MY FAIR PRINCESS

Collection by Vanessa Kelly

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Book 1 in The Improper Princesses Series (spinning off from The Renegade Royals Series)

Vanessa Kelly
Fantasy, but captures the vibe of Gillian Dryden, heroine of MY FAIR PRINCESS.

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Yes, you are my Duke of Leverton, Chris Hemsworth!

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“Well done, Miss Dryden,” enthused Mr. Hurdly, peering down the range at the target. “It’s the first bull’s-eye of the afternoon!” Gillian lowered her bow, critically inspecting her shot. “Thank you, but I just barely nicked the edge.” “Dear me,” said Miss Farrow. “You shoot as well as the men, which is certainly unusual. I cannot imagine how you do it, especially with such a big bow.” Her tone was not one of admiration.

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She could be Gillian: “Do I look like a proper young lady to you?” He cast a sardonic glance at her attire—sheepskin coat, buckskin breeches, and riding boots. “You could be. You’re an attractive, respectable-looking girl when you’re not disguised as a bloodthirsty ruffian.”

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The bandit scum had killed Step-papa, his two bodyguards, and the young groom accompanying him on that fateful trip through the Gorges of Tiberio. It was fitting that Gillian would deliver justice in almost the same spot where those innocents had breathed out their last moments of existence.

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Tonight, Gillian was displaying as a diamond of the first water in a cream and gold-spangled gown that flowed lovingly over her graceful figure.

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ephemeral-elegance: “ Whitework Embroidered Spangled Evening Dress, ca. 1810 ” What an odd front on this gown! Lace-up fronts on bodices are not something that you see all the time during this era,...

When Leverton continued to study her with a thoughtful expression, Gillian had to resist the urge to shuffle her feet or swing her muff. She almost preferred to have him annoyed with her. At least then she felt on equal footing. Then his mouth curved into that dazzling smile of his, and Gillian forgot about feeling awkward.

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When Leverton continued to study her with a thoughtful expression, Gillian had to resist the urge to shuffle her feet or swing her muff. She almost preferred to have him annoyed with her. At least then she felt on equal footing. Then his mouth curved into that dazzling smile of his, and Gillian forgot about feeling awkward.

Charles had lost his hat somewhere along the way, and his hair was disheveled, flat in some parts and sticking straight up in others. His jaw was rough with stubble, he had a dirt smudge on one cheek, his cravat was askew, and his normally shiny boots were scuffed. He looked rough, dangerous, and as far from Perfect Penley as one could imagine. But perfectly wonderful for all that, Gillian couldn’t help thinking.

Charles had lost his hat somewhere along the way, and his hair was disheveled, flat in some parts and sticking straight up in others. His jaw was rough with stubble, he had a dirt smudge on one cheek, his cravat was askew, and his normally shiny boots were scuffed. He looked rough, dangerous, and as far from Perfect Penley as one could imagine. But perfectly wonderful for all that, Gillian couldn’t help thinking.

Charles stretched his feet out to the fire, letting the peace of the old manor finally settle around him. Fenfield Manor might not be the most modern of houses, but its sturdy tranquility appealed to him.

The Sixth Duke

ys-travel: “ Grimsthorpe Castle, Lincolnshire | England (by kev747) ”

Charles stirred when the contessa inched aside the curtain and peered out the window at the desolate landscape of fields and marshes. She was clearly anxious to still be on the road as night approached. Her daughter, however, showed no such discomfort, nor did his sister. The fact that Gillian and Elizabeth were much alike in their practical and cheerful approach to life was a blessing, considering the four of them had been cooped up in a traveling coach for the last five days.

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Gillian & her mother, Contessa Paterini:Their relationship was entirely upended, as far as Charles could tell. When he’d arrived this morning to escort them to the park, Gillian had fussed over her mother like a cat with a lone kitten. He’d finally gotten them moving by promising to bring them straight home if the contessa displayed any sign of fatigue.

Gillian & her mother, Contessa Paterini:Their relationship was entirely upended, as far as Charles could tell. When he’d arrived this morning to escort them to the park, Gillian had fussed over her mother like a cat with a lone kitten. He’d finally gotten them moving by promising to bring them straight home if the contessa displayed any sign of fatigue.

When Gillian first meets Charles: She hopped to her feet in a swift, contained movement and flicked the skirts of her gown back in place over her slim figure. She gazed directly at Charles with big, sherry-colored eyes, apparently not the least bit embarrassed by her outrageous entrance. “So, you’re the one who’s going to tame the savage,” she said in a crisp voice that carried the hint of an exotic accent. “What fun for both of us.”

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When Gillian first meets Charles: She hopped to her feet in a swift, contained movement and flicked the skirts of her gown back in place over her slim figure. She gazed directly at Charles with big, sherry-colored eyes, apparently not the least bit embarrassed by her outrageous entrance. “So, you’re the one who’s going to tame the savage,” she said in a crisp voice that carried the hint of an exotic accent. “What fun for both of us.”

Leverton crouched behind the coachman, struggling with the rope around the man’s wrists. “John, do you have a knife? This rope is wet.” Gillian pulled up her skirt and slipped the knife from her boot. “Take mine.” The duke shook his head. “Unbelievable.” She repressed a sigh as she handed the blade to him. Clearly, whatever good will she’d built up with Leverton had died an ignominious death.

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“The best way to handle gossip is to feign ignorance,” he said. “Simply give a vague smile and excuse yourself from the discussion.” “You mean I shouldn’t plant them a facer or threaten to shoot them?” she asked, opening her eyes wide. “I know it’s hard to fathom, but Englishwomen don’t generally engage in fisticuffs or duels.” “How boring of them. I suppose I’ll have to find other ways to avenge myself on the gossips of London.” She lifted an eyebrow. “What do you think of poison?" 

“The best way to handle gossip is to feign ignorance,” he said. “Simply give a vague smile and excuse yourself from the discussion.” “You mean I shouldn’t plant them a facer or threaten to shoot them?” she asked, opening her eyes wide. “I know it’s hard to fathom, but Englishwomen don’t generally engage in fisticuffs or duels.” “How boring of them. I suppose I’ll have to find other ways to avenge myself on the gossips of London.” She lifted an eyebrow. “What do you think of poison?" 

He nuzzled her mouth for a brief, delicious moment before pulling back. “Let me show you just how much I want you, Gillian. How much I will always want you.” His deep, serious tone made it sound like a vow. She rested in the moment and let his promise settle deep inside. It slipped into her heart with peaceful joy, as if she were returning home after a very long time away.

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He loomed over her. Gillian swore his avid gaze felt like a touch, tracing over her sensitized skin. Then he lowered himself to kneel between her legs.

He loomed over her. Gillian swore his avid gaze felt like a touch, tracing over her sensitized skin. Then he lowered himself to kneel between her legs.