A Prince of a Guy Read online

  “Did you mean it?” Carly asked

  Sean bent to the task of changing his flat tire, only then realizing she’d followed him into the pouring rain when he’d left the car. “Mean what?”

  “About this being just the beginning…” Her eyes were huge, her body taut with…nerves?

  “I meant it,” he said with an ease that no longer startled him. “Now go stay warm in the car.”

  Instead, she went down on her knees in the dirt beside him, reaching out to stroke away a strand of wet hair from his eyes. “You look very sexy all wet, Sean O’Mara.”


  “Oh, yeah.” She bit her full lower lip and Sean promptly dropped the jack.

  “If I help with the tire,” she whispered in his ear, “we’ll get done faster, which would leave us at least a couple of hours’ darkness left to do…well, whatever we please.”

  Sean broke the world record changing the tire, with Carly’s soft laughter egging him on.

  “My, my,” she crooned, handing him the wrench. “A man who can use his tools. I like that.”

  Dear Reader,

  So how many times did you dream of being a princess? Come on, tell me true. I did. Often. Especially when I was little, but mostly that was because I wanted the tiara. As I grew up, the tiara took a back seat to getting Prince Charming. In A Prince of a Guy, my heroine, a princess in her own right, wants Prince Charming, too, but she wants him to be a “normal” guy and look at her as if she’s a “normal” woman. She gets a whole lot more than that when love enters the fray!

  I’m honored to be kicking off RED-HOT ROYALS for Harlequin, and hope you enjoy the entire series, including my 2-in-1 ROYAL DUETS in October!

  Happy reading,

  Jill Shalvis

  P.S. You can write me at www.jillshalvis.com or P.O. Box 3945, Truckee, CA 96160-3945.

  Books by Jill Shalvis














  Jill Shalvis


  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15


  IT TOOK Sean O’Mara a full five minutes to realize he was being taken advantage of, maybe six. His only defense was that he’d worked until past midnight and it was barely five in the morning, leaving him bleary-eyed and bewildered.

  “You’re…what?” he asked again slowly, trying to make sense of the whirlwind that had barged into his house.

  “I’m going to England for two weeks.” His sister deposited her four-year-old daughter, Melissa, on the floor of the foyer where Sean stood. The little girl immediately vanished into his kitchen. His sister vanished, too, only to return twice, each time with a huge load from her car.

  Not a good sign. “England?” he asked, getting less groggy by the passing minute.

  “Yep.” She said this as if it was only across the street from his Santa Barbara, California home, instead of across the globe.

  “I can’t tell you how much your help means to me, Sean.” She staggered beneath an armful. “Melissa’ll be no trouble, I promise, and I’ll finish the design job ASAP.”

  Melissa, no trouble? Ha! That had to be some sort of oxymoron. Exhaustion was quickly replaced by a gnawing sense of urgency to talk his sister out of this. He couldn’t be responsible for a child for two long weeks, he just couldn’t. He had work, he had a life…okay, maybe not a life outside of work, but he did have work, plenty of it.

  Besides, and most importantly here, he had no idea how to care for a kid.

  “Oh, and don’t forget,” Stacy warned. “She still needs a little help in the bathroom with the, um, paperwork.”

  “What? Wait a sec.” He rubbed his temples. He yawned. He stretched, but he didn’t wake up in his own bed, which meant he wasn’t dreaming. “You can’t just leave her here.”

  “Why not? You’re responsible. You know how to cook. You’re kind. Well, mostly. What could go wrong?”

  “Anything! Everything!” He struggled for proof and hit the jackpot right in front of him. “I can’t even keep goldfish,” he said earnestly. “They die. Look.” He pointed to the ten-gallon glass aquarium sitting on a table in the entranceway. Empty. “I forget to feed them. So really, that knocks out both the responsible and the kind thing all in one shot.”

  Stacy’s smile was indulgent. “You’re going to be fine. Oh, and don’t forget to put the toilet seat down or she’ll…go fishing.”

  “But…” Sean craned his neck to peek into his kitchen. On the floor sat a sweet-looking, innocent-seeming child of four years.

  He knew better.

  Melissa, no matter how golden-curled, was no innocent. She could create a mess faster than he could blink. In her short lifetime, she’d bitten him three times, cut his hair twice—without permission—and peed on his bed only fifteen minutes before a hot date.

  The little monster in question, the one who would be no trouble, looked right at him and smiled guilelessly…as she tipped her sipper cup upside down, shaking grape juice all over both her and the clean floor.

  The ensuing purple sticky splatters caused her to giggle uproariously.

  Fear curled in Sean’s belly. “I’ve got work,” he said to Stacy, sounding desperate even to his own ears. But children weren’t his thing. He was an architect. He ran his own business, which meant on a good day he put in fourteen hours minimum.

  Not surprisingly, he came from a long line of workaholics. Both his grandfather and father had been attorneys, great ones, but they’d never spent any time with their children, which was one of the reasons Sean didn’t have any.

  He had no intention of neglecting his children—if he ever had any. Work was everything to him, and so was being the best at what he did.

  He could hardly be the best child minder when he had no experience.

  “News flash,” Stacy said. “You work too darn hard.”

  “I like my work.”

  “Uh-huh. And we all know it.” Her eyes softened with affection. “When was the last time you had a day off?”

  “Well…” He couldn’t remember exactly, but thought it had probably been about two years ago when his ex-fiancée had nearly destroyed him.

  “I’m doing you a favor, Seany, you’ll see. Melissa will show you how wonderful life is, or how it could be if you’d only slow down for a moment and take a deep breath. As it is now, you wouldn’t know how to enjoy life if it bit you on the tush.”

  It didn’t take a rocket scientist to know he was losing this battle. “But—”

  “Just try it, Sean. Do a puzzle. Color in a coloring book. It’s a terrific stress reliever.”

  Color in a coloring book? Sean shuddered at the thought, but there was something to his sister’s voice beyond the coaxing. Something…desperate? “Stace? What’s really the matter here?”

  She ignored the question, put her hands on her hips, blew a tuft of hair from her eyes and surveyed the mountain of gear she’d deposited. “Portable bed. Sipper cups. Clothes for an assortment of weather and