Sex and The Single Earl, won the prestigious Maggie Medallion for Best Historical Romance. Vanessa's next series, The Renegade Royals, is due to hit the shelves in November with an introductory novella, Lost in a Royal Kiss. Book One in the series, Secrets For Seducing a Royal Bodyguard, will release in January, 2014, and Confessions of a Royal Bridegroom will be out in April, 2014.
When not dreaming of plots for her next Regency historical novel, Vanessa also writes USA Today Bestselling contemporary romance with her husband under the pen name of V.K. Sykes. She's also a member of Rock*It Reads, a group of bestselling traditional authors who are self-publishing, and of The Jaunty Quills.
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Her gaze flew up to meet his, and the pink stain on her fine cheekbones flushed a rosier color. He’d only ever used her given name on one other occasion, and he suspected it was one she wished to forget. But then anxiety overtook her discomfort. She bit one corner of her lower lip, pulling it between her teeth. It was her unconscious habit when disturbed or anxious, one of the few visible signs of vulnerability in an otherwise strictly disciplined nature.
Anthony half sat on the corner of his desk, loosely clasping his hands on his thigh. He waited, allowing her time to regain her composure. But when the clock on the mantel pinged out the turning of the hour, she gave herself a little shake. “As you have obviously deduced, Sir Anthony,” she said in her crisp yet sweetly modulated tones, “Dominic and I find ourselves in something of a stew. I do understand how irregular our visit is, but in the heat of the moment I couldn’t think of what else to do.”
Her gaze flew up to his, and she started to protest. He smiled and held up a hand. “I am ever at your service, and to the rest of your family, as well. You understand that, do you not?”
She weighed that idea and then finally nodded.
Anthony rewarded her with another smile. “Good. Now, let’s get to the problem, shall we? I assume it has something to do with Dominic?”
She nodded. “You assume correctly. Unfortunately, Dominic was involved in a brawl. A rather bad one, I’m afraid.”
Anthony glanced at Dominic. He didn’t seem the worse for wear, although now that he actually looked at him rather than at Linnet, he could see the boy’s breeches were dusty and the sleeve of his jacket had a small rip at the elbow. “That is indeed unfortunate, but all his limbs seem to be intact.”
Linnet shook her head. “Dominic was the one inflicting the hurt, not receiving it.”
“Prince Ernest,” she responded in a grim voice.
Anthony froze. Christ. Ernest, the fourth son of the king and at age fifteen already poised to follow in the reprobate footsteps of his older brothers. No wonder Linnet had come to him.
“How badly did Dominic hurt him?”
Dominic bounded to his feet. “Not bad enough.” He leveled
a fierce glare at Linnet. “You shouldn’t have stopped me. You should have let me kill him.”
He flung the words in a harsh, accusatory tone, and Linnet let out an involuntary gasp.
Anthony straightened and took two strides to the boy. Clamping a hand on Dominic’s shoulder, he pressed him back into the chair. “Not another word from you,” he said in a lethally low voice.
Excerpt from LOST IN A ROYAL KISS ©2013 by Vanessa Kelly. All rights reserved.
Series: The Renegade Royals #0.5
Length: 88 pages
Publisher: Zebra Books (November 26, 2013)
ALL IT TAKES IS ONE KISS…
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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