Lia Kincaid, illegitimate 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. . .
Praise for Vanessa Kelly’s Renegade Royals series“Will definitely resonate with fans of Mary Jo Putney and Joanne Bourne.” —Booklist
“Kelly combines diverting dialogue, delightful surprises and finely tuned pacing to make this a winner.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
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Three Weeks with a Princess
By Vanessa Kelly
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2017 Vanessa Kelly
All rights reserved.
"How the hell did he let it become such a disaster?" Jack said, pushing aside the ledger. Every time he'd looked at the bloody thing he'd held out a faint hope that circumstances weren't as bad as they appeared. And every time he was wrong.
The large, leather-clad account book was one of several piled haphazardly before him on the library desk. On the other side of that pile sat Atticus Lindsey, the longtime estate manager at Stonefell and a truly estimable man. He had to be, because he'd put up with years of financial messes and managed to ameliorate some of the worst effects. But even Lindsey's business acumen and dedication to the family could no longer stave off the inevitable.
Thanks to Jack's uncle, the previous marquess, Stonefell Hall stood on the brink of ruin, and the Easton family fortunes weren't far behind.
His estate manager struggled to articulate some positive news — and failed.
"It's all right, Lindsey," Jack finally said. "I know we're teetering on the edge of the abyss. The only question now is how to walk ourselves back from it."
The middle-aged widower, whose kind face and gentle manner were combined with a whip-smart mind, pulled a grimace. "There are a few things we can try, my lord. We can take down the remaining viable timber in the home wood, for one. The income from that would stave off the creditors till the next quarter."
Jack hated that idea. So many noble trees had already been lost. Stonefell's woods had once been the finest in this part of Yorkshire, but they were now a pale imitation of their former glory.
"We'll do that only as a last resort," he said. "I'm hoping the harvest will be better this year. The revenues from that should take us well into next year."
Lindsey eyed him. "Of course, sir."
In other words, good luck with that, you bloody fool.
He certainly wouldn't have blamed Lindsey if he'd said those words out loud. Jack had rarely involved himself in estate business, even though he'd known for two years that the Lendale title would fall directly to him. That was when Jack's father, heir to his older brother, had died of apoplexy, brought on by a life of drinking and excess. His father had evaded responsibility whenever possible. Even in death he'd run true to form and had left Jack to pick up the pieces of a family all but in ruins.
As for the recently deceased marquess ... well, Uncle Arthur had been a kind man, loyal to family and friend alike. And he'd been more than generous to Jack, always providing him with a safe haven from his warring parents and helping him achieve a military career by purchasing his commission.
But as a man of business and a caretaker of the family fortune and legacy, the third Marquess of Lendale had been an absolute disaster.
"I'm sorry, my lord," Lindsey said in a tone warm with sympathy. "I wish I had better news to impart, but the tenant farmers are barely holding on as it is. We'll need years of good harvests to make up for the ground we've lost."
Jack repressed the impulse to bang his head on the pile of ledgers. Maybe if he did that long enough the figures would somehow untangle themselves. He'd spent so many late nights pouring over the damn numbers, searching for even a thread of good news, he could barely see straight.
For years he'd tried to escape all the family drama by focusing his energies on his military career. He'd worked his arse off, climbing up the chain of command until serving directly under Wellington himself. And even though the fortunes of war were often bleak, he'd loved his work. If fate had decreed otherwise, he'd still be in the army.
But fate had decreed otherwise, and now he was someone he'd never wanted to be — the Marquess of Lendale. The title had been shared by a disreputable group of aristocrats more known for their spendthrift, rakish lifestyles than for nurturing the blessings graced by God and king.
Well, he'd be damned if he was the one to bring the estate crashing down around his mother and sister. They deserved more than that, as did the tenants and staff who worked at Stonefell and in the mansion in London.
And he could never forget Lia and Rebecca, who were as much his responsibility as anyone else under his care.
"What about that idea you floated in your letter to me a few weeks back, when I was in Lincolnshire?" he asked Lindsey.
He'd been there for the wedding of his closest friend, the Duke of Leverton, to the unconventional Miss Gillian Dryden. It had been a welcome respite from his problems, although their marriage had raised a tricky issue he had yet to work out.
Lindsey brightened. "You mean Stonefell's potential for ore and coal mining? The surveys have yielded some very positive results, but in order to proceed, we need ..."
"Additional investments," Jack said grimly.
"Yes, sir, for more surveys and preliminary explorations. And to go ahead with any sort of comprehensive venture at this point, we would need a substantial investment."
"Would selling the rest of the timber in the home wood be enough to get us started?" Jack loathed the very notion, but he'd be willing to make the sacrifice. A productive mining operation would not only provide jobs for his struggling tenants and villagers, it could alleviate the debts encumbering the estate.
"I'm afraid not," Lindsey said with a regretful shake of the head. "There's no doubt we need outside backers to establish a viable operation."
But any investor worth his salt would want to see profits as soon as possible. No one would be inclined to invest if they had to wait several years until Jack restored the estate to health. There was another alternative, of course, but he wasn't particularly thrilled about that one either.
He closed the ledger in front of him with a thud. "I think we've both depressed ourselves enough for one day, Lindsey. I'll be traveling to London in a few weeks. I will speak to my bankers about finding potential — and patient — investors while I'm there."
Lindsey stood up. "Very good, my lord. I can put out feelers to a few private investors when I'm next in Ripon, if you like."
"Do that but quietly. We don't need word getting around that things are as bad as they are."
"As you wish."
After Lindsey collected the ledgers and soft-footed his way out, Jack eyed the remaining work on his desk. It felt as if he'd been confined to the stuffy old room forever. Normally, his uncle's library — his library now — was a favorite place to while away the time. It had always been a welcoming retreat, with its elegant Queen Anne furniture richly mellowed by age, a collection of books lovingly built up over the generations, and several truly impressive globes his uncle had acquired over the years. The handsome room spoke of the taste, wealth, and power of the Lendale line.
Today it felt more like a prison.
He stood and headed for the French doors, his hand automatically reaching out to spin the largest and oldest of the globes as he passed.
You really ought to sell that, old boy, along with the rest of them.
It just might come to that. Along with the antique volumes on the shelves, the globes would attract a pretty sum from a collector.
Shoving aside that unpleasant thought, he stepped onto the terrace, lifting his face to the late afternoon sun. It had been a cool, rainy summer, so even a hint of sunshine was welcome.
He gazed out over this little piece of his domain. The flower gardens behind the house had always been a pleasing mix of roses, flowering shrubs, and hedges. And although the roses still bloomed thick and full, and the ivy and honeysuckle twined lushly along the stone balustrades of the terrace, the garden was no longer up to its previous immaculate standards. The hedges looked a bit ragged, the roses verged on running wild, and the lawn was just a little too long. Old Merton, the head gardener, was doing his best, but Lindsey had been forced to let some outside staff go last year. Only the kitchen gardens were still in top shape, and that was thanks to Lia. According to the housekeeper, she diligently helped Merton tend the extensive herb and vegetable gardens that kept the house abundantly supplied.
Lia, what am I going to do with you?
Though he'd only returned to Stonefell two days before, he'd been avoiding her, which was a new and unwelcome development. Jack had loved the girl almost from the moment he'd met her, back when she'd been an engaging, mischief-prone toddler. Lia was family as far as he was concerned.
But she was also his friend, and a very good one. Although she was five years younger, Jack had long trusted her judgment. Lia was both funny and kind, but she also had an enormously practical head on her slim shoulders. After Lindsey, she knew more about the running of the estate than anyone. She'd grown up here, loving it with a fierce devotion that surpassed that of any member of the Easton family.
Unfortunately, that devotion to Stonefell was about to be poorly repaid. Of all the people on the estate, Lia and Rebecca Kincaid were the most vulnerable.
He couldn't put off imparting the grim news any longer. He counted it as ironic that when he could finally see his dear friend as often as he wanted, he was doing everything he could to avoid her.
Using the gate at the bottom of the garden, he strode along the pretty, tree-lined lane that led to Bluebell Cottage. Once a small dower house, Uncle Arthur had converted it into a private abode for his mistress. It was far enough from the main house to be out of sight and out of mind, when necessary, but still close enough for the previous marquess to easily visit the once-notorious Rebecca Kincaid whenever he wished. It had always struck Jack as a medieval arrangement that was manifestly unfair to both Rebecca and her granddaughter. Of course, he'd grown used to the odd situation over the years, as had most in the neighborhood, especially those who depended on the estate for their livelihood. That the marquess had loved his mistress with an abiding passion had never been in doubt, and he'd expected everyone in his circle to accept her presence as an immutable fact of life.
Jack's mother, naturally, had never accepted it. And now that he was the Marquess of Lendale, she expected him to do what she called the moral thing.
As he rounded a curve in the lane, the red slate roof of the cottage came into view, its old chimneys poking above the trees. More a small villa than a rustic abode, Bluebell Cottage was built with the sharp angles and pitched roof of the Jacobean era. Set well back from the lane and shaded by ash and sycamore trees, it was surrounded by an old-fashioned flower garden with a spectacular display of rosebushes. But unlike the larger garden at the main house, Bluebell's flower beds were pristinely maintained, flourishing under an expert hand.
Lia's hand. She'd always loved to garden and had never minded getting dirty and wet. As a little girl, she'd been Merton's shadow, imitating his every move. Her enthusiasm and cheery ways had charmed the crusty old gardener, and almost everyone else at Stonefell Hall.
Jack had always believed Lia was the true reason Rebecca had finally been accepted by the estate staff and the locals. Setting up one's mistress in the backyard wasn't generally the done thing, but with Lia's unwitting help, his uncle had pulled it off.
He rapped on the front door. After waiting a few minutes, he hammered again. One of the mullioned windows of the drawing room, to the right of the door, pushed open. Rebecca, her beautifully coiffed, salt-and-pepper hair, topped by a snowy white cap, leaned out.
"Ah, my dear Lord Lendale," she said in an affectionate voice. "I haven't a clue where Sarah is, or Lia, for that matter, and the maid has run down to the village to fetch some headache powders. But the door is open, so do let yourself in."
She retreated with consummate dignity, shutting the window.
Jack couldn't hold back a grin. Leave it to Rebecca to tell the new marquess to walk right in rather than condescend to answer the door herself. Her present position might be precarious but she had been the longtime lover of the Marquess of Lendale and once had been the most sought-after courtesan in London. Although a truly kind and charming woman, she never let the world forget who she was, nor who she once had been.
Not that he blamed her. She didn't have anything else to hang on to now that the man she'd loved for so many years — the man for whom she'd given up so much — was dead.
Jack let himself into the low-ceilinged corridor that ran from the front of the house to the back. A narrow staircase halfway down the hall climbed up to the first floor, with its bedrooms and a private sitting room. It was a lovely old house, with intricate woodwork and paneling, as well as some truly fine plasterwork.
But it was in dire need of repair, especially the roof and chimneys.
He knocked briefly on the drawing room door, which was rather silly because Rebecca was expecting him. But she drew comfort from the formalities, and Jack wished her to know that she still had his respect and friendship, even if she had lost all else.
She moved to greet him. Now in her early sixties, she remained an extremely handsome woman, with a plump, comfortable figure and a welcoming manner. But despite her genuinely pleased smile, he saw sadness in her gaze and weariness in the faint web of wrinkles fanning out from her blue eyes. It had been over three months since his uncle's passing, but Rebecca clearly still grieved. The poor woman had been, for all intents and purposes, the man's wife. And yet she'd been denied even the solace of attending the church services or receiving the sympathy of family and friends.
"Aunt Rebecca, it's good to see you," Jack said, bending to brush a kiss against her cheek. He'd referred to her that way in private for years, which had always pleased his uncle.
"Dear boy, it is so good of you to call," she said, waving him to the settee across from her high-backed chair. "Lia and I were beginning to quite despair of seeing you."
"I apologize for not coming down yesterday. I find myself swamped in paperwork and an endless stream of ... business." He'd been about to say disasters.
"I'm sure you have a great deal of work to attend to, settling the estate and becoming familiar with your new responsibilities. If you need help, you must be sure to ask Lia. Sometimes I think she knows Stonefell as well as Mr. Lindsey."
"She does," he said with a smile. "By the by, where is she?"
Rebecca glanced at the watch pinned to her waist. "I'm surprised you didn't run into her in the lane; she said she'd be home by now. She ran up to the stables to speak to the stableman about her mare. I think Dorcas may be in need of new shoes." She hesitated. "If it's not too much of a bother, that is."
Jack's uncle had always let Lia ride any horse she chose, even picking one out for her special use.
"You needn't even ask."
"Thank you," she said, sounding relieved. "We hate to impose, but you know Lia wouldn't ask if it wasn't necessary." "Please don't worry, Aunt Rebecca. Now, tell me how you've been. I hope you're well."
As they chatted for a few minutes about the usual mundane things like the weather, Rebecca was clearly making an effort to be cheerful. But Jack could tell it was a strain. His uncle had been the touchstone of her increasingly narrow and circumscribed life. Without him, she must feel her future uncertain.
"And how was your trip to Lincolnshire?" she asked. "I presume the Duke of Leverton's wedding went off without a hitch." Her carefully neutral tone didn't fool Jack in the slightest.
"It was a small, private affair but very happy nonetheless. And I'm glad Lia's not back yet because I wanted to talk to you about that."
"Yes, I expect you do," she said with a rueful smile. "You want to know whether you should tell Lia that Gillian Dryden — the new Duchess of Leverton — is her cousin."
He'd been struggling with that question for some weeks. Leverton was his closest friend, which meant Gillian would now be part of Jack's life. She was the illegitimate daughter of the Duke of Cumberland, the fifth son of King George and brother to the Prince Regent. Because Lia was the illegitimate daughter of the Duke of York, the second son of the king, she and Gillian were cousins.
"Yes," he said. "Naturally I knew I had to discuss the situation with you first. But you must understand there may come a point when Leverton and his duchess will visit Stonefell."
Though dismay flashed across Rebecca's features, her impressive discipline soon reasserted itself. "That's to be expected, naturally. As you know, your uncle rarely entertained due to his health." She forced a smile. "But such will not be the case with you, I'm sure. You will wish to entertain friends, as well as your mother and sister."
Excerpted from Three Weeks with a Princess by Vanessa Kelly. Copyright © 2017 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.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I love this series, playing off the distaff wing of the Renegade Royals, Vanessa Kelly gives us illegitimate daughters of titled men, most who are fighting the stigma of their birth and living their lives in the best ways possible. This story is Lia’s, daughter of the Duke of York and one of a long line of notorious (think the tonne – and realize ‘notorious’ is code for anything from the wrong bank balance to murderous acts) women in her family. With her own parentage, and being raised by her grandmother, a former mistress of a late Marquess, she’s not figuring on a fortuitous marriage in her future. So she lives her life as if no one is watching: headstrong, decisive and occasionally frustrating: her independence which she guards jealously means she won’t ask for help from anyone, and is particularly averse to taking help or advice from family. Childhood friend Jack Easton is in a pickle. He’s got a title he doesn’t want or feel he deserves, that title requires he marry well and find a bride with a substantial dowry. Unfortunately, he doesn’t want either, but he also won’t consider Lia as a romantic option even as he feels honor-bound to smooth the path for her – something her own father never did. Honorable with a dash of overbearing where Lia is concerned – their connection is one that alternated between frustrating and volcanic. See, Lia has no compunction about bedding Jack – he, however, can’t see beyond his own prejudices that guide his behavior. He doesn’t want to be like other men of the tonne, and he believes that Lia deserves better. If only she would take his advice, follow his rules – he could set her on the path to a marriage……. Gillian and Charles feature strongly in this book – and it’s a wonderful addition. For in many ways, Lia and Gillian have the same sense of independence and stubborn streaks that are miles wide. It worked for Gillian and Charles, and while Lia’s feelings for Jack are so conflicted, Gillian sees right through the pair of them, to see what a wonderful match they could be. With several other characters from the Renegade Royals making cameo appearances, there is a wonderful balance between those who have made their matches and those struggling with the choices. With distasteful mothers for both Jack and Lia, neither of whom acquit themselves favorably, and the slow transition of the relationship between Jack and Lia that morphed eventually from fractious siblings to friends, to love – it was a wonderful installment in the series and has me waiting not so patiently 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.
It was okay....seemed a lot of the same thing over and over again.
I enjoyed this book
I loved Lia and Jack's story. Friends that fall in love are always one of my favorites! Lia and her grandfather have been living off of the generosity of Jack's uncle. When he dies and leaves no provisions for them, Lia is determined to find a way to support herself and her grandmother. Jack on the other hand, feels like Lia and her grandmother are his responsibility. He doesn't think that Lia should run off to London to be an actress, let alone find a protector. I loved the bantering between Lia and Jack. I had me laughing out load throughout the story. I've really enjoyed this series and am excited to see what Kelly has in store for us next!
I couldn't wait for Lia and Jack's story! Ms Kelly writes such strong heroines, I wasn't sure she could top Gillian, but she surprised me! Lia tries to take care of everyone around her except herself. I think Jack had loved her for a while,it just took him a bit to recognize those weren't "sisterly" feelings he had. The interaction between the two was awesome to follow! I loved seeing Gillian and Charles again and look forward to the next bit of family to pop up!
Jack has just become the Marquess of Lendale and Lia and her grandmother live on the premises. Her grandmother was the mistress of Jacks uncle, the previous Marquess, who left the estate in bad shape financially. Additionally, Jack's mother despises Lia and her grandmother, and wants them off the premises. Lia feels that, due to her illegitimate background and the scandalous mother and grandmother, she can only earn a living as an actress or a prostitute. She wants to be able to make her own way. Jack is completely opposed to this, as they were childhood friends and she is an innocent. This became a madcap story, as Lia keeps landing herself in scrapes, and then finds out she has relatives, previously unknown to her. You will see characters from the Renegade Rogues and My Fair Princess, and I love the interactions! Best of all is the stewing attraction and romance of Jack and Lia. Looking forward to the next book, The Highlander's Princess Bride! A Book Obsessed Chicks Review Team Selection
This was both a forbidden romance and a romance that grew from a strong friendship. My two favorite kinds. Lia was so incredibly stubborn, and she met her match with Jack, as he was too. They bickered and argued, but they had the best times together and a strong history as friends. I thoroughly enjoyed watching their relationship grow through all the uncertainties, and with her family history, there were many. These two were such a cute and entertaining pair. I can't wait to see who's story we get next. The ARC of Three Weeks with a Princess by Vanessa Kelly was kindly provided to me by the author for review. The opinions are my own.
Lia Kincaid is the illegitimate daughter of the Duke of York. When she fails at trying to be a stage actress like her mother, she decides her only other option is to find a protector and her childhood friend, Jack Easton, seems like the perfect person to teach her. This was a cute story with some well-developed characters. I enjoyed watching the events unfold as Jack and Lia are drawn closer and closer. I highly recommend. **I voluntarily read and reviewed this book
'Three Weeks with a Princess' by Vanessa Kelly is book Two in the "The Improper Princesses" series. I have read the previous book and feel this can be a standalone book. This is the story of Lia Kincaid and Jack Easton the Marquess of Lendale. Lia is the illegitimate daughter of the Duke of York and her mother was a famous actress but was never acknowledged by the Duke. Lia was raised by her Grandmother, who was the mistress of the older Marquess of Lendale. Jack was the nephew of the former Marquess of Lendale and since his pasting has become the new Marquess of Lendale. Jack and Lia knew each other growing up and were great friends. Jack knew Lia and her Grandmother were staying at the Dowager house cottage because his Uncle was in love with Lia Grandmother. Jack is now dealing with what his Uncle has left the manor and the estate in....which isn't good. The previous Marquess didn't leave anything thing to Lia or her grandmother. So Lia knows with the estate in such a mess that Jack wouldn't really be able to support her or her grandmother....and she doesn't think it would be fair anyway. What she must do is find a 'protector' but can Jack be that for her? Would Jack Let her go to find another one? I so loved this book! Jack and Lia were the best main characters have read in a while. I liked their back and forth battering. How they cared for each other....just everything about them! "My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read."
Such a sweet story! After reading My Fair Princess , I was anxious to find out Charles's BFF Jack's story--and I'm happy to say, seeing him as the star of his own story made me love him even more. (Though OMG, could he wait any longer to tell Lia those three magic words? Men! Fortunately he knows how to bring an excellent ending, which makes up for much.) I enjoyed Lia too, though her idea of becoming a courtesan/seeking a protector--which on a certain level seems to make a teensy bit of sense, but would have made her absolutely miserable which everyone who knows her realizes (except her mother and grandmother, argh) goes on for waaaaaaaaaay to long, which was frustrating. Ms. Kelly gave her a powerful experience to show her the error of her thinking, though, and, like Jack, she helps to bring together the awesome ending when it counts. Once again the secondary characters are a lot of fun, both those who have had their own books already and those who will hopefully have them in the future. In all, I can't wait to see where this series goes next! Rating: 4 stars / B+ I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Lia and Jack are great together. They have been friends for a long time, but Lia has always loved Jack. Lia has the idea that she needs to move and take care of her grandmother. She decides that she is going to be an actress like her mother. That doesn't work out too well. Then she decides that her only option is to be a courtesan. That doesn't work out so well either. Jack is having a really hard time getting Lia to listen to him. He has so many problems and he doesn't need Lia running off and causing trouble. Lia discovers that she has a lot more family than she knew about and they want to help her, but she still decides to go her own way. Unfortunately, that way gets her into trouble.
I've received an eARC in exchange for an honest review. This is my first Vanessa Kelly’s book, even though it’s not the first one in the series. I would have loved to have the read the first (will probably read it soon!) because I loved the characters from book one on this book! My favourite kind of story is friends to lovers, because it actually implies more knowledge of the person than just the physical attraction – which in most historical romances leads to the characters trying to get to know each other. Here, Jack and Lia are from completely different worlds that have been blended together, making them the perfect friends as kids, a great start for a couple. It’s a book full of adventure and it tries to show a bit of the tougher side we sometimes tend to forget when reading this kind of books. I liked Jack, but thought that sometimes he was more than just a bit overprotective…he was too controlling, which led me to, from time to time, crinkle my nose. I understood his position however, I didn’t think he was doing something to change it and only complained at the end of something happening. However, he did have his nice moments, and I did enjoy him as a main male character. Lia, on the other hand, was a very active, strong, “get it done” kind of girl, which I really liked. She was very determined, she was a loyal friend (not just to Jack), she knew what she wanted and she didn’t stop until she got to it, no matter how many obstacles came in her way. I didn’t like Lia mum – I wasn’t supposed to, right? She was a good character to serve as a comparison to her daughter and make us see even more the difference and how good and kind-hearted Lia was. Her grandmother was adorable and I’m sure she knew the ending before even Jack and Lia did! I don’t think Gillian (Lia’s cousin) deserved to be slapped when she was just defending her family, just like I didn’t like that Jack’s mum was so horrible to Lia just because she carried the name as her mother and grandmother, I didn’t think it was fair to make her an example (okay, to be fair, she also made Jack’s mum remember her worst moments in life - but that wasn't her fault!). And the fact that Jack allowed it to happen, didn’t really sit well with me, no matter how many apologies he said. Lia’s newly discovered family is very kind and protective (hello characters from book 1!) and I liked how they tried to make Lia feel part of their family from the moment they knew of her existence. Jack and Lia had a bit of a weird relationship. Childhood friends, he was her only friend to be truthful, and she had a crush on him, but never pursued it. His home was almost her home, since she cared and worked in it, for free. He only realized he liked her more than as a friend/sister when she told him about her grandmother (ideally, genially!) crazy plan for him to be her protector or at least help her get one. There could have been a bit more romance, and seduction for me. All in all, it was a pleasant book that I read in just one day and couldn’t put down, a book that introduced me to a new author I want to continue following, even though there were some small details I would have liked to see more explored.
Some days all I want to do is read a book that tugs at the heartstrings and makes me cry, and on other days, I want a fun romp that makes me laugh and sigh in delight by the end of the book. Three Weeks With a Princess fits into the latter category. It's a flirty and fabulous friends-to-lovers tale. I'm such a sucker for that trope in romance these days, and I'm so glad that my first Vanessa Kelly read satisfied that yen! The bickering and teasing between Lia and Jack has been the norm for their entire lives. Living on the Stonefell Hall estate since she was a girl, she's only really had one friend and that's Jack. The progression from childhood pals to something a bit more, seemed so natural. In a historical romance, you can be assured of a HEA, but how the h/H get there makes the book a keeper or a dud. Hooray for adding another read to my keeper shelf with Three Weeks with a Princess! The characters are likeable, the passion sizzles, and there's that little bit of danger thrown into the mix that reminds me just why I love a good ol' historical romance. I have the teeniest nitpick concerning the ball where Jack and Lia realize there might be something a little more to, life than friendship. It was a smidgen forced and awkward, but overall didn't detract much from the pace and flow of the story. Three Weeks with a Princess is a first for me by this author and I'm excited to see what the next Improper Princess story brings! 4 stars! ~ My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ~ *I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.*
I really liked this historical read. Lia and Jack are a wonderful couple with fun and sweet chemistry. The story is flirty, fun, sweet and entertaining. I was hooked from beginning to end. Looking forward to more in this series.
I just adore this series! How can you not love Improper Princesses! In this story, Lia Kincaid is the illegitimate daughter of the Duke of York. The females in her family also tend to be on the notorious side. Lia's grandmother, a former courtesan, was the mistress to the Marquess of Lendale until his death and had raised her while living on the Marquess' property. From an early age, Lia was befriended by Jack Easton, nephew to the Marquess, who will now become the next Marquess since Jack's father has passed away. Lia has always been in love with Jack even though she knows they could never be together because of her family's notorious history. When Jack becomes the Marquess, he realizes that between his father and uncle, they have left the estate with financial issues. Jack sees Lia for the first time since being back and he can't believe how much she has changed....no longer is she a young girl...she's now a full woman! As Jack begins to tell Lia and her grandmother that he plans to still take care of them, Lia starts to realize that her and her grandmother must leave and she will now have to find some way to provide for them. Lia either needs to find a protector, become a courtesan, or be an actress like her mother. It was rather enjoyable watching Lia try to reconcile these options while Jack was around. Lia kept trying to explain to Jack that he needed to find a wealthy woman to marry who would help with the money problems. Too bad Jack was starting to realize he really wanted Lia instead. I just loved the story these two went through until they realized that they truly belonged together. I really enjoyed the new family members that were now in Lia's world, especially Gillian...she is such a hoot! Glad to see she hasn't lost any of her spunk since her story! This wonderful story has some great emotions throughout it as well as some great romantic scenes between Lia and Jack. Overall, this is a wonderful book that I highly recommend!
Three Weeks With A Princess by Vanessa Kelly is a magnificent historical romance. Ms Kelly has delivered a well-written book, a smooth read. Lia and Jack's story is filled with drama, humor, spice and bits of action. Ms Kelly has filled this book with phenomenal characters that are so entertaining you hate to see the story end. I enjoyed reading Three Weeks With A Princess and look forward to reading more from Vanessa Kelly in the future. Three Weeks With A Princess is book 2 of The Improper Princesses Series but can easily be read as a standalone. This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger. I voluntarily read an Advance Reader Copy of this book that I received from NetGalley.
This was a well-written, fantastic historical romance. Lia Kincaid comes from a long line of notorious women, and was raised by her grandmother, the former mistress of the late Marquess of Lendale. She has little chance to find a respectable marriage. The new Marquess of Lendale, Jack Easton, is her childhood friend, and he promises to make sure she always has a home. Duty demands that he marry a wealthy bride, though, and Lia feels her best option is to find a protector. She asks Jack to help her - when he refuses to become her protector, she asks him to help her devise tests to find an appropriate protector. Test like flirting, kissing and other pleasurable pastimes... I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading other books by this author.
Vanessa Kelly creates characters that are intriguing, engaging and completely lovable. This is the second in the Improper Princesses series and the joy keeps coming. This story is filled with laughs, drama and a love story that will keep you believing that love conquers all. Lia Kincaid is the natural daughter of the Duke of York and a famous actress. She is raised by her grandmother who was the mistress of the Marquess of Lendale. When the Marquess passes away and doesn't provide a bequest for them, Lia is determined to become an actress. Jack, the new Marquess and Lia's childhood best friend, is doing his best to improve the finances of his impoverished estate and to protect Lia. The two are constantly butting heads and fighting their feelings. Lia has always had a crush on Jack and refuses to let him sacrifice everything to save her. Jack is determined to make Lia his wife. This is an amazing story that I highly recommend.
This story is wonderfully written and draws you into the story from many different directions. I look forward to reading more by this author.
Yorkshire - Christmas 1809 Lia Kincaid lives with her grandmother in a run-down place called Bluebell Cottage owned by the Marquess of Lendale who lives in nearby Stonewall Hall. Lia loves the Hall especially at Christmas. This year, the Marquess’s young brother and his wife, Lord John and Lady Elizabeth Easton along with their daughter, Lady Anne, are visiting for the holiday. Their son, Jack Easton, is also with them. The Hall is beautifully decorated and Lia has crept into the house to see it. While the Marquess is great friends Lia and her grandmother, Lord John dislikes her grandmother, Rebecca Kincaid, and blames her for the Marquess having fallen in love with her many years ago and making her his mistress. In addition, Lia is the illegitimate daughter of her mother who is an actress living in London. The Marquess still loves Rebecca and has taken care of them over the years. Jack and Lia spent time together during their childhood and soon Jack will be off to fight the war. For a gift, Lia gives him an old Roman coin she has found at a nearby abbey. As history is a hobby of his, he is delighted and promises to keep it on his person at all times. Yorkshire - 1816 The Marquess has died and now Jack has taken his place. He is finding that the finances of Stonewall Hall have declined significantly in recent years and the previous Marquess did not have a head for business. Jack has worked hard in his military career but now that he is the Marquess of Lendale, he must find ways to make the estate profitable again. As it happens, Lia is the illegitimate daughter of the Duke of York, second son of the King and as such, Lia is cousin to the Duchess of Leverton who wants to meet her. In addition, Lia realizes that with the old Marquess gone and money being tight at Stonewall Hall, it has now fallen to her to find work to support her grandmother and herself. So, off to London she goes. Jack pursues her telling her she does not need to work as he will always care for her and Rebecca. Bt Lia is stubborn and thus ensues a cat and mouse game of great proportions which became very wearying. I enjoyed the first novel in this series and found Gillian, the Duchess of Leverton, to be a great character. However, I did not connect with Lia in any way. I wanted to give her a swift kick in the butt all through the book. Jack is a nice guy and almost too nice for Lia. But that’s my opinion and I’m sure other readers will really love this book. Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I love friends to lovers troupe and Vanessa Kelly has written a good one. Jack Easton and Lia Kincaid have been friends since the day they meet at his uncles estate Stonefell. Lia's grandmother was the former Lord Lendale's mistress who he set up in a cottage on the estate. Lia grow up on the estate, loved by the servants and Lord of the manor but shunned by Jack's family. Lia knew that being from the infamous Kincaid family meant she could never be with the man she loves, Jack. When Jack becomes Lord Lendale he's left with a mound of debts and a failing estate. He vows to continue to care for Lia and her grandmother but Lia knows they can no longer be a burden to Jack and needs to take care of herself and grandmother. Jack knows he must find a rich bride to set Stonefell to rights but Lia is never far from his thought. When Lia heads to London to find work with her mother and stepfathers theater in ends miserably so she asks Jack to help her become a courtesan. Jack refuses, honor bound to care for her, but Lia will make her way with or with out his help. With scandalous results at every turn will Lia and Jack realize what they have or will Lia become the next notorious Kincaid? This was another great addition to The Improper Princesses and I'm hoping for more.
Engaging Characters Lia has known Jack her entire life, she idolised him as a child and those feelings transformed into a deep and abiding love as an adult. However though Jack has always been indulgent and affectionate towards her, she knows nothing can come of it. She is the unacknowledged illegitimate daughter of a Royal Duke and an actress/courtesan and Jack needs to repair the family fortunes not be embroiled in scandal. When Lia and her grandmother find themselves destitute, she knows they can't live on Jack's charity and that she must find some way to provide for them. Her idea is to join her mother's acting troupe, whilst her grandmother thinks she should take a protector and be a courtesan. I enjoyed this book set in a time when woman had little control over their lives but could have kicked Jack for not articulating his feelings sooner, it would have saved Lia a lot of heartbreak. The characters, including supporting ones, were well developed and engaging and made you want to read Ms Kelly's other books. I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley I was not compensated for my review, and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own.
Vanessa Kelly writes stories that are a dazzling mix of beauty and magic. With classic tales of bewitching romance, daring rogues, passionate damsels and unstoppable drama, who could ask for anything more? Three Weeks with a Princess spins it's web of seduction rather quickly. Jack and Lia find themselves entranced by emotions beyond their control. Every heartbeat brings them closer to the point of no return. Can their friendship survive the hypnotic lure of love? A stunning tale of sensuality that casts a spell from beginning to end.