Ella hides in the palace garden, yearning to see the grand ball. She never expects to bear witness to the prince’s dark secret.
Ella steals across the palace grounds, stumbling in her broken and ill-fitting shoes. Her only wish is to catch a glimpse of the life she once knew. Palace parties are no longer for the likes of her. When two men stalk across the gardens, she’s shocked to discover that the tall, imposing one is none other than the Crown Prince, Luke. Even more shocking is what happens next.
Under the light of the rising full moon, the handsome prince sheds his formal attire and turns into a fierce wolf.
Retreating, Ella prays that he hasn’t seen her. Or detected her scent.
Their next encounter brings an unexpected proposal, one she should refuse. She knows that he only wants to marry her to ensure that his curse remains a secret, but she can’t resist the way his touch sets her body on fire and allows him to sweep her away.
Can Ella and Luke find their happily ever after, or will her vengeful stepmother and his secrets destroy them?
Ella and the Wolf Prince was originally published as The Wolf Prince by Amber Jantine.
Luke glanced out of the door to his brother’s bedchamber. The hall was empty. No sign of the servants. He shut the door firmly behind him to ensure it stayed that way. “Not yet. Father accepted my excuse for moving the Midsummer’s Night ball up a few hours.”
“That we need the extra rest after all our travels?” There was a heavy dose of bitterness in Adrian’s voice, and he turned away quickly. But Luke glimpsed a bit of gold twisted about his fingers, along with a hint of a floral scent. His brother held a lock of hair from his lost beloved, stored upon a golden pendant. It was strung onto a leather thong, and it was rare to see it anywhere except on Adrian’s neck.
“There’s no need for you to stay here, little brother. You could go look for her.”
“If she even wants to see me after what I’ve become. Perhaps her family was wise to hide her from me.”
“You don’t believe that.”
Adrian sighed and raked his hand through his hair. “They didn’t approve of my attentions to her before the curse. The only thing that might make them change their mind would be to reveal the truth of our identity.” They had been traveling under assumed aliases, as ordinary sailors, when Adrian met the beautiful merchant’s daughter. “And I can’t take that risk.”
“It would serve Father’s purpose if you got her to renew the engagement. He’s desperate to see our line continued.”
Adrian let out another bitter laugh. “You’re just trying to get out of the ball tonight. What’s wrong, big brother? Not looking forward to having all the most eligible young ladies in the kingdom throw themselves at your feet?”
“For the same reason that you’re reluctant to go after the woman you love. No woman should have to deal with this curse.”
“And some men couldn’t handle it. Edward didn’t.” Their middle brother refused to return home when their father called for them. The last he’d heard, Edward had retreated into complete seclusion on an isolated mountainside, in one country or another. No one was certain which.
“He blames himself for our situation. You know that.”
“But it is his fault!” Adrian turned and slammed his fist into the nearby wall. Plaster shook loose from the ceiling and fell down to coat his black hair. “If he hadn’t insulted that witch—”
“There’s nothing you or I can do to change that now.” The curse would take effect again as soon as the full moon rose tonight. That was why they had asked for the ball to be moved to the late afternoon, rather than following its usual evening schedule. It was the only way he and his brother could make any sort of decent appearance in public before they needed to retreat. “But you’re the one among us who still has the best chance at happiness, if you can find your Roslyn again.”
“I can’t go. I promised Father I would stay until…”
Until the disease that the king was battling ran its final course or Luke found a suitable fiancée to appease their father’s need to see at least one of his sons wed. “I will do my best to ensure you can depart as soon as possible. I only hope that there will be a lady who is not silly enough for me to entertain the thought of possibly spending the rest of my life with her and who is also strong enough to bear marriage with a prince who turns into a wolf.” “Sounds like you’re hoping for the impossible, big brother.”