Available: Now Amazon
Type: Historical Romance
My Copy: Net Galley
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?
This is a truly engaging story, the first in the Improper Princess series with some familiar characters from the past. The expanded family tree brings new dynamics and entertainment from the Renegade Royals series and the hero and heroine are perfect together as they match wits.
We first meet Gillian while she is hunting the men who killed her beloved step-father and right away we realize that she is definitely a bit different than your normal historical heroine. She can fight like no other woman and does not care who knows. She is the illegitimate daughter of royalty and society shuns her and her family, however because of her escapades she is in danger and must return to London. Yet she is far from a blushing debutant and her mother and grandmother reach out for help.
Charles Penley, the Duke of Leverton has the nickname of Perfect Penley for one reason, everyone considers him the embodiment of a proper aristocrat. When he is asked to help a far off relative he is perfectly willing, until he meets Gillian and finds out what he is in for. He finds himself agreeing to the task much to his dismay but deep inside I think he enjoyed the challenge and then later just being around the fresh air that is Gillian.
What a refreshing fun book. I enjoyed the wild child vs the proper duke scenario, the characters are well written and the story is exciting and hard to put down. A hit with me and I look forward to more.
Gillian is a kick, after her mother married her step-father she enjoyed a wonderful and free life, it was only after her step-father was murdered by bandits did she become a huntress trying to find the guilty ones. Needless to say she was a bit wild as no one attempted to fit her into society’s norm, especially because she is an illegitimate royal. She has a great heart, and never blamed anyone because of her birthright, even with the gossip and crude remarks that accompany the stares she receives.
I adored Charles, although thought of as the perfect duke, he had a side to him that made him endearing to all and you could really see a change when he was away from the eyes of society during their stay in the country. Their relationship was very engaging, they argued a lot and he would be so frustrated that I had to laugh at times. When they embarked on a grand adventure, things get very interesting between them. Especially when a group of highwaymen attacked their carriage and stole something of value to Gillian, she wants to rid the countryside of this evil that is plaguing residents and travelers. What a twosome, she is brash and outspoken, even hitting an earl in the middle of a ball, where he is proper and stuffy, the two clash like night and day and I was thrilled to read the details.
The pace worked well, started with a bang and leveled out but then ramped up again while they were in pursuit of bandits and their lives were in danger. I did feel a bit of un-believability in the beginning of the book, and thought that Gillian’s conquests were a bit overdone; did she really kill so many bandits? Almost hard to believe but I went with it anyway and enjoyed the tale. Although this is the first in a new series, there are characters that join the story from a previous series and I enjoyed seeing Griffin and Justine again, Gillian is the half-sister of Griffin and he is very protective of her. All in all a wonderful start to a new series, and I will be looking for more soon.
I give My Fair Princess by Vanessa Kelly 4 stars!