‘Lost in a Royal Kiss’ by Vanessa Kelly
In this thrilling introduction to her Renegade Royals series, Vanessa Kelly transports readers to the court of King George III—where a London street urchin unwittingly plays Cupid, ushering in a new era—and ultimately a new kind of royal…
With her widowed mother working long hours as governess to the royal children, Linnet St. Clare must look after her siblings and run the household. Now she must add to her worries the fate of Dominic, a poor orphan who has inspired the wrath of the king himself. Clearly Linnet has no time to consider her own desires—much less notice the attentions of a certain handsome, powerful magistrate…
Sir Anthony Tait is at a loss for how to capture Linnet’s interest. If only she would be still long enough for courting. Outright seduction seems the only answer. But will his kisses be enough to persuade her—or might Anthony have something to learn from young Dominic about matters of the heart? And in saving the boy’s future, might Anthony and Linnet at last create their own?
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Predictably, Sir Anthony resumed perusing her garb. His eyes glittered with masculine appreciation as they traveled over her, and a blush burned up her neck to her cheeks.
“You’re probably wondering what I’m doing here.” She pulled her wrapper more tightly around her, struggling since quite a bit of it had become trapped under her bottom. She let out a dismayed squeak when she glanced down and noticed that both night rail and wrapper were bunched up around her knees, leaving her feet and calves naked. She snapped her gaze back up to find Sir Anthony inspecting her bare legs.
“Yes,” he answered in a distracted voice. “I was just getting to that.”
Linnet wanted to squirm, but instead she wrapped her arms defensively around her body. That movement had the unfortunate effect of bringing his gaze up from her lower limbs, where it settled on her breasts. To her undying horror she could feel her nipples bead, instinctively pulling tight in response to his heavy-lidded gaze.
“I couldn’t sleep in this dreadful heat,” she said, jerking her arms up over her chest. “I thought I might find a book in Lady Farnsworth’s study to occupy my time.”
“Ah. That explains it.”
He sat on the bench, propping his shoulders into the corner of the bay, looking entirely at his ease. Linnet, however, was anything but, since the seat was not nearly big enough for both her and his powerful frame. She tried to edge backward, but had nowhere to go. His long legs stretched in front of her, blocking her in. If she wanted to escape she’d practically have to leap over him.
But she didn’t want to escape, even though every moral precept she’d ever learned insisted she flee.
“Didn’t you have anything in your room?” he asked. “I brought your book back to the house this morning after your rather precipitous exit from the gazebo. I made certain the butler brought it to your room.”
Was he teasing her? He sounded amused, but she couldn’t really tell. If anyone had the ability to mask what he was thinking, it was Sir Anthony.
“Yes, thank you, but I was looking for something else,” she said in a polite voice.
“Something that would help me to sleep.”
He tilted his head, studying her.
“And was it only the heat that kept you awake?” His voice held a husky note that made all her muscles want to go slack.
She shrugged. “I can’t think what else it could be.”
Her attempt at a casual gesture made her breasts jiggle under the light fabric of her nightclothes, and drew his attention back to her chest. She winced, painfully aware of her immodest appearance. Her lamentably plump breasts bordered on the indecent, and she always made sure to keep them chastely covered.
He reached out and trailed a finger along her shoulder to her neck. “I can think of one other reason why you couldn’t sleep, can’t you?”
MINI REVIEW: I loved the way all the characters interacted. I enjoyed watching Anthony on the prowl for what he wanted and smiled as he became truly frustrated at times with Linnet. I’m sure he wanted to go all caveman on her but held back for decency’s sake.
She, however fought her own self over her feelings. She couldn’t get around him without blushing and felt she wasn’t good enough for him. When these two finally came together, it was like taking a deep breath and releasing a happy sigh.
This novella did not feel rushed and it had a good pace which kept me happily in the story and eagerly awaiting the next book, ‘Secrets For Seducing a Royal Bodyguard’ and the one after that ‘Confessions of a Royal Bridegroom’.
I liked the way it ended it with letters exchanged between Chloe and Dominic which is a great set up for the new four book series that follows, The Renegade Royals. Dominic Hunter’s story continues in this series and I look forward to following him on his journey.
Leah for b2b
*Book provided by the author.
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AUTHOR INFO: 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.
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.
Visit Vanessa’s Books page to find out all about her new series, The Renegade Royals! And be sure to visit her Blog for her latest writing news and for guest appearances by a host of wonderful authors.
Vanessa is a member The Jaunty Quills, a group blog composed of fabulous authors like Shana Galen and Kristan Higgins. She’s also a member of Rock*It Reads. You can find out all about this collective of NY published authors who also self-publish on Vanessa’s Rock*It Reads page.
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