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Passion and the Prince Mass Market Paperback – December 20, 2011


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin (December 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373130414
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373130412
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.5 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,770,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

After reading a serialized Mills & Boon book in a magazine, Penny Jordan quickly became an avid fan! Her goal, when writing romance fiction, is to provide readers with an enjoyment and involvement similar to that she experienced from her early reading – Penny believes in the importance of love, including the benefits and happiness it brings. She works from home, in her kitchen, surrounded by four dogs and two cats, and welcomes interruptions from her friends and family.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Lifting her head from her camera, through which she had been studying a model posing provocatively in matching bra and briefs, Lily recoiled instinctively from the scene in front of her.

Almost naked male and female models—the girls all fragile limbs and pouting mouths, some of them open in conversation, or drinking water through straws so as not to spoil their carefully applied make-up, and the boys with their gym-toned bodies—stood together as they submitted themselves to the attentions of hovering hair and make-up artists. Fingers tapped away on mobile phones, gleaming tanned skin contrasted with the catalogue client's underwear all the models were wearing for the shoot. Heavy beat music boomed out into the small space despite the fact that some of the models were listening to their own iPods.

In other words it was a normal chaotic studio fashion shoot.

'Has that last male model arrived yet?' she asked the hairstylist, who shook her head.

'Well, we can't hold the shoot any longer. We've only got the studio for today. We'll have to use one of the other male models twice.'

'I can spray on some dye that will darken the blond guy's hair, if you like?' the stylist offered, reaching out to steady the rail containing more underwear to be modelled as it swayed dangerously when one of the models pushed past it.

Looking around, Lily felt her heart sink. She had grown up in this world—until she had turned her back on it and walked away—and now she disliked, almost hated it, and all that it represented.

Given free choice, this cramped, shabby studio with its familiar smell—a mix of male pheromones, sweat, female anxiety, cigarettes and illegal substances that seemed to hang invisibly in the air—was the last place she wanted to be.

Edging past a chattering group of models to get to the door, she put down her camera on a nearby table and went to check the pose of the pretty girl with the wary charcoal-grey-eyed gaze, wondering as she did so how many young hopefuls had entered the industry imagining that they would leave with a contract to model in a top fashion magazine only to discover a much seamier side to modelling. Too many.

This kind of shoot was the unglamorous rump end of what it meant to work in fashion, and a world away from money-no-object glossy magazine shoots.

She hadn't wanted to do this. She was here in Milan for a very different purpose. But she had never been able to resist her younger half-brother's pleas for help and he knew it. Rick's mother—her father's second wife—had been very kind to her when she had been young, and she felt that it was her duty now to repay that kindness by helping her half-brother. She couldn't ignore her sense of duty any more than she could ignore all their late father had been.

She had tried her hardest to dissuade Rick from following in their famous and louche father's footsteps, but to no avail. Rick had been determined to become a fashion photographer.

Satisfied with the model's pose, she went back to the camera—only to frown in irritation as the door to the studio swung open, throwing an unwanted shadow across her shot, along with an equally unwanted suit clad male torso. The missing male model had obviously finally arrived—and ruined her shot by stepping into it.

Thoroughly exasperated, she pushed back the shiny swing of her blonde hair and told him, without removing her gaze from her camera, 'You're late—and you're in my shot.'

It was the sudden silence and the stillness that had fallen over the rest of the room that alerted her to the fact that something was wrong. Her senses picked up on it and reacted by sending a quiverful of tiny darts of anxiety skimming along her spine. She stepped back from the camera and looked up—right into the coldly hostile gaze of the man who had just walked in. A tall, dark-haired, broad-shouldered, expensively suited man, whose body language reinforced the same cold hostility she could see in his eyes along with proud disdain. Against her will Lily could feel her eyes widening as she took in the reality of the man confronting her, her pulse beating unsteadily against her skin.

Whoever this man was, he was obviously no model. Even stripped he would be… He would be magnificent, Lily acknowledged, her stomach suddenly hollowing out with a sensation that took her completely off guard. If asked, she would have said—and meant it—that she was inured to male good looks, and that as far as she was concerned sexual attraction was a cruel deceit on the part of Mother Nature, designed to ensure the continuation of the species and best avoided. She had grown up in a world in which beauty and good looks were commodities to be ruthlessly traded and abused, which was why her own beauty was something she chose to downplay.

She intended to be crisp, cool and in control as she queried, 'Yes?' But instead of the apology for ruining her shot and the explanation of his presence she was expecting, she received an even more hostile look of silent, angry contempt that raked her from head to toe.

As yet he hadn't so much as given a sideways look at the scantily clad girls who were now, Lily saw after a look at them herself, all gazing at him. And no wonder, she admitted.

He made the young male models look like the mere boys they were, for all their muscles, but then he was extraordinarily handsome—handsome, but cold. And Lily suspected judgemental. He exuded an air of raw male pride and sensual power, even if there was a grim harshness about his expression that warned her that whatever had brought him here it wasn't going to be good news—for someone. But not her. He couldn't be here for her, so why did his presence have every one of her carefully rigged inner alarm systems breaking into a cacophony of warning?

She was her parents' daughter, Lily reminded herself.

At some level that had to mean she was as vulnerable to that kind of overpowering male sensuality as her mother had been. And just as capable of using her own beauty for commercial exploitation? Lily struggled to repress the feeling that made her shudder—as though against an unwanted male touch. She would never allow herself to repeat her mother's mistakes.

She was here to do a job, she reminded herself, not to give in to her own insecurities.

Whatever had brought him here to this shabby studio it wasn't the prospect of modelling work. His face might be as commanding and as harshly delineated that a hundred thousand ancient Roman coins might have been struck in its patrician and imposing image. It might be the kind of face that could lead vast armies of men into war and entice any number of women into bed. But it was a face that currently bore an expression of such cutting contempt that if it was captured on camera it was more likely to send prospective buyers running for cover than rushing out to buy what he was supposed to be modelling.

Was he going to say anything to break the pool of tense silence he had created?

Lily took a deep breath, and repeated determinedly, 'Yes?'

Another ice-cold look. The man must be close to inhuman, removed from the emotional vulnerabilities that affected the rest of the human race, not to be affected by the tension she could almost feel humming on the air.

'You are the one responsible for this?'

His voice was quieter than she had expected, but redolent with the same power as his presence and grimly harsh.

Lily gave the studio and the models a brief concerned glance. He was obviously here on a hostile mission of complaint of some kind, and since she was standing in for her half-brother she knew that she was obliged to agree.

'Yes.'

'There's something I want to say to you—in private.'

A rustle of reaction ran through the room. Lily wanted to tell him that there was nothing he could possibly have to say to her, and certainly not in private, but there was a nagging suspicion at the back of her mind that her half-brother might have done something to provoke this man's anger.

'Very well,' she conceded. 'But you will have to make whatever you want to say brief. As you can see, I'm in the middle of a shoot.'

The look of blistering contempt he gave her made Lily take a step back from him, before reluctantly moving forward through the door he was holding open for her. Out of old-fashioned good manners, or more in the manner of a guard determined not to allow his prisoner to escape?

The studio was in an old building, its door sturdy enough to block out the speculative questions Lily knew would be being asked by all the models and stylists inside it. She stood on the small landing at the top of the stairs that led to the studio, keeping as close to the door as she could.

At such close quarters to him there was nowhere to escape to—he was blocking her exit via the stairs by standing next to them.

'Call me old-fashioned and sexist,' he told her, 'but somehow finding that it is a woman who is procuring young flesh for others and profiting financially by doing so is even more abhorrent and repellent than a man doing the same thing. And you are such a woman, aren't you? You are a woman who lives off the vanity and foolishness of others, feeding them with false hope and empty dreams.'

Lily stared at him in disbelief. Revulsion filled her at the accusation he had made, accompanied by shock that he should have made it. The thought crossed her mind that he might be some kind of deranged madman—only to be squashed by the message from her senses that this was a man who was perfectly sane.

She pushed her hand into her hair a habitual gesture of insecurity and told him shakily, 'I don't know what all this is about, but I think you must have made a mistake.'

'You're a photographer who seeks out vulnerable young idiots with the promise of a glamorous modelling career that you know is all too likely to destroy ...

Customer Reviews

2.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ann B. Keller on October 28, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Prince Marco di Lucchesi finds Lily Wrightington in the middle of a photo shoot, surrounded by scantily clad models, one of whom was supposed to be his nephew. He draws the obvious conclusion and his disdain for her is palpable.

Unfortunately, fate throws Marco and Lily together again, since he is the one designated to show her around some of the breathtaking palazzos of Italy. Marco tries to resist Lily's charms, but is puzzled by her apparent interaction with Anton, a man old enough to be her father. In reality, Lily lives in fear that Anton will make good on the threat he made to claim her innocence so many years ago. Is there nowhere she can be safe?

This story could have been a little better. At times, there was so much description that the storyline lost its luster. I could imagine a verbal contest of wills far more easily than the slow burn.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mille Regan on April 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this book having seen the RT rating and am very disappointed. Neither characters motivations were believable and they both seemed so angst ridden they needed therapy not romance.both behaved in ridiculous manner unlike any real human would and the hero was not at all likeable. I loved Penny Jordan in the 80s but styles have moved on and I felt like I was reading a book written in the style current in 1978 not 2013. Read about half and couldn't go on so flicked to the end. Oh dear. What are the reviewers at RT thinking?
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By romancereader on January 12, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The hero was such a dud. Because of something that happened to him when he was 18, he decided on the spot to dislike and distrust the heroine. There was no real believable tension between them and yet they suddenly fell in love after almost no interaction or dialogue! Horrible!
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Passion and the Prince
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