As part of the blog tour, I have an excerpt of Vanessa Kelly’s How to Plan a Wedding for a Royal Spy. Enjoy!
Whether as spies or lovers, the Renegade Royals—illegitimate sons of England’s Royal Princes—are bold, skillful, and a force to be reckoned with…
A war hero returned from Waterloo should be able to indulge in a bit of bad behavior. Instead, Captain William Endicott is summoned by his father, the Duke of York, to investigate an assassination plot. The unlikely suspect: William’s former sweetheart. Will can’t believe that innocent Evie Whitney could be mixed up in anything so nefarious. Then again, almost everything about Evie has changed—except for his body’s instinctive response to hers…
Just as Evie’s life is finally coming together, Will saunters back into it. Should she slap him—or seduce him? Even as she tries to decide, scandal pushes her toward marriage with a man she can neither trust nor resist—and into the heart of a deadly conspiracy…
Alec’s only reply was a distracted grunt. Will followed his cousin’s gaze to a shallow window alcove framed with blue velvet drapes, where Evie and Beaumont chatted with Eden and a trio of her ever-present swains.
He flicked an interested glance at Alec. “What do you think of Evie’s sister? You spent time with her last week, too.”
“Only because I had to run interference to keep her away from you and Miss Whitney,” Alec said in a disgruntled tone.
“Yes, and I thank you for your help. Eden didn’t seem all that keen on your company.”
Alec let out a grudging laugh. “She thinks I’m a complete bore, what with me prosing on about charities and whatnot.”
“Not to mention your loyal son of the Highlands routine. That seemed to put her off too.”
“Pity. She’s a bonny lass and that’s a fact. But at this point I suspect she’d rather shave her head than hold another conversation with me. My little act apparently worked too well.” He let out a dramatic sigh. “The sacrifices I make for Crown and country.”
“Poor you,” Will said. “But despite your trepidation, I think it best we spend some time visiting with the ladies and Mr. Beaumont. It will afford you the opportunity to find out just how much Eden dislikes you.”
“Won’t that be a lark,” Alec replied sardonically.
An unexpected touch on Will’s shoulder had him spinning around, instinctively starting to assume a defensive stance. When he saw who stood behind him, he winced.
“Stand down, Wolf, you’re not in the Peninsula,” Aden St. George said, trying not to laugh. “The only danger you face in this ballroom is from matchmaking mammas or rich widows on the prowl.”
Will shot a glance at Alec, relieved to see he also regarded their newly arrived companion with a slightly embarrassed demeanor. He obviously hadn’t noticed Aden sneaking up on them, either, though Aden was almost as tall and brawny as Alec.
Aden St. George had been one of England’s most talented and lethal spies in the long war against the French, and the man chosen to be Dominic Hunter’s replacement as Head of Section. He was also their cousin, and a by-blow of the Prince Regent himself.
Will shook Aden’s hand. “I suggest you not sneak up on me again, or you might find yourself with an injury in a most unwelcome part of your anatomy.”
Aden laughed. “My wife would have something to say about that. You cross her at your peril, I assure you.”
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 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. Her current series, The Renegade Royals is a national bestseller. Vanessa also writes USA Today bestselling contemporary romance with her husband, under the pen name of VK Sykes.