cover image Secrets for Seducing a Royal Bodyguard

Secrets for Seducing a Royal Bodyguard

Vanessa Kelly. Kensington/Zebra, $7.99 mass market (352p) ISBN 978-1-4201-3122-2

If the remainder of Kelly’s Renegade Royals series is as arresting and entertaining as this kickoff, then Regency romance fans are in for a royal treat. Capt. Aden St. George of the Royal Horse Guards is the stony-faced hero who fiercely guards his tender underbelly. Lady Vivien Shaw is the vulnerable yet strong-willed woman who resists accepting his protection. Both are meticulously drawn, and their snappy exchanges create exquisite sexual tension. Threatening their happiness is evil Russian prince Ivan Khovansky, a suspected murderer and serial abuser of women, who will stop at nothing to take Vivien back to Russia as his bride—abetted by her greedy and unimaginative eldest brother, Cyrus, who sees Khovansky as the financially strapped Shaw family’s only hope of survival. Characters who could be flat clichés are made fresh and appealing by dramatic storytelling. Kelly (Sex and the Single Earl) combines diverting dialogue, delightful surprises, and finely tuned pacing to make this a winner. Agent: Evan Marshall, Evan Marshall Agency. (Jan.)