An American Cinderella

An American Cinderella

By:  Krista Lakes  Ongoing
Language: English
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“I’d give up my whole kingdom to be with you. I want to be your Prince Charming.” Aria has a big heart but bigger problems. Her whole life is a mess thanks to her controlling stepmother. But when she’s knocked over- literally- by the hottest man she’s ever had the pleasure of tangling up her body with, everything changes. Henry Prescott, second-string rugby player for the Paradisa Royals, is funny, sweet, charming, and oh-so-sexy. He’s got a rock hard body and tackles her in bed as fiercely as he tackled her in the park. Knowing nothing about rugby, but absolutely intoxicated by his accent, she finds herself falling for him. There’s only one problem: Henry Prescott doesn’t exist. The man she thinks she loves is actually Prince Henry, second in line for the throne of the nation of Paradisa. He’s the man who Aria’s entire department has to impress for trade relations. And that makes Aria’s stepmother’s plans even more dangerous. He’s the man who could destroy her world or make all her dreams come true. He lied about being a prince… did he also lie about being in love? NYT Bestseller Krista Lakes brings you this brand new sweet-and-sexy royal romance. This standalone novel will have you cheering for an American princess’s happily ever after.

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2022-06-17 05:55:28
40 Chapters
Chapter One
My ID badge didn't scan. Instead of the pleasant chirp and green light I was expecting, there was a loud angry beep and a red light. I swiped it again, but the light just stayed red. “Ma'am?” The security guard walked up to the building’s turnstiles and raised his eyebrows at me. I held up my badge, showing him that it was real. I really was supposed to be in the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, DC. I was an aide here to Senator Glenn. I had been for the last three weeks. “I don't know why it's not working,” I told the guard as he took it from me. “It was fine yesterday.” The guard shrugged, and turned it in his hands, inspecting it from every angle. “You're probably fired.” I took a step back. Being a senator's aide was my dream job and I was really good at it. “There's no way that's what happened,” I informed the guard. “If you can contact Senator Glenn's office, they'll tell you I'm supposed to be here.” The guard didn't return my badge and he didn't move to cal
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Chapter Two
I stared at my reflection in the empty bathroom of the closest Starbucks. I always thought that I would only ever be in here to pick up the Senator's coffee, but here I was jobless and coffee-less.I scrubbed at my cheeks, trying to wipe the tear marks clean. My eyes were bloodshot, the brown dark against the red. My mascara was long gone at this point.I threw my straight dark hair up into a ponytail and evaluated myself in the mirror.“You look awful,” I told my reflection. I sighed and closed my eyes. “Get it together,” I told myself. “You're better than this.”I took a deep breath. I would survive this. I would make this work to my advantage. Even if I didn't know how yet, I was going to make sure I didn't fail. I'd worked too hard to get here to just let it all go.But first, I was going to get a coffee. Since I didn't have a job anymore, I could at least sit in the cheerful cafe and enjoy a caffeinated sugary drink. I had to make this day better somehow, and a vanilla latte with
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Chapter Three
I was just standing there, minding my own business, reminiscing about my father, when a body came hurtling out of nowhere and knocked me over.I sat on the grass, dazed and confused as to how I went from standing to sitting without meaning to. I tried to move, but my legs were tangled up with someone else's feet.“Are you all right?” the person tangled up with me asked. He had a slight European accent to his words, making him sound educated, even if he was clumsy.“I think so,” I said slowly, pulling my legs out from under his. Nothing seemed to be broken or too badly bruised. “Are you okay?”“Yes, I'm fine,” he assured me, rising to his feet. “I am so very sorry, miss.”He held out a hand to help me up. I looked up and into the most handsome face I think I've ever seen. His hair was golden with just enough red to glint in the sun and he looked down at me with ocean eyes. His jaw was strong and his shoulders were broad in a t-shirt and gym shorts. I took his hand, feeling my heart spe
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Chapter Four
The rest of the journey to the office was uneventful. No random strangers collided with me and I didn’t fall to the ground. The entire way, I did think of Henry, though. His easy smile seemed to stay with me even after he was gone from sight.I secretly hoped he would run into me again.The Winder Building sat regally on the corner of the street. Painted white, the second level wore wrought iron balconies that gave it an almost Southern charm. As much as I disliked the fact that I was unwillingly returning to my roots, I did like the building. It was from the time of the Civil War and radiated history.I walked up to the heavy wooden door, took a deep breath, and stepped inside. I had been here a million times, yet I felt as nervous as my first time. It felt like stepping back seven years in my life to my very first day. I’d worked as an office assistant here for three years while I got my degree. I thought I would never be back except as a visitor.“They told me you were coming, but
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Chapter Five
Due to the complexities of government work, it took me hours to fill out all the paperwork despite having worked for this office before. I ate a lunch out of the vending machines, knowing that if I left, I might not come back. The forms were typical government bureaucracy at its best. The sun already crept ominously toward the horizon as I left the office and headed to the rich area of town.It was time to see my stepmother about today.It took a metro train and a bus to get to her house, but I made it there just as the sun crested the horizon. Long dark shadows filled the streets. It would be a long ride home into the city, but I knew my stepmother wasn’t going to have this conversation over the phone.My stepmother lived in a nice neighborhood with good schools and beautiful churches. The homes regularly went for well over six million, due to the proximity to downtown DC. It was a very affluent and politically important area.My father had never lived here. This was the house she bo
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Chapter Six
I wore my favorite dark gray slacks and cream colored silk top for my first day back at my old job. Just because I was going back in time didn’t mean I had to dress like it. Besides, wearing something that made me feel professional and attractive would at least make the day start out better.Gus greeted me warmly as I walked in the front door.“Good morning, Aria,” he said, smiling at me.“Good morning, Gus.”“If you get hungry later, the missus made banana bread. I’m happy to share.”I’d forgotten how good Mrs. Gus’s banana bread was. It was almost reason enough to come work here on its own. Today was already a better day than yesterday.“That sounds great. Thank you.”He just grinned and waved me on to the stairs so I could go up and start my work.I stopped by Jaqui’s office and said hello. She showed me where I was working and gave me the password to the WiFi in the building.“Here’s your work space,” Jaqui said, bringing me to a small office on the top floor. It was already warme
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Chapter Seven
He grinned and it lit up the room. My stomach fluttered and I could feel a blush heat my cheeks. How in the world was I going to make it through an entire meal feeling this flustered? It felt like a first date.I was suddenly really glad I had worn my favorite work outfit. It was close enough to first date clothing that I didn’t feel under-dressed. I at least knew that I looked good today.He offered me his arm and I felt like a true lady as he escorted me out of the building.“Have her back in two hours, young man!” Gus called out after us, his arms crossed and expression grumpy. I loved him for it.A lovely spring day awaited us outside. I’d been cooped up in my office scanning documents and hadn’t realized how beautiful it was out. The sun was warm, contrasting the cool breeze that threatened rain later.Henry pulled out a ball-cap with a large blue R embroidered on it and pulled it down over his hair. He looked almost like a different person with it on, but he at least had the sun
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Chapter Eight
“Do you want to eat outside?” Henry asked as we waited. “It’s warm today, but we can eat inside if it’s too cold.”“Outside is wonderful. It’s been so warm. It feels like a shame not to enjoy the nice weather.”He nodded and picked up the tray with our sandwiches and deftly carried it out to the patio. We sat under an umbrella, but still in the sunshine. The slight breeze was just cool enough I was glad I wore long sleeves. Summer was on its way, but not here yet.He balanced the tray on one hand and carefully settled the plates on the table.“You must have done this before,” I teased him as he settled into his chair. He frowned slightly and I pointed to the plates. “The plates. Were you a waiter?”He chuckled. “No, just lots of watching others. And natural grace, of course.”I giggled as he winked at me. “Natural grace, huh? Just like how you ran into me was graceful?”“If you were paying attention, you would have noticed that it was a perfect tackle. My coach would have been proud,”
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Chapter Nine
I led the way to the famous monuments, walking along the streets of Washington DC, hand in hand. I tried not to focus on how his very touch heated my entire being. I kept sneaking glances over at him as we walked, unsure if this was really happening.“Where are we going?” he asked as we skirted around a group of tourists. He smiled as he said it, his steps confident and matching mine. I got the feeling he didn’t care where we were actually going, as long as it was with me.I definitely felt the same way.“I thought I’d show you the Reflecting Pool,” I replied. It wasn’t far from the restaurant, and it was always beautiful. We just had to walk south in almost in a straight line and we’d hit a lot of the famous tourist sights along the way.“That sounds wonderful,” he replied, squeezing my hand. I liked that he hadn’t let go of it, even though it was making my heart beat in funny patterns. I never wanted him to let go.We walked along, making comfortable small talk. I played tour guide,
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Chapter Ten
I could feel his smile against my lips when we both pulled back long enough to breathe. Despite barely moving, I was breathless.“Wow,” I whispered, not sure of what else to say. The sun shone brighter. The sky was bluer. Even the tourists walking past seemed to smile more.His hand was still in my hair, holding me close to him. I never wanted him to let me go. I wanted to stay right here with him. Or anywhere with him, really. I just wanted him.He grinned and leaned back over and kissed me again. The second was just as powerful as the first, except I was ready for it this time. My hands went to his chest, feeling the firm muscles under his shirt as I moved my hands under his jacket.I wanted more. I closed my eyes and enjoyed the thrill of kissing under the trees in the sunshine. It was something out of a love story my mother used to read to me.“We have to get you back,” he whispered between kisses.I knew he was right. My two hours had to be up by now, but I didn’t want to go back
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