Magnificent and stubborn. Fourteen years apart had not changed Chloe Steele, or Dominic Hunter's love for her. He'd been a street urchin, a boy raised at court, and finally a magistrate, yet he'd never belonged anywhere--except by her side. Now Chloe devoted herself to girls threatened by scandal--like she had been. But she was in danger, and Dominic was determined to help--and hopefully make up for lost time. . .
Even in childhood, Dominic had made Chloe feel safe. Now she also felt thrillingly flustered by the powerful man he'd become, and by the longing he inspired. Because Dominic meant not only to protect her, but to untangle the lies that had separated them. Yet for Chloe, surrendering to temptation may be easier than risking a future that could ruin them both. . .
Praise for Vanessa Kelly's Renegade Royals series
"Has all the elements of my favorite novels--a bad boy hero, a spirited heroine, a dash of intrigue, and a sizzling romance. Put her on your auto-buy list; you won't be disappointed." --Shana Galen
"Will definitely resonate with fans of Mary Jo Putney and Joanne Bourne." --Booklist
"Diverting dialogue, delightful surprises and finely tuned pacing to make this a winner." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)
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Tall, Dark, and Royal
By Vanessa Kelly
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2014 Vanessa Kelly
All rights reserved.
Village of Camberwell April 1815
Dominic Hunter wheeled his curricle between the iron-mounted gates that bracketed the forecourt of the handsome Jacobean manor house. Peter, his groom, leapt down before the carriage came to a full stop at the portico.
"Stable the horses," Dominic ordered. "I don't know how long I'll be staying."
"Aye, Sir Dominic. I'll give 'em a rubdown myself."
Dominic had crammed the horses more than he normally would on the busy road from London to Camberwell because the message he'd received this morning had made him break out in a cold sweat.
Chloe is in need of your assistance. She claims to be fine, but I think it best you come immediately. —Griffin Steele
How typical of Griffin to refer to his mother by her given name, as typical as his lamentably terse note. But Griffin would never summon Dominic unless the situation called for it, which meant things were far from fine.
The fact that it was Griffin rather than Chloe asking for his help was an added irritant. After her dramatic and emotional reappearance two months ago, Chloe had subsequently adopted a calm, carefully polite manner to keep Dominic at bay. She'd spent the long years of their separation building walls around her heart, walls she seemed reluctant to dismantle. Dominic understood better than anyone the wounds Chloe had suffered. Any reasonable man would give her the time she needed to adjust to the momentous change in her circumstances. After all, for years, Dominic and Griffin had feared she was dead. To have her suddenly back in their lives was a shock for all of them.
Still, when it came to Chloe, Dominic was anything but reasonable. He wanted to blast through the barriers to reach the sweet, innocent girl he'd loved, the girl he'd spent fourteen long years searching for. That Chloe was still sweet was undeniable, and her innocent and loving heart burned bright and true as the North Star. But layered over those gentle qualities was a wary approach to life that spoke of abuse and pain and exposure to an uncaring world. Every time Dominic saw Chloe's gaze turn inward, her fawn-colored eyes growing dark with quiet desolation, he wanted to tear something—or someone—apart.
He was one of the most powerful men in England, but in the face of Chloe's pain he felt utterly helpless.
Hill, Chloe's butler, opened the door at Dominic's knock and ushered him into the old-fashioned entrance hall.
"You're expected, Sir Dominic." Concern lent Hill's aging, narrowed features a sharp look. "Mrs. Piper and Mr. and Mrs. Steele are waiting in the back drawing room."
Although Chloe's true name was Steele, she'd been living in Camberwell for years as Mrs. Piper, a wealthy but reclusive widow from Northumberland. She'd maintained that fictitious persona with rigorous discipline. It had prevented even Dominic, with the resources of the Intelligence Service at his disposal, from finding her. It baffled him why Chloe had chosen to hide when she must have known he'd do anything for her, make any sacrifice necessary to protect her. All she would say was that she'd been convinced everyone thought her dead, and she'd believed her sudden reappearance in their lives would be too disruptive.
It was the most absurd thing he'd ever heard. And he was beginning to suspect she'd convinced herself that she was more a burden than a blessing in their lives, and that her past would bring her son and her friends nothing but shame and disgrace.
"How is she?" Dominic asked.
The butler grimaced. "Mrs. Piper is being obstinate, I'm sorry to say. Told me I was an old hen to carry on so."
Dominic wasn't surprised by Hill's blunt speech. The man was more than Chloe's butler—he was a trusted confidant and had for years been providing discreet assistance in her sometimes dangerous charitable work. Dominic suspected he provided another kind of support, too, standing in for the father she'd lost a long time ago.
"I suppose if she can gripe at you, then she's not in too bad a shape," Dominic said cautiously.
"You don't know Mrs. Piper," Hill muttered.
And that was the problem, wasn't it? Dominic was afraid he didn't know Chloe anymore. He didn't know what she wanted and, more importantly, what she needed from him.
He followed Hill along the low-ceiled hallway of the old house, taking in the quiet. On most days when Dominic came to call, at least three or four of the girls would be rambling noisily about or taking lessons with Chloe. There were also two young women who'd recently given birth, finding shelter under Chloe's generous protection.
All told, there were currently seven girls at the manor, all either pregnant or with infants. Every single one had been abandoned by her family or forced away until after the pregnancy. Through word of mouth or the help of a mutual friend, they had found their way to the refuge of Chloe's house in the countryside.
But today, tension held the unnaturally quiet house in its grip, as if something violent had fractured the security Chloe provided for her charges.
When Hill opened the door at the end of the hall, Dominic strode through but came to a sudden halt, his heart jolting at the sight of Chloe reclining on a chaise with a bandage wrapped around her head. Justine Steele, Dominic's godchild, sat next to her holding a teacup. Lounging in a nearby armchair was Griffin Steele, Chloe's son and Justine's husband.
"What the hell is going on here?" Dominic snapped. He glared at Griffin, who had a knack for finding or, indeed, creating trouble. "How did your mother get hurt?"
Griffin let out a dramatic sigh as he came to his feet. "You have a lamentable tendency to blame me for everything, Dominic. I had nothing to do with Mother's, er, little accident."
Chloe threw aside her lap robe and stood. "Dominic, I'm fine. There's nothing for you to worry about."
But when she wobbled, Justine had to make a grab for her. In an instant, Dominic was by Chloe's side. "For God's sake, sit down." He gently lowered her back to the chaise.
Her tall, slender body felt fragile in his hands, as if the merest touch could break her. But appearances were deceptive. For all her pale, delicate beauty, Chloe had a strong will and character that had withstood years of tribulation.
"You know the doctor told you to stay off your feet and rest," Justine affectionately scolded.
"I'm not sure how she's supposed to rest with you lot fussing over her," Griffin said. "Hill has been popping in and out like a character from a farce, not to mention all the girls sneaking in. It's a bloody circus."
Justine frowned at her husband. "They're worried about Chloe."
Dominic throttled back his impulse to snap. "I would be most grateful if someone—anyone—would answer my question. Wait," he said to Justine. "First, tell me what the physician said."
"Perhaps you might try asking Chloe, Sir Dominic," Chloe said with pointed courtesy. "As you can see, she is perfectly capable of speech."
Dominic mentally winced. Chloe only used his title when annoyed with him. "I'm sorry, my dear. But it was a shock to come upon you looking like you'd been set upon by thieves."
Thankfully, she flashed him a wry, forgiving smile. "Apology accepted." She shifted her legs and patted the seat of the chaise. "Sit down and let Justine get you a cup of tea while I tell you all about it. Not that I wanted to drag you into this ridiculous and unfortunate episode, but my son insisted. Who knew Griffin could fuss and worry as much as any old maid?"
Her son—one of the most ruthless and powerful men in London—rolled his eyes but declined to defend himself.
"What happened to your head?" Dominic eyed the bandage wrapped around her brow.
"I bumped it, that's all," Chloe replied. "The doctor insisted I wear this silly thing and my son won't let me take it off."
Griffin narrowed his dark gaze on his mother. "You didn't bump your head. It was bumped for you when that bloody bastard shoved you into the wall. And you will keep that bandage on for as long as is required."
Dominic had been reaching to accept a cup from Justine, but his hand froze in midair. Slowly, he turned to Chloe. "Someone shoved you?"
Chloe's shoulders unconsciously hiked up a notch. "Yes, but it wasn't a very hard shove. Truly, I'm fine."
Dominic could hear Griffin grinding his teeth from several feet away. He sympathized, but the situation was confusing enough without him losing his temper, at least not until he'd apprised himself of the facts.
But once he tracked down the man who had dared to touch Chloe, the bastard would rue the day he was born.
"What did the doctor say?" he asked quietly, taking her long, slim fingers in his. Chloe was a lady to the tips of her toes, but her hands bore one or two faint scars and the marks of kitchen burns. As he'd come to learn, she'd worked hard over the years, first as a nurse and companion to an elderly woman, and then in running her large household. She'd been born into a genteel existence, but fate had decreed another type of life for her, and she was not a woman to shirk either work or responsibility.
Chloe gave his fingers a comforting squeeze but then carefully withdrew her hand. Dominic's heart twinged at the subtle distance she insisted on placing between them.
"You're not to worry." Her voice held a soft, comforting quality that reminded him of simpler times. Dominic's life had never been simple, but Chloe had always made it seem easy and uncomplicated. "It's a nasty little bump, but I felt only a momentary dizziness, more from shock than anything else. The doctor simply wants me to keep a cold compress on my head to take down the swelling."
Dominic gently pressed two fingers along her finely carved jaw, turning her head slightly to examine the compress. Her skin was as soft as the inside of a rose petal, and he had to smother the urge to stroke her slim throat and white shoulder. Chloe was a year or so past her fortieth year, but her skin was still silky and unblemished by time.
One of her hands fluttered up to touch his shoulder before retreating. "Dominic, truly, there is no cause for concern, at least not about my silly head."
"I'm relieved to hear it, but clearly something is cause for concern, yes?"
Her lips pressed into a taut line, evidence of her unwillingness to answer him.
"Yes," Griffin interjected in a loud voice. "There is a great deal to be concerned about, and if Chloe insists on being so damned stubborn, then I'll get on with it."
"Really, my son, such language," Chloe huffed. "Whatever will Dominic think?"
Griffin let out a snort of disbelieving laughter, and even Justine couldn't hold back a smile.
"I know what Dominic thinks of me," Griffin said dryly, "since he's made his views amply clear over the years. Although since I've married Justine his carping has diminished."
"I never carp," Dominic said, "I merely suggest. Now, I suggest you all stop trying to divert my attention and tell me what's going on."
Chloe sighed. "Very well, I'll tell you. As you have no doubt surmised, I had an unwelcome visitor this morning. He was the former fiancé of one of my girls."
Dominic raised a surprised brow. Chloe had gone out of her way to keep the nature of her work secure from prying eyes. Privacy was the reason she'd moved to Camberwell in the first place and had selected a manor house on a secluded country lane outside the village. The girls who came to her had an urgent need for secrecy in their desire to avoid scandal. They rarely left the manor's grounds and the house received few visitors. After the girls gave birth, Chloe found good families or sometimes relations of the girls to take the infants. That allowed the unfortunate mothers to return to their former lives, largely untainted by scandal.
It was a kindness denied to Chloe herself after the birth of Griffin.
"How did this man find you?" Dominic asked. "Did the girl you're sheltering tell him where she was staying?"
Chloe shook her head, then winced and carefully patted her bandage before answering. "No, Jane's terrified of Roger. It's one of the reasons she came to me. She broke off her engagement last month when he started to beat her. Fortunately, a family friend—my dressmaker, by a happy coincidence—was able to put Jane's parents in touch with me. She's been in my care for three weeks and has had no contact with the young man."
"You're sure of that?" Dominic asked. "Despite the abuse, young women sometimes manage to convince themselves the situation will improve. Might not Jane have sent him a message and be reluctant to tell you?"
Chloe's eyebrows went up on a delicate slant, as if she couldn't believe Dominic would question her conclusion. If he hadn't been so damn worried, he would have been tempted to laugh at her imperious glare.
"Some of them have little choice in the matter," Chloe retorted. "Most girls in Jane's condition have few options for survival."
"I know," Dominic said quietly. "Given that such is the case—"
"Such is not the case with Jane. Her family loves her and would keep her at home if they could. But we agreed it was safer for Jane to stay with me."
Griffin stirred. "How he found the place is a mystery, but let's put that aside for now. The point is, the swine not only found out where Jane was staying, he managed to get himself through the front door."
Chloe looked troubled. "Yes, that was unexpected. It's never happened before."
Dominic, Griffin, and Justine exchanged incredulous glances. Almost the exact same thing had happened only a few months earlier, when a group of thugs invaded Chloe's household to kidnap little Stephen, a baby under her care. That terrifying incident had forced Chloe out of hiding in order to ask for Griffin's and Dominic's help.
"Really, Mother?" Griffin asked with disbelief.
Chloe flapped her hand at him. "That situation was completely different."
"It sounds alarmingly similar," Dominic said. "I thought you'd improved your security since that particular breach."
"I have," Chloe said impatiently. "I hired the groom you recommended, and Hill's nephew has also started working for me. But Roger came alone, so I didn't perceive there to be a threat. We refused to let him see Jane, of course, despite his protestations. I tried to explain the situation to him, but he was immune to rational discourse."
"Did you confront him alone?" Dominic asked.
Again, he saw the slight hitch in her shoulders. "Why wouldn't I?"
"Because he was dangerous?" he replied with heavy sarcasm. At the moment, sarcasm was his only refuge against the frustration pulling at him. His observations over the last few months suggested that Chloe sometimes lacked a sufficient sense of self-preservation in her determination to protect her charges.
"I suppose I did miscalculate that," she admitted. "But as I said, he didn't initially seem threatening. Hill was right outside the door and my staff were within shouting distance." She shook her head, clearly exasperated with herself. "How could I anticipate that Roger would be so foolish as to pull a pistol on me in my own house?"
Dominic carefully placed the delicate Spode teacup and saucer on the table beside him. "He pulled a pistol on you?" He managed to keep his voice low and steady, even though he imagined the top of his head was steaming like an erupting volcano.
"After he shoved her into the wall," Griffin cut in, his angular features pulled sharp with anger. "Fortunately, unlike my sainted mother, Hill had anticipated trouble. He and his nephew came charging to the rescue with pistols and cudgels, I'm happy to say."
Dominic pressed the tips of his fingers to his throbbing temples. "Chloe, this nonsense has to stop. You are placing both yourself and the girls in danger."
Her slender figure went rigid. "Are you suggesting this is somehow my fault?" She stared at him, her normally gentle eyes snapping with outrage.
"Of course not." Dominic tried not to let frustration color his voice. "But this sort of threat seems to be occurring with some frequency lately, and your security and privacy have clearly been compromised."
She continued to glare at him. Even though she looked heartbreakingly delicate, Chloe's determination and courage shimmered in the air around her. Dominic was torn between shaking some sense into her and getting down on his knees and declaring his undying devotion. She was the most magnificent woman he'd ever known.
Excerpted from Tall, Dark, and Royal by Vanessa Kelly. Copyright © 2014 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
4 STARS Quick, enjoyable read I got to read this unique novella as part of "How to Marry a Royal Highlander (#4)". It's a story of a man and a women who became friends as children and an awful situation that happens to a young girl Chloe and how her life as she knows it is destroyed. It tells a story of her strength to change her life and a boy who becomes a man that still loves this women he no longer knows. It is a quick read, though there are parts where I got a little lost and had to reread them, an enjoyable read. It has intrigue, forgiveness and love. AN ARC COPY WAS GIFTED IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST OPINION VIA NETGALLEY. To see the full review visit my blog: sportochicksmusings.blogspot .com
This was a lovely, short second-chance romance. I really admired Dominic and his drive to protect Chloe once he found out she was still alive. I enjoyed watching Chloe balance her current life with the one that she was tempted to build with Dominic. In short, it was a very fulfilling romance. Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
A lovely romance about a love that finally had the chance to bloom, Tall, Dark, and Royal was an enjoyable historical romance novella and I really liked it. Chloe and Dominic were both great. Chloe was stuck in a bad habit of hiding from her problems but, as the story went on, she faced that issue and proved herself as a brave heroine. Dominic was definitely strong, clever, and extremely protective over those he cared about. I thought both were likable. The romance was lovely. Chloe and Dominic had loved each other years ago and that never faded. It was obvious that they still loved each other and they just had to clear away a few long-standing issues in order to be together. I thought they were a great couple. The plot moved quickly and kept me interested. I enjoyed the story and the ending was perfect. Tall, Dark, and Royal was a sweet historical romance novella that I truly enjoyed. Romance lovers, this one is worth looking up. *I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
This a great read the characters are very engaging. Got to revisit old characters too which is great. Trying to patiently wait for the next books.
This is book 2.5 in the Renegade Royals series. After being separated for 14 years, these childhood friends are finally back together. Dominic has been in love with Chloe since they were children and never stopped trying to find her after she disappeared. When her life is threatened, he takes the chance at finally making her his. Chloe Steele has never stopped loving Dominic, but after everything that she has done and gone through she doesn't feel like she deserves his love and thinks that she can only hurt his career and future. Can Dominic change her mind while they are in a secluded hideaway? I've been waiting for Chloe and Dominic's story since I read Lost in a Royal Kiss. I'm so glad to finally see them get their HEA. If you are a fan of Kelly's Renegade Royals series, this is a must read!! Thanks go out to Kensington Books via NetGalley for a copy of the book in exchange of an honest review.
Village of Camberwell - April 1815 Dominic Hunter is a magistrate and close friend to Chloe, whom he has truly loved for years. Chloe has recently returned after she ran away at age 14 at which time she had become pregnant and wanted to hide. She was taken in and cared for by a wonderful woman who eventually left her estate to Chloe. The estate is now being used as a home to shelter unwed, expectant mothers. After the birth, a good home is found for the infants and the young women return to their normal lives without scandal having tainted them. When Dominic gets word from Chloe’s son, Griffin Steele and his wife, Justine, that Chloe had been injured, he rushes to her side, he finds that she has a bump on her head from being shoved by an irate man whose pregnant ex-girlfriend is staying in her home. Chloe’s family feels she needs tighter security to protect herself and the young women. Dominic’s feelings for Chloe has never changed over the years and even though she is now a 40-year-old woman, he is hoping to get her to let go of the past and any mistakes she had made so they can be together. It turns out that the man who attacked Chloe is part of the Campworth crime lord family. This is a family to whom one cannot say “no.” However, when Chloe confronts the crime lord himself, sparks fly. Can Dominic and Chloe come together and finally find happiness in their lives? Will Chloe be able to carry on her good works without fearing the Campworth family? This novella has a good plot, however, as it was the end of a series, I wish the author had added a little more background so readers, like myself, would not have that feeling of walking into the middle of a movie.
This was a short, fun read about second chances. Chloe and Dominic have loved each other since they were teenagers. When one unfortunate night with Prince Ernest leaves Chloe with child at the age of 14, she is whisked away by her uncle whom lead everyone to believe she was dead. Now 28 years later she has reunited with the son she gave away and the love she never forgot. Dominic couldn't ever forget about Chloe and he spent the past 28 years looking for her because he never believed she was dead. This was a great story showing that true love does win out even over time. I loved the strong woman that Chloe has become and I really loved the protective way that Dominic was with her. The ending was a perfect happy ever after!
This is a story I have longed for since this series began with <i>Lost in a Royal Kiss</i> in which a fourteen-year-old Dominic served as a catalyst. He was a fascinating character even at that age, and his and Chloe’s story has grown more compelling as the series continued. If ever a couple earned their HEA, this one did. The delay gave us an older-than-average hero and heroine with rich histories and a reunion story that I will be adding to my favorites list. I’m also delighted that there are two more novels to look forward to in this excellent series from an author who has been on my auto-buy list since her first book.
I enjoy reading Vanessa' s books. They seem so real. It took a bit to get into the story because I missed reading some of the previous books in this series. After the start it took off like a racehorse. Dominick, son of a butcher, has worked his way to the top. He has been to the top of helping win the war and is now a magistrate. Chloe has been done wrong by everyone in her life, except for Dominick, her first and only love. It was interesting to see them get together and be both right and wrong. They sure made women tough back then. Give this book a chance. It is actually a happy book to read. Plus there are a few spoilers for you. Enjoy this book. I have this book for an honest review for NetGalley.
The first title I have read by this author, this little novella is a wonderful peek into the series as a whole, and gives Dominic a second chance at love. A bit domineering and overbearing, Dominic’s methodical approach to Chloe and her situation, as well as his efforts to unravel the deceptions around them is delightful. He’s hard not to like and appreciate – even when he is Mr. Bossy Britches. Chloe has held a tender spot for Dominic and the safety that she felt in his company. After a desperate decision to leave her son behind when she ran from an abusive situation, she’s still not gained solid footing, although she is starting to recover some things that she lost. Most felt however, is the love and companionship that comes from a solid relationship: she is gaining a more solid footing with her son, but the ‘man’ in her life still eludes her. Though the feelings from childhood still exist, Dominic needs to find a way to get under the wall that Chloe has erected. Fortunately for him, a break in at the manor house that Chloe runs for wayward and pregnant girls has been broken in to, and there are threats that he feels will endanger Chloe and the life she has worked so hard to achieve. These two are adorable and well-matched, with clever dialogue, and intriguing mystery and a hero who is so very determined to soften her resolve, no matter the cost. A really well-crafted novella that shows the author’s skill for plotting and characterization, and has me anxious to read the other titles in the series. I received an eArc copy from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
This is the happy ending for Chloe and Dominic, childhood friends who were separated long ago by tragic circumstances, book #2.5 in the Renegade Royals series by Vanessa Kelly. The Renegade Royals are the illegitimate offspring heroes of the heirs to the throne. It’s a sweet story, bittersweet really, a second chance romance. Chloe and Dominic find each other after fourteen years. There isn’t that much conflict except for some danger Chloe finds herself in with running a home for abandoned and abused women and their children. Dominic wants nothing more than to make up for lost time and protect Chloe now that he is powerful and connected. He feels he failed her in their past but, really, they were only children and it couldn’t have been any other way. For her part, Chloe fears the scandal their marriage would cause, but she gets over it pretty quickly. Kelly writes with grace and style and the pacing is good. It’s a pleasing little addition to an entertaining series.
I love The Renegade Royals and this novella is a great addition to the series. I am so happy that Dominic has gotten his HEA. Dominic has sent his adult life looking for the illegitimate children of the Royals and always on the look out for the love of his life Chloe Steele. Chloe has made a life for herself helping young women in need all the while hiding from her shame and the people she loved. In desperate need of help she reveals herself. Now Dominic is determined to protect Chloe at all cost and prove to her that there is no need to hide in the shadows. This is a fast paced suspenseful sexy read and I can not wait to see what next for The Renegade Royals. This is not a stand alone book and I highly recommend that this series be read in order.
A FAIRY GODDUDE gets his PIXIE DUST recalled & he gets reunited with his lost love, but 1 of his godkids gets such SWEET PAYBACK by causing him some much needed MAYHEM! Poor Chloe Steele was seduced by a royal duke at 14 & gave birth at 15, but she was made by her vicar uncle to abandon her baby boy, Griffin. She was sent to all girls school to learn a trade & was soon hired as a companion to a wealth childless lady, but she was truly embraced & loved by her. When her employer died, she was left all her money & she set up a sanctuary for girls that are in the same situations as she was, alone, pregnant & unwanted. Chloe also find & keep her eyes on her son, Griffin, but she did it in the background because her lost love, Sir Dominic Hunter, also had his eye on Griffin. Sir Dominic Hunter is England's head spymaster & he also has a side job as the FAIRY GODDUDE to his pack of royal illegitimate BAD BOYS! He has no problem finding his BOYS their perfect female mate, throwing them together in chaos & watching the fur & live fly. He has only 1 regret & that is Chloe Steele, who is his lost love from his childhood, but Dominic at least has her son in his life. With Chloe back from the so-called dead, Dominic has want he most CRAVES at his fingertips, but Chloe has stubbornness on STERIODS! Soon she needs Dominic helps with a PISSED OFF crime lord's nephew causing a ruckus at her pregnant girls & babies sanctuary. Now her son gets to cause all kinds of payback mayhem on Dominic's head & he is so loving it! With all the craziness, Chloe & Dominic find themselves at a spy safe house, so Dominic wants to get down & dirty with Chloe ASAP & soon many mutual screaming orgasms are rocking the safe house! Chloe refuses his proposal because she doesn't want to be outed as alive to Griffin's royal father & screw up Dominic's career. Can Dominic gets his own Happily Ever After with Chloe? Will Chloe toss caution to he wind & grab ahold of her lost love & never let go? How much payback will Griffin get? As I have read thru this Renegade Royals series, all I have wanted is to FINALLY read Chloe & Dominic's story & I have to say, "Ms. Kelly ROCKED IT!" Poor Chloe was weak & seduces by a mean royal duke & all she got out of the "less than minute deal" was exiled. Chloe did have Griffin, but she was made to abandon him, but all she did was make up or atone for her past mistakes by being 24/7 & 365 days MOM to her sanctuary girls & babies. Now Dominic has been putting his claimed clan of BAD BOYS thru living HADES & I was so glad that Ms. Kelly twisted up her tale with 1 of his happily ever after boys getting some SWEET PAYBACK & put Dominic's life into kooky MAYHEM! I also thought that his adopted clan was his way of atoning for not saving his own lost love, Chloe. I generally don't enjoy an 40 something couple, but Ms. Kelly made her h/h the YUMMIEST older couple romance I have read in a long time. Now this was a 2.5 book, Ms. Kelly didn't skip out on the NAUGHTINESS & had many toe curling moments & undies scorching scenes that made this tale SNAP, CRACKLE & KABOOM! I have awaited this tale for so long & I must say that Ms. Kelly made it was so worth the wait! Now 2015 has just started, but I can only give Ms. Kelly my 1st top score of 2015 of 5 fingers up & 10 toes for this tale of reunited lost loves! NetGalley ARC given for my honest review.