Book of the week

A Royal Ruse


Ellie Finch

*Finalist in the 2020 Independent Author Network Book of the Year Award for LGBTQ Fiction and Non-Fiction*

What’s the only Christmas surprise better than a prince in disguise? Two of them.
Even though Christmas is fast-approaching, Prince Alaister is having trouble getting into the holiday spirit. A member of Parliament has been stealing and laundering public funds, and Alaister can’t rest until he solves the crime. When he tracks the stolen money from his country, Alstadia, through the Caribbean, all the way to a sleepy little town in New England, he knows he needs to follow the lead. So he books himself a holiday trip to America.

The town of Yuletide, Maine is a veritable winter wonderland, full of Christmas-themed shops, light displays, and cookie baking contests. Since no one knows he is a prince, it is tempting to dive into the celebrations. But Alaister is not here to celebrate; he is here to investigate. Which becomes difficult when he meets Ama, a handsome commoner visiting the town…or so he thinks.

But Ama is not a tourist on a Christmas vacation. He is Prince Jean-Michel Amadou Musa Des Rois, younger brother to the King of Port des Rois, a small island nation in the Caribbean. Like Alaister, Amadou has come to Yuletide following threads of corruption. An international company is laundering money through his country, and he wants to find out why. Both men are clever in their investigations, but their efforts thwart each other in a comedy of errors as their identities get tangled and their intentions get steamy.

It will take a Christmas miracle to untangle this royal ruse!

Content Note: This book contains explicit sexual content and mature language. This book contains depiction and discussion of depression/seasonal affective disorder, which may be sensitive for some readers.

Buy for only 99c / 77p at Amazon US / UK 


Thin and breathy, Alaister moaned and attacked Ama’s mouth with another rough kiss. Ama’s chin burned from the rub of late-evening stubble on both of them. With shaking, darting hands, Alaister clawed at his chest, fingernails digging into his muscles, until he found the buttons on the front of Ama’s coat.

Undid them.

Ama helped him shove the fabric off his shoulders and then did the same to Alaister.

One layer down.

Several more to go.

Ama didn’t mind.

They had all night.

They had the next two days.

The thought made him impossibly happy, and he laughed into the kiss.

Without breaking apart, Alaister pushed and shoved, maneuvered them out of the foyer and into the dark living room. Ama bumped into the end table. Something clattered to the floor. Didn’t matter. They kept kissing.

Until Alaister pulled them apart.

For a moment, dazed and breathless, Ama followed with his lips quivering. Needy. It zapped through him, the feel of Alaister all around him like static electricity.

“Lights.” Alaister whispered. “Get the lights on.”

Ama reached for the switch on the wall.

Alaister stopped him, laughing. “No, no, not those. The tree. The Christmas lights.”

“Are you sure?”

“I’m feeling festive. This will only happen once. Don’t question, just go with it.”

Ama kissed him again, then broke apart and went to the tree. When he crouched down to find the cord and plug in the tree lights, his hands shook. He missed the outlet twice. Got it on.

The room filled with a golden glow. It brightened a little more when Alaister found and plugged in the strands of twinkle lights on the ceiling, the lights incorporated into the wreaths and garlands.

The effect was soft and magical.

In the middle of the room, with Christmas lights twinkling all around him, Alaister watched Ama with a quiet look. A fond look. Real and unguarded.

He took off his Santa hat and threw it somewhere behind him, and it was only when he did that Ama remembered he was also wearing one. He did the same.

Then, slow and deliberate, making sure Ama’s eyes were locked onto him, Alaister dragged his hand to the hem of his shirt. He cocked a smirk. It grew into a smile when Ama, unblinking and eager, watched him hungrily.

Buy for only 99c / 77p at Amazon US / UK