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How to Plan a Wedding for a Royal Spy: The Renegade Royals #3 by Vanessa Kelly with Excerpt and Giveaway

Welcome to my review and excerpt for this fun historical romance. Please be sure to check the other tour stops, and don’t forget to enter the tour-wide giveaway where you could win the Grand Prize of a $20 Amazon or Barnes Gift Card,  and 4 Runners Up will receive print copies of SECRETS FOR SEDUCING A ROYAL BODYGUARD and MY FAVORITE COUNTESS.

Book Review:

I was excited to read yet another installment in this series, I had done a bit of “catch up’ with earlier titles, and was intrigued by Will’s story.
Will is one of the royal cousins from the wrong side of the blanket. To prove himself to his father, he has worked tirelessly as a spy and soldier: now returned from Waterloo, he wants to move on with his life and away from spying.  But that is not to happen, there is a threat to the government, and his childhood best friend Evie is thought to be involved.

Evie is a bit of a wallflower, or always was, especially compared to her very brash and bold twin Edie.  Betrothed, or near to, to Michael, a man determined to do good for te influx of Irish immigrants into the area, Evie has found a ‘simplicity’ in her relationship with Michael, and it is clear that he loves her very much.

And then Will returns, and Evie’s brain turns to mush as he is wooing her, seeing her not as the childhood friend but a desirable woman.  OK  – so Evie is busy ‘telling’ everyone she is to marry Michael, but she is constantly caught in difficult, and then compromising situations with Will. It’s as if she is determined to forgo her morals for the fulfillment of one night, and then expect that Michael will be waiting.

I pretty much wrote her off at that point.  And Will was not much better, first for insinuating himself into Evie’s life again, repeatedly telling himself that the goal was more important than the aftermath, and compromising Evie in front of everyone during a party.  His chivalry was certainly tested, and cowed by his father’s flat out dismissal of Evie.  Fortunately Will does manage to turn his own attitude about a bit in regards to her, and become worthy of the attention.

For me, the favorite character in this story was Will’s cousin and Alec and his brash, honest, wicked sense of humor that never gives a break.  And his willingness to bring Will up to task when he is perseverating.  The underlying plot of who is the real threat to government and the climax as they  ferret out the mystery, the use of the church and good works to help the indigent, and Evie’s final development and apology to Michael helped to redeem the story a bit, even though I was more frustrated with the characters than enjoying them.

How to Plan a Wedding for a Royal Spy: The Renegade Royals #3 by Vanessa Kelly with Excerpt and Giveaway

Title: How to Plan a Wedding for a Royal Spy
Author: Vanessa Kelly
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: Zebra
Published on: 6 January, 2015
Format:eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 400
Rated: three-half-stars
Heat: One FlameOne FlameOne Flame

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About the Book:

Whether as spies or lovers, the Renegade Royals—illegitimate sons of England’s Royal Princes—are bold, skillful, and a force to be reckoned with…

A war hero returned from Waterloo should be able to indulge in a bit of bad behavior. Instead, Captain William Endicott is summoned by his father, the Duke of York, to investigate an assassination plot. The unlikely suspect: William’s former sweetheart. Will can’t believe that innocent Evie Whitney could be mixed up in anything so nefarious. Then again, almost everything about Evie has changed—except for his body’s instinctive response to hers…

Just as Evie’s life is finally coming together, Will saunters back into it. Should she slap him—or seduce him? Even as she tries to decide, scandal pushes her toward marriage with a man she can neither trust nor resist—and into the heart of a deadly conspiracy…

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

Tasty Excerpt

 

“What’s wrong, Evie?” he asked in a quiet voice.

She startled. “Nothing. Why do you ask?”

“I remember that particular sigh. It means you’re not happy about something.”

She sat up straighter, trying to put some distance between them. The blasted man was impossibly large, and the Lord knew she wasn’t exactly a tiny thing. Between the two of them and the excess material of her riding habit, it was a miracle they were even able to fit into the curricle.

“I’m fine.” She flashed him what she hoped was a nonchalant smile. “I hardly think you know me very well, given the passage of time since we were children. I’ve grown up, Will.”

He glanced down at her, his gaze lingering on her face and then moving to her bosom. “You certainly have.”

Her mind blanked, struggling to find an appropriate reply. Unfortunately, there didn’t seem to be one.

Cautiously, she peered up at him. She hadn’t been sure before, but now it did seem clear that Will was flirting with her. Not that she was adept at flirtation, or even in recognizing the signs. In fact, she was monumentally bad at it. But she surely wasn’t mistaking the heat in Will’s eyes that had made them darken like smoke curling up from a blue flame.

When his lips tilted up in an amused smile, she realized her mouth was hanging open. She snapped it shut and jerked her head forward. “Will, you should keep your eyes on your pair. This road is quite bad after all the rains we’ve had this summer.”

His low laugh did things to her nerves and insides that defied description. It was beginning to dawn on Evie that what she’d felt for Will as a girl—as powerful as that had been—had lacked a full awareness of his potent physical attractions.

“Certainly, Madame Scold, whatever you say,” he teased.

“When have I ever scolded you, William Endicott?” she asked, retreating behind a façade of exasperation. “As I recall, you always led me around by the nose. Really, I’m quite ashamed of my weak-willed behavior back then.”

“If anyone did the leading, it was your sister,” he said dryly. “And if memory serves, you gave me quite a scolding last night.”

That comment gave her nerves another kind of jolt, one not nearly as pleasant.

“Yes, about that . . .” She threw a quick glance over her shoulder. Michael and Gilbride were catching up to the curricle, but were not yet close enough to eavesdrop.

Might as well get it over with.

Will’s calm expression as he managed the traces suggested nothing more than a friendly disinterest in the conversation. But she knew him as well as he knew her. If she didn’t miss her guess, most of his attention was still on her and not on his cattle.

“I owe you an apology, Will,” she said quietly.

He cocked his head, still looking politely disinterested. “I’m sorry, what did you say?”

She raised her voice a notch. “I behaved rather wretchedly to you in the drawing room last night, and you didn’t deserve it.” Well, not most of it, anyway.

He looked regretful. “You’ll have to speak up, Evie. I can’t hear you over the noise of the carriage wheels and the horses.”

The beast. He was going to make things difficult for her.

“I said I’m sorry,” she practically yelled. “Which you heard the first time, you brute.”

He laughed. “I am a brute, and for that I apologize. But I couldn’t resist because you looked so guilt-ridden.”

“I am guilt-ridden, and a gentleman would accept my heartfelt apology and be done with it,” she grumbled, crossing her arms over her chest.

His glance flicked absently down to her bosom, and Evie couldn’t help flushing. Then he returned his attention to the horses. “No apology is necessary, my dear girl. I earned that thundering scold. Not only for my behavior last night but for everything else, too.”

 

 

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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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