I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Three Weeks with a Princess by Vanessa Kelly
Series: The Improper Princesses #2
Published by Kensington, ZEBRA BOOKS on June 27th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Historical, Regency, Romance, Romantic Comedy
Purchase Links: Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Google Play
ADD TO GOODREADS:
In Vanessa Kelly’s captivating series, three young women are descended from royalty—in the most improper way. But that doesn’t stop them from pursuing lives rich in adventure...
Lia Kincaid, illegitimate daughter of the Duke of York, comes from a long line of notorious women. Raised by her grandmother, formerly mistress to the late Marquess of Lendale, she has little hope of a respectable marriage. But the new marquess, her childhood friend, Jack Easton, would make a very desirable protector . . . if he weren’t too honorable to take her to bed.
It’s bad enough being saddled with a title he never desired. Now Jack must resist the beautiful woman he desires far too much. Duty calls, and he is duty-bound to choose a wealthy bride. But then Lia makes another outrageous suggestion: asking Jack to devise some tests to find her the perfect paramour. Tests that involve flirting, kissing, and other pleasurable pursuits. Tests that, in a matter of weeks, could transform friendship into the ton’s greatest scandal, igniting a passion even duty can’t deny...
Also in this series: My Fair Princess
Also by this author: My Fair Princess
Vanessa Kelly, the author of the delightful Renegade Royals series, returns now to their female relations, The Improper Princesses — the illegitimate granddaughters of King George III.
Lia Kincaid lives in an increasingly crumbling cottage on the estate of her grandmother’s protector. Yes, her grandmother was the longtime mistress of the recently deceased. Marquess of Lendale. Her status in society is twice besmirched since Lia is also the illegitimate daughter of HRH The Duke of York and an actress. Isolated at Stonefell, Lia’s only companions are her grandmother, the Marquess, the servants, and the Marquess’ nephew Jack. Never one to treat her as anything less than the delightful girl that she is, young Lia soon finds herself falling in love with her childhood hero, Jack. Knowing the chances of him returning her adoration, Lia is content with his friendship.
However, once the old Marquess died without providing for Lia or her grandmother, Lia’s circumstances change dramatically. Jack refuses to allow anything to change for his dear friend or her grandmother and vows his continued support. Knowing the strain on the finances of Stonefell and the tension between Jack and his mother over the presence of the Notorious Kincaid women.
I don’t know if I have ever fallen so hard or so quickly for a couple in a novel. Seriously, from the second they appeared on the page together, I wanted to yell, “Why aren’t you two together!?!”
Well, they aren’t together because a novel needs conflict and wouldn’t be a very long read if they realized how perfect they were together and rode off into the sunset by the end of chapter one.
Lucky for us readers, it takes time for Jack and Lia to resolve their feelings and circumstances. Their delightful misadventures toward their happily ever after is filled with so much spirit and honesty, I think I was smiling like a loon the entire duration of the novel. Vanessa Kelly continues to excel at creating realistic characters with palpable chemistry between them. The rapport between Jack and Lia is brilliantly written, the cadence of the speech and wit of the banter is stellar.
The premise of Lia starting life as a courtesan was a little far-fetched — although it turned out to be exactly what Jack needed to get his head out of his arse and find his own happiness. Her career on the stage was a hoot, and I loved seeing what life was like in the theater at the time. I admit the extended family of illegitimate royal children can get a little confusing and the family ties too quickly forged.
Jack and Lia’s HEA was hard-earned; it was obvious from the start there was no one else ever to fill the void in their hearts. Never thought I’d say this, but thanks to the author Vanessa Kelly for all the conflict and obstacles — it meant more time with Lia and Jack, and that’s something I’d never regret.
They heard a quick footfall out in the hall. A moment later the door opened and Lia rushed in.
“Oh, confound it, Jack,” she said. “I had no idea you were here. I ran down from the big house as soon as Merton told me he’d seen you cutting through the gardens.” She rested a hand on his arm and stretched up on her toes to give him a soft kiss on the cheek. “It’s shocking that I wasn’t here to greet you. Please forgive me.”
Jack stared down at her, slightly disoriented, as if someone had given him a knock on the brainbox.
He hadn’t seen her since his uncle’s funeral, when grief and worry had left her pretty face pinched and wan. Enveloped in mourning clothes and heavy shawls to keep out the chill spring rains, Lia had seemed almost like a sad child, sorely in need of a mother’s love and comfort.
Today, though, there was nothing childlike about her, and she was more than merely pretty. His Lia was now full-grown and simply beautiful.
She gazed up at him with peacock-blue eyes alight with affection. Her skin glowed with the warmth of the summer sun and the flush of her exertions. Her enchanting face, with its tip-tilted nose and lush pink mouth, was framed by silky dark hair, some of it falling haphazardly from the simple knot on top of her head. As for her figure, her faded green riding habit with its trim bodice showcased a graceful body that held more than its share of pleasing curves.
When the hell had Lia developed breasts that he actually noticed?
His visits to Stonefell had been rare these last three years, given the fact that he’d spent much of that time on the Continent with the army. In the meantime, his little friend had matured into a woman, with results that were rather astonishing.
Her brow creased and her smile slid into one of perplexity. “Jack, you look as if you don’t know me,” she said with a self-conscious laugh. Then her smile snuffed out completely. “Oh, am I being too familiar?”
She took a quick step back and dipped into a curtsy. “Forgive me, my lord. I let my enthusiasm run away with me.”
Her anxious response jolted him back to himself. He pulled her into a bear hug, all too conscious of how delightful her soft breasts felt against his body.
“Goose, of course not,” he said, planting a brief kiss on the top of her head before letting go. “I was just a bit surprised to see you, that’s all. You’re looking very well, I must say.”
She wrinkled her nose. “That’s a complete plumper. I look a wreck, but I didn’t want to take the time to change and risk missing you.”
Rebecca ran a critical eye over her granddaughter. “You do look rather disheveled, my love. I wasn’t aware you were planning on shoeing the mare yourself, but the soot on the hem of your habit would suggest you were.”
Lia burst into laughter, and the light, clear sound of it loosened the tangled knot in Jack’s chest that had moved in some weeks ago. He’d forgotten how much he enjoyed her laughter.
“I know,” she said. “But poor Markwith is so busy these days. I thought I’d help him by taking Dorcas down to the blacksmith and saving him the trouble of the trip.”
Jack mentally grimaced. In the last year his head groom had been forced to let go two stableboys. That Lia was now acting as a stable hand had the knot in his chest twisting tight again.
“I’m sorry, Lia,” he said. “You shouldn’t have had to do that.”
“You know I don’t mind,” she said as she folded herself onto the footstool at her grandmother’s feet. Rebecca reached out to stroke Lia’s thick hair. They were so close. With the death of Jack’s uncle, the two women truly now had only each other.
“Next time you need something, just tell me,” he said. “I’ll take care of it.”
Her eyebrows arched up. “I will when you’re in residence. But that’s not very often.”
Rebecca gave her an admonishing tap on the shoulder. “That’s no way to speak to his lordship, my love.”
Lia’s eyes rounded with mock horror. “Oh, I do hope I haven’t offended him.” She gave him a comical bow, her nose almost touching the floor. “Forgive my impertinence, Lord Lendale, I beg of you.”
He shook his head. “Brat.”
She grinned. “Sorry, but I can’t help teasing. It’s just so good to see you.” She glanced over her shoulder at Rebecca. “We missed him greatly, did we not, Granny?”
See? Perfect together!