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Amber And The Rogue Prince

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«Amber And The Rogue Prince» - Элли Блейк

One summer with the prince… One scandalous consequence!Betrayed at the altar, Prince Hugo escapes to Australia and finds solace with the unconventional Amber Hartley. However, Hugo gets more than he bargained for as brave and sassy Amber is everything a princess shouldn’t be – not to mention she has a secret that could shock the nation!
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One summer with the prince...

One scandalous consequence!

In this The Royals of Vallemont story, Prince Hugo goes rogue after being betrayed at the altar. He escapes to Australia and finds solace with unconventional Amber Hartley. Brave and sassy, she’s everything his princess shouldn’t be. Although he expected her fiery response to discovering he’s royalty, he didn’t imagine his deception would hurt her deeply. But Amber has her own bombshell—she’s pregnant with his royal baby!

Australian author ALLY BLAKE loves reading and strong coffee, porch swings and dappled sunshine, beautiful notebooks and soft, dark pencils. Her inquisitive, rumbunctious, spectacular children are her exquisite delight. And she adores writing love stories so much she’d write them even if nobody read them. No wonder, then, having sold over four million copies of her romance novels worldwide, Ally is living her bliss. Find out more about Ally’s books at

Millionaire to the Rescue

Falling for the Rebel Heir

Hired: The Boss’s Bride

Dating the Rebel Tycoon

Millionaire Dad’s SOS

The Royals of Vallemont miniseries

Rescuing the Royal Runaway Bride

Amber and the Rogue Prince

Discover more at

Amber and the Rogue Prince

Ally Blake

ISBN: 978-1-474-07770-5


© 2018 Ally Blake

Published in Great Britain 2018

by Mills & Boon, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers 1 London Bridge Street, London, SE1 9GF

All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. This edition is published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, locations and incidents are purely fictional and bear no relationship to any real life individuals, living or dead, or to any actual places, business establishments, locations, events or incidents. Any resemblance is entirely coincidental.

By payment of the required fees, you are granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right and licence to download and install this e-book on your personal computer, tablet computer, smart phone or other electronic reading device only (each a “Licensed Device”) and to access, display and read the text of this e-book on-screen on your Licensed Device. Except to the extent any of these acts shall be permitted pursuant to any mandatory provision of applicable law but no further, no part of this e-book or its text or images may be reproduced, transmitted, distributed, translated, converted or adapted for use on another file format, communicated to the public, downloaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of publisher.

® and ™ are trademarks owned and used by the trademark owner and/or its licensee. Trademarks marked with ® are registered with the United Kingdom Patent Office and/or the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market and in other countries.

For all the women dreaming about their next chapters.

And Bec, who leapt into hers with enthusiasm, fortitude, grace, humour and style, taking her first steps alongside me, and naming Ned the dog along the way.



Back Cover Text

About the Author


html#uc303d86e-9b2a-5e11-92f6-48da69902e84" id="back_uc303d86e-9b2a-5e11-92f6-48da69902e84">Title Page















About the Publisher


AMBER PLONKED HERSELF onto the rickety stairs out front of the shack hovering on the edge of Serenity Hill. Stretching her arms over her head, she blinked sleepily at the view.

A misty glow slithered over the acres of wild lavender carpeting the hillside. The first hint of morning sun peeked between the hilly mounds beyond, creating a starburst of gold on the horizon and making silhouettes of the willows meandering along the banks of Serenity Creek below.

“Could do with some rain,” said Amber. “That said, can’t we always?”

Ned stared fondly up at her from his mismatched eyes. She gave the mottled fur behind his good ear a thorough rub.

Then, nabbing her bright yellow gumboots, Amber tugged them on over faded pyjama bottoms. She rubbed a smudge of mud from one of the bees that Sunflower—who lived in the bright purple caravan up on the hill—had painted on them for her. Then she twirled her heavy hair into a low bun and ducked her head into her fencing-style veil. Last came elasticised gloves, then, finally ready, she pushed herself to her feet.

“You ready?”

Ned answered with a wag of his tail.

“Then let’s do this.”

But Amber only made it down one more step before she spied Sunflower hustling down the hill behind the shack towards her.

With her fluffy strawberry-blonde hair and pixie face, her feet bare beneath her long paisley skirt, Sunflower looked as if she’d fallen to earth on a sunbeam. But like everyone in Serenity she’d come in search of sanctuary.

Amber pulled off her veil and tucked it under her arm before wiping the dislodged strands of hair from her eyes. Not used to seeing anyone else out and about this early, Amber called out, “Everything okay?”

Sunflower waved a hand while she caught her breath. “I have news.”

“For you to be out from under your blanket this early it must be pretty good news.”

The look Sunflower shot her was thick with meaning.

“Not so good, then.”

Sunflower shielded her face against the rising sun and said, “I’m actually not sure. The news is they’ve opened up the Big House.”

Amber glanced up the hill, even though Hinterland House—the big, deserted, Tuscan-style villa that everyone in the area simply referred to as the Big House—was perched too far over the other side to be seen.

“Grim mentioned seeing smoke coming from the chimney a couple of weeks back. But considering Grim lives in a cloud of smoke, I ignored it. Then Daphne claimed she saw sheets on the clothesline and I began to wonder. Last night, when he was taking one of his wanders, my Johnno saw a fancy black car barrelling up the drive and pulling into the garage.” She paused for effect, then announced, “It seems the family is back.”

“What family? The way the place was always kept so well-tended I’d figured it was a tax write-off for some overseas conglomerate.”

“Oh, no,” said Sunflower, her eyes now dancing. “It belongs to the Van Halprins. A family as famous for their money and power as their terrible bad luck.

As the story goes, they all died off, in one tragic manner after another, until only one remained—the youngest daughter, Anna, who was very beautiful. Twenty-one and all alone in that big house—the townspeople feared what might become of her. Then, in a fairy-tale ending, she married a prince from some far-off land and the place has been barren ever since.”

“And now this fairy-tale princess is back?”

Sunflower shook her head, her eyes sparking. “The person my Johnno saw driving the car was a man. City haircut. Deadly handsome. They say it’s him.”

Amber knew she was meant to say, Him who? but her throat had gone dry. Her earlier frisson of concern now bore the hallmarks of fully fledged anxiety: sweaty palms; ringing in her ears; a strong desire to run inside and bar the door.

But the door to her shack was barely holding onto its hinges as it was, so what would be the point?

Oblivious, sweet Sunflower went on. “It has to be Anna’s son! Anna’s royal son. Prince Alessandro Giordano himself.”

Not one to follow that kind of thing, Amber didn’t know Prince Alessandro from Prince Charming.

Only, she had an awful feeling she did.

“Don’t you see?” Sunflower went on. “As heir to the Van Halprin estate, Prince Alessandro owns Hinterland House, which means he also owns pretty much every bit of land you can see. From one side of the hill to the other, from the river to the township. Including the land you and I are standing on.”

Amber found she had to swallow before asking, “Whoa. Back up a little. I assumed the commune owned this land. Or that the township simply let them stay.” So deeply grateful had she been for a place to stay, she’d never thought to ask. “Are you saying that this Prince owns Serenity Hill?”

Sunflower nodded slowly. “And there are more rumours.”

There were always rumours. Especially in a town this size. Having had parents whose chief personality trait was “being deeply involved”, Amber had developed a sincere lack of interest in knowing other people’s business.

Sunflower said, “Apparently a man fitting that description—tall, citified, handsome, and with an accent—has been seen meeting with the town council. And the only reason for an outsider to meet with the council is—”

“Town planning.”

The wind had picked up, creating eerie paths through the field of lavender. And despite the sun lifting into the air, Amber shivered. She wriggled her toes in her gumboots in order to keep the blood flowing.

Unlike some of the old-timers living in tents, wigwams, caravans and Kombi vans up the hill, Amber was a relative newcomer to Serenity. But, while her history of the area was sketchy, her experience with the law was sharp and clear.

“The commune has been occupying this land for years. Decades, right? Long enough to build structures. To hook in plumbing. Electricity. To have signs pointing the way. It’s even noted as a point of interest on the tourist map. Surely that gives us rights.”

Sunflower blinked. “Rights?”

Before Amber could take the thought further, something banged inside her shack. Both women turned to see what it was. Amber took a subtle step back up onto the porch.

“Probably Ned demanding breakfast.”

Sunflower backed away. “Of course. I’m off to spread the news to the rest of the morning folk. See what else we can unearth. Feel free to fill everyone in yourself. Fire-pit meeting tonight. At sunset.”

Another bang came from inside Amber’s shack. She took another step nearer her front door. Said, “You bet. See you then. I’d better check on Ned.”

Of course, at that moment Ned came running out of the fields below, purple flowers caught in his fur.

Amber madly ushered Ned inside the shack, then yanked the door shut behind her before leaning against it, holding the doorknob tight.

In the quiet her heart thumped against her ribs.

All she had to do was lean forward to see past the cupboard-cum-kitchen wall and into her small bedroom. To spot the crumpled sheets. The colourful crocheted blanket kicked into a pile on the floor.

And the masculine shape of the stranger in her bed.

A chop of sun-kissed hair slid over one eye. Broad shoulders lifted and fell as he breathed. The profile cast against her pillow was achingly handsome. Even now. Even with the indignation building inside of her.

To think, she’d only slipped out from under the warm, heavy weight of his arm ten minutes before, smiling at what a deep sleeper he was. And the reason why.

He’d said his name was Hugo. And she’d believed him.

That particular something in his eyes—directness, authority, unflappability—had allowed her the rare luxury of taking everything he’d said at face value. No doubt the foreign accent had helped too. Not only was it devastatingly sexy, but it also meant he was a tourist, just passing through. There was no point worrying too much about details when their dalliance was only ever going to be short-term.

And yet, it sounded like the man she’d just indulged in a clandestine three-week affair with was none other than Prince Alessandro Giordano—and he was also known as the owner of the land on which she and her friends lived illegally!

Three weeks earlier...

Amber breathed in the scent of lavender as she looked out over Serenity Hill.

There had been a chill in the air that morning. Like the blast of an open fridge door on a hot summer’s day.

It was the sign she had been waiting for. Time to harvest her bumper honey crop for the year. Collect at the right time and the honey would be ripe, sweet, in its prime. Leave it much longer and the colony would start eating the wares or moving it lower into the hive, making it near impossible to collect.

By late afternoon there was no need for the smoker. Warmth had settled over the valley and crept up onto the hills, meaning the honey would be warm, running easily, and the bees would be calm.

Dolled up in her veil, overalls and gloves, gumboots slapping against the stairs, she realised Ned was not at her side. No point whistling for him—he was nearly deaf.

She tipped up onto her toes to see if she could spy his fluffy tail cutting through the field. No luck. Maybe he’d headed up the hill to visit the others. But that wasn’t like him. They knew better than to feed him scraps. Amber had made it clear that he was her responsibility, nobody else’s. That in taking him on she wouldn’t put undue pressure on the commune’s resources.

About to give up and head off alone, she saw him by the pair of trees down the hill, watching the hammock slung between them with great interest.

As Amber neared she realised why.

A stranger in fact was lying therein. Asleep.

Not just a stranger...a man. A long man. Longer than the hammock, his big feet poking out of the end. His T-shirt had twisted to cling to a sculpted chest. The bottom edge lifted to reveal a tanned stomach, and a dark arrow of hair leading to...jeans that left little to the imagination.

Even in sleep he was riveting. Deep-set eyes beneath dashing, slashing brows, and overlong hair that fell across a brow furrowed as if he was dreaming important dreams. The rest of his face was rough-hewn, but handsome with it—a stubble-shadowed jaw and cheeks that appeared carved from rock. A veritable modern-day Viking.

Not from around here, or she’d have noticed. A tourist, then. Not the seasonal fruit-picking kind. Or the type who came to Serenity looking for enlightenment. Or absolution. His clothes were too nice. His aura too crisp. But people didn’t just happen to pass through Serenity. They came with a purpose. So what was his?

Her gaze running over every inch of him as if she was committing him to memory, Amber realised with excruciating discomfort just how long she’d been living in this patch of pretty wilderness dotted with leisurely artisans and gentle hippies, none of whom had made her nerves twang. Not like this.

She swallowed the thirst pooling in her cheeks and reached out for Ned.

Ned looked at her with his contented face.

“What are you grinning at?”

Forgetting the fact that in all likelihood the stranger was not as deaf as Ned, Amber hadn’t thought to lower her voice.

The stranger sprang to sitting as if he were spring-loaded. His feet hit the ground, his hands gripping the edges of the hammock, the muscles of his arms bunching as the hammock threatened to swing out from under him.

He was even bigger sitting up. Well over six feet. Strong with it. Yet Amber felt compelled to stay. To watch. To wait.

A few beats later, the stranger shook his hair from his eyes before palming the heels of his hands deep into the sockets. With a heavy breath he dropped his hands, opened his eyes, took one look at Amber and leapt out of the hammock so fast he nearly tripped over his own feet.

A string of words poured from his mouth. Italian? French? Who cared? It was the sexiest sound Amber had ever heard. Raw and deep, it scraped against her insides like a long, slow, rough-tongued lick.

Ned loved it too, what little he could hear of it. He bounded to his feet and ran around in a circle, barking at the sky.

The stranger looked over his shoulder, then back at Amber. He looked down at Ned, then back at her again. This time his gaze caught. And stayed. A beat slunk by in which deep breaths were hard to come by.

Then, in lightly accented English, “Please tell me you come in peace.”

She reached up and slowly pulled her bee-keeping hat and veil from her head. As usual, the mesh caught on her hair, pulling long blonde strands free of her bun until it fell over her face in a wispy curtain. She tried wiping them away but the heavy glove made it next to impossible.

In the end, she threw her veil to the ground, slid off both gloves and threw them down too. Feeling overheated, she unzipped her overalls, pulling them down to her hips, the arms flapping about her thighs. She fixed her tank top, pushed her hair back off her face, and—hands on hips—stared the stranger down.

The effect somewhat lessened when Ned saw his chance and went for her gloves. He managed to get both, but dropped one about a metre away as he took off into the lavender with the score in his delighted teeth.

Not that the stranger seemed to notice. His eyes never left hers. In fact, they had warmed, distinctly, the edge of a very fine mouth tilting at one side as he took her in.

Flustered, Amber pressed her shoulders back, angled her chin at him and said, “I might ask the same of you.”

“Me?” He stretched his arms overhead, once again revealing his flat, tanned belly, and Amber gritted her teeth as she looked determinedly anywhere else. “I am all about the peace.”

“Well, next time keep your peace far from my hammock. Capiche?

“If I said I really needed a nap at the exact moment I came upon it, would that help?” One side of his mouth kicked up, and her tummy tumbled over on itself in response.

“What do you think?” she deadpanned.

“I think perhaps not,” he mumbled, running a hand through his hair. It was a little rumpled from sleep on one side. He wore it well.

He took a step her way, and Amber took an equal step back, which was ridiculous. If she screamed, a dozen hippies would rush down the hill to check on her. Well, maybe not rush. Amble with intent.

She pressed her gumboots into the ground. It wasn’t concern for her safety that had her on edge. It was concern for her hazy judgement.

He stepped sideways, picked up the glove Ned had dropped and ran his thumb over the honeycomb stitching. “How about if I said I tripped and fell into the hammock, knocking myself out?”

“I’d think you were an idiot.”

A smile tugging at the corner of that mouth, he looked out over the lavender, all the while taking a step closer to her. “Then here’s the unvarnished truth: a wicked witch lured me here with a peach. I took one bite and fell into a deep sleep.”

As punctuation, he held out her glove. Naturally, she reached out to take it. Only he did not let go, capturing her gaze right along with it.

His eyes were a deep, intelligent hazel, his mouth on the constant verge of a smile. The fact that his nose appeared to have been broken at some time only added to his stunning good looks.

“It was an apple,” said Amber, her voice breaking on the last syllable.

“Hmm?” he said, gently letting the glove go.

“Sleeping Beauty was felled by an apple.”

Again with the devastating half-smile. “Wasn’t that Eve with the apple? Tempting poor Adam.”

“Forbidden fruit. No mention of an apple, specifically.”

“Right. I stand corrected.”

At some point in the past few minutes, the sun had begun to set, stretching shadows over the stranger’s arresting face.

But it was the words that had her transfixed. The locals were so earnest she couldn’t remember the last time she’d indulged in spicy banter. It felt good. Really good. Like slipping into a freshly made bed after a long day on her feet.

“Who are you?” she asked, the desire to know far too obvious in her tone.

He held out a hand. “Hugo. And you are?”

Feeling as if she was about to step off a cliff, she took his hand. His fingers were long and strong. His grip dry and warm. The tingle that zapped up her arm had her shaking once and letting go.


“It’s a very great pleasure to meet you, Amber.”

“I’ll bet.”

At that he laughed.

The sound tumbling about inside her belly made her feel empty. Hungry. She breathed through it. “Wicked witch or no, this is private property, so you’d best get moving on. It doesn’t get fully dark for another hour. If you walk with pace you’ll make it to the village in time. There you’ll find somewhere else to sleep.”

The man slid his hands into his pockets and rocked back on his heels, going nowhere.

Amber crossed her arms and shook her head at the guy. But he only smiled back, the directness in his eyes telling her she wasn’t the only one having an “interested at first sight” moment. She rolled her eyes, turned on her heel and beckoned to him over her shoulder.

“Come on, then, Hugo. This way.”


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