“But his new protégée, with her habit of hunting bandits and punching earls, is a walking scandal.”
That line in the description was the hook. There have been other books about progeny born on the wrong side of the blanket, but I had to give this one a go and see for myself just how true that description was and I wasn’t disappointed. My Fair Princess was a fun read with a cast of characters that had me turning the page just to see what they were going to get up to next.
I can honestly say that I loved Gillian from the start. She was a spitfire with a huge and honest heart. She was outspoken, brutally so at times, but never with the intent to harm. She simply calls it like she sees it, which unfortunately, or rather fortunately means that she isn’t Ton material. Not that she’s losing sleep over it. She is comfortable in her own skin and has no desire to play games and pretend with people who will treat her horribly because she was born on the wrong side of the blanket, which was not fault of her own.
Charles is the epitome of a member of the Ton. He knows exactly how to act, which means keeping his emotions in check and reacting to anything and everything as little as possible. He knows all of the right things to say and even when not to say a word. He appears stoic and almost heartless at times and yet that is so far from the truth. Beneath the carefully constructed facade is a man who cares deeply not only for his family, but for those that he is responsible for due to the title he inherited and can be quite charming when he he is able to let his guard down.
I enjoyed how Gillian and Charles’ relationship went from teacher/protege to lovers. The build up as she tested his patience and he tried to reign in her natural and exuberant tendencies was fun to experience. Their bantering and battle of wills was highly entertaining. They had quite a few obstacles to overcome in their journey, but I liked how they worked through them while never losing who they were at their very core, though I do like that Charles loosened his cravat just a bit.
This was my first book by Vanessa Kelly and I really enjoyed it. The writing was engaging and the pacing was well done. The 3rd person dual POV was well done and I enjoyed being in both Gillian’s and Charles’ heads throughout the book and seeing how they viewed the various people surrounding them and how they thought about the issues that plagued them. The supporting cast of characters were all well done and added depth and color to the world. And though I really enjoyed how everything played out, there was one particular character whose reaction to Gillian and Charles’ HEA that I really wanted to see, but didn’t. It happens and maybe it will be mentioned in the next book in the series?? Either way, I’m looking forward to seeing who is up on the chopping block next!
~ ARC received from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ~
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?
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 third book, My Favorite Countess, was nominated for an RT Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Regency Historical Romance.
Her current series, The Renegade Royals, is a national bestseller.
Vanessa spends most of the year in Ottawa, Ontario with her husband, but she’s lucky enough to spend some of the winter near lovely Amelia Island, Florida. When she’s not dreaming of plots for her next Regency novel, she’s writing USA Today Bestselling contemporary romances with her husband, under the pen name of V.K. Sykes.