First, Vanessa Kelly brought readers The Renegade Royals. Now, in a delightfully witty new series, she introduces The Improper Princesses—three young women descended from royalty, each bound for her own thrilling adventure . . .
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?
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)
Kelly's Improper Princesses Regency series opens gallantly with well-thought-out characters, madcap adventures, and London's cunning, cagey elite. Gillian Dryden's royal bloodline can't completely make up for her illegitimate birth and wild upbringing in Sicily. She becomes a target of Sicilian bandits and is brought back to England to be safely schooled in refinement and married off. Charles, Duke of Leverton, who's known as Perfect Penley, grudgingly agrees to be her social tutor. After Gillian assaults a boorish earl and shoots a robber, she is further tarnished socially. Gillian's continued recklessness and lack of decorum challenge Charles, and she begins to chip away at his controlled life. Gillian's antics imbue her story with energy and some intrigue, but the most affecting part of Kelly's tale is Charles's development as he falls in love with Gillian and breaks free of complacency and propriety. This is a fun ride with a colorful, adventurous heroine and a happily disconcerted, formerly perfect hero.
Customer ReviewsSee All
My Fair Princess
A fantastic book that leaves you anxious for the next escapade that Gillian will find herself in. I look forward to reading the other stories in this series. I would highly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys Regency romance.
Worthy of your time and admiration. Intelligent, compassionate, strong women who challenge and learn from equally strong men. Read the book!
Pure, unadulterated fun with scintillating dialogue, great characters and a seriously long overdue p
What happens when a Duke and peer of the realm, known for his rigid adherence to social norms, aversion to scandal and a serious fire poker up his butt is tasked with reforming the infamous illegitimate daughter of one of the royals? Fun. Pure, unadulterated fun with scintillating dialogue, great characters and a seriously long overdue poker-ectomy.
I flew through this story in one sitting, the premise of a Pygmalion-like transformation of a young woman who is rarely swayed by other people’s opinions or conventional thinking. Gillian is a spectacularly unique character – driven by a strong sense of judgment, a fierce temper and a dash of impulsivity. She’s smart and kind, loyal and completely unconcerned and uninterested in her place in English society.
Griffin is solidly aware of his responsibilities and completely averse to scandal. Willing, however, to use his social capital and his reputation to help Gillian succeed and find an appropriate husband now that she’s returned to England from Sicily. His own impressions of Gillian aren’t as dismissive or downgrading: he’s intrigued by her intelligence, her wit and humor, and she is certainly a challenge to his temper. Fortunately for Griffin, Gillian is JUST what he needs to bring amusement into his life, and his sister is completely intrigued with her brother’s first emotional reactions to a woman in years.
Gillian tests every fibre of Griffin’s being, in all the best ways. She’s completely unfettered by typical social conventions, desperate to shield her mother from societal censure, and completely uninterested in all things English. She is, however, wonderfully kind, inquisitive and caring – not wishing to make her mother’s life, or anyone else’s life difficult. She just wants to go home to Sicily. Griffin, although he believes he is to set Gillian on the correct path to an advantageous marriage, is finding that he’s wanting more. And the path to the eventual ending is wonderfully paved with intrigue, moments of tension, honesty and plenty of heart. A wonderful read that has jumped into my favorites, with Gillian and Griffin moving to the top of my faves from Vanessa Kelly.
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.