The Fake Prince Jake
Publication date: July 20th 2021
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Romance
♥ Gay Rom-Com
♥ Royal Romance
♥ Pretend Prince
A pretend prince, a crazy king and a daring royal ruse that may or may not lead to true love… what could possibly go wrong?
Far too busy with his career to barely look twice at the hot barista who makes his coffee every morning – let alone ever dream of having a love life of his own – events manager Oliver Albright commits all his time and energy to the PR company that keeps the British Royal Family in the business of, well, being royal. But when he is charged with the job of finding the wayward Prince Jacob of Nottingham and escorting him to the tiny medieval kingdom of Zsnovania, Oliver must throw his run sheets out the window and pull off the greatest royal bluff of the century in order to prevent the utterly bonkers King Zorg of Zsnovania from declaring war on England.
With the help of his trusty assistant Audrey, his recently separated mother Judy, and a sexy American barista with an uncanny likeness to the missing prince, Oliver finds himself embroiled in the craziest quest of his career, all the while falling head over heels in love with…
The Fake Prince Jake.
The Fake Prince Jake is a 65k-word, laugh-out-loud, royal rom-com filled with fairytale romance, crazy capers and a zany cast of supporting characters. Expect to be swept off your feet but be sure to avoid the woofenschlok!
A short time later there I was, sitting opposite sexy barista guy in the small, empty restaurant wondering how exactly I was going to open this conversation. Thankfully, the waiter kicked things off.
“Would you like to order?”
“Yes please.” Without even looking at the menus the waiter offered I said to Jace, “Can I recommend the Caesar salad? It’s very good.”
“That sounds great.”
“We’ll have two of those, thanks.”
The waiter left and I took a deep breath. “So… thanks for agreeing to come to lunch,” was the safe yet successful start to my pitch. So far, so good.
“I gotta admit, I wasn’t expecting it. To be honest, most days I didn’t think you even noticed me. I never imagined you’d ask me out on a date.”
“Oh! Ah…” I didn’t have time to let him down easy, so I cut to the chase. “Sorry, but this isn’t a date.”
He gave me a confused smirk and his dimple appeared. “I thought you asked me out to lunch. And now we’re sitting here… in a restaurant… just ordered lunch. Am I missing something?”
“Perhaps I should have made myself a little clearer. You see, Jason…”
“You see, Jace. The thing is, I’m here to discuss a job offer with you.”
“You want me to work at one of your events?”
“Yes. In a way.”
He shrugged casually and said, “Sure. I’m always looking for a little extra cash. Do you need me to make coffees or work as a waiter? Wow, imagine working for the Royal Family. What an adventure that’d be!”
As he spoke, I saw the smile spread across his face and the faraway gleam in his eye. For a fleeting moment I was envious of this handsome traveller. He was a man who saw mountains and oceans in his dreams, while all I saw were run sheets and production schedules.
But envy was replaced by the notion that Jace was exactly the person we needed right now.
Someone who loved the thought of adventure.
“Actually, I don’t need you to make coffee or wait tables. But trust me, I’m willing to pay you above and beyond what you’re earning now.”
“Oh!” Jace said, a realisation dawning on his face. “Hell, I’m up for anything. Although to be honest, you could have had me for free… you’re an attractive guy and if I told you my heart didn’t skip a beat when you asked me out for lunch I’d be lying. So, if that’s what you’re offering, I sure as hell won’t say no.”
He’d lost me. “Say no to what?”
“Sex. You wanna pay me to have sex with you, right?”
I gasped so hard I began to splutter. “No! Oh God, no! There is strictly no sex involved here.”
“That’s kinda disappointing. Do you need a glass of water? Waiter! Can we please get some water over here?”
The waiter came over with a pitcher of water and two glasses.
As the waiter left, I drained a glass and my coughing settled.
“So that’s a ‘no’ to sex?” Jace asked, rather amused.
I nodded. “Forgive me, I’m normally quite good at pitching ideas but I dare say I’ve done a dreadful job of this one. Do you mind if we start over? I’m a little flustered.”
“You’re cute when you’re flustered.”
“I am?” I gulped more water and tried to ignore the stirring in my loins. ‘Cute’ was not a word people normally used to describe me, what with my boring brown eyes and my boring brown hair combed neatly in a nerdish and rather boring part to the left. People called me ‘capable,’ People called me ‘reliable.’ People called me ‘organised.’ But ‘cute’?
“You heard me. Cute.” He smiled, and there was that dimple again. For God’s sake, if he wanted to be shown the real definition of ‘cute,’ all he needed was a mirror. “But let’s not get you even more flustered than you already are. Tell me about this strictly-no-sex job offer of yours.”
I cleared my throat. “As you know, Audrey and I work in events for the Royal Family. We organise charity events, the opening of a library, the extension of a hospital wing, things like that. At each event, someone from the Royal Family does the honours of marking the occasion, they cut a ribbon, they say some words of encouragement, shake a few hands, collect a couple of bouquets of flowers and that’s pretty much it.”
“I think you’re selling yourself short. I’ve seen how stressed you get, I think your job is a bigger deal than you’re making out.”
“Thank you. Yes, it can be stressful. Like the assignment we have right now.”
“What is it?”
“Let me try to be as succinct as possible for you. In a nutshell, there’s a tiny kingdom in Eastern Europe called Zsnovania ruled by a king named Zorg. We need to return a royal sceptre that once belonged to Zsnovania. More specifically, the King has requested Prince Jacob of Nottingham to present him the sceptre in person, as something of an apology from England and the Royal Family. There’s just one catch. We need to fly to Zsnovania tomorrow and Prince Jake, as he’s known— among other things— has gone missing with little to no hope of finding him in time.”
“Wow. That does sound stressful. But what’s it got to do with me?”
“Here’s the kicker,” I said, sitting forward. “With a haircut and a shave, you’re a dead ringer for the Prince of Nottingham.”
Jace pondered this a moment, then suddenly the pennies dropped like a jackpot into the coin tray of a slot machine. “Oh my God! You want me to go to Zsnovania with you.”
“You do have a passport, don’t you?”
“Yes, but the name on it says Jason Daniels. There’s no Prince in front of it.”
“Leave all that to me. So long as you’ve got a passport, I can get you out of the country. We don’t need you to dress up as Prince Jake till we get to Zsnovania. Once we’re there, fingers crossed nobody will know the difference.”
“And toes of course.”
“Is this how you run all your events?”
“Oh, bloody hell no. I’m normally very professional. This particular assignment’s a little different though. Apparently, it’s my traineeship in thinking outside the square.”
I let my crazy plan sink in a little more as Jace sat there pondering for a moment longer. Eventually he said, “So let me get this right. I look like the Prince of Nottingham.”
“The same Prince of Nottingham who needs to be in Eastern Europe tomorrow but has gone missing.”
“So, you want me… to pretend to be him.”
“You’re putting your job in my hands when you don’t even know me?”
“You’re the spitting image of the Prince. That’s all I need to know. And to be perfectly honest, without you I won’t have a job anyway.”
His eyes narrowed. “How much are you offering?”
“Five-thousand pounds. That should be enough to fund your stay in London for a while.”
He nodded approvingly at the offer and I could see I almost had him across the line until his brow creased with suspicion. “Wait a minute… I’m not gonna wake up in a bathtub full of ice and a note that says one of my kidneys is missing, am I?”
I thought about all the stories of Zsnovania and King Zorg I’d heard so far. “Truthfully… I can’t guarantee that won’t happen. But if it does, I promise it won’t be my doing.”
Jace grinned. “That’s good enough for me. Oliver, you’ve got yourself a prince.” He reached across the table and shaking my hand he added, “This is gonna be one hell of an adventure.”
I took a deep breath. “That’s what I’m afraid of.”
“Wait a second,” he suddenly thought aloud. “I’ve got an American accent. I don’t know how to speak English.”
“You’re speaking English now.”
“You know what I mean. I don’t have a British accent. How can I pull that off? I’m not an actor.”
“Don’t worry,” I assured him. “I’ve got that covered too… I hope.”
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Geoffrey Knight is the author of gay fiction novels, novellas and short stories, ranging in genre from gay adventure, gay romance, gay suspense and gay comedies.
The heroes of Geoffrey’s books love to spend their time jumping off the page, seeking lost treasures, unraveling mysteries or falling in love.
Geoffrey is the recipient of two Rainbow Awards including Best Mystery Winner and Best Overall Gay Fiction Runner-up. His work has been featured in several anthologies including Best Gay Erotica 2013, and he appeared as Guest of Honor at the inaugural Rainbow Con in Florida, 2014.
Geoffrey has worked in advertising, politics, journalism and event management, but nothing is as fun as telling stories. He lives with his partner, their young daughter and their small furry family in a rambling old house in North Queensland, Australia, where the paint is fraying and life is good.