Lost in a Royal Kiss (The Renegade Royals #0.5)
By: Vanessa Kelly
Publisher: Zebra Books
After reading the completely delightful "One Kiss for Christmas" by Vanessa Kelly inthe A Grosvenor Square Christmas anthology, I decided to download the free (at the time) novella Lost in a Royal Kiss that introduces her upcoming series, The Renegade Royals. Anthony and Linnet's story opens in 1786 -- she's in love with him, he's in love with her (well, he wants her to be his wife -- and therefore in his bed -- at any rate *wink*), and neither is, as yet, willing to do anything to breach the distance between them. Nothing, that is, until a crisis forces this unlikely pair to join forces to save two children who've run afoul of one Ernest, one of the king's sons. Ernest made the mistake of seducing Chloe, his tutor's only daughter, thereby incurring the wrath of Dominic, an orphan who was taken in by the queen to be raised alongside her sons. In an attempt to save Chloe's reputation from ruin and Dominic from prison (or worse) for avenging her honor, Anthony and Linnet may finally discover that a future between them is more possible -- and more delightful -- than either of them had ever dreamed.
Novellas of this ilk have the unenviable task of illustrating fully-realized, meaningful relationships and compelling plots in an extraordinarily abridged fashion, and on balance Kelly succeeds admirably. I wasn't expecting her to touch on weighty issues such as ruined women and the political clout of royal princes in such a slim story, but she handles it with aplomb. The emotional depth inherent in Dominic and Chloe's travails lend weight to the storyline -- appropriate since the first Renegade Royals novel jumps ahead over twenty years, seeing Dominic assume the role of royal spymaster now held by Anthony. I LOVE the concept of this series -- the illegitmate offspring of royals fighting for position and place in a world where their familial inheritance is denied them by virtue of the circumstances of their birth. Kelly's writing sparkles with wit, excitement, and emotional intensity, and this is a promising introduction to her new series. Be aware that this story IS spicy, but I am thankful that Kelly heavily implies a history between her hero and heroine, giving me hope that future couples have relationships based on more than physical attributes. Secrets for Seducing a Royal Bodyguard releases in January! About the book:
In this thrilling introduction to her Renegade Royals series,
Vanessa Kelly transports readers to the court of King George III--where a
London street urchin unwittingly plays Cupid, ushering in a new
era--and ultimately a new kind of royal...
With her widowed
mother working long hours as governess to the royal children, Linnet St.
Clare must look after her siblings and run the household. Now she must
add to her worries the fate of Dominic, a poor orphan who has inspired
the wrath of the king himself. Clearly Linnet has no time to consider
her own desires--much less notice the attentions of a certain handsome,
Sir Anthony Tait is at a loss for how to
capture Linnet's interest. If only she would be still long enough for
courting. Outright seduction seems the only answer. But will his kisses
be enough to persuade her--or might Anthony have something to learn from
young Dominic about matters of the heart? And in saving the boy's
future, might Anthony and Linnet at last create their own?...