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Love Story Box

Royal Pickle

Royal Pickle

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The Prince must find the love of his life and marry her. In seven days.

Another romantic comedy within the Pickleverse begins in the iconic New York pickle deli, and heads into the land of fairy tales...and laughing donkeys.

He’s a prince who can’t keep his pants on. She writes dirty limericks in a Brooklyn deli. Their spontaneous royal wedding is a match made in mayhem.

"From the moment Prince Leopold literally lunged onto the first page, I was hooked. Royal Pickle charms you from the moment they meet, through their unorthodox relationship, and leaves you laughing." ~ New York Times bestselling author Julia Kent

Also: The ebook version is exclusive to Amazon in Kindle Unlimited. Find it there.

Royal romance. Insta-marriage. Princess-in-the-making. Several high-steam love scenes.

  • Ebooks and audiobooks are delivered instantly via email for you to send to your preferred ereader, phone, or device.
  • Unsigned paperbacks are made to order at the printer and shipped direct to you.
  • Signed paperbacks and book boxes are hand packed by us in Texas and ship in 2-3 business days.

Book Summary

I have to find a wife.
And not just any wife.
A love match.

My parents gave me ten years to find a princess on my own, and the deadline has arrived.

I’ve outrun the palace guards for months, but due to an incident in a rooster Speedo that went viral, they have tracked me to America.

I’m not known for my stellar taste in the opposite sex. The last one put my naked pictures on Instagram.

But there is this one girl. I saw her in a New York deli making sandwiches. She helped me escape the photographers.

Smart. Beautiful. Quick-witted.
Yes. I choose her.

Now all I have to do is convince her to marry me.

In the next seven days.
__
Royal Pickle is a standalone romantic comedy about a prince on the run, a poet with a dream, and a made-up European country where everyone likes to sing and dance. With donkeys.

Read Chapter One

Chapter 1: Sunny





Day One



I’ve just refilled the cheese on the sandwich line when the glass door to our Brooklyn deli flies open and a blur of a man launches past the entrance.

Rachel and I glance at each other, leaning over the sneeze guard to get a better look.

The small dining area is empty of customers. It’s midafternoon and well after the lunch rush.

I hold up my hands to Rachel in a stay there gesture. I’m the owner’s granddaughter. Rachel is high school help. If something bad is going down, I should be the responsible one.

I walk cautiously around the counter. The man is army-crawling beneath the tables like it’s World War III, and Grammy’s deli is the front line.

“Can I help you?” I only get a look at his legs and butt in form-fitting jeans before he disappears again.

I push aside a chair. “Hey! What’s going on?”

A face pops above the table, and I almost stumble back. He’s gorgeous.

“Shhh!”

“Shhh for what? It’s only me and Rachel.”

He peers around. His eyes are green and mischievous beneath a shock of wild brown-gold hair. He doesn’t look like a criminal on the run. He’s closer to a magazine model.

“Do you have a bathroom?” Now that he’s said actual words, I get a load of his accent. I’ve served people from all kinds of places in my years of working with Grammy. But I’ve never heard anyone talk like this.

“Yes. In the back.”

“Great.” He leaps to his feet and dashes through the room, dodging tables like a hockey player skirting opponents.

Rachel slides up beside me, her long brown ponytail swinging in an artful curl. She’s adorable, all magnetic lashes and killer nails. She’s a senior in high school and way more put together than I am, despite my being almost ten years older. “What’s all that about?”

“I guess some bathroom emergency. Did you hear him talk?”

She nods. “Dreamy. Did you see his butt?”

“Totally.”

Rachel examines her manicure. “I hope he’s not getting sick in there. It’s my turn to clean.”

There’s a commotion on the sidewalk. A half-dozen men with cameras rush by the windows, nearly knocking a lady with a stroller into the street.

“Cripes!” Rachel says. “What’s all that?”

I tuck a chair into place. “I have a feeling it has to do with the man who crawled through the deli.”

“I bet you’re right.” Rachel chomps on her gum at an accelerated rate, like she always does when she thinks she’s onto something exciting.

The door opens and one of the camera guys looks in, two long lenses strung around his neck. “Not in here!” he calls. He sees us standing there. “Hey, you girls see a man go by, yay tall, kind of a looker?”

Rachel cocks her hip. “What’s it to you?”

The man’s eyes light up. “We’re trying to catch him! Is he here?” He steps inside. “Don’t tell anybody else. If I get an exclusive, it’s worth ten grand.”

“Ten grand!” Rachel’s jaw starts working a mile a minute. “What’s so great about him that his picture is worth ten grand?”

“He’s the Prince of Avalonia!” the man says. He twists the lock on the door. “Where is he?”

Rachel watches him. “What’s in it for me?”

I’m seething. I don’t like that these two are brokering a deal in my grandmother’s deli. It’s not right. Clearly, the prince is in distress.

“She’s screwing with you,” I tell the photographer. “He’s not here.”

“What?” He turns to Rachel. “Are you serious?”

Rachel catches my eye, and I give her a glare that would peel paint.

She sighs. “Yeah, I was yankin’ your chain.”

“Damn it! Now I’m behind.” He curses more as he races to the door, yelping as he fights to untwist the lock. Yeah, it sticks.

When he’s out of sight, I move closer to the back wall. “They’re gone,” I call.

It takes a minute, but finally, that perfect face peers around the corner. “Thanks for getting rid of him.”

Now that he’s out here, my knees shake. Could he really be a prince?

Rachel is the one who asks. “So you’re the Prince of Avalonia, huh? Where’s that?”

“Europe,” he says. “And it’s small. It’s not England. Or even Monaco.”

“Then how does it sustain itself?” I realize too late that I’ve nerded out, but I blindly keep going. “What do you export?”

He grins at me. “A smart one. I like that.”

But he doesn’t answer the question.

“I always wanted to be a princess,” Rachel says, then lets out an oof when I elbow her.

“Any special reason they’re chasing you?” I ask.

He straightens his blue-striped shirt, which fits his chest and shoulders the way a lock hugs a key. “I’m supposed to go home to choose a bride, but I’ve decided to extend my bachelorhood.”

“I’ll marry you!” Rachel volunteers. I spare her the elbow this time.

He grins at her. “That’s a tempting offer. But I better go before they find me.”

“There’s a back door,” I tell him. “The alley will take you to a street that leads straight to the subway.” Then I want to smack myself. The Prince of Avalonia would never take the subway.

“That’s smart.” He gives me a wink that makes my belly flip. “They’ll never suspect I’d ride a public train.”

Okay, then. “This way.” I gesture to the swinging doors that lead to the kitchen. “And take this.” I grab a Manhattan Pickle hat that Uncle Sherman insists we stock even though this deli isn’t part of the Pickle chain. “It will keep them from recognizing you as easily.”

“I like the sneaky workings of your brilliant mind.” He tugs the hat low on his head, almost obscuring those devilish eyes.

We cross the kitchen to the back door, Rachel trailing behind.

He tugs it open and peers out. “Which way?”

I point down the alley. “Head to that street, then to the right two blocks. The photographers are headed the other way.”

He turns to grin at me. “You’re saving me here. Can I kiss you?”

I take a step back. “Uh. No.”

“Damn. I never like to leave a beautiful girl unkissed. Handshake then?”

I hold mine out. “Sure.”

He grips my palm and my whole body feels electrified, like he carries a charge. I stare at my hand after he lets it go.

He touches the hat brim, and then he’s gone.

Rachel peers out the door. “Awww, Sunny, why didn’t you kiss him?” She crosses her arms over her green deli apron. “I could have been your waiting lady or something.”

I push the door closed. “If he kisses every girl he sees, he doesn’t sound like happily-ever-after material.”

Rachel kicks out her hip. “He didn’t ask to kiss me.”

I head to the walk-in fridge. “I’ll start chopping the pickles for the dinner rush. You watch the front.”

“What if those photographers come back?”

“You don’t have to say a thing.”

“All right.” She twists her ponytail around her finger as she heads to the sandwich line.

When she’s gone, I take a breath and lean against the wall. A prince in the deli! What a wild and strange thing to happen.

I glance down. My rainbow-striped pants don’t quite match my polka-dot sweatshirt. I swipe my fingers across a big smear of mayo on my apron. I didn’t know that was there.

But he asked to kiss me! Me! And not Rachel!

That’s certainly not an everyday thing.

I’m nobody’s first choice. Everyone says I’m odd.

And not princess odd, like Belle with her head stuck in a book or Rapunzel in her tower. I don’t have a perfect soprano voice or cascading waves of sunshine hair.

My only contributions to the world are my mixed expressions.

A penny for your head in the clouds.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the chopping block.

But my favorite has always been birds of a feather bark up the wrong tree.

Because that’s how everybody looks at me. The staff. The customers. Even my own sister. They all have opinions about what I should do with my life. They don’t see who I am, just who they think I ought to be.

It doesn’t matter. I’m too busy writing my odd little sayings in beautiful notebooks. I’ve given up hope that one day I’ll make the pages of A Universe of Poetry, the biggest and most prestigious poetry magazine in, well, the universe.

I’m fine with working in a deli. I can ignore everyone’s sidelong glances and unhelpful advice about my clothes, my hobbies, and my future.

I do have one person on my side, though. Grammy gets me. She’s the great matriarch of the Packwood clan, or the Pickles, if you look at Uncle Sherman’s side of the family.

She has a clear-eyed view of each of her grandkids. I’m the youngest, and I’ve worked beside her in this tiny walk-up deli in Brooklyn since I was old enough to press my face against the glass case.

I’m not the odd one, she tells me, it’s that the world is too full of straight lines and hard edges for a colorful, ever-changing creature like me.

Certainly, I would never catch the eye of a prince.

Except maybe I did.

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