How to Marry a Royal Highlander: The Renegade Royals #4 by Vanessa Kelly with Excerpt

How to Marry a Royal Highlander: The Renegade Royals #4 by Vanessa Kelly with Excerpt

Welcome to my review of the fourth title in The Renegade Royals series by Vanessa Kelly, and what a fun series this historic romance is! Please read on for my review and excerpt, be sure to check the tour stops to see what other readers thought of the title and don’t forget to enter the tour-wide giveaway where  a grand prize winner will get  a $25 Amazon eGift card and 4 runner-up prizes – to receive a copy of How to Plan a Wedding for a Royal Spy and Confessions of a Royal Bridegroom,

How to Marry a Royal Highlander

I think I fell in love with this series when I read Tall, Dark and Royal, and each installment since then has been pure delight.
With plenty of humor from both heroes and heroines, understandable angst and some fairly steamy passages, Vanessa Kelly has created stories that intertwine with familiar characters but stand solidly alone without great loss of understanding for the reader.

Eden is the focus of this story: headstrong, daring and bold, she’s felt herself at somewhat of a loss since her twin’s marriage.  So, to test her powers, and perhaps dare to experiment a bit, she is found in a compromising position with an utter bounder. The gossip and cut directs will not end, so Eden’s only choice is to retreat from London until talk dies down.

Alasdair Gilbride, best friend and cousin to Eden’s brother in law is one of the only men able to distinguish Eden from her twin Evie, and he finds the irrepressible and slightly madcap Edie much to his liking.  Heir to an earldom in Scotland, he’s not returned to his home for many years owing to guilt at his ‘wrong side of the blanket’ birth, and his perceived injustice in the inheritance.  But now, the old Earl, his grandfather, is ailing, and he must return.  What better opportunity for Eden and her Mother to escape the gossips of London than for her to travel to Scotland and visit with the highly esteemed Earl?

From their first introduction and verbal spats, Edie and Alec are funny and engaging: that ‘doth protest too much’ to prove dislike only highlights the sparking attraction between them. And, Alec can never resist a damsel in distress, thinking that Edie will be a grand diversion for his grandfather, and the removal of her from London will do her good.

From a misguided sense of guilt, to a betrothal that neither party wants, a cranky and ailing Earl and a thoroughly dismissive relations, not to mention a solid smattering of life-threatening danger, Eden is navigating a world she does not know and Alec hasn’t been wholly forthcoming. But, he does get her to see, literally with spectacles, the path that is before her, and not unsurprisingly his own journey comes into focus as well.

He’s been my favorite character, even when he is being a dunderheaded ox, and this story focused only on him and Edie, who matches him so well is a perfect instalment.  This series is a must read for me, and I can’t wait for the next book.


How to Marry a Royal Highlander: The Renegade Royals #4 by Vanessa Kelly with Excerpt

Title: How to Marry a Royal Highlander
Author: Vanessa Kelly
Series: The Renegade Royals #4
Also in this series: How to Plan a Wedding for a Royal Spy
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: Zebra
ISBN: 1420131281
Published on: 30 June, 2015
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 352
Rated: five-stars
Heat: One FlameOne Flame

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See this Title on Goodreads

Illegitimate yet thoroughly irresistible, the Renegade Royals are leaving behind their careers as daring spies for the greatest adventure of all…

At sixteen, Alasdair Gilbride, heir to a Scottish earldom, fled the Highlands and an arranged betrothal. Ten years later, Alasdair must travel home to face his responsibilities. It’s a task that would be much easier without the distracting presence of the most enticing woman he’s ever met…

After one escapade too many, Eden Whitney has been snubbed by the ton. The solution: rusticating in the Scottish wilderness, miles from all temptation. Except, of course, for brawny, charming Alasdair. The man is so exasperating she’d likely kill him before they reach the border—if someone else weren’t trying to do just that. Now Eden and Alasdair are plunging into a scandalous affair with his life and her reputation at stake—and their hearts already irreparably lost…

See The Renegade Royals Series on GoodReads

Tasty Excerpt


She wrinkled her nose at him. “You’re determined to cast down all my hopes, aren’t you? What good is a castle without a torture chamber?”

“Actually, there is something much better than a torture chamber. Come with me.” He held out a hand.

Edie studied him for a moment, not trusting his seductive smile. But the enticement was too great, so she joined him, and he led her to a set of stairs tucked into the corner of the room. They were very narrow and very steep and, despite her excellent new spectacles, she slipped. From behind, Gilbride clamped his big hands on her hips to steady her.

“Watch your step, love,” he murmured.

The casually uttered endearment set her heart racing. Or perhaps it was the feel of his long fingers curling around her hips, holding on to her just a fraction longer than necessary.

“Thank you,” she managed to squeak out.

She finished the climb in a rush, arriving breathless on the next level. That room was a duplicate of the room below, sans furniture, so Gilbride urged her to keep going. At the top of the staircase, there was a small door that swung open to the roof. She stuck her head out, taking in the parapet that ringed the edges of the steeply peaked roof that rose from the top of the tower.

“Are you game for a look?” Gilbride asked from just below her. She felt sure he was getting quite a good view of her bottom, since it had to be almost in his face. That thought had her going hot all over, despite the sharp breeze that set her bonnet ribbons fluttering.

She scrambled onto the roof then edged away to the right, giving him room to fit his large frame through the small opening. She thought for a moment that his shoulders would get stuck, but he managed to push himself through and up onto the roof.

“I don’t remember that being such a tight fit,” he said.

“I imagine you were smaller the last time you were up here. Now you’re practically a giant.”

“Hardly that, but I was a skinny lad. Tall, but thin as a beanpole. Our cook did her best to fatten me up, but nothing ever seemed to work.”

Gilbride’s body held not an ounce of extra flesh, as far as Edie could tell. “Lucky you. It was quite the opposite in our house. Mamma was forever scolding Evie and me about eating too many sweets. She was terrified we’d end up as—”


She gave him a sheepish smile.

“I assure you, Miss Whitney, there isn’t anything on your frame that doesn’t belong there.”

That rather impudent remark was followed up by a leisurely perusal of her figure. From the appreciative look in his eyes, it seemed the compliment was sincere.

She made herself turn away from him to gaze at the view that made her almost forget that he was flirting with her again.

“It’s beautiful,” she gasped.

The tower was on a high point of land, looking down the hill. Straight below ran woods, purple heather spread out in a dazzling natural carpet. To the left, shimmering in the afternoon sunlight, was a large lake.

“Are those swans?” she asked.

“They are. There have been whooper swans on Mugdock Lake for generations.”

Edie leaned over the waist-high parapet, trying to get a better look. Gilbride snaked an arm around her middle to pull her back.

“Easy does it,” he said. “We’ve kept the tower in good repair, but the stones are very old. I don’t fancy explaining to your mother how I let you tumble off.”

The feel of his arm around her waist left her rather breathless again, so she came back in. It startled her how much she didn’t want him to let go.




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About Vanessa Kelly

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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