Sunday, July 08, 2007
Princess Australia by Nicola Marsh
|ANSWER the question at the bottom of this post for a chance to win a print copy of Princess Australia signed by Nicola Marsh|
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
As a girl, I dreamed of being a journalist and travelling the world in search of the next big story. Instead, I chose a career in the health industry while honing my writing skills with a daily entry into a “not-so-secret” journal. I thrived on reading Mills and Boon novels, filling my head with romantic ideals and larger than life heroes.
Luckily, I have had the opportunity to travel the world but my dream to write was never far from my mind. I worked as a physiotherapist for thirteen years before getting tired of saying “I’m going to write a book one day”. I finally took action and started writing in late 2001. Once I started, I couldn’t stop and have completed over 20 novels of varying length since!
I currently write for Harlequin Romance and Modern Extra Sensual series and love it.
I live in Melbourne with my gorgeous family. When I’m not writing, I love sharing fine food and wine with friends and family, going to the movies and my favourite, curling up with a good book!
Visit her website at www.nicolamarsh.com
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Italian prince…ordinary girl!
Natasha Telford is an everyday, hardworking Australian girl.
Dante Andretti is gorgeous, charming… and a prince!
They couldn’t be more different. But Dante needs Natasha’s help. For a little while he wants to be Dante the man – not Dante the prince, with all its privileges and duties! Natasha is just the ordinary girl to show him around town. And maybe she has what it takes to be his extraordinary princess!
"I want a crate of soda, a monster bowl of hot chips and a triple layered choc fudge banana split sundae. Got that? And make it snappy!"
Natasha Telford glared at the back of Australia's youngest pop star as he strutted towards the lift after snapping his order at her, surreptitiously squeezing a stress ball under the concierge's desk while wishing she could rip a few more slashes into the upstart's trendy torn T shirt.
How old Harvey did this job on a daily basis she'd never know.
As a kid growing up in Telford Towers, she'd thought the concierge had the most glamorous job in the world. Until this week when she'd had to fill-in while Harvey had his hip replacement. Giving polite tourists directions to Melbourne's famous sites she could handle. It was the sulky, rude, demanding famous-especially young punks barely out of school!-she could politely strangle.
Speaking of famous, the Prince of Calida was due any second and she cast a quick, assessing look around the lobby, ensuring everything was in place. The demanding little snot of a pop star could wait for his sundae. She had a bigger guy to impress, namely Dante Andretti, the soon to be crowned monarch of the tiny principality off Italy's west coast if the info she'd gleaned off the Net was accurate.
The lobby looked perfect from its polished marble floor to gleaming brass-trimmed check-in desk, its plush chocolate brown sofas and muted antique lamps with the stunning floral bouquets they ordered on a daily basis arranged strategically throughout.
Natasha smiled, infused with the same pride she experienced every day she entered the Towers. She loved this place. Every last square inch of it and she'd do anything to make sure it stayed in the family. Anything.
"So when's His Uptightness due?"
Natasha's smile broadened as she whirled around and came face to face with Ella Worchester, her best friend.
"Don't call him that. He's probably a really nice guy," she said, rearranging a pile of maps, a box of theatre tickets and a credenza of tourist flyers for the umpteenth time. Her nerves were working overtime and if the prince didn't arrive soon, she'd go into serious meltdown.
Ella rolled her eyes and stuck her ink-stained hands in the pockets of her low-slung denim hipsters. "Yeah, I bet he's a real prince."
She ignored Ella's cynicism as she usually did. Right now, a prince was exactly what she needed; or more accurately, what the Towers needed.
"Do you know much about him?"
Not enough. And that's what had her worried.
Usually, she knew everything about the VIPs staying at the hotel. It was her job. In this case, even more vital than usual. Telford Towers needed the Prince's presence; like yesterday.
Natasha shrugged. "Only what I've gleaned off the Net which isn't much. There was a whole heap of geographical stuff about Calida, a tiny bit about the royal family and that's about it."
"Is he cute?" Ella stuck out a slender hip in a provocative pose and Natasha laughed.
"Couldn't tell much from the pic on the website. Too small."
"You wouldn't be holding out on me by any chance?" Ella's teasing tone elicited more laughter and Natasha held up her hands in surrender.
"Give me a break. From what I could see, the guy was trussed up like a turkey in some fancy-schmancy uniform, had his hair slicked back in army fashion and looked like he couldn't crack a smile if his life depended on it. There, satisfied?"
Though there was one thing that had stood out in the Prince's picture.
Beautiful clear blue eyes that leapt off her computer screen and imprinted on her brain.
She'd always had a thing for guys' eyes, believing in the whole 'windows to the soul' thing. Pity she hadn't read the real motivation behind Clay's eyes. Would've saved her a lot of heartache and would've avoided putting her family in the insidious position of losing the one thing that meant everything courtesy of her greedy ex.
"Well, don't let him boss you around, okay? You're only filling in for Harvey, doesn't mean you have to take anyone's crap, prince uptight or not."
Natasha squeezed Ella's hand. "The prince is important for business and I'll treat him like I treat the rest of the customers. With respect, care and-"
"Yeah, yeah. Save the spiel for someone who hasn't heard it a million times before." Ella held up her hand though her fond grin underlined the lack of malice in her words. "Now, if you don't mind, I have a gardening column to write and a few more botanical drawings to do before lunch."
"Coffee at Trevi's, usual time?" By then, she'd definitely need a caffeine hit.
"Sounds great. See you at five."
Ella gave her a cheeky wave and sauntered away, a slim, tall figure in head to toe denim with her short, shaggy auburn bob swinging in sync with her steps.
Her best friend was stunning, enjoyed life and had energy to burn while she felt like a worn washcloth wrung dry. Stress did that to a person, the type of stress that dogged her every waking moment and unfortunately most of her sleeping ones too. Little wonder she looked so pale next to her vibrant friend.
Glancing at her gold and silver link watch, the one her dad had given her for her twenty-first and years before money became a problem for them, she wondered why the prince was late. Most of the VIPs she usually dealt with had their itineraries scheduled to the last second and she assumed royalty would be more pedantic than most.
Especially a prince who looked like he couldn't crack a smile if that tiny pic on the Net had been any indication.
At that moment, a gleaming black Harley roared to a stop outside the front door and Natasha nibbled nervously on her bottom lip, hoping Alan the doorman would get the noisy thing valet parked ASAP. First impressions counted and she desperately needed to make this one count with the prince.
After another nervous glance at her watch and more subtle rearranging of the tourist brochures stacked on the concierge desk, she glanced up in time to see the Harley's rider stride through the glass doors.
And her mouth went dry.
The guy looked like a walking advertisement for Bad Boys Inc. Tall, over six foot, with broad shoulders hugged in soft, grey cotton, long lean legs encased in faded denim, black wavy hair mussed by a helmet and a gusty southerly Melbourne wind and a bone structure that could've been chiselled by one of the Italian masters.
Natasha took a deep breath, closed her eyes and tried to refocus. What on earth was she doing? So the guy looked like every woman's fantasy come to life? Since when did she have time to ogle guys let alone lose her concentration on the job?
Especially at a time like this!
Mentally slapping herself for letting her long dormant hormones get the better of her in that one, glorious moment when he strode into the foyer, she exhaled and opened her eyes, ready to march out onto the street and haul the prince into her hotel the minute his limo pulled up.
Being antsy was getting the better of her and making her think all sorts of crazy things like how much she'd like to walk up to the sexy bad boy and ask in her best sultriest voice, 'can I help you?'
He saved her the trouble.
"I need your help."
Natasha quickly smoothed her cuff over her watch-she really had to stop glancing at it every five seconds-and fixed her professional welcoming smile in place. However, her smile froze when she looked up and locked gazes with the bad boy.
Clear blue eyes.
Almost aquamarine, the mesmerising colour of the Great Barrier Reef on a sunny day.
A colour imprinted in her memory banks considering it was the only stand out feature she could remember from the prince's fuzzy picture.
"Miss Telford, is it?"
The bad boy glanced at her name tag before returning his gaze to her face. A face flushed with heat at the realisation that she really must be losing the plot if she thought for one second that this scruffy, wind-tossed guy could be the prince of Calida.
She really needed a day off to unwind. Badly.
4 stars: "Princess Australia is a charming story of strength and conviction, with a hero and heroine that must trust each other before they can really appreciate their unique relationship. I loved Dante and Natasha, their stumbling around trying to trust each other without either knowing it and then having someone try to destroy their budding romance without a care in the world, it made me want to knock the offending party out. I enjoyed reading about this relationship, even when they were both pigheaded and the ending was a tender way to cement their romance. Ms. Marsh is a skilled author and leaves me staggered with her writings because Princess Australia is a feel good, happily ever after story that I want too."
- Cataromance Review
4 stars: The upcoming stay of Dante Andretti, the Prince of Calida, is supposed to be a publicity bonanza for the failing Telford Towers Hotel, so substitute concierge Natasha Telford is dismayed when he arrives alone, requesting anonymity. Natasha reluctantly agrees but makes a mutually beneficial deal with Dante: She'll help with his personal business if he'll allow her to capitalize on the rest of his visit. But falling in love isn't part of the bargain -- Natasha's recovering from a costly relationship, and Dante's a future king. The plot of Nicola Marsh's Princess Australia (4) has certain familiar aspects, but the delicious hero and sparkling dialogue more than compensate.
- Catherine Witmer, Romantic Times Review
Princess Australia by Nicola Marsh
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Edition: Mass market paperback
Publication Date: June 2007
$3.99 from Amazon
Purchase Princess Australia by Nicola Marsh HERE!!
Question: "Which suburb of Melbourne is Princess Australia based in?"
Answer can be found at: www.nicolamarsh.com/prince.html
Send your answer to: email@example.com with "Nicola Marsh contest" in the subject line. Then comment on this post to let me know you've sent your answer. Good luck!