Sara’s Review of Three Weeks with a Princess by Vanessa Kelly

I’d like to extend my thanks to both Tasty Book Tours for letting me partake in this wonderful event, and to Kensington – Zebra for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. If you would like to see all of the blogs participating in this event, please click on the banner above, murr! =^.^=

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Rating:

Publisher: Kensington – Zebra

Release Date: June 27, 2017

Series: The Improper Princesses #2

Goodreads Description:

In Vanessa Kelly s captivating series, three young women are descended from royalty in the most improper way. But that doesn’t stop them from pursuing lives rich in adventure. . .

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. . .

Review:

I’ve conflicting feelings regarding this title. On the one paw, I greatly enjoyed some aspects of it, but on the other paw, there were some things which grated on my nerves and caused my fur to ruffle. Overall, while I did not absolutely love it, I did enjoy this story enough to recommend it to anyone who enjoys Kelly’s novels or is a fan of historical romance novels. There’s a little something for everyone within the pages of this book, from memorable characters, humorous misadventures, and more. And if you haven’t read the first book in this series, I promise that you’ll want to by the time you finish this one.

Lia is a headstrong, decisive, sometimes rather exasperating woman. She’s fiercely independent and loathes the idea of being indebted to anyone, especially those she considers family (of which Jack falls into that category). While I love these aspects of hers, I sometimes felt that they were proving to be more harmful than positive traits. Lia is forever getting into trouble because of her stubbornness and naiveté. But despite this, I found myself liking her immensely, even if I kept shaking my head in exasperation throughout the book. Jack, meanwhile, was hard for me to connect with. I applaud his desire to want to take care of Lia, but I couldn’t stand his overbearing behavior at the same time. And yet, I do agree that Lia needed some reining in, so in that regards I can’t fault him too much. Jack is very much the responsible individual who feels obligated to make amends for the wrongs done by his father and uncle.  He’s also about as stubborn as Lia is on certain matters. As a couple, their relationship is all over the place. When they’re not butting heads, they’re fighting their desires for the other, and when they finally do come together…you’ll need a fan to cool off.

I loved that Gillian and Charles feature prominently in this book mostly because I simply adore Gillian. And it is her reappearance in this novel which leads me to say that if you’ve not read her story, you’ll want to by the time you finish this one. I also enjoyed meeting Chloe and her husband Dominic, and if I wasn’t already interested in reading Kelly’s Renegade Royal series, I’m even more interested in picking up the entire series at some point because I want to know more about them, as well as Steele and Endicott, and how they factor into this particular series. Yes, you read that right, characters from Kelly’s first major series play roles in this one. And this is a feature that I greatly enjoy because not many authors will pull characters from older series and feature them in newer books, and if they do, their cameos are usually brief. As for characters that I was not enamored with, well let me just say that while I can sympathize with Jack’s mother, Lady John, to a point, I desperately wanted to claw her eyes out every time she made an appearance. Her behavior and views toward Lia leave much to be desired, and oh did she push my buttons. Grrr. I also strongly disliked Lia’s mother, she had very little by way of any redeeming quality, and I would say her only saving grace was that she had the sense to marry Stephen, Lia’s step-father. But honestly though, talk about a mother who should never have had a child. Ugh!

This book put me through a wide-range of emotions. There were times when I couldn’t help but smile over the relationship between Lia and Jack, they very much came across as siblings through the first half of the book, and there were times when I hissed in frustration or downright disgust. I have to hand it to Kelly for her skill at invoking a reader’s emotions, it certainly adds an element of depth to her writing that is hit or miss with other authors.

My only complaint with this book is the synopsis and the title don’t come into play until the last quarter of the book. I’m not going to say that I didn’t enjoy getting to know Lia and Jack through their various encounters at Stonefell and in London, but I will say that I feel the synopsis needs to be changed in order to truly represent what happens in this book. Now some may feel that this is an issue that in the grand scheme of things is not worth making note of, but I strongly feel that I would be doing readers a disservice by not mentioning it. Yes, I encourage you to give this book a read, but don’t expect this to be a story entirely focused on Lia attempting to make Jack her protector and their creating a series of tests to find the perfect lover for her over the course of three weeks. As I said, this particular part of the plot only happens during the last quarter of the book, so be prepared for other events and adventures to occur first.

Having said all that, I still liked this book a great deal and I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series once it comes out. So if you are looking for a book to read this summer filled with misadventure, steamy moments, a bit of humor, and a leading lady who will steal your heart, give this book and its series a try, murr!

Excerpt:

It wasn’t like Lia to hedge. “Pet, we haven’t got all day. Just spit it out,” Jack said.
She sighed. “Very well. But please do remember that it wasn’t my idea.”
“I give you my word.”
Sitting up straight, she met his gaze. “Granny wants you to become my protector.”
That was a puzzling choice of words. “Of course I’ll protect you. Didn’t I make that clear yesterday?”
“Yes, but not my protector in a general way. She means protector in a rather specific way.”
The vague conversation began to frustrate him. “I’m not sure what else I can do to address her concerns, other than to say that I will provide for anything you need.”
She looked over at the window, shaking her head and muttering under her breath.
“Perhaps you could clarify what she means by specific,” Jack suggested.
Lia finally looked at him, her checks blazing as red as apples. “Granny wants me to be your mistress, you nodnock. She wants you to be my lover. Is that clear enough for you?”
Jack probably looked like a fish who’d landed on a bank, stunned and gasping for breath. And the entire time he stared at her, Lia glared back at him, looking furious and embarrassed. And anything but loverlike.
He finally marshaled the few wits that hadn’t been stunned into insensibility. “Clear? It’s insane. Take you as my mistress? How your grandmother could come up with such a ridiculous notion is beyond me. It’s simply laughable.”
He felt as if someone had knocked him on the head with a brick. And even more appalling, now that she’d put the idea into his head, some part of his brain—well, not his brain actually—thought there was some merit to the notion. How could it not, when she looked as she did now, her cheeks flushed, her gorgeous eyes snapping with fury, and her pretty breasts pushing up over the simple trim of her bodice with each indignant and huffy breath.
Get a handle, you idiot. He would no more take Lia as his mistress than he would don minstrel’s garb and caper about in Hyde Park.
When she crossed her arms under her chest, the movement pushed the plump white mounds up even higher over her bodice. Her scarf had slipped aside, and Jack fancied he might even see the edge of one nipple peeking out from behind the narrow band of lace. That lascivious hint sent a bolt of lust thrumming through his body to settle in his groin.
Argh. He’d never thought of Lia in that way and he was utterly horrified by his reaction.
He forced his gaze up to her face. The fury and hurt he saw in her eyes immediately dampened any misplaced ardor on his part.
“I’m sorry you find the notion so repugnant,” she said tightly. “Of course I realize I can’t hold a candle to all the fine ladies you’re accustomed to consorting with in London.”
“Good God. I don’t consort with fine ladies,” he exclaimed. “What sort of man do you take me for?”
“The regular kind. And don’t pretend you’re a virgin, Jack, or that you’ve never had an affair or slept with, well, you know.” She paused, suddenly looking uncertain. “You aren’t a virgin, are you?”
He dropped his forehead into his hand. “Lia, this is an entirely demented conversation.”
She let out a horrified gasp. “You are a virgin. Oh, dear. I’m so sorry, Jack. This must be thoroughly embarrassing for you. Please forgive me.”
He looked up with a scowl. “It is embarrassing, but not because I’m a virgin. I am not, by the way, though that is beside the point.”
“The point seems to be that you find the notion of me as your mistress hideous beyond imagining,” she said with irritation. “Well, let me tell you that I’m not exactly thrilled by the notion, Jack Easton.”
“Why the hell not?” he asked before he could stop himself. “Never mind, don’t answer that. And just to be clear I don’t find you repugnant in the least. Quite the opposite, in fact.”
She blinked. “Then there is a chance you would consider taking me as your mistress?”
“God, no!”
Lia tucked her chin down and winced. “There’s no need to yell, Jack. I’m not deaf.”
He gripped the edge of his desk and took several deep breaths, trying to steady himself. Then he pushed himself out of his chair and stalked over to the drinks cart. He poured a splash of whiskey into a crystal tumbler and tossed it back. The burn hit his stomach like a gunshot, but the jolt of heat cleared his head.
“I could use one of those,” Lia said.
“I am not giving you whiskey before you’ve had anything to eat,” Jack growled. He refused to look at her before he got himself under some semblance of control. He felt as if he’d fallen asleep and woken up in a madhouse.
“Spoilsport,” she muttered.

About the Author:

Vanessa Kelly is a USA Today Bestselling, award-winning author who was named by Booklist, the review journal of the American Library Association, as one of the “New Stars of Historical Romance.”  Her Regency-set historical romances have been nominated for awards in a number of contests, and her second book, Sex and The Single Earl, won the prestigious Maggie Medallion for Best Historical Romance. 

Vanessa’s previous series, The Renegade Royals, was a national bestseller. She is currently writing a spin-off series called The Improper PrincessesMy Fair Princess, book 1, was named a Goodreads Romance of the Month. Vanessa also writes USA TodayBestselling books with her husband, under the pen name of V.K. Sykes. 

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Posted on June 22, 2017, in Book Reviews. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Thank you for hosting your review today!
    Allisia
    Tasty Book Tours