Wednesday, June 21, 2017
**Giveaway** Three Weeks With A Princess by Vanessa Kelly **Author Q&A**
The Improper Princesses—three young women descended from royalty,
each bound for her own thrilling adventure . . .
THREE WEEKS WITH A PRINCESS
Improper Princesses #2
Releasing June 27, 2017
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.
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. . .
“I do have a family,” Lia said, forcing a cool tone. “It is their responsibility to help me. And might I add that given the differences in our social standing, if you were to help me it would only cause more salacious gossip.”
Instead of being offended, Jack flashed her a wry smile. “Now you sound like my mother. And I cannot believe I just said that.”
She briefly smiled. “I suspect you’ll never have cause to say so again. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must get back to work. There’s a great deal to be done before opening night.”
His improved mood vanished in an instant. Jack had been an incredibly good-natured boy and was now a man with an easygoing, laughing manner. These days, however, he more closely resembled a bear with a sore paw.
She came to her feet, prompting him to stand as well. “Will you come see the play? Mama is simply splendid in her role.”
“If you mean A Surprise for the Publican’s Wife, dare I ask what the surprise is?” he asked in a dour voice.
Drat. He must have glimpsed the program on the worktable. “No, that’s the comic burletta. Mama is starring in The Queen of Mount Olympus. I truly think it’s one of my stepfather’s finest works.”
“I see. And are you appearing in either performance?”
Lia had to resist the impulse to look down at her feet. “As a matter of fact, I’m in the burletta. It’s just a bit part, though,” she added hastily, taking in his expression. “Not even a speaking role.”
That qualification didn’t assuage him. “Lia Kincaid, if you think I’m going to allow you to make a spec—”
“Lia, darling, are you in there?” trilled a voice, cutting off Jack’s incipient tirade.
Breathing a prayer of thanks, Lia slipped around her fuming companion. “Yes, Mama.”
Her mother glided through the door. Her costume vaguely resembled a toga—although one hardly imagined togas with gold spangles and gauze—and she carried a helmet. “There you are. I was hoping—” She broke off, seeing the stranger in the green room. After running a quick, assessing gaze over Jack’s form, she flicked an enquiring glance at Lia.
“It’s Jack, Mama,” Lia said with a mental sigh. “Lord Lendale, that is.”
Her mother flashed him a dazzling smile and dropped into a graceful and extravagant curtsy, helmet notwithstanding. “Goodness, how could I not have recognized you? You’re looking well, your lordship. Extremely well.”
Jack executed a polite bow. “There would be no reason for you to recall me, Mrs. Lester. It’s been years since we last met. Allow me to say that you’re also looking very well.”
Despite her irritation, Lia couldn’t help but be touched by his courtesy. Jack had never acted the snob with her family, which was a sign of his kind nature.
“You flatter me, my lord,” Mama trilled in a pretty voice. “Lia, why didn’t you tell me that Lord Lendale had grown up to be such a distinguished man?”
Lia’s cheeks burned. “I suppose there wasn’t any reason to discuss it.” She did her best to ignore Jack’s ironic gaze.
“Well, never mind. You’ve obviously come to visit Lia, which is splendid,” Mama said, placing her helmet on the table. “I hope you will be sure to take in the program on opening night. And you must certainly visit my darling daughter afterward in the green room.”
With a sinking heart, Lia realized her mother and grandmother had probably written to each other on the subject of reeling Jack into the role of her first protector.
“Actually, I’ve come to persuade Lia to return to Stonefell, where she belongs,” he said with something of a growl. “It’s time for her London adventure to conclude.”
Lia’s mother threw her a triumphant glance. “I entirely concur, my lord. Lia would be much more comfortable set up quietly in the country. It would be more private that way, too.”
Jack peered at Mama for a moment, but then his features transformed into a horrified understanding.
Lia pulled in a deep breath, fighting the anger that was sucking the air from her lungs. She couldn’t decide which of them she’d rather murder first.
“Lord Lendale’s intent is not what you think, Mama. He simply wants me to return home to live with Granny. In genteel poverty, I have no doubt,” she couldn’t help adding sarcastically. “His finances are a complete disaster. I’d probably end up in a hovel if he somehow did become my protector.”
“There’s no need to be rude about it,” Jack said.
“You’re much ruder than I am,” Lia said. As a retort it was exceedingly lacking, but her head felt like it was about to explode from a combination of humiliation and fury.
a USA Today Bestselling, 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.
previous series, The Renegade Royals, was a national bestseller.
She is currently writing a spin-off series called The Improper Princesses. My
Fair Princess, book 1, was named a Goodreads Romance of the Month. Vanessa
also writes USA Today Bestselling books with her husband, under the
pen name of V.K. Sykes.
Tasty Q&A with Vanessa Kelly
If you could sit and write in a different country where would it be?
England, probably the Lake District or the Cotswolds. My fantasies generally do not involve sexy guys—they involve peaceful little cottages on a hillside overlooking a beautiful lake. Oh, and tea, scones, and a nice glass of wine at the end of the day. LOL!
Co-writing: have you done it with another author, if not, would you?
I co-write with my husband as VK Sykes. We’ve written a number of books, including contemporary romances and romantic suspense. Hubby is also my critique partner for my historical romances. I enjoy the process and we work very well together—likely because we know each other’s weak spots and how to deal with them. It’s really fun to work creatively with him; plus, it keeps us busy so we don’t kill each other from boredom! I don’t know if I could actually co-write a book with another author, although I’ve worked on interconnected anthologies with other writers. I enjoyed that process, too.
Can you tell us a little about your book?
THREE WEEKS WITH A PRINCESS is the second book in The Improper Princesses Series, which is a spin-off from my previous series, The Renegade Royals. That series featured the illegitimate sons of England’s royal dukes, who fought for their rightful places in the world—falling madly in love with some pretty swell gals along the way, of course. In this new series, the illegitimate daughters of royal dukes take their turn, surmounting all the obstacles that society put in their way in that time period, and winning the hearts of their own heroes. There’s love, laughter, adventure, and just a little bit of danger to spice things up!
How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
Aside from the fact that it’s a spin-off, THREE WEEKS WITH A PRINCESS is based on the famous movie musical, Gigi. My heroine, Lia Kincaid, is the daughter and granddaughter of notorious courtesans and is expected to follow in their footsteps. There are a few problems with that plan, however—she has no desire to become a courtesan and she’s madly in love with her childhood friend, Jack Easton, Marquess of Lendale. But events conspire to push Lia in the direction she doesn’t want to go, and Jack is pretty much losing his mind trying to stop her. Jack, unfortunately, also has big problems, which include a mother who hates Lia’s guts and a debt-ridden estate all but falling down around his ears. Needless to say, Lia and Jack have more than a few obstacles to a happily ever after!
What are some books that you enjoyed recently?
I just read a great book called BITTER SPIRITS, a paranormal romance set in San Francisco during the Roaring Twenties. The hero is a bootlegger and the heroine is a spirit medium, and they meet under very unusual circumstances: the hero is under a curse. They have tremendous chemistry and I loved the atmospheric setting. I’m halfway through the second book in the series by Jenn Bennett, and I’m enjoying it, too. I’m kind of a sucker for unusual historical settings for romance, and this one really fit the bill.
What do you like best about being a writer? What is the most challenging part?
The best part for me is writing The End. I relish having a finished book in my hands, and it’s still a thrill to know I created a new story with characters I’ve invariably come to love. The most challenging part is actually sitting down every day and getting words on the page. Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes not. There are days when I feel like being lazy or reading a book, but deadlines mean butt has to get into chair, regardless of inspiration striking or not.
Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
The theme I most frequently come back to, whether I realize it or not at the time, is family and finding home. It’s just the one that sticks with me. I do have a number of characters I’d like to return to at some point, mostly secondary characters from my Renegade Royals Series. There are a pair of children in my recently released short story, THREE RENEGADES AND A BABY, who I think are demanding their own story when they grow up. So, stay tuned for that!
Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
My next book is called THE HIGHLANDER’S PRINCESS BRIDE, and it’ll be out in November. It’s Improper Princesses 3, and it moves the action to a remote castle in Scotland. My heroine finds herself trying to teach a very rambunctious family of Highlanders how to be proper gentlemen, a la Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. This book segues into my next series, which will feature the Kendrick brothers—a wild group of Highland rogues! I’m really excited to be moving in that direction.