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Author Signed: Romancing the Seas

Author Signed: Romancing the Seas

Two Books, One Price

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“This was giving me Pirates of the Caribbean vibes!” - Reader ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Chapter One Look Inside

Georgette Harrington looked out at the rolling seas. She inhaled the salty breeze as it washed over her, whipping her curls back. Though the skies were clear, she did not fancy the look of the ominous green tinge creeping across the horizon.

She felt restless. And as a flock of seagulls honked overhead and she knew she wasn’t the only living soul sensing the unsettling change in the wind.

Something untoward was coming to Port Harbor. She rubbed the goosebumps on her arms in a vain attempt to soothe them. It did nothing to slow her quickened heartrate.

Prince Edward’s blue eyes moved to her slender hands and a tight crease formed between his tidy brows. “Are you well, my lady?” he asked, his voice full of concern. “Perhaps we should return to the palace.”

Georgette dropped her hands. The hairs on the back of her bare neck were up now, but she forced a refined smile. “There is no need, Your Majesty, I am but a little excited about the ball, is all.”

She glanced at Rose, the maiden walking three paces behind them. She had drawn the short straw to be their chaperone. 

Georgette knew that there were numerous duties her maids would prefer over the tedium of walking three paces behind herself and the Prince. She wondered what it must be like for Rose and the other girls, having to pretend to not hear their every word even as they listened for orders and kept a hawk’s eye on the Prince’s body language.

As though her thoughts had triggered a reaction, Rose uttered a short, sharp gasp. Georgette realized why a second later, when the Prince’s royal jacket was suddenly being draped around her shoulders. His body heat flooded her with a comforting warmth that competed with the heat flooding her cheeks. The Prince had just taken off his royal garments for her sake. 

Their eyes met and he held her gaze for a long moment. “You are trembling,” he said finally. Georgette’s heartbeat slowed and she simply stared, lost in the depth of his ocean blue eyes. She soon recovered herself.

“Your Royal Highness,” she demurred, lowering her eyes. “You are too kind.” 

“I must enquire as to when you will call me Edward, my lady. On our wedding night, perhaps?” Prince Edward asked, his lips lifting into a smile. Georgette bit against a grin as she heard Rose’s breathing quicken. If the Prince were to carry on talking on this matter, she feared her maid would faint.

Georgette stepped back a little to ease the tension rising between them. The inside of the Prince’s jacket was filled with his scent. As she moved, his perfume wafted up and enveloped her. She took a deep breath. “I shall call you by name the day you address me by mine.”

Prince Edward took her hands by the fingertips and gave her a wanting look. “Miss Georgette, then.” 

He stood too close to be proper, but he seemed to have forgotten his manners in the moment.

His face hovered mere inches away from hers. Georgette was able to admire every angle of it. There was much to admire. Georgette considered him handsome, to be sure. He sported clean shaven cheeks and jaws, with smooth, dark hair tied back with a piece of ribbon. Everything about his appearance was meticulously clean. Even his teeth were unusually straight, probably not daring to be out of line.

She thought him a fine man indeed. Prince Edward; captain of the Royal British Navy and heir to the throne.

To be matched with a prince was in Georgette’s destiny long before she had reached adulthood. Her father, Lord Harrington, was a good friend of the King, and though Prince Edward was almost a decade her senior, it had been decided that Georgette would marry the Prince when she came of age.

Georgette never questioned it. Having no mother nor siblings, she wanted to please her father and make him proud. The man had endured enough heartache to last a thousand lifetimes, and Georgette was not interested in causing any further pain.

She was raised by the Governess, who taught her all the manners and customs of being a lady in 18th century England. 

She took music lessons, and became quite skilled at the piano. On more than one occasion, the Governess had referred to her needlework as “impressive.”

She could even tolerate sitting with her ankles crossed in a tight corset for six hours straight without having to be excused; a most important skill for royal life. 

Georgette was ready to be a princess of England. She only hoped that she could do her duty to bear the Prince a healthy son.

That, and ignore the substantial pull of the sea. 

They’d lost her mother to the sea when Georgette was just a baby. She’d reluctantly left Georgette behind, and died in a storm on the sea while sailing to France. Since then, her father had forbidden Georgette from ever going near the water. Still, she often found herself gazing upon the ocean from her balcony, daydreaming about a life away from the pressures and responsibilities placed upon her. She’d often see sailboats and all manner of ships come and go from the port, and long for the freedom to sail away into the great blue horizon.

Prince Edward and Georgette began their courtship on her twenty-first birthday. 

All her years of preparation were finally coming to good use, but the Prince seemed set on throwing it all away out here on the palace grounds. He had her hands in a grip as strong as a vice, and she could hear his breaths coming out in short pants. One hot breath tickled her cheek and his smile faded. It was the first time in six months Georgette had seen his regal mask slip.

He dipped his head and shut his eyes, as if to offer a prayer. “Georgette,” he whispered. “I cannot wait to marry you.” 

Hearing her name uttered with such longing sent Georgette’s head into a spin. For a moment, she thought he might kiss her. His lips, mere inches away a few moments ago, was suddenly a breath away from hers. They breathed each other’s air for what felt like an eternity.

A squeak and a cough shattered the stillness. The Prince jolted back and dropped her hands as though they were hot coals. Rose had cleared her throat. 

“You must only wait three days more… Edward,” Georgette said, pouring all of the tenderness she felt into the syllables of his name. Prince Edward’s eyes flashed and he turned to beam at her. But a far-off wave crashed and Georgette couldn’t resist glancing at the sea again. The tide had crept in, and she watched the water toss and beat on itself with a little more zeal than usual. She looked back at Prince Edward.

“Pray tell, Edward. Do I please you?”

Prince Edward looked deeply into her eyes, another slight line forming between his brows as though the question had caused offense.

“Yes, Georgette. You are the most beautiful maiden I have ever laid eyes on.”

Georgette forced a smile. Many people had remarked on her rare beauty over the years. She had sun-kissed blonde hair that sparkled in the sunshine like a head-dress of millions of miniature diamonds, and her lips were naturally plump—as red as strawberries. But surely he could see more than that.

“Thank you,” she said, pretending to blush to hide her slight annoyance. “Is there anything else about me that pleases you?”

Prince Edward inclined his head. It reminded Georgette of a confused cocker spaniel for a moment. “I do not believe I understand.”

Georgette swallowed. “How is it, that after all these years, you still do not know me, Edward?” she asked, unable to hide the sharpness in her voice. She pulled her hands away and watched the Prince’s brain at work. He scratched the back of his neck and stared at the ground as if he might find there a piece of parchment with script on what to say next.

“I assure you, I have been counting the days to the night I get to know you.”

Now Georgette blushed for real. “That’s not what I…” She couldn’t finish the sentence. Her throat had gone dry.

“Ma’am, Lord Harrington’s carriage has arrived.”

Georgette jumped at the sound of her maid’s voice and followed Rose’s line of sight. The palace gardens were set on a hill, giving a perfect view of what lay beyond the stone wall encircling the palace. Rose was right. It was still a small object in the distance, but Georgette recognized her father’s carriage by the family crest etched into the frame over one of the doors. 

She removed the Prince’s heavy jacket and gave it back to him. He bowed his head.

“I look forward to seeing you again, Miss Georgette,” he said, folding his jacket over his arm. 

As he escorted her back to the palace, Georgette couldn’t help but notice that his eyes lingered on her. Her irritation faded.

“You will not have to wait long,” she said, glancing at him with a shy smile. “The engagement ball is this evening.” She found it difficult to remain annoyed at the Prince when he looked at her like that.

Our engagement ball,” he corrected, and his words made Georgette’s heart flutter.

Their engagement ball. The long-awaited event. Every esteemed friend and acquaintance of the royal family would be in attendance. It would be their first public appearance as a couple, and Georgette had spent many late nights practicing her steps for their dance. The Prince must have misinterpreted her anxiety for concern, because he gave her an earnest look.

“Do not worry yourself, my dear,” he said, as she stepped through the palace doors ahead of him. “We have a lifetime to get to know each other.”

* * *

On the way home, Georgette stared out the little window of the carriage, listening to the babble of talk from the city folk walking the streets. A woman reprimanded a child for getting mud on his nice clothes. A man stood on the corner shouting out Bible references, calling all to repentance. Then the carriage passed a group of men chuckling darkly about something. Georgette could not quite make out their words, but she guessed it might have been about the preacher, because they were all looking at him.

The sounds merged into a toneless drone as she became lost in thought.

The Prince was sweet, but she couldn’t ignore her reservations.

It was well known that his mother, the Queen, had fallen out of favor with the King. When that happened, he sent her to the Tower of London, never to be seen again. Soon after, the King announced her dead, and married a new Queen.

Georgette worried. If Prince Edward were to become King and fall out of love with Georgette, would she meet the same fate?

Georgette tugged on the top of her tight bodice and touched her neck, as though checking she was still in one piece. Her fingertips grazed a string of pearls.

It marveled her that her father and the King were so close. She couldn’t imagine her sweet, benevolent father condoning such actions. He worshipped her mother when she was alive, and devoted much of his time to Georgette. They played chess by the fire many a night.

He told her several stories of his travels as a mere sailorman. 

A sudden jolt forced Georgette out of her thoughts. Before she could process what was happening, the carriage tipped sideways and crashed to the ground. Georgette collided with the side of the carriage headfirst, and the world went black.

She woke in a commotion of screams and shouts. An acrid, burning smell clung to the back of her throat. She coughed and struggled to sit up. Disoriented, she looked up at the sound of squealing hinges and blinked at the sunlight streaming in through the open door.

“Take my hand.”

Tanned, callous fingers with golden rings on every digit reached down towards her. Georgette’s first instinct was to bat the hand away, but she held restraint and frowned up at the light instead.

“Take my hand or stay in there and burn.”

Georgette scowled deeper at the harsh tone of the man’s gruff voice and looked around her. The smell of smoke grew stronger and swirling clouds of black seeped in through the slits of the carriage’s woodwork.

“This is your last chance,” the gruff voice warned. Georgette shakily got to her feet, swayed at the thumping pain in her temple, and reached up for her savior’s hand.

As soon as she gripped his wrist, another hand reached down and grabbed her forearm. 

After some grunting above her head, her feet left the ground and Georgette’s upper body emerged through the open door. Now standing next to the man who had pulled her out, Georgette studied his appearance. 

He wore a long leather coat with fine gold buttons running along the seam. A soft, white, ruffled shirt hung open at the chest, giving Georgette an eyeful of the man’s defined and sweat-drenched muscles. 

She fought the urge to recoil. She had never seen a man like him before. Two dark brown eyes met hers, framed with thick black brows, wild dark hair, and a shaggy beard.

The man wrapped his arms around her waist to carry her safely away from the burning carriage and suddenly, she was cradled so close to his body that her ear pressed up against his bare chest and she could hear the steady thump-thump of his heartbeat.

“Hold onto me,” he said, his voice rumbling against Georgette’s ear. She gripped the collar of his soft leather coat, but the man growled with dissatisfaction, took her hands, and placed them around his neck.

“Now wrap your legs around my waist,” he ordered.

Georgette gasped as she wondered at the audacity of this stranger.

When she didn’t obey his command, the man lifted her skirts roughly and grabbed a leg. Georgette squeaked. He huffed with impatience.

“In case you haven’t noticed, the carriage is on fire. If you don’t do as I say, we’re both going to be engulfed in flames.”

As though on cue, Georgette began to feel the heat from below. She glanced down, and red flames licked the bottom of her feet. Her heartbeat went wild. Sensing her alarm, the man pinned her thigh to his waist. She wrapped the other leg around him without hesitation. 

“Good girl,” he growled into her neck, and his voice sent a shiver through her body. She tried to ignore it as she focused on clinging onto him while he climbed down.

Georgette had never been this close to a man before. She wasn’t sure if it was the fire or the intimacy causing her to break into a sweat. This was certainly no gentleman, but her body didn’t care.

His wavy, shoulder-length hair smelled of the salty sea. Despite the horrid circumstances, she had never felt more safe in all her life.

When they reached the ground, dark smoke encircled them. Georgette stepped back to look at the man again. There was something familiar about his eyes. They stared back, dark and intense. A wild wiry beard consumed a good portion of his face. She wondered what kind of man was underneath it.

He broke eye contact to secure his sleeve and Georgette followed his movements. Just before he could hide it, she caught sight of the black P burned into his skin. 

She gasped and locked eyes with him again. “You’re a pirate,” she whispered.

Oddly, he grimaced at the word.  Had she caused offense? She opened her mouth to thank him, but found herself whipped into in the arms of Prince Edward instead, who had wrapped her up in a tight hug.

“When I saw the smoke, and then your carriage on its side, my heart stopped. Thank the heavens you are alive.” He held her tight. Georgette frowned into his jacket. The scent of his clean clothes and warm spice did not make her feel anything but numb.

When he pulled back to search her eyes, Georgette forced a brave smile. 

“I’m quite well. Please do not be alarmed. I’m just a little shocked, is all.”

Prince Edward squeezed her hands and nodded, then he barked orders to the guards standing by to put out the fire.

Georgette stood frozen on the spot as more people came into view, staring at her like they were looking at a ghost. She was not concerned by the attention, she was scanning the faces, searching…

“How on God’s green Earth did you get out?”

She whipped round to see her father, in his finest clothes, striding toward her. He put his arms around her and she relaxed into his warm embrace. “There was a man,” she mumbled into his chest. Then she pulled back to look again.

But her efforts were fruitless. The man—the pirate—who had saved her, was gone.

“We shall delay the ball, and I insist on escorting you back to the palace. I’ll call for the doctor…” Prince Edward stopped at the sight of Georgette furiously shaking her head.

“No. I am unharmed, and I do not intend to delay our wedding a moment longer,” she said. She had her concerns about joining the royal family, but there was simply nothing more torturous than staying in an anxious limbo for longer than necessary. She would find ways to keep the Prince happy.

Prince Edward’s face lit up, but he forced a serious look a second later and nodded. “At least allow me to take you home in my carriage.”

* * *

Back in her father’s manor, Georgette sat in a tin bath and stared at her knees while her maids poured warm water over her.

It made no difference what the temperature was. She had lost all feeling to a cold numbness since she caught sight of the dark P on the stranger’s hand. For all she knew, they were pouring buckets of ice over her body.

“You’ve had quite the scare, Miss Harrington,” one of the maids commented needlessly. “You’re still trembling.”

Georgette hugged her knees and bit her lip, willing her limbs to still. It was fruitless. Another shiver wracked her. 

“Yes. I dread to think what might have happened if that pirate hadn’t saved me.”

A bucket dropped to the stone floor with a clang. One of the maids bent quickly to retrieve it, babbling a string of apologies. “Ma’am,” another began fearfully. “Did you say, pirate?”

The word pirate was not often uttered in the Harrington household. Or indeed, many homes at Port Harbor. The small town was well known to be far safer than London. So safe, in fact, that the royal family tended to spend most of their time there, instead of in the city. There had not been a pirate attack for more than two years, and the superstitious residents liked to keep it that way by refusing to name them. It was as though the mere utterance of the word pirate would summon them from the far reaches of the sea, to pillage and plunder their town.

“Yes,” Georgette responded calmly. She rubbed a bar of soap over her body. “He was exceedingly ill mannered. But if it weren’t for him, I would surely be dead.”

The maids whispered to each other, and one of them began to wash Georgette’s long hair, so she sat back and shut her eyes while her brain replayed the events.

She could still feel his body heat between her thighs, and his hot breath on her neck. Then she remembered his words as he carried her down.

Good girl.

Her insides flopped like a fish out of water. She squirmed. 

“Ma’am. Are you feeling well? You are flushed.”

Georgette’s eyes snapped open and she looked at the concerned maids staring down at her. Then she forced a smile to suppress the strange and new sensations flooding her body.

“Yes,” she whispered. “In fact, I do believe I’ve never felt more alive.”

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“Pirates, mermaids, princes… the story we have needed for years. This story delivered. It’s a book I’ll re-read again and again.” - Reader ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The perfect gift for older Romantasy readers who like their book boyfriends morally gray!

This set is EXCLUSIVE to our store. The books are special foil cover paperbacks which are signed by Athena Rose, hand-wrapped in tissue paper and come with stickers!

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Included in the Bundle

  • Married to a Pirate
  • Bound to a Siren

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Married to a Pirate Synopsis

Georgette Harrington had never imagined that her life would be turned upside down in a single night. She was set to marry the handsome Prince Edward, a life of luxury and riches laid out before her. But the fates had other plans, and a band of ruthless pirates invaded the palace, taking her as their captive.

As Georgette tries to come to terms with her new life, she finds herself forced into a marriage with the most feared pirate captain of them all - the rugged and dangerous Captain Stone. With her heart torn between her loyalty to the prince and her growing attraction to her pirate husband, Georgette must navigate the treacherous waters of the pirate world to find a way to escape.

But as she spends more time with the captivating Captain Stone, Georgette finds herself drawn to him in ways she never thought possible. With each passing day, she finds herself falling deeper and deeper in love with the man who holds her captive.

Married to A Pirate is the first book in the thrilling Romancing the Seas series, where danger, passion, and adventure await on every page. Join Georgette as she embarks on a journey of self-discovery and romance, and experience the excitement and intrigue of the high seas.

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