Home > Craven Cove Royalty (Craven Cove, #4)

Craven Cove Royalty (Craven Cove, #4)
Author: Alexa Riley


Prom King



by Alexa Riley



Celeste's mom has taken her all over the country running cons on rich people. On the first day at her new school, she somehow manages to catch the attention of the school's rowing captain…only in the worst way possible. Too bad the guy coming to her rescue is her mom’s next con.

Apollo’s family is known all over town, but he’s ready to get off the island of Craven Cove. What he isn’t ready for is the new girl changing all his plans.

Warning: This high school romance gets an A+ in steam and a B- in drama. Grab your backpacks because class is in session.



Chapter One






The sound of my mom’s laughter has me lifting my head and pushing my glasses up my nose to find her. She’s standing in line to order a drink, but I’m not sure why. She hates coffee, always has. She’s up to something.

The three women in front of her in line give her all their attention. Their eyes are wide, and they’re hanging on to every word she says. If my mom wants your attention, she’ll get it one way or another. She can control the energy in the room with a few words or movements.

Her blond hair shines in the light that’s coming through the windows at the front of the quaint coffee shop. Even the light has no choice but to give her notice. Some people think of her as magical or even supernatural. I think others might call her a con. If they could ever catch her, that is.

The reality is she can read the room even with her eyes closed. When I was little, I thought of it as a gift, but as I’ve gotten older, I’m not sure that’s the case.

Her head turns my way and then her smile changes to one that’s genuine. When she goes back to speaking to the women in line, they all take out their phones to save her number. We’ve been in the town of Craven Cove for two days, and she’s already luring people in. Even I can tell the ladies she's speaking to come from money. It won’t take Mom long to have them pouring it into her hands.

I go back to clicking through the website for my new high school. Mom said we’ll be staying here for the year, or at least until I graduate. She’s so determined to have me finish out my final year of high school in an actual school.

Personally, I think she has this whole idea of prom and me walking across a stage for graduation. This isn’t really a new dream, because we’ve been through this before. Just as she begins to put down roots somewhere, she’s telling me we’re on to the next adventure.

I’ve been in and out of schools all my life. Oftentimes I’m able to attend online. But that was more so when we traveled with that circus for a few years. Now it depends on where we land after we take off from the town before. Part of me is excited to stay in one spot for a whole year, but the rest of me is filled with an unease I can’t explain.

“Everyone here is so lovely.” Mom sits down in the chair across from mine and places a drink in front of me.

“Making friends already, I see.” Snagging the coffee she got for me, I take a giant gulp. She might not be a coffee lover, but I am. I picked up the addiction when I realized coffee could help me stay up and keep reading my books through most of the night.

“A girl’s gotta make a living.” She winks at me, making me laugh.

I have no clue how I’m her daughter. We couldn't possibly be more opposite in personality. She steals the spotlight while I never want to be anywhere near it. It’s not usually hard for me to make friends, but I’m still pretty shy.

“I think you’re fine on money, Mom.” We aren’t loaded, but I’ve never gone without.

She reaches across the table and plucks my glasses off my face. She cleans the lenses and looks around. “What do you think of this place?”

“It’s nice so far.” It’s really different from anywhere else we’ve stayed for an extended length of time.

You have to take a ferry to get on and off the island, which is nothing like anywhere we’ve been. Most everyone around here knows each other from what I can tell, and there seems to be a mix of classes as well. Some of the homes are breathtaking, complete with helipads to take them on and off the island. I’ve spotted a few of them, but then there’s modest places like the one we’re renting.

“Change is coming,” she says, handing me my glasses. What the heck does that even mean? I know my mom isn’t actually psychic. “I’ll meet you at home?” she asks, and I nod.

“Yeah, I’m going to roam around.”

“I know you are, honey.” She stands up and then leans over to kiss on the top of my head. “It gets dark early here, keep that in mind—”

“And stay away from the water.” I finish her words for her. “We’re on an island. That might be a hard one to stick to.”

“I was going to say to turn your phone off silent.”

“Liar,” I toss back at her. Mom can smell a lie from a mile away, but knows how to tell one without giving herself away. Too bad I know her better than anyone and can tell when she’s lying.

“Fine.” She places another kiss on my head before she’s heading for the door.

A handsome older man in a suit holds it open for her and then pauses for a long moment as she walks past him. He openly stares after her until a younger version of the man is in front of him.

The guy is more casual in jeans and a T-shirt. They share a few words before the suit is back out the door. I have no doubt he’s chasing after my mom. My mother, Anna Binx, is a bright blue flame, and men flock to her like moths. I shake my head at the poor sap and pack up my things in my bag. I want to check out the small bookstore I saw a few blocks down.

After tossing my empty cup in the trash and cleaning my table, I turn around too quickly.

“Oh!” I gasp when I run right into someone. The pastry he has on a small plate is pressed into the front of his shirt. “I’m so sorry.”

I put my hands over my mouth and then realize it’s the guy that was with the man in the suit. This close, I can tell he’s younger than I originally thought. He might even be around my age or a few years older. His large size threw me off with the distance, but this close, I can see so much more.

“Shit,” he grumbles, sounding pissed. I can’t blame him. Blue and yellow icing is smeared across his white shirt.

“I really am sorry. I’ll buy you another,” I offer.

Why does this always happen to me? And of course it’s with some super-hot guy. My mom is always graceful and never misses a beat. Yet I’m always stepping right into something and making a mess.

“Don’t bother.” He lifts his gaze from his shirt to meet my eyes.

His dark green eyes widen, and his lips part. No words come out, and I stand there staring at the specks of gold that mix in with the green. I’ve never seen eyes like his before, and I’m somehow embarrassed that I can’t stop looking at them.

“Sorry,” I blurt out again before I’m rushing out of the coffee shop and onto the street.

“Wait!” he shouts after me, but I keep going. Quickly I make my escape into the bookstore, praying that I never run into him again.

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