Tall, Dark & Royal
The Renegade Royals # 2.5
The Renegade Royals # 2.5
By: Vanessa Kelly
Releasing November 25th, 2015
Zebra / Kensington
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He's the man behind the mission to track down the illegitimate children of England's Royal Princes and help them get their due. But his deepest desire is far more personal… 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…
Dominic has whisked Chloe away to his manor house in the countryside to protect her from a crime lord. It is the first time Chloe has been alone with Dominic after many years apart.
Chloe wished they could recapture that closeness. In so many ways, Dominic struck her as terribly alone—almost as alone as he’d been when she’d first met him as a charity case in the royal household, living on the fringes and not truly belonging to anyone.
Resuming her wanderings, she perused the spines of the impressive collection of books that lined the shelves. He had a smaller, well-stocked library in his town house in London, but the depth and breadth of this collection astonished her. She wondered if it had come with the house when he’d purchased it.
She’d just taken down a magnificent copy of Milton’s Paradise Regained when Dominic dismissed his steward and rose from his desk. Her consciousness of him flared out like an invisible cobweb, thrumming with silent vibrations as he came near.
“Looking for a little light reading?” he asked sardonically, after glancing at the book.
She wrinkled her nose. “I suppose it’s rather dull in comparison, but I do prefer it to Paradise Lost. I’m not particularly fond of depictions of sinners and hellfire, no matter how beautifully they’re written.”
“I imagine not.” He took the book and slid it back onto the shelf. She’d had to stretch up to reach it, but he easily slipped it into place, his tall presence towering over her. Chloe was a long Meg, but Dominic topped her by several inches. His dominating presence flustered her in a way she found dangerously attractive.
“I’m impressed with your library,” she said, trying to hide her nerves. “Did it come with the house, or did you acquire it on your own?”
He propped a broad shoulder against the bookcase, apparently relaxed but watching her with a thinly veiled intensity, as if he would peel away the years that had separated them. She didn’t know whether to be alarmed or flattered by his regard, but she feared it had more to do with a misguided sense of responsibility for her than with a genuine interest in the woman she’d become.
“A little of both,” he said. “I bought the house six years ago from a baronet who was consolidating his holdings. The collection was good to begin with, but I’ve been adding to it.” The grooves beside his mouth deepened with a rueful smile. “Books are my true weakness, but I’ve no room in my town house for any major additions of a literary or frivolous nature. The overflow must come down here.”
Chloe slapped a hand to her chest. “Good Lord, Dominic. Frivolous reading? Don’t tell me you’ve resorted to Mrs. Radcliffe, or other novels of a sensational nature.”
A wicked gleam lit up his eyes and sent a warning shiver down her spine. When he opened his mouth to answer, Chloe quickly pressed two fingers against his lips. “Don’t you dare say anything outrageous, Dominic Hunter. You’ll make me blush.”
For a fraught moment, they stared at each other. His lips parted a fraction and she felt a whisper of hot breath against her fingertips. Chloe snatched her hand away, curling it into a fist so he wouldn’t see how it trembled.
"Tall, Dark and Royal" by Vanessa Kelly - this is a novella of the Renegade Royals Series. It's the story of Chloe and Dominic. I did not read the first two books and felt I was missing much of the back story. Although the author does offer some history, I had a bit of trouble connecting with the characters, which was probably due to not knowing their pasts. Despite that, the story was a fairly good one. Dominic is a magistrate that tends to get a bit flabbergasted by Chloe's actions. He's strong and powerful, yet kind and gentle too. I had a harder time with Chloe. Although she did admirable work, her thoughts and feelings on her choices annoyed me a bit and then when she decided she'd had enough and would finally face threats, I found it a bit foolish of her. I did really enjoy Dominic's pursuit of her, she just frustrated me a bit. I plan to read the previous two books to learn the background stories. I enjoyed the style of writing by the author and did like the characters of Griffin and Justine so I look forward to reading about them. (Received copy for honest review)
Vanessa Kelly is an award-winning author who was named by Booklist, the review journal of the American Library Association, as one of the “New Stars of Historical Romance.” Her Regency-set historical romances have been nominated for awards in a number of contests, and her second book, Sex and The Single Earl, won the prestigious Maggie Medallion for Best Historical Romance. Her current series, The Renegade Royals is a national bestseller. Vanessa also writes USA Today bestselling contemporary romance with her husband, under the pen name of VK Sykes.
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