This was what he did. And she wasn’t here to play along.

“That won’t work,” she told him coolly, ignoring the urge to cover herself. That was undoubtedly what he thought she’d do, what he wanted her to do before she ran away, screaming, like all the previous staff members Lenz had assigned him over the years. She wasn’t going to be one of them.

His golden eyes danced. “Won’t it? Are you sure?”

“I’m not your brother’s lapdog any longer.” Adriana squared her shoulders and held his gaze, tilting her chin up. “Thanks to your appalling behavior last night, which managed to deeply offend your soon-to-be sister-in-law and her entire family—to say nothing of the entire diplomatic corps— I’m yours until your brother’s wedding.”

If anything, Pato’s eyes were even more like gold then, liquid and scalding. As wicked as he was, and her whole body seemed to tighten from the inside out.

“Really.” He looked at her as if he could eat her in one bite, and would. Possibly right then and there. “All mine?”

Adriana thought her heart might catapult from her chest, and she ignored the curl of heat low in her belly, as golden and liquid as his intent gaze. This is what he does, she reminded herself sternly. He’s trying to unnerve you.

“Please calm yourself,” she said with a dry amusement she wished she felt. “I’m your new assistant, secretary, aide. Babysitter. Keeper. I don’t care what you call me. The job remains the same.”

“I’m not in the market for a lapdog,” Pato said in his lazy way, though Adriana thought something far more alert moved over his face for a scant second before it disappeared into the usual carelessness. “And if by some coincidence I was, I certainly wouldn’t choose a little beige hen who’s made a career out of scowling at me in prudish horror and ruffling her feathers in unspeakable outrage every time I breathe.”

“Not when you breathe. Only when you act. Or open your mouth. Or—” Adriana inclined her head toward his naked torso, which took up far too much of her view, and shouldn’t have affected her at all “—when you fling off your clothes at the slightest provocation, the way other people shake hands.”

“Off you go.” He made a dismissive, shooing sort of gesture with one hand, though his lips twitched. “Run back to my drearily good and noble brother and tell him I eat hens like you for breakfast.”

“Then it’s a pity you slept through breakfast, as usual,” Adriana retorted. “I’m not going anywhere, Your Royal Highness. Call me whatever you like. You can’t insult me.”

“I insulted the easily offended Lissette and all of her family without even trying, or so you claim.” His dark brows arched, invoking all manner of sins. Inviting her to commit them. “Imagine how offensive I could be if I put my mind to it and chose a target.”

“I don’t have to imagine that,” Adriana assured him. “I’m the one who sorted out your last five scandals. This year.”

“Various doctors I’ve never met have made extensive claims in any number of sleazy publications that I’m an adrenaline junkie,” Pato continued, studying her, as if he knew perfectly well that the thing that curled low and tight inside her was brighter now, hotter. More dangerous. “I think that means I like a challenge. Shall we test that theory?”

“I’m not challenging you, Your Royal Highness.” Adriana kept her expression perfectly smooth, and it was much harder than it should have been. “You can’t insult me because, quite honestly, it doesn’t matter what you think of me.”

His lips quirked. “But I am a prince of the realm. Surely your role as subject and member of staff is to satisfy my every whim? I can think of several possibilities already.”

How was he getting to her like this? It wasn’t as if this was the first time they’d spoken, though it was certainly the longest and most unclothed interaction she’d had with the man. It was also the only extended conversation she’d ever had with him on her own. She’d never been the focus of all his attention before, she realized. She’d only been near it. That was the crucial difference, and it hummed in her like an electric current no matter how little she wanted it to. She shook her head at him.

“The only thing that matters is making sure you cease to be a liability to your brother for the next two months. My role is to make sure that happens.” Adriana smiled again, reminding herself that she had dealt with far worse things than an oversexed black sheep prince. That she’d cut her teeth on far more unpleasant situations and had learned a long time ago to keep her cool. Why should this be any different? “And I should warn you, Your Royal Highness. I’m very good at my job.”

“And still,” he murmured, his head tilting slightly to one side, “all I hear is challenge piled upon challenge. I confess, it’s like a siren song to me.”

“Resist it,” she suggested tartly.

He gave her a full smile then, and she had the strangest sense that he was profoundly dangerous, despite his seeming carelessness. That he was toying with her, stringing her along, for some twisted reason of his own. That he was something far more than disreputable, something far less easily dismissed. It was disconcerting—and, she told herself, highly unlikely.

“It isn’t only your brother who wants me here, before you ask,” Adriana said quickly, feeling suddenly as if she was out of her depth and desperate for a foothold. Any foothold. “Your father does, too. He made his wishes very clear to Lenz.”

Adriana couldn’t pinpoint what changed, precisely, as Pato didn’t appear to move. But she felt the shift in him. She could sense it in the same way she knew, somehow, that he was far more predatory than he should have been, standing there naked with a sheet wrapped around his hips and his hair in disarray.

54 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: A Royal Without Rules by Caitlin Crews”

  1. conniefischer

    I love William because I think his mother brought him up to be the next King. I also love Harry because his mother taught him a great sense of humor. Both men would be wonderful rulers. Again, because Princess Diana was the one who taught them!

  2. Kim

    I like them both. Prince Harry seems like the fun one, but Prince William is really modernizing things.

  3. Jackie

    Prince William. He seems a bit more serious and mature, although Harry would be a fun brother-in-law! 🙂

  4. Cindy Hamilton

    Prince Harry, he reminds me more of Diana than William and he has more mischief I think in him!

  5. Sue G.

    I love how real and open Prince William is with his wife. I also love the bad boy side of Prince Harry!

  6. Winnie Lim

    Prince William. I don’t really like wildness in a man especially a high profiled man.

  7. Mary Preston

    Love them both. The family man & the larrikin. If pushed I will say William, by a baby’s length.

  8. Kai W.

    Prince William. He is the responsible brother of the two. He is protective of his wife Kate and now his son.

  9. Christine Merritt

    The heir and the spare… I have to agree with the other comments. You have to love that William has known since childhood that he had a role to play, an image to maintain and I do believe he does it all with such grace to honor his Mum.

    Harry “the spare” – well he just fulfills all the expectations of the “spare”. You have to love that mischievous
    grin and always present twinkle in his eye; however the love and loyalty he shows to his brother makes him so special all on his own.

  10. belindaegreen

    You asked: Who do you like better, Prince William or Prince Harry? Why?

    I like Prince William a little more than Harry only because I like seeing William in love. He is besotted by Kate and now the baby George. His eyes sparkle when he talks about them! He has Diana’s spirit. I like that. Thanks for the opportunity to share.

    Belinda G
    belgre at Comcast dot net

  11. Michelle Huang

    Hmm…tough question to answer. I would have to say, Prince Harry because I like men who like to have fun, just not all the time.

  12. Jamie

    Prince William, because Prince Harry is a red-head and men with red hair do nothing for me. Sorry….

  13. Kim Pinch

    I like them both but I guess I would pick Prince William because of how he has taking on his role but still has fun.

  14. Jennifer Zorko-Legan

    Prince Harry! There is just something about that smirk and the red hair that makes me melt

  15. Texas Book Lover

    I don’t really follow either so no really favorite of the two…I think William is the cuter of the two but Harry is probably the more wild so I could go either way!

  16. Christine L.

    Definitely Wills. Prince Harry conducts himself a bit too wildly for me. Prince William has developed into a fine man, husband, and father whom his country would be proud to have as its king.

  17. Marcy Shuler

    Prince Harry. He’s a bit of a wild child with a good heart. Also I like his ginger hair.

  18. Shirley Buchanan

    They both have some good qualities and I think would be a lot of fun to be around, but I would have to say Prince Harry. He just looks like fun.

  19. shadowluvs2read

    Umm. Is it bad that i dont really care for either? i dont really pay attention to them, not sure what either are really about, but i dont care for them.

  20. Tawnya Bentley

    William for his looks, but Harry a lot more for his “go shove it” attitude he has. And yet he has the biggest heart, just like his mother, not loves to party, assuming he gets that from the chump he has to call dad.

Please leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.