A sworn bachelor, Prince Stefano diTalora has been living the high life—his days filled with ski trips and speedboat races, his nights spent in posh casinos with the créme-de-la-créme of San Rimini society. The last thing he needs is his father's badgering that he clean up his act. Or the mesmerizing woman his father hires to do the job.
Amanda Hutton is in a bind, behind on her rent and between clients. When King Eduardo diTalora offers her a job in his royal household, it sounds like a dream come true—until she meets her new student. Her lessons in etiquette and diplomacy are designed for children of dignitaries, not for a grown man. And certainly not a man determined to thwart her at every turn. But can she risk turning away from the job—or the man who needs her help?
There's a scene early in The Prince's Tutor that was inspired by a trip Nicole took to the Bahamas. She and her husband were stuck inside the Atlantis Casino because it had been raining for two days and the boat trip they'd planned that afternoon was cancelled. She found an open spot at a blackjack table and started to play. When her chips were almost gone, she was dealt a great hand—two kings. The dealer had a seven showing, so she was sittin' pretty. But since Nicole knew it would be her last hand (and frankly, because she is a cheap gambler and was playing only the table minimum, which meant she had very little to lose), she did something entirely against all gambling logic and split the hand. Just because she felt like taking a risk. Lucky for Nicole, it worked out and she won on both hands. She even got blackjack on one of them! Writing the blackjack scene with Stef in this book was great fun, because as a royal, he had a lot more money to wager than Nicole did.
A fun tidbit: One of Nicole's best friends in high school was her next door neighbor, Stephen. Steve has always been an avid skier, and hits the slopes in Austria as often as possible (he's an Army brat, and is now an Air Force pilot, so he actually gets to live where he can do this.) Nicole decided to give Prince Stefano Steve's skiing obsession. With such similar names, this personality trait was a gimme—and fun to write. She even carried it over into the next San Rimini book, The Knight's Kiss, where Stef's ski equipment is found in a strange location.
Five roses—highest rating!
"From the casino of the opening scene to the vivid descriptions of the castle, Burnham fills her fictional kingdom with a sense of authenticity that makes it more believable...(she) develops Stefano and Amanda as sympathetic individuals with relatable fears and concerns without forgetting the very specific place they are coming from. They are both easy to like and more likable because the unique lives they've led make them that much more intriguing."
—All About Romance
"This delightful story by Ms. Burnham will draw in readers to her world at the palace of San Rimini. Stefano and Amanda are an unlikely pair that find love despite their different backgrounds...The Prince's Tutor is definitely one for the keeper shelf."
Silhouette Romance, Paperback, January 2003, ISBN: 0373196407