Friday, August 26, 2016


The Improper Princesses—three young women descended from royalty, 
each bound for her own thrilling adventure . . .

Improper Princesses #1
Vanessa Kelly
Releasing Aug 30th, 2016

First, Vanessa Kelly brought readers The Renegade Royals. Now, in a delightfully witty new series, she introduces The Improper Princesses—three young women descended from royalty, each bound for her own thrilling adventure . . .

Despite being the illegitimate daughter of a prince, Gillian Dryden is happily ignorant of all social graces. After growing up wild in Italy, Gillian has been ordered home to England to find a suitable husband. And Charles Valentine Penley, the excessively proper, distractingly handsome Duke of Leverton, has agreed to help transform her from a willful tomboy to a blushing debutante.

Powerful and sophisticated, Charles can make or break reputations with a well-placed word. But his new protégée, with her habit of hunting bandits and punching earls, is a walking scandal. The ton is aghast . . . but Charles is thoroughly intrigued. Tasked with taking the hoyden in hand, he longs to take her in his arms instead. Can such an outrageous attraction possibly lead to a fairytale ending?

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My Fair Princess (The Improper Princesses #1)My Fair Princess by Vanessa Kelly

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A heroine unlike any other ...

Gillian is not afraid to be herself. Even when everyone else is pushing her to become someone else. Vanessa Kelly creates characters that are bold and electrifying. I don't think that I have every come across one as strong willed as Gillian in one of her stories, however. When summoned home to take her place as the toast of the social elite, she meets her biggest challenge in the one man determined to change her wild ways. What Charles finds is a free spirit that appeals to his inner wildness. Can he accept the beauty that is Gillian or will he break his own heart in taming her? I love to read stories that integrate the importance of being true to one's self. There is a piece of beauty in ever soul. Thanks for shining a light on that message Vanessa Kelly.

View all my reviews


     “Letitia, I’m the one who should be insulted. You rejected me once, and now you’re propositioning me in the middle of a ballroom. Did you really believe I would fall for your tricks again?”
     She struggled to control her temper and made a credible job of it. “Poor Charles, you always were a fool. That, I see, has not changed.”
     “Well, now that we’ve exchanged a sufficient number of insults, I think—” 
     Before he could finish, Jack materialized from behind a nearby pillar. “Excuse the interruption,” he said brusquely, “but I need to borrow Leverton.”
     Letitia sneered. “You may have him. He’s quite as rude as you are, Lendale, which I had not thought possible.”
     Jack laughed. “Up to the old game again, eh, Letitia?” He looked at Charles. “She tried it on me a few weeks ago, if you can believe it.”
     Her pale blue gaze brimmed with hatred. “You are no gentleman.”
     “And you are no lady, so we’re even,” Jack said in a cheerful voice. 
     Charles thought she would choke on the spot. And he thought he would choke on the laugh he decided to swallow. “I suppose I should be annoyed that I was her second choice. Again.”
     “Consider yourself lucky,” Jack replied. “But enough of this nonsense, old boy. You need to rejoin your party immediately.”
     The vague anxiety that had been lurking around the edges of Charles’s consciousness sprang into sharp definition. 
     “Dear me,” Letitia said in a catty voice. “There is a commotion on the other side of the dance floor, and I believe I see your protégé, Your Grace. She seems to be engaged in some kind of dispute with my husband and Lord Andover.”
     When Charles took a hasty step toward the dance floor, Letitia grasped his arm. “Are you sure you want to do that? You know how much you hate scandal, my dear Charles.” 
     “Letitia, what did you do?” he asked.
     She shrugged her beautiful white shoulders. She’d almost destroyed him years ago, and now she’d apparently decided to do it to Gillian.
     “Why?” he demanded.
     “Because she decided she wanted you, old son,” Lendale said. “And she clearly thought Miss Dryden was an impediment.”
     “I don’t have time for this,” Charles said, disgusted. He stalked away, trying to ignore Letitia’s mocking laugh. He wove his way through the crowd, moving as quickly as he could without knocking anyone over.
     “Why the hell weren’t you keeping on eye on Gillian?” Charles snapped when Lendale caught up with him.
     “I’d just gone off to get some refreshments, for God’s sake. I’d snagged a footman with a tray of drinks when I saw that Letitia had trapped you in her evil snare.”
     “You shouldn’t have left Gillian on her own, Jack.”
     “She’s your damn responsibility, not mine. Besides, she was with her grandmother the last time I saw her. How the hell was I supposed to know she would get into an argument with one of the greatest morons in London?”
     “You have no idea how many ways that blasted girl can get into trouble,” Charles said. “And speaking of Lady Marbury, where is she?”
     “There she is,” Jack said, all but pushing a corpulent earl out of their way. They ignored his protests as they hurried to join her.
     “Charles, there you are,” she said in a relieved voice. “I stepped away to the retiring room, and I came back to this. You must make Lord Andover go away before Gillian does something dreadful.”
     “I intend to,” he said in a grim voice. Unfortunately, he was still several feet away when he saw Gillian’s lips curve up in a smile that made it clear mayhem was about to occur.
     By the time he got clear of a gaggle of excited debutantes, Gillian was practically standing on Andover’s toes, saying something that Charles couldn’t hear over the din of the crowd. A moment later, she delivered an outstanding right hook that caught Andover under the chin.
     Since the earl was well-known at Gentleman Jackson’s for having a glass jaw, the effect was both predictable and profound. He toppled like a felled tree, straight into a cluster of bystanders, including a footman carrying a tray of champagne goblets. The poor footman tumbled into a middle-aged matron possessed of a well-padded figure, and both went crashing down to the floor, along with the champagne.  
     “What a nice, flush hit,” Jack said in an admiring voice.
     “Do not tell her that,” Charles growled as he elbowed past a pair of girls who were shrieking and fanning themselves in a dramatic fashion. 
     Jack shot a sly grin at Charles. “I don’t mean to interfere, old boy, but you might want to drop a word in Miss Dryden’s ear that boxing isn’t usually the done thing in the middle of a ballroom.”
     “Thank you for that extremely helpful bit of advice, you idiot,” Charles said in a blighting tone. 
     Jack simply laughed.
     Charles stalked up to Gillian, who stood over Andover, flexing her hand. When she glanced up at him, she let out a sigh. At least he thought she sighed, since it was hard to hear anything in the growing pandemonium.
     Gillian clasped her hands at her waist and patiently waited, a picture of serene beauty in the midst of chaos.
     “Well, Miss Dryden,” Charles said, “now that you’ve provided the main entertainment for the evening, what have you planned for an encore?”

     She flicked a glance around the crowded ballroom that seethed with excitement and gossip. Then she looked back at him and shrugged. “I hadn’t thought that far ahead, Your Grace. I am, however, entirely open to suggestion.”

Vanessa Kelly is an award-winning author who was named by Booklist, the review journal of the American Library Association, as one of the “New Stars of Historical Romance.” Her Regency-set historical romances have been nominated for awards in a number of contests, and her second book, Sex and The Single Earl, won the prestigious Maggie Medallion for Best Historical Romance. Her current series, The Renegade Royals is a national bestseller. Vanessa also writes USA Today bestselling contemporary romance with her husband, under the pen name of VK Sykes.

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  1. Thank you so much for hosting me today!

  2. Thank you so much for hosting me today!

  3. Lovely review! Thank you for hosting MY FAIR PRINCESS today!

    Crystal, Tasty Book Tours