Lost in a Royal Kiss (The Renegade Royals #0.5)
Author: Vanessa Kelly
Publisher: Kensington Zebra
Release Date: 26 November 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?…
ExcerptShe hesitated when his mouth transformed from a smile into a flat line. He didn’t look precisely angry but his eyes had narrowed, and he studied her with an intensity that made her uneasy.
“Go on,” he prompted.
Linnet took hold of her flagging courage. The stakes were high, and she couldn’t afford to back down now. “You were one of the youngest magistrates in the City, and you also rose very quickly to your positions in the Home Office and at Court. It is a great honor, but difficult, I imagine, and rather isolating. Dominic is isolated, too. He needs someone to understand what that’s like for him.”
By the time she fell silent, Linnet’s pulse was racing. Sir Anthony’s eyes glittered with a hard gleam, the one that she’d learned to recognize and avoid. What kind of fool would dictate the nature of his temperament to so powerful a man?
She swallowed hard. “Forgive me,” she said. “I had no right to ask you to do this. If you can just take Dominic for a few nights until I—”
“Linnet, you mistake me.” His deep voice cut across her babble. Drat. She’d clearly offended him. “Yes, I know it was presumptuous of me, but—”
“My dear girl,” he said, cutting her off again with a smile so warm and enticing that the back of her neck started to tingle. “Dominic is welcome to stay with me, pending the king’s permission.”
“He is?” she managed in a weak voice.
“Yes. I simply wished to understand your reasoning.”
“Oh.” She couldn’t help fidgeting with the tips of her gloves. “And you’re not offended by what I said?”
His smile turned into a grin as he rose from his chair. She’d never seen that expression on his face, and it rendered her speechless. She was still struggling to respond when he came around the desk and gently pulled her to her feet.
“Actually, I’m rather impressed by your analysis of my character. It shows a great deal of perception.” He loomed over her, big and alarmingly attractive. Linnet had never thought of Sir Anthony as a man who could seduce a woman with only a look, but present circumstances were making her change her mind.
“And I’m flattered that you think of me enough to have made that analysis,” he said in a rumbling voice that sent the tingles from her neck straight down her spine.
“Ah, as you know,” she stammered, “one can find many interesting objects of study at the Court.”
Splendid. Now she was babbling again. Linnet took a step back, hitting the seat of her chair. Sir Anthony’s hand shot out to hold her steady. She stared up at him, transfixed by the heat in his gaze as his thumb stroked gently over the inside of her elbow. The thin silk of her gown was no impediment to a touch that felt like a lingering caress.
“Careful, my dear,” he murmured in a voice as deep and dark as midnight. “We can’t have you hurting yourself.”
About the Author
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 sensual, 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. 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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