Conch Key Wildlife officer DOVE MCMAHAN thrives on order, stability, and simplicity, and part of her structured regime is writing her pen pal letters on the second Wednesday of every month. Although she has connected in person with her other pen-pals, she has avoided meeting VINCENT DOS SANTOS, not because he’s a royal but because she has had a crush on him for years. Dove is convinced that meeting him will be too painful, knowing her feelings could never lead to anything due to his upcoming ascension to the throne.
Vincent is the crown prince of a small principality of Kitara, an African country with arcane rules and laws that govern the behavior of the monarch, so the one wish he has before ascending to the throne is meeting his long-term pen pal Dove, who in the eyes of the Kitaran rules is a commoner with whom he cannot be in personal contact once he becomes king.
With Vincent’s coronation taking place in a few weeks, he resigns to the possibility that he will never meet his beloved pen pal, until his mother QUEEN EUDORA travels to Conch Key to take matters in her own hands. After a chance encounter on the beach, Dove is assigned to Queen Eudora’s security detail on the royal yacht. But in her efforts to protect the queen from a stranger attempting to board the yacht, a determined Dove tackles and handcuffs the man, only to realize it’s Vincent.
Before Queen Eudora and Vincent depart Conch Key the next day, Dove and the soon-to-be-king deepen the connection they’ve built through two decades of exchanging letters. Before she can accept Vincent’s second invitation to his coronation, Dove receives a call to a wildlife emergency. And the turmoil created by Vincent’s scheming Aunt CATARINA in his absence has thrown the country into chaos, forcing Vincent and Queen Eudora to abandon Conch Key before saying goodbye to Dove.
As Vincent restores order and prepares for his coronation in Kitara, he writes a letter to Dove for the last time. When he leaves the royal palace to personally deliver the “forbidden” letter to the post office, he is shocked to encounter Dove who has traveled to Kitara to attend the coronation. The two embrace and seal their love with a kiss.
CHRISTMAS IN THE KEYS is a heartfelt romance by Natalie Torres, a professor by day and romance writer by night. She has published multiple romance novellas under the pen names Tiana Johnson and Apollonia Lord, and she is finishing her first script and her first full-length novel.
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