I’m featuring Antonia Aquilante here at the blog today, with news of her new book with Dreamspinner, The Prince’s Consort, which will be released on October 16th. That title has a lovely fairy-tale quality to it, don’t you think? Borne out by the cover, too, which has the sort of fantasy illustration I look for in older collections of Grimm or Hans Anderson. I like the look of this one!
Or have they?
Prince Philip inherited the throne at a young age, and since then, his life has centered around ruling his country and resisting those pressuring him to take a wife and conceive an heir—forcing him to hide his attraction to men. When kind-hearted Amory is offered to the prince in exchange for more time for Amory’s father to complete a commission, both Philip and Amory are horrified. But Philip agrees to keep Amory at the palace, where they gradually become friends, then lovers. For the first time in his life, Philip is free to share not only his heart, but the magical shape-shifting ability that runs in the royal bloodline.
Neither Amory nor Philip imagined falling in love, and they certainly don’t expect the lengths those who oppose their relationship will go to keep them apart—maybe even resorting to murder.
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Release Date: October 16, 2015
Length: Novel (290 pages)
“What do you want to do, Amory?” the prince asked again, his eyes earnest. “You could stay here, with me.”
“I don’t understand, Your Highness.”
“I told your father I wanted to speak with you alone, that I wanted to hear from you. I wanted to ask you if you might like to stay with me, but not just for tonight.”
“For how long, then?” Amory was having a difficult time keeping up. Too many strange things were happening that day.
“A long time, if we’re lucky and we both want. I don’t just want a tumble tonight, Amory.”
“What do you want, Your Highness?” he asked, suddenly bold.
“A friend, a lover,” the prince said, his words simple but stunning, his gaze never wavering from Amory.
He struggled to find his voice. “And you want that to be me? After what my father did?”
“Your father’s actions are reprehensible. No one should treat his son the way he’s treating you. But that’s your father, not you.”
“How do you know I wasn’t a part of his plan?”
“You weren’t. Everything you felt was written all across your face. Horror was predominant.”
Amory flushed, again. “I can’t believe he would do this, Your Highness. I have sisters at home—would he do this to one of them? Whore us out for his own gain?” He could hear the bitterness in his own voice, and the anger, the choking worry for his sisters. Then weariness swept through him. “I don’t know how he even knows whether I’ve….”
“Does it matter?”
“Not to me.”
The sincerity in the prince’s expression reassured Amory, but it didn’t stop the sudden rush of insecurity. His father was correct. Amory was a virgin with almost no experience to speak of with other men. He had no idea what the prince would expect of him. And right then the prince was watching him, expecting him to say something. “No. I mean, some kissing, but hardly anything beyond that.”
“I’ve only had one lover.”
“Really?” That couldn’t be true. He was the prince. He could have anyone he wanted, surely.
“Yes.” The prince smiled, but it had a self-deprecating quality to it Amory found charming and unexpected. “I don’t want meaningless affairs. For any number of reasons, they don’t appeal to me. So it’s only been the one man. We can take things slowly, get to know each other, see if we suit.”
“And if we don’t suit, Your Highness? My father is giving me to you. Well, selling me.” If they didn’t suit, what would that mean for Amory? He could be back where he started with the addition of his father’s anger.
“No, he isn’t. This is between us. He has nothing to do with it. If you decide to stay, it’s your choice alone. And if we find we don’t get on with each other, it will be your choice what you do next.”
“He’s not going to like that.” An incredible understatement.
“I don’t find I care what he thinks, though I don’t mean to offend you since he is your father. How old are you?”
Amory blinked, surprised by the sudden subject change. “Seventeen. Eighteen next week.”
“Well, then. Next week, you’re of age, and he can’t ever tell you what to do. Until then, I can make sure he doesn’t. So it truly is your choice.”
He hadn’t thought about it that way. “And you? What would you choose?”
“I’m asking you to stay,” the prince said. “I think, I hope, there could be something good between us. I’d like to find out. Now, what do you want?”
Antonia Aquilante has been making up stories for as long as she can remember, and at the age of twelve, decided she would be a writer when she grew up. After many years and a few career detours, she has returned to that original plan. Her stories have changed over the years, but one thing has remained consistent – they all end in happily ever after.
She has a fondness for travel (and a long list of places she wants to visit and revisit), taking photos, family history, fabulous shoes, baking treats which she shares with friends and family, and of course reading. She usually has at least two books started at once and never goes anywhere without her Kindle. Though she is a convert to ebooks, she still loves paper books the best, and there are a couple thousand of them residing in her home with her.
Born and raised in New Jersey, she is living there again after years in Washington, DC, and North Carolina for school and work. She enjoys being back in the Garden State but admits to being tempted every so often to run away from home and live in Italy.
She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the New Jersey Romance Writers.