At sixteen, Alasdair Gilbride, heir to a Scottish earldom, fled the Highlands and an arranged betrothal. Ten years later, Alasdair must travel home to face his responsibilities. It’s a task that would be much easier without the distracting presence of the most enticing woman he’s ever met…
After one escapade too many, Eden Whitney has been snubbed by the ton. The solution: rusticating in the Scottish wilderness, miles from all temptation. Except, of course, for brawny, charming Alasdair. The man is so exasperating she’d likely kill him before they reach the border—if someone else weren’t trying to do just that. Now Eden and Alasdair are plunging into a scandalous affair with his life and her reputation at stake—and their hearts already irreparably lost…
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How to Marry a Royal Highlander
By Vanessa Kelly
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2015 Vanessa Kelly
All rights reserved.
It was turning out to be the worst day of Edie Whitney's life. If she'd harbored any doubts, her family's reaction to the unfortunate events at Lady Charlfort's ball last night had dispelled any illusions.
She halted midpace when she heard the hurry of footsteps in the hall. When the door to her bedroom opened, and her twin sister rushed in, Edie almost collapsed with relief. Evelyn had moved out of the Reese family town house after her marriage a few weeks ago, and the empty bedroom next to Edie's seemed to echo the sense of absence she now felt in her life.
Since they were little girls, the sisters had lived in each other's pockets. She and Evelyn shared not only their looks but their thoughts, emotions, and secrets of the heart. Edie had always known that marriage would someday separate them, but she'd never truly prepared for it. When Wolf Endicott had waltzed back into Evelyn's life a few months ago, it had changed everything.
Grateful that her twin had finally found happiness with the man she'd adored for years, Edie still couldn't help feeling that the most essential element of her own life had gone missing. That made her feel like the most selfish wretch on the planet. To say that her emotions were in a muddle was a capital understatement.
"Dearest, what's going on? Why is Mamma in such a tizzy?" Evelyn asked, stripping off her gloves to grasp Edie's hands. She frowned. "Your fingers are like ice, and you look positively whey-faced. Are you ill? You never fall ill."
Edie let the familiar pressure of her sister's hands establish its calming hold. She tried to dredge up a bracing smile. "I'm fine. Better than fine. It's everyone else who's gone batty, not me."
Her twin drew her to the silk chaise in the window alcove. "You know you can't fool me. What did you do now?"
Edie flopped onto the chaise. Evelyn settled quietly next to her, as precise as a pin in her perfectly tailored carriage dress, her spectacles lending their usual air of bluestocking gravity.
But Evelyn also glowed with happiness, which polished her unassuming beauty to a high gleam.
"I've made a regular cock-up of things," Edie said with a sigh. "Even Mamma is furious with me."
"Surely not. Mamma is never angry with you."
"She's been banging on constantly since breakfast about how I'm the straw that finally broke the camel's back. Surely she said something to you about my fatal transgression, as she keeps calling it."
"No, I wanted to see you first before speaking with her. I sent Will into the drawing room to take the first volley." Evelyn flashed a quick grin. "You would have thought I was sending him to face a regiment of bloodthirsty French dragoons."
Edie couldn't hold back a snicker at the idea of her brawny brother-in-law, a former military spy, quailing before their mother. While Wolf had known Lady Reese his entire life, he still found her an intimidating presence, as did most everyone.
Everyone except Edie. She'd always been able to manage Mamma, and everyone in the family depended on her to do just that in order to keep the peace. Lately, though, she seemed to be losing her touch.
"Don't worry," she said. "Mamma is quite enamored of Wolf these days. She keeps referring to him as her favorite son-in-law."
"He's her only son-in-law," Evelyn replied drily, "but never mind about that. Tell me what's wrong."
Edie bolted up from the chaise, too frazzled to sit. She'd slept little last night after the incident—to use another of Mamma's melodramatic turns of phrase. But despite Edie's determined efforts to downplay the events of the previous evening in her own mind, a sense of near panic had kept her awake long into the night.
She took a hasty turn around the room before returning to stand in front of her sister. Evelyn sat quietly, clearly as ready as ever to do what was necessary to support her twin. It gave Edie the courage to blurt out the whole sorry mess.
"Well, you see ..." She never got tangled up in words, but now her tongue was tied in ten thousand knots. "I, um, was at Lady Charlfort's ball last night, as you know, and I was caught in a rather ... awkward position."
A look of foreboding crossed Evelyn's face. "How awkward?"
"I went for a little stroll down the hall, the one that leads to Lady Charlfort's orangery. It's rather out of the way, as you know."
"Please tell me you were alone, or at least went with someone respectable."
Edie wrinkled her nose. "I was with Sir Malcolm Bannister."
Evelyn looked horrified. "You didn't!"
"I did," Edie said with a sigh. "And we got caught, too."
"Doing what, exactly?"
Edie waved her hand impatiently. "Kissing, of course. Why else would one wander down a secluded hallway with a notorious rake?"
Evelyn slapped her hand atop her chest, looking like a scandalized virgin, though her sister certainly now had more experience when it came to intimate relations between the sexes than Edie. A great deal, if her twin's vague hints were any indication.
"You were kissing Sir Malcolm right there in the hallway?"
"Well, we were in a window alcove. One does want a little privacy in these matters, after all."
Actually, what she'd wanted was to get back to the ballroom, since she'd immediately realized what a colossal mistake she'd made. Sir Malcolm, unfortunately, had had other ideas. Edie had been about to land a hearty kick to his shins when their doom had appeared in the form of Lady Charlfort and her gossiping old harpy of a mother, Lady Morgan. Both had, apparently, wanted to take a stroll down the hall at the same time.
Evelyn let out a disbelieving laugh. "I'm assuming someone caught you."
"Obviously," Edie said sarcastically.
Her twin winced. "Sorry. Of course someone must have caught you."
Edie sighed. "No, I'm sorry. I had no right to bite your head off." She sat down again on the chaise. "I'm just tired and out of sorts."
Evelyn took her hand in a comforting clasp. "Goose, as if you ever need to apologize to me. You've never done anything but take care of me and protect me."
Edie had done her best to take care of Evelyn over the years, shielding her from their mother's incessant carping and blocking anyone who tried to take advantage of her sister's shy nature. But, in truth, it was Evelyn's loving presence that had given Edie the courage to stand up to those who tried to lord it over her sister. People believed that Edie was the strong and fearless twin, ready to challenge the world, but she knew better. Evelyn had true courage—inner steel that enabled her to stand up for things that really counted.
"Who found you?" Evelyn asked. When Edie told her, she grimly shook her head. "Lady Morgan is the worst gossip in London."
"Don't I know it," Edie gloomily replied.
"Just how compromising was the position?"
"He was kissing me rather vigorously, I'm sorry to say." In fact, the dreary man had shoved his tongue halfway down her throat. Edie had been kissed a few times before, but she realized now how tame those earlier embraces had been. Sir Malcolm, in contrast, had acted like a starving man attacking a slab of rare roast beef.
"But you were fully clothed at all times?" Evelyn asked anxiously. "There was nothing exposed?"
She punctuated her question by waving a vague hand at Edie's bosom. Fortunately, Edie had managed to keep Sir Malcolm's wandering hands from latching on to that portion of her anatomy.
Edie held up a hand, as if taking an oath. "Not a ribbon, button, or pin out of place. Unlike some people I could mention who found themselves in a similar situation."
Evelyn acknowledged the hit with a wry smile. "Thank God for that, at least. Once that happens, the outcome is usually fatal."
Fatal, as in an inevitable trip to the altar. A similar situation had befallen Evelyn and Wolf some months ago, although everything had turned out perfectly in the end.
"You'd think Mamma would agree," Edie said, "since it was really nothing more than a stupid kiss. And not even a very good one."
"I'm assuming you have no wish to marry Sir Malcolm."
"Absolutely not. Nor does he wish to marry me. He bolted out of the house as if his coattails were on fire."
When Evelyn's only response was a frown and a slow, thoughtful nod, Edie let out a resigned sigh. "Evie, I know that look as well as I know the back of my hand. You might as well just say what you're thinking."
Her twin gave her an apologetic smile. "Dearest, you know I would never criticize, but why would you put yourself in such a perilous situation? Especially for a cad like Sir Malcolm."
Edie started fiddling with the end of the satin ribbon that trimmed the waist of her gown. But Evelyn had an endless supply of patience, and Edie knew her twin would wait her out. She tried for a less direct approach. "Evie, did you ever want to a kiss a man before Wolf? I mean really kiss him."
"There was no man before Will," her sister said wryly. That was true enough, since Evelyn had been in love with Wolf since she was a young girl.
Still, Edie needed something more to go on. "So, you never wanted to kiss anyone else, not even Michael? You were practically engaged to that poor man for almost two years."
Everyone in the family had been convinced that Evelyn would marry Michael Beaumont, a kind and gentle man who'd been very fond of her. Wolf's return home after the war had put the boots to that idea within a matter of weeks.
Her twin pondered the question. "I didn't loathe the idea of kissing Michael," she finally said, "but it didn't make me jump for joy, either."
"And I take it that Wolf's kisses do make you jump for joy?"
Evelyn's cheeks turned pink. "That's one way of putting it."
Edie huffed out a disgusted snort as she jumped up and started pacing the room again. "It's just so unfair. I'm twenty-five, and I have no idea what you're talking about."
Her sister's gaze lit up with understanding. "I see. You were experimenting. I suppose in that context it makes sense you'd pick Sir Malcolm. One would naturally assume that a handsome and notorious rake would be good at it."
"One would assume wrong," Edie said, coming to a halt by her bed. She braced a shoulder against one of the posts. "I know my plan was demented, but I'm beginning to wonder if there's something wrong with me. I can't seem to find anyone I'd really enjoy kissing, and ... doing all those other things one does."
"You just haven't found the right man yet. It's easy as anything once you do." Evelyn studied her. "Although I could swear there's someone who—"
Edie held up an imperious hand. "Do not even dare to whisper that man's name."
Her twin cut her a sly grin. "I clearly don't need to, do I?"
Edie felt herself blushing. But Captain Alasdair Gilbride, the most attractive and the most infuriating man she'd ever met, flustered her beyond all reason. Since Edie made a point of never getting flustered, it was very disconcerting. "Evie, I'm warning you."
An annoying little smile curled the edges of Evelyn's mouth. "Yes, dear. Whatever you say."
A quick tap on the door interrupted them, and a moment later their lady's maid—or, rather, Edie's lady's maid now that Evelyn had married—came into the room.
"Lady Reese wants to see you both in the drawing room, Miss Eden," Cora said. She directed a critical eye at Edie's coiffUre and then let out an exasperated sigh. "Your head looks like you stuck it in a rose bush. I told you not to tug on your curls."
"I've been doing no such thing," Edie protested, "and you needn't speak to me as if I were a little girl."
The maid steered Edie to her dressing table. It took her only a few tweaks to restore order to her thick locks.
"All better," Cora said, giving Edie's shoulders a reassuring squeeze. "We don't want to give Lady Reese anything to complain about, do we?"
"You mean on top of all the other ammunition I've given her?" she replied sardonically.
"Everything will be fine," Evelyn said, coming to her. "Mamma never stays angry with you."
Edie rose to her feet. "I don't think so. She was mad as blazes last night. She even yelled at me when we got into the carriage, and she's never done that before."
Evelyn and Cora exchanged startled glances, which didn't make Edie feel any better. She'd always been her mother's favorite child, the one who never got more than the mildest of scolds for any infraction. But last night even the plumes on her mother's turban had vibrated with anger.
Evelyn took her hand. "We'd better go down and get it over with."
"Good luck, miss," Cora said, grimacing.
She gave her maid a weak smile before she and Evelyn proceeded in silence down the hall to the staircase. Edie could tell her twin was getting anxious.
"I'm not going to the gallows," Edie said. "There's no need to measure me for a casket just yet."
"I'm sure everything will turn out just fine," Evelyn said. "More than fine. Splendid, in fact."
"Good God," Edie said with a sigh.
She carefully held on to the banister as they made their way down the stairs. She'd adapted years ago to her wretched eyesight. Though she didn't wear spectacles like her sister, she never took unnecessary chances. The last thing she needed today was a tumble down the staircase.
Their butler, Parkins, was stationed outside the drawing room. As he opened the door, he gave her an almost undetectable grimace of sympathy. Everyone in the household depended on Edie to manage Lady Reese out of her moods, but the servants had clearly realized that their champion had been knocked off her perch.
Squaring her shoulders, Edie followed her sister into the spacious drawing room. She squinted slightly to see her family scattered around the large space, obviously sitting as far away from Mamma as they dared. Evelyn's husband was there, lurking at the back of the room like a timid youth instead of the strapping soldier that he was. Wolf Endicott was no coward, though. He came forward to take Edie's hand while flashing his wife a loving smile.
"Good morning," he said. "Why don't you both have a seat on the sofa?"
Edie ignored her mother's irritated huff as Wolf led them to the sofa near the fireplace.
Mamma was ensconced in one of the elegant Queen Anne armchairs directly across from them. Papa sat next to her, although he'd clearly edged that chair farther away. When he gave Edie a morose smile, it made her heart plunge with a sickening combination of guilt and dismay. Papa was the kindest of fathers and a truly estimable husband as far as she was concerned. All he asked was to have a relatively peaceful household and to be left alone when it came to domestic matters. Normally, Mamma complied with his wishes, but this morning she'd obviously pulled out the big guns.
Her brother, Matthew, had squeezed his rather large bulk onto an undersized bench in a window bay across the room and was doing his best to appear invisible. Fortunately, he'd shown the good sense to leave his snobby new wife at home. Mary never missed an opportunity to snipe at Edie and Evelyn, and she would have loved to lord it over everyone on such an occasion.
Mamma waited for them to get settled, her handsome, aristocratic features stony. As always, she was impeccably garbed, her tall, willowy figure and dark chestnut hair set off to advantage by her bottle green, merino wool morning dress. None of her children resembled her to any degree, instead taking after their golden-haired, sturdily built father. Mamma had always deplored the fact that her husband's yeoman stock had prevailed in her children's looks. Not that it had held them back. Both Evelyn and Matt had married well, and Edie had no shortage of suitors.
Although that might very well change after last night.
"Now that we are gathered," her mother started in a voice that presaged doom, "it's time to decide what to do about Eden's fatal transgression."
"Oh, for God's sake, Mamma," Edie said. "That's doing it rather too brown, even for you. My error was surely not fatal."
Her mother's lips went tight and pale. But before she could snap back, Papa reached over and laid a gentle hand on his wife's arm. Mamma cast him an angry glance, but held her tongue.
Excerpted from How to Marry a Royal Highlander by Vanessa Kelly. Copyright © 2015 Vanessa Kelly. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
My favorite twin
Loved the book! Alec and Edie were awesome! My favorite type of heroine is a strong willed one who's not afraid to speak her mind. Edie was this in spades! Her mom was especially great at her reactions to Alec's family. We see where she got her backbone and gumption in this one! I almost instantly fell in love Alec in this story, almost a perfect hero! Now to go back and read all the previous ones in the series! (not sure how I missed these...)
Edie and Evelyn were twins, they were twenty five. Evelyn had recently married but had come over to see her sister and find out why she looked so out of sorts. Edie told Evelyn she had been at Lady Chalfort’s ball and had been caught kissing Sir Malcolm Bannisterin a deserted hall. Sir Malcolm was a known rake.but Edie had not enjoyed Sir Malcolm’s kiss . There was only one man who flustered Edie - Allistair. Edie’s mother is furious with her. Allistair had left Scotland ten years earlier to avoid an arranged marriage to his cousin Donella. Allistair however did want Edie Edie didn’t admit it but she was attracted to Allistair also. Edie is to travel with her mom and Allistair to Scotland. I really liked this story it had parts that were funny and made me laugh. This story had great writing and a great plot. There are a lot of things included in this story:scandal, adventure, mistrust, family love, twins, gossips, drama, an engagement, a title, debts, and a lot more.I loved the twists and turns of this story also the twists and turns Edie and Allistair go through. I highly recommend. I received an ARC of this story for an honest review.
I really enjoyed Eden's story too. Wonderful characters and story. I am really impressed with the stories but it's sad when you think about the twins having to be separated so far from each other. Also I really don't need to have all the intimate details of the sex scenes to enjoy the books. It is ok though because I know some people like to read that in the story but I can skim over them.
I won this wonderful book. Eden gets caught kissing a rake but the biggest gossip in the ton and the gossips mother, what is worse the gentleman she is caught kissing is the worse kiss she had ever received and of course she is going to have to find a way to fix her reputation. Her family wants to send her to stay with a cousin and let things change but she had to go to one more function before. Her twin is married to a wonderful man after having her own scandal with the same man but they grew up together and his friend Alec is having to retire from the spy service and go home to Scotland to learn his duties as Earl, he ran away at 16 because he was going to have to marry his cousin, who he didn't love and didn't like being told he had to. Well he ends up offering to take Eden and her mother to Scotland with him to give her time away from London and finds all kinds of problem with trying to break the the brethral of his cousin and him because he has been in love with Eden but couldn't tell her. There are murder plots and drama but what a wonderful story with a happy ending.
What a fun read! I wasn't expecting this to be quite so lighthearted or playful, but I'm so glad it was. It was a terrific break from the darker tones of the books I've read lately. If you're familiar with How to Plan a Wedding for a Royal Spy, you'll recognize Alasdair and Eden. You might also recognize their banter. That was just a taste of what they're like when together. And, man... Was that entertaining! Their constant back and forth in the carriage while on their way to Scotland was punctuated by commentary from Eden's mother, who, despite her appearances in the other book, was really lovely. Her fierce devotion to her daughters made her extremely stiff in the other story, but here I saw a side to her that I loved and enjoyed getting to see and know. I enjoy a good story that begins with banter and ends with love. Aside from the differences between the lead characters, there are usually outside forces at work that push them together or pull them apart. There wasn't any shortage of that here, mainly Alasdair's betrothal that has hung over his head for the ten years he's been absent from Scotland. Except he's coming back with a woman who grates his last nerve yet he finds he can't live without her. But he has an obligation and saying "no" wasn't as easy then as it (sometimes) is now, especially when his family is pushing him to fulfill his duty. You know, the great thing about love borne from adversity is that it is a difficult thing to let go of or forget. It takes root in the heart and urges the mind to remember that it's worth it. That was Alasdair and Eden's love. It wasn't an overnight sensation. It didn't come fluidly or without problems. It came over time and flourished despite a seemingly endless amount of insurmountable odds. If that isn't a love and a relationship worth fighting for, I don't know what is. Ms. Kelly brought, once again, a great cast of characters with their own personalities and issues. Her flair for description and emotional pull are, probably, the two main reasons I really enjoy her stories. This is a great story for this collection, one I hope others enjoy as much as I did. 4.5* (Received from NetGalley via Tasty Book Tours for an honest review)
Love this series. Can't wait for the next from Ms. Kelly
This is book 4 in the Renegade Royals series. Eden Whitney has gotten herself into trouble one too many times and her mother is insisting that she take a break from the ton. Eden's BIL suggests she go to Scotland and stay with his best friend, Alastair (Alec) Gilbride. The problem with that is Eden and Alec clash at every turn. Alec hasn't been home in ten years, but his grandfather is ailing and he must do his duty...get married. Only Alec doesn't want to marry the woman his grandfather has picked out for him. He wants Eden. Can Alec convince Eden that he is the right man for her? LOVED this story. I fell in love with Alec while reading How to Plan a Wedding for a Royal Spy. After watching Alec and Eden interact in that story, I knew that Kelly would pair them up next. As I've mentioned before, I love to read stories in which the H/H banter back and forth. This story is full of that!!! I didn't want the story to end...I think Kelly needs to do another Renegade Royals story where she reunites all the characters just so I can see them again!! What a wonderful conclusion to one of my favorite series ever!!! Thanks go out to Kensington Books via NetGalley for a copy of the book in exchange of an honest review.
Read... How to Marry a Royal Highlander by Vanessa Kelly Synopsis... Illegitimate yet thoroughly irresistible, the Renegade Royals are leaving behind their careers as daring spies for the greatest adventure of all… At sixteen, Alasdair Gilbride, heir to a Scottish earldom, fled the Highlands and an arranged betrothal. Ten years later, Alasdair must travel home to face his responsibilities. It's a task that would be much easier without the distracting presence of the most enticing woman he's ever met… After one escapade too many, Eden Whitney has been snubbed by the ton. The solution: rusticating in the Scottish wilderness, miles from all temptation. Except, of course, for brawny, charming Alasdair. The man is so exasperating she'd likely kill him before they reach the border—if someone else weren't trying to do just that. Now Eden and Alasdair are plunging into a scandalous affair with his life and her reputation at stake—and their hearts already irreparably lost… My thoughts: Sitting here with a cup of Orange Pekoe at my side, my spectacles at the ready, a pencil in my hand, an orange glazed scone and the book, 'How to Marry a Royal Highlander' written by Vanessa Kelly. I always write down five words that pertain to my understanding and thoughts as I process in my mind the novel I am reading. Words that best describe to me what the story is foretelling and the emotions evoked by the author's storytelling. I take delight in circling sentences that I find intriguing, humorous or descriptive...you know, captivating! I love write my thoughts within the pages of the novel. My first word is Bantering-the dialogue exchange between Eden and Alasdair was invigorating to read as compared to other novels which I have read in the past, a succession of amusing phrases and the sparring of words as if they were fencing including their repartee of descriptive facial and body stances in good nature, of course. Quick and witty responses with the main characters also showed a wee bit of cleverness. Bonding-the unique relationship Eden has with her sister, Evelyn. The special and secretive friendships with Alasdair and his spy companions and even the supportive family structure came to life in an energetic and exuberant manner. Scotland-O' how I would love to live in Scotland and explore it's beauty and history. To travel across the highlands and the ocean sea coast, to live in a stone cottage with a view of the ocean sea and a fragrant garden, raising sheep and highland cattle. It was a blessing to read such picturesque scenes, colourful and vivid to visualize. Focus-the story stayed true on the main characters and did not shy away. Involved, I didn't lose focus, the storyline read smooth with consistency and without difficulties. Also with hints of Evelyn's intriguing story. Spectacles-It was charming and enchanting to see a gift of spectacles interwined into this story and then to carry through to influence its importance, portraying a part of substantial need. I found myself relieved that there were no lengthly descriptives of clothing and settings. Eden and Alasdair's romantic interludes were vibrant, stimulating and imaginative. Basically, this novel is about the two main characters, their complicated struggles, fears, difficulties in expressing their desires, running from responsibility and overcoming their calamities. So, I off to read Evelyn's intriguing and fascinating story! Jane Silhouette
4 STARS Well written, phenomenal read What a well written enjoyable read this book is! It is the 1st book that I have read by this author and I look forward to reading more to this series and her future series. I love historical romances but I really love historical romances that push the boundaries of what one feels they should be like. This author does a phenomenal job of bringing in the issue of poor eyesight and what society feels about one wearing glasses. I love how she wove this into the story line with how Alasdair felt about Eden's need for them, Eden's mother and society constantly putting her down for wearing them and Eden's final decision about wearing them. The plot was well written with lots of twists and turns to keep the reader involved. The pace was continual forward movement with no slowness. The interaction between the Scots and the two Sassenach women was believable and amusing. I believe everyone would love this book but it should be read by 18+ due to some well written steamy parts between Alasdair and Eden. AN ARC COPY WAS GIFTED IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST OPINION VIA NETGALLEY. To see the full review visit my blog: sportochicksmusings.blogspot .com
I think I fell in love with this series when I read Tall, Dark and Royal, and each installment since then has been pure delight. With plenty of humor from both heroes and heroines, understandable angst and some fairly steamy passages, Vanessa Kelly has created stories that intertwine with familiar characters but stand solidly alone without great loss of understanding for the reader. Eden is the focus of this story: headstrong, daring and bold, she’s felt herself at somewhat of a loss since her twin’s marriage. So, to test her powers, and perhaps dare to experiment a bit, she is found in a compromising position with an utter bounder. The gossip and cut directs will not end, so Eden’s only choice is to retreat from London until talk dies down. Alasdair Gilbride, best friend and cousin to Eden’s brother in law is one of the only men able to distinguish Eden from her twin Evie, and he finds the irrepressible and slightly madcap Edie much to his liking. Heir to an earldom in Scotland, he’s not returned to his home for many years owing to guilt at his ‘wrong side of the blanket’ birth, and his perceived injustice in the inheritance. But now, the old Earl, his grandfather, is ailing, and he must return. What better opportunity for Eden and her Mother to escape the gossips of London than for her to travel to Scotland and visit with the highly esteemed Earl? From their first introduction and verbal spats, Edie and Alec are funny and engaging: that ‘doth protest too much’ to prove dislike only highlights the sparking attraction between them. And, Alec can never resist a damsel in distress, thinking that Edie will be a grand diversion for his grandfather, and the removal of her from London will do her good. From a misguided sense of guilt, to a betrothal that neither party wants, a cranky and ailing Earl and a thoroughly dismissive relations, not to mention a solid smattering of life-threatening danger, Eden is navigating a world she does not know and Alec hasn’t been wholly forthcoming. But, he does get her to see, literally with spectacles, the path that is before her, and not unsurprisingly his own journey comes into focus as well. He’s been my favorite character, even when he is being a dunderheaded ox, and this story focused only on him and Edie, who matches him so well is a perfect instalment. This series is a must read for me, and I can’t wait for the next book. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
3.5 I love this series and all of its colorful characters. I fell for Alastair "Alec" Gilbride in the last book "How to Plan a Wedding for a Royal Spy" and I couldn't wait to read Alec and Eden's book. I wish I could say that I loved this book but it didn't flow as well as the others and at times it seamed to stumble about. What redeemed the book was the last half which I did liked and the last fourth which I loved!! Alec and Edie had such great chemistry and verbal banter that I couldn't get enough of them. I think if the first half had all the verbal sparring and less build up it would of been the perfect book. If you've not read Vanessa Kelly before I highly recommend her books, you can't go wrong! *I received this book for an honest review from the author.
I had a chance to read this pre-release through Netgalley. I enjoyed Eden's journey from London where her curiosity got her into a lot of trouble with the ton to the Highlands of Scotland where she dealt with mistrust and hatred. Along the way, she falls in love with the big, lovable Alec who is heading home after being a spy in the war to take his rightful place beside his grandfather as head of the clan. Their love struggles through attempted murder, scandal, and honoring debts. Both Alec and Edie take their time realizing their love and admitting such to the other. The fire between them keeps drawing them together even before words are spoken. This is a highly recommended read.
How to Marry a Royal Highlander is the fourth book in Vanessa Kelly’s Renegade Royals Series. This is the first book I have read by this author and I am impressed! Filled with a humorous well-developed cast of characters this book took off from page one. The sexual tension between the hero and heroine practically leapt off the pages and their lively interaction throughout this work was irresistible! Grab a seat and be prepared not to leave it until you finish this highly engaging story! *I received this ARC via Netgalley* *This book while part of a series can be read as a stand alone*
This was a suspense laden romance worth reading. I love all the twists and turns of this novel, you never knew what was going to happen next or who the actual villain really is. It truly keeps you turning the pages to see what would happen next. I thoroughly enjoyed it and hope you will take the time to read it too. I have definitely found a new series to read.
A fitting end to an adventurous series. Vanessa Kelly went big. How to Marry a Royal Highlander is full of action, suspense and romance. I enjoyed Alec and Edie. These characters kept me on my toes. Every page was a pleasant surprise. Edie and Alec's love story is a chaotic yet endearing journey through the unknown. My favorite thing about this story is that despite everything that these characters endured they never gave up on each other. For me that makes How to Marry a Royal Highlander an A+ read in my book. Received an ARC of this story for an honest review.