The Contingency Plan
(Plans Series – Book 1)

Blurb

A sheltered prince. A sudden death. An unexpected choice. How will Prince Marcelo react to discovering he’s The Contingency Plan?

For eighteen years, there has been peace between Sheburat and the kingdom of Zioneven. The untimely death of a princess throws the marriage arrangement—the final phase to complete the terms of the treaty—into disarray, and the contingency plan is put into motion. Now the Crown Prince of Zioneven gets to make his own choice from among the princess’s younger siblings.

As a rare royal son in the matriarchal sovereignty of Sheburat, Prince Marcelo grew up knowing he would never marry. Never. Royal sons did not marry. Period. Except, Prince Efren isn’t from Sheburat, and he has other plans.

Book Info

EBOOK

Release Date: April 14, 2018 @ JMS Books, LLC
Length: Novelette / 28 pages (PDF) / 8,040 words
Cost: $1.99
ISBN: 1634866118 / 978-1634866118
ASIN: B07BD2ZB8P

Heat Rating: 3 flames – Moderate – While physical details are described, they are not graphically depicted.

Reviews

Click the links, below, to read the full reviews (if still available).

Excerpt from a review by Freya of “Sinfully MM Book Reviews”

4 out of 5 stars

“What I liked about this story is that it didn’t try to fit a lifetime into a few words. The author picked one event and ran with it. The way Prince Marcelo is enlightened and finds awe in new knowledge gave him a delightful innocence. The story itself gave me a period of lovely escapism.”

Excerpt from a review by Sadonna of “The Novel Approach”

4 out of 5 stars

“This story is just a little gem! I loved Marcelo and Zefren and the way they regarded each other and came together with mutual respect.”

Excerpt from a review by Sarina of “Love Bytes Reviews”

3-1/2 out of 5 stars

“Short and sweet this was a nice read to take a break to and while it will always be nice to see what happens next, I’m quite happy with how the story left off.  If you’re looking for a quick read without any angst, I’d recommend giving this one a look.”

Excerpt from a review by Min of “Min and Her Books”

4 out of 5 stars

“I really, really enjoyed this short story. Marcelo was specially endearing, and I loved his kindness and empathy, combined with an open thirst for knowledge.”

Excerpt from a review by Angela of “Wicked Reads”

5 out of 5 stars

“I found The Contingency Plan to be a very sweet story. I think part of the reason it works is that rather than trying to shove too much into it, the author focuses on two pivotal days in Marcelo’s life.”

Excerpt from a review by Ruthie of “Wicked Reads”

4 out of 5 stars

“This is a very short read – but actually packs a lot of punch in those pages.”

Excerpt from a review by Helena of “The Way She Reads”

4 out of 5 stars

“I’m rather impressed that the world this story is set in has come to life for me, despite the fact that the short story format didn’t allow for extensive descriptions and explanations. With just a few words the author managed to explain both Marcelo’s matriarchal society and Efren’s more traditional (by our standards) country.”

Excerpt from a review by Heather of “Padme’s Library”

4-1/2 out of 5 stars

The Contingency Plan may be short in pages but it’s words are full of heart.  I fell in love with Prince Marcelo and his sheltered life immediately and wanted him to find his HEA.”

Excerpt from a review by Carra of “Making it Happen”

4 out of 5 stars

“Given that the book is so short, I was surprised at the level of detail achieved…but that did make me crave more.  I’m really hoping that there will be a follow-up story coming, because this just made me want more of Marcelo and Efren.”

Excerpt from a review by Elizabeth of “We Three Queens Book Blog”

4 out of 5 stars

“Addison did a great job of adding just enough info into such a short story. It’s just so intriguing that I would love more. Heck, I even liked Marcello’s servant, Erich!”

Excerpt from a review by ButtonsMom2003 of “Xtreme Delusions”

4 out of 5 stars

“There’s no way for a short story to contain as much detail as you would find in a novella but I think Ms. Albright did a good job with this one. It held my interest and I liked the characters.”

Excerpt from a review by A Reader Obsessed of “Boy Meets Boy Reviews”

4 out of 5 stars

“I know I wouldn’t say no to more of these two regarding their future or just a new edition expanding on all the potential this little story contains. More please!”

Excerpt from a review by Jen of “Dogeared Daydreams”

4 out of 5 stars

“This was a fun read, one that I commend for its originality and creative spin on the usual royal romance sub-genre.”

Excerpt

With everyone now in attendance, Queen Giselle stepped forward. “Your Royal Highness, Ladies and Lords, and people of Zioneven, please accept our warm welcome to Sheburat, and I hope you’ll accept our sincere apology for the chaos in which you find us today.”

Prince Efren inclined his head. “Of course, Your Majesty. On behalf of Zioneven, I offer our heartfelt condolences on the loss of your beloved daughter.”

“Thank you,” Queen Giselle replied. “Sadly, our loss yesterday affects more than simply causing us private pain.”

“Indeed.” Prince Efren kept his reply short, perhaps diplomatically leaving it to Queen Giselle to either further the conversation toward whether or not he was ready to choose his alternate, or to wait for a time when her grief would be less immediate.

His mother would put diplomacy first, Marcelo didn’t doubt that. The conversation may or may not happen today, but it would occur during this visit. Diplomacy always came ahead of personal concerns.

“Although disappointment caused by the cancellation of the wedding we’d expected tomorrow is unavoidable,” Queen Giselle said. “I hope you’ll find a small comfort in knowing that you may now make your own choice of your future bride from among my younger daughters rather than the arrangement made on your behalf at the tender age of five.”

Again, Prince Efren inclined his head. “Sibling.”

“I’m sorry?”

“Sibling. The terms of the treaty specify I may choose an alternate from among Princess Marcela’s younger siblings. It didn’t restrict the choice to daughters.”

Marcelo stiffened. What in the world could Prince Efren mean by that? Men didn’t marry men. At least, he’d never heard of such a thing occurring in Sheburat. Marcelo wasn’t alone in his bewilderment. Everyone on his side of the room stilled. None of the faces opposite them exhibited confusion. Was that an acceptable option in Zioneven’s culture?

It was only by mere minutes, but Marcelo did qualify as a younger sibling to Marcela.

For the first time in Marcelo’s recollection, his mother faltered. “Do…surely…but…”

Marcelo turned his head toward her, his wide eyes silently imploring her to voice an objection. Kemble may have recently grown complacent thinking herself in the clear, but she’d at least spent her life knowing she was the likely backup plan.

As a royal son in this matriarchal society, Marcelo had grown up knowing he would never marry. Never. Royal sons did not marry. Period.

He’d been perfectly happy with that knowledge because he’d never experienced the attraction that men outside the royal family felt toward women. In fact, he’d enjoyed knowing he would not have to merge his life with a woman’s with the expectation of having to bed her.

His gaze flicked back and forth between Queen Giselle and Prince Efren before settling on the prince. Prince Efren had kept his eyes locked with the queen’s, but as if sensing Marcelo’s scrutiny, his head turned to reflect Marcelo’s regard.

Marcelo’s heart thudded so vigorously in his chest, surely everyone in the room must hear it. His respiration quickened. That single word uttered by Prince Efren had shattered Marcelo’s understanding of everything he knew about the world and had expected in his life.

Queen Giselle remained frozen for a few more moments, her brows drawn together as she processed the unexpected direction of this discussion. She cast a brief, apologetic glance toward Marcelo, then lifted her shoulders in a barely visible shrug. “The treaty does indeed use that word. Prince Efren, the choice is yours.”

Marcelo’s stomach dropped as her words echoed through the silent hall even though he’d known in his heart that she’d put Sheburat before her son’s individual concerns. So, he felt no personal betrayal. It was who is mother had to be.

Prince Efren continued to stare at Marcelo as he firmly stated, “I choose His Royal Highness, Prince Marcelo. The wedding will proceed tomorrow as planned.”

Marcelo swayed as the blood drained from his face. How could this be? How did such a marriage work? Would he be expected to—

“Marcelo?” Suky’s whispered tone voiced her concern. “Are you unwell?”

She repeated the words, but from farther away. Or did her voice only seem distant? He wobbled as the people around him faded, and then, thankfully, this nightmare all went away.

© 2018 Addison Albright