Book, Reviews, Excerpt

Around the Square

Holly Jacobs
Monarchs in Flighte

by Holly Jacobs

Laurel Wreath Award Winner

Shey Carlson is a rebel...with a cause. She grew up on the wrong side of the tracks. But she worked her way to a better future. She got a scholarship to college where she met Parker and Cara. How a princess like Parker, and a quiet, gentle soul like Cara became her best friends she’s not sure, but she values their friendship and was eager to share a partnership in Monarch’s Coffeehouse and Titles Bookstore with them. Shey runs the coffeehouse and is generous with the leftover food, feeding those who might otherwise go hungry. She also volunteers in a literacy program, teaching reading. Her life is full and she doesn’t want anything to change. So when Parker’s father sends her an unwanted royal fiancé, Shey runs interference. She’ll keep the prince away from her friend until he finally decides there’s nothing for him on Perry Square and leaves.

Tanner Ericson, aka Prince Eduardo Matthewl Tanner Ericson of Amar, a small neighboring country of Parker’s Eliason, came to Erie, PA to collect his errant fiancée. He’s decided no woman will ever truly love him. They’ve all been after his money or his title. That’s why Parker will be perfect. She’s a princess and has her own money. They were friends when they were younger, and marrying her will be good for both his country and hers. He didn’t expect to be whisked away by a Harley riding redhead. Shey seems bound and determined to keep him away from Parker. He should be put-out, instead, he finds he enjoys spending time with Shey. They snipe, the bicker...and they kiss. Wow, do they kiss. Shey has stirred unexpected feelings in him. He sees beyond her tough girl exterior and finds the warm and generous heart underneath. She feeds those who are hungry, teaches literacy and is a loyal friend.

Tanner discovers he doesn’t want a princess. He wants Shey, a woman who is regal and generous...the woman he loves. Problem is she’s just a bit stubborn. Tanner’s going to have to work hard to convince her that their love can not only work, but flourish!

A Kindle/KU Exclusive

Book, Reviews, Excerpt


"You're in for a wild ride as you wonder if love will prove to be the wisest ruler in the entertaining and sweet (Monarchs in Flight) (4) by Holly Jacobs." ~RT BOOKclub

"Holly Jacobs has developed quite a cozy little family through her sweet romances. When readers open one of her books, they find they have once again come home to where they belong." ~Kelley A. Hartsell, LoveRomances.com 4 stars

"Holly Jacobs does it again with this delightfully funny sequel to (Royal in Hiding). Shey is a wonderful heroine with a smart mouth and a heart of gold. Tanner loses his stuffiness quickly on the back of her Harley and shows that he can indeed be a Prince Charming.(Monarchs in Flight) will have you kissing frogs to find a prince of your own!" ~Cat Cody, Romance Junkies

Monarchs in Flight "produces so many emotions, from one extreme, laughter, to the other, sadness. This one has it all!" ~ Debby Guyette, CataRomance

"The second royally Pennsylvania romance is a fun contemporary tale ..." ~ Harriet Klausner

"...true love triumphs over all." ~Helen Slifer, Writers Unlimited Reviewer

Book, Reviews, Excerpt


Monarchs in Flight
Copyright Holly Jacobs

Shey Carlson was waiting for a prince.

Not in a she-was-waiting-for-her-personal-prince-charming-to-come-riding-to-her-rescue sort of way. But rather she was standing in Erie, Pennsylvania’s small airport waiting for a real, honest-to-goodness royal, runs-a-country sort of prince.

Prince Eduardo Matthew Tanner Ericson of Amar to be exact. Parker Dillon’s unwanted fiancé--Shey’s best friend, to be even more exact.

How a girl from humble beginnings ended up waiting to greet a prince was a bit of a mystery. But then it was no more mysterious than the fact that the same girl had a princess as one of her best friends.

A man dressed in an impeccable suit with perfectly styled dark-brown hair and an ultra-white smile, walked through the terminal door surrounded by three large men with serious expressions. Bodyguards, their stances practically screamed. The trio scanned the area, alert for any hidden danger.

The tallest guard had a thin, muscular build and dark skin, the middle-sized one, who was still akin to a giant, was bulkier, and had more of a wrestler’s build, and a crew-cut. The third was Asian, with a wiry, lean body. He winked at her as they approached and shot her a thousand-watt smile that Shey was sure worked on most women.

She scowled her response.

Shey Carlson was not most women.

The prince had arrived with his entourage.

"Your Highness?" Shey asked, though she didn’t need to. This man’s mere presence shouted, royalty, just like the other three radiated, come-on-and-try-something.

"Marie Anna, you’ve..." the prince started then paused, obviously searching for something to say. "You’ve changed since we last met."

Shey looked down at her leather jacket.

She couldn’t imagine Parker wearing anything like it. Not that Parker was prone to wearing a tiara and a ballgown, but she wasn’t the leather jacket type either.

"Since I’m not Marie Anna--who, by the way, goes by the name Parker these days--I guess change is an accurate word." She thrust out her hand to shake. "Shey. Shey Carlson."

The prince ignored her gesture. He was probably more accustomed to people bowing to him and kissing his ring.

Wait a minute, wasn’t it higher up clergy who expected ring kissing?

Did you curtsy for a prince?

This kind of protocol was never necessary in her lower eastside neighborhood when she was growing up. But whatever it was she was supposed to do, the handshake was the best she had to offer.

Shey Carlson didn’t curtsy or bow to anyone, and she certainly wasn’t into ring-kissing.

Not even for a handsome prince.

"You’re not Marie Anna...Parker?" He scanned the crowd. "Do you mind if I inquire where my fiancée is?"

"Ah, there is another little problem," Shey said. "You see, Parker’s not your fiancée."

Mr. Ultra-white-smile wasn’t smiling now. He frowned. "That’s not what our betrothal papers say. Not what her father says either."

"Unless you’re planning to marry her father, I figure it doesn’t matter what he says, or what some stupid papers say. Parker’s not your fiancée."

"Why don’t you allow Parker," he drew the name out with obvious distaste, "and I to settle this. Where is she?"

"She doesn’t want to see you, that’s why she asked me to pick you up."

"And I insist you take me to her." There was a small tick on the left side of his upper lip.

Did it indicate annoyance?

Shey sure hoped so.

"Fine," she said with a shrug. "But I don’t have room for your gargoyles on my bike."

"Bike?" he asked, ignoring the gargoyle comment all together.

"My Harley. You’re welcome to a ride if you like. The three stooges here can grab your luggage and meet you at the hotel later."

"Your Highness--" the largest stooge started to protest.

"It’s fine, Emil," Tanner said with a regal nod of dismissal.

Emil obviously wasn’t intimidated. He didn’t back down. "Your father would be very displeased if we let you go off with a stranger."

The prince gave Shey a quick once over and turned back to Quasimoto. "I think I can handle her."

"I don’t know, Your Highness, maybe you’d better let me handle her for you," the lady-killer bodyguard said in a low, sultry tone.

"You know Peter has a way with women," the middle-sized brute added.

"That’s enough, Tonio. I’ll handle our unexpected hostess myself."

Shey couldn’t help it...she laughed. "Better men than you have tried to handle me."

"Did they succeed?" Tanner asked, a hint of a smile played on his lips.

Shey shook her head. "Not a one."

"Why doesn’t that surprise me?" This time the smile wasn’t a hint, it was full-blown and quite a sight to behold.

If Shey was prone to let looks influence her, her knees would be decidedly weak at the sight of it. But she wasn’t that prone in that sense, so she stood quite solidly on the ground despite the fact this prince was easily the sexiest man she’d seen in a very long time.

A very, very long time.

He turned back to his henchmen. "I’ll meet you at the hotel in a short while."

"Your Highness," Tonio objected, obviously ready to start another argument.

"Tonio, not another word."

And without another word to Curly, Mo and Larry, the prince turned to Shey and said, "I’m ready to see my fiancée."

"You’re in for a treat."

She led him out of the small airport without another word. She smiled as they reached her baby.

"This is it," she announced, running a hand over the red tank.

She knew there was pride in her voice. She couldn’t help it. Her father died when she was five and she didn’t have many memories of him. But she did have a distinct one–-it was like a snapshot in her head–-of her father, sitting on a flaming red Harley and smiling. A young man with a family who loved him, his whole life in front of him.

"This is our vehicle?" the prince asked, sounding less than enthused.

"No. A Harley is not a vehicle. It’s a bike, a hog, a way of life, but not a vehicle. That’s too plain, too mundane to describe a Harley."

"You love this bike." It was a statement, not a question.

"Yeah, I do."

She wasn’t embarrassed by the fact. She’d worked hard to buy the bike. It was more than a memory, more than transportation. The Harley represented how far she’d come from the little girl wearing hand-me-down clothes at school. "But it’s simply a way of getting from one place to another." He looked confused.

"A Harley is more than simply a method of going from one place to another."

He shook his head.

"Have you ever ridden one of these?" Shey asked, though she was pretty sure she knew the answer.


"Then let me teach you a thing or two."

Shey got her spare helmet off the back and handed it to his royal cluelessness. "Here, put this on."

She expected him to fuss that it would mess his perfect hair, that it wasn’t cool to wear a helmet, but the prince simply put it on.

Even though Pennsylvania had recently rescinded its helmet requirements, Shey was still a stickler for them. She slipped on her own helmet, slid her leg over the seat and started the bike.

It roared to life.

"Okay, climb on behind me," she practically shouted in order to be heard over the rumble of the engine.

The prince did as instructed. His body pressed tight against hers. His arms wrapped around her waist.

A small shiver of something crept up Shey’s spine.

It had been months any man had touched her. Her reaction to the prince was simply a hormonal thing. Nothing more.

She kicked the bike into gear and started toward 12th Street.

"Hang on," she called and she slipped into second, then quickly into third gear.

The feel of wind rushing against her face, the speed...riding the bike never failed to soothe her. But there was something different tonight–-the man whose arms were wrapped lightly around her waist. The effect wasn’t quite as soothing as normal. As a matter of fact, there was a strange sensation that twisted her stomach and left her feeling short of breath.

Shey ignored it and simply concentrated on taking the prince to Monarch’s.

She’d let Parker deal with him.

Parker would send the prince packing and things would get back to normal.

Parker, Cara and Shey, three college friends working together at the coffeehouse, Monarch’s and Titles bookstore. No guys to muddle things up.

Shey remembered the night they’d come up with the names for the two attached stores. Parker had supplied the financial backing for the venture and they’d wanted to do something to acknowledge their royal friend. They’d all three laughed as they passed the bottle of wine and talked about the future-–their’s and the store’s.

Shey had never had women friends before Parker and Cara. But if she’d been asked who’d she’d pick as friends, she would never have said a princess and someone like Cara who was a quiet, soft-hearted woman.

Truth be told, when it came down to it, she hadn’t picked Parker and Cara at all...they’d simply meshed. Three people who’d connected and become friends. Friends who were closer than most families.

The prince’s arms tightened ever so slightly reminding Shey of her unwanted passenger, jolting her from her thoughts.

Book, Reviews, Excerpt

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