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. . .
Praise for Vanessa Kelly's Renegade Royals series
"Will definitely resonate with fans of Mary Jo Putney and Joanne Bourne." --Booklist
"Kelly combines diverting dialogue, delightful surprises and finely tuned pacing to make this a winner." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Customer ReviewsSee All
3.5 stars Rounded
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.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.