Dear Reader,

Picture yourself going on a much-needed European vacation to the country of your ancestors. You’re getting off the airplane, and the red carpet is odd, but not alarming. Except, the hot guy in the fancy uniform waiting at the end, in front of a line of guards, is not head of security.

He is a prince.

Now try not to let your chin drop when he tells you that your parents had promised him your hand in marriage before they died --when you were still a child.

He whisks you away in the royal limousine before you can get your bearings. And by the time you manage to tell him that under no circumstances will you be entering an arranged marriage with a stranger, you are both kidnapped by anti-monarchy rebels.

You don’t know the country’s politics, you don’t know the lay of the land, you don’t speak the local dialects. You only have one chance for survival: you must trust your life to the prince.

~~Forget kissing frogs. Meet Prince Miklos of Valtria. And if the crown fits…~~

SAVED BY THE MONARCH kicks off my new series for Harlequin Intrigue about six very sexy princes and the endless trouble they manage to get in. I had so much fun writing these books! I hope that’ll come through in the stories. As luck would have it, I’m currently in Europe due to my husband’s job so I’ve been visiting a lot of castles and letting my imagination run wild.

Romantic Times Magazine selected the book as their TOP PICK for May. "Marton shoots from the hip, and her aim is dead on as the story sears along the nerve-endings and this mismatched pair battles each other and the enemy with rapier-sharp wit and unnerving daring."

Happy reading!

Dana Marton

Excerpt from Saved By The Monarch

© Dana Marton

“What are we going to do?” Judi asked.

“Escape. But we’ll have to get the blindfolds off first.” Prince Miklos moved toward her, the ropes digging into his wrists. “Keep talking so I can figure out where exactly you are. Say something. Anything.”

“For my thirtieth birthday I decided to visit the country of my ancestors and discover my heritage. At the airport I was accosted by a deranged prince—“

“Greeted by an eager groom,” he corrected as his head bumped into hers.

“Then I was kidnapped by other deranged men,” she finished.

“What, that wasn’t in the brochure?” He made an attempt to lighten the mood between them. “People pay extra for extreme vacations like that.” Then his lips were on her cheeks, her skin silky soft. And they both fell silent.

He ignored the heat that flashed through him and zipped straight to his groin. He moved his mouth up to the blindfold, grabbed the material with his teeth, breathing in her exotic flower scent.

She held herself ramrod straight.

“Relax. I’m not trying to seduce you.” And just for the hell of it, he added, “Yet.”

But he could envision it in crystal clear detail all of a sudden. Her tangled up in his sheets. Naked. Under him.

“I don’t want you to confuse me with one of those women who throw themselves at the feet of handsome princes.”

Disappointingly, her voice held no trace of passion. Instead, he got the distinct impression that she was mocking him.

“You’re in no danger of that.” He pulled the blindfold off at last. “Your turn,” he said, impatient to see again.

A moment passed before he could feel her velvety lips on his left cheek, an inch or two above his mouth, next to the blindfold. Her firm breasts pressed against his shoulder as she leaned into him. She moved her mouth. The blindfold moved next, a scant centimeter only before it slipped from her teeth. She had to fit her lips to his skin again.

He didn’t mind the delay.

Then the blindfold was off at last, around his neck. She looked up, and they were nose to nose, her lavender eyes staring into his, her soft breath fanning his face.

“At least you think me handsome. That’s a start, I suppose.” Utterly ridiculous how pleased those words she’d let slip made him feel. A foothold, that was what they were. Something he could stand on while he fought to gain more ground. Courting a woman couldn’t have been that much different from a military campaign.

She blushed a brilliant red, right to the tip of her ears. The response was so charming, he couldn’t help but smile at her. Maybe he was gaining ground already.

But she was gathering herself fast, her eyes narrowing, her mouth opening, no doubt with a snappy comeback. He couldn’t let her spoil the moment. He couldn’t give up the ground he’d gained; he wouldn’t give up an inch. That was not the path to victory.

So he leaned forward and kissed her.

Her lips were even softer than her cheeks, although she immediately pressed them together and pulled back. He followed and dragged his mouth across hers.

Her instant rejection of him on arrival had injured his masculine pride, whether or not he was ready to admit that, and some part of him pushed to prove something to her, although he couldn’t have said exactly what that was.

All he knew was that he wanted her to look at him with something other than the ever-present disdain in those mesmerizing lavender eyes. Their arranged union was important. It had a purpose. They had roles to fulfill. He wanted her to consider that.

He was still intent on conquering when his eyes closed on their own. And in the next instant he was seduced by her softness and her scent. His American bride was unlike any proper noblewoman he’d ever known. He had no idea what to do with her.

But a very clear and detailed image of what he wanted to do with her readily flashed into his mind. It would not have been the smartest thing at the moment, nor in compliance with protocol.

All of a sudden, he felt as if he’d been starved for the taste of her for years, had been waiting for her. The meeting of their lips, the physical connection between them, was startling. He had expected to enjoy kissing her, but the sensations taking over his body went way beyond that.

Instant heat.

Instant need.

There was absolutely no way she could deny it, although he knew she would try. He didn’t even mind. He was looking forward to going a couple of rounds with her before she gave in.

He had no doubt that she would see reason eventually. The draw was too strong between them. He was prepared to pursue her until she accepted him.

Too soon, she twisted away. Her face was flushed, her eyes deep lavender pools.

He eased out of his focused need, into a teasing smile. “Would being married to me be that terrible?” He was surprised to find that her answer would matter quite a bit to him.

She dragged in air, her nostrils flaring. She didn’t much look like the demure young ladies at court as she said in her toughest, meanest voice yet, “Don’t you ever do that again.”

He drew a slow breath, held it, then let it out as he considered.

“All right,” he said brusquely, even as his body demanded more of her. “I won’t kiss you again. You do, however,” he added, and let the challenge stand between them, “have my permission to kiss me any time you wish.”

Kiss him?

He probably thought he was irresistible just because he was a handsome prince. Insufferable was a much better qualifier for him. “Right after they make a ski resort in hell,” Judi snapped. The man was driving her crazy.

He had the gall to grin at her, a slow and sexy grin that she supposed was meant to show her who was in control.

“Well, then,” he said. “Get your camera ready, princess, because the devil will be snowboarding before this is over.”

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Dana is excited about the launch of her new Harlequin Intrigue series and to celebrate, she's giving away a copy of her Rita finalist novel TALL, DARK and LETHAL to three lucky winners!  For a chance to win, please visit Dana's website to answer this question:

What is the title of Dana's current work-in-progress novel?

Then email us at with your answer and mark the subject heading as Dana Marton. Be sure to include your full name and mailing address. Please note, responses sent to any other email address will be disregarded.

Contest deadline - May 17th, 2009.

Good luck!!

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