Prince Hafiz’s Only Vice
by Susanna Carr
What a royal wants…
Prince Hafiz devotes his days to his people and his nights to indulging his desires with his stunning American mistress, Lacey Maxwell. But duty requires him to marry a "suitable" bride.
In her deepest secret fantasies, Lacey naively hopes to one day wear Hafiz's ring, until her dreams are shattered and he chooses someone else.
Faced with the reality of a passionless union, Hafiz realizes the years spent with Lacey have done nothing to slake his hunger for her. Instead he's determined to turn his only vice into a virtue for the sake of his country…and each other!
"I will miss you, Hafiz," she said brokenly as her throat closed up. The tears she thought couldn’t happen beaded on her eyelashes.
Hafiz let out a shuddering breath. He swept his fingertip against the corner of her eye, taking her tears with him. The moisture clung to his knuckle, and he rubbed it into his skin with his thumb, silently sharing her agony.
The image took a chink out of her hard-earned resolve. Lacey wrapped her arms around her stomach before she crumbled altogether. "I had so many questions to ask you, and now I can't remember what they were." All except for one that danced on her tongue. "Did you ever love me?"
Silence throbbed in the air.
Lacey blinked at the question that had tumbled from her mouth. Of all the things to ask, her mind screamed.
Hafiz went unnaturally still.
"I don't know why I asked." She shrugged as her pain intensified. "Please, don't answer that."
The words were ripped from deep within her. She desperately wanted to know the answer. She never questioned it before, but she had been living in a fantasy.
Lacey had always felt Hafiz loved her. It was in his touch, in his eyes, and in his smile. But he never said the words, even when she chanted her declaration of love in the height of ecstasy.
It was too late to find out. If he didn't love her, she would never recover. If he did love her, then she would never let go. Even if he was married, even if he kept her hidden. And she couldn't let that happen.
A Word From the Author
In my latest romance novel, PRINCE HAFIZ'S ONLY VICE, the hero is unable to be with the woman he loves because he must enter an arranged marriage. When Elaine invited me to write a guest post here on her blog, she had asked if I thought arranged marriages work.
The short answer is yes.
While attending college, I worked at the foreign student office and got to know a lot of undergrads and grad students who were from other countries, religions and cultures. Many of them were either in or getting ready to enter arranged marriages. It was their way of life and the only thing they found strange was the bewilderment Americans had about a marriage process that had been around for centuries.
That didn't mean these men and women approached the life-changing moment with nonchalance. Far from it! Some would break out into hives at the mention of a wedding while others were eager to reach this point of their lives. A few went through an arduous task to find a spouse that sent them around the world. However, I had one friend (who had broken up from a decade-long love match) agree to marry his bride after meeting her for just an hour.
Over the years I discovered that an arranged marriage had just as much of a chance to be successful as a love match. A lot of it came down to the betrothed understanding what they wanted in life. If someone wasn't ready to marry, or was marrying while having feelings for another, they were going to have a very difficult time. But if the man and woman had shared goals, clearly defined expectations and respect for each other, they could build a foundation for a strong relationship. As long as they were willing to work and make this relationship a priority, whether it was created out of love or by matchmakers, they could find the greatest partner to share their lives. Although there was no guarantee, a deep love or friendship could develop between husband and wife after the marriage.
Of course, it doesn't always work that way. I know of the couple who defied cultural expectations and family demands to have a love match only to break up. There is a man and wife I've known since they were introduced. They reluctantly married and, twenty-five years later, continued to be married with great reluctance. And the man who decided on his bride within the hour? Still together in one of the strongest marriages I have witnessed.
So, yes, I think an arranged marriage has the same chance for success as a love match if the couple is willing to put the work into the relationship.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Susanna Carr is an award-winning author known for her contemporary romances. Readers throughout the world find Susanna's stories a delightful escape that has often helped them through difficult times. Reviewers frequently describe her work as "fun", "sexy" and "a must read." When she isn't writing or spending time with her family in the Pacific Northwest, Susanna enjoys reading romance and connecting with readers online.
Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Prince-Hafizs-Only-Royal-Ruthless-ebook/dp/B00JZFS08U/
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/prince-hafizs-only-vice-susanna-carr/1119221410?ean=9780373132850
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Susanna_Carr_Prince_Hafiz_s_Only_Vice?id=jGB0AwAAQBAJ
Susanna will be awarding a $50 gift certificate to one lucky winner via rafflecopter. Use the link below to enter. You can find her tour schedule at http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2014/07/virtual-book-tour-prince-hafizs-only.html