The Improper Princesses Book One
August 30, 2016
First, Vanessa Kelly brought readers The Renegade Royals. Now, in a delightfully witty new series, she introduces The Improper Princesses—three young women descended from royalty, each bound for her own thrilling adventure . . .
Despite being the illegitimate daughter of a prince, Gillian Dryden is happily ignorant of all social graces. After growing up wild in Italy, Gillian has been ordered home to England to find a suitable husband. And Charles Valentine Penley, the excessively proper, distractingly handsome Duke of Leverton, has agreed to help transform her from a willful tomboy to a blushing debutante.
Powerful and sophisticated, Charles can make or break reputations with a well-placed word. But his new protégée, with her habit of hunting bandits and punching earls, is a walking scandal. The ton is aghast . . . but Charles is thoroughly intrigued. Tasked with taking the hoyden in hand, he longs to take her in his arms instead. Can such an outrageous attraction possibly lead to a fairytale ending?
“My favorite hero and heroine of 2016!” ~ Bronwen Evans, USA Today Bestselling historical romance author
Nielsen BookScan Romance Bestseller
A Goodreads Best Romance of the Month (August)
#1 Amazon Bestseller in Historical Romance
#1 iBooks Bestseller in Historical Romance
#1 Nook Bestseller in Regency Historical Romance
“Kelly’s Improper Princesses Regency series opens gallantly with well-thought-out characters, madcap adventures, and London’s cunning, cagey elite. Gillian Dryden’s royal bloodline can’t completely make up for her illegitimate birth and wild upbringing in Sicily. She becomes a target of Sicilian bandits and is brought back to England to be safely schooled in refinement and married off. Charles, Duke of Leverton, who’s known as Perfect Penley, grudgingly agrees to be her social tutor. After Gillian assaults a boorish earl and shoots a robber, she is further tarnished socially. Gillian’s continued recklessness and lack of decorum challenge Charles, and she begins to chip away at his controlled life. Gillian’s antics imbue her story with energy and some intrigue, but the most affecting part of Kelly’s tale is Charles’s development as he falls in love with Gillian and breaks free of complacency and propriety. This is a fun ride with a colorful, adventurous heroine and a happily disconcerted, formerly perfect hero.”
“Kelly launches her new Improper Princesses series with another superbly crafted Regency historical romance that puts a clever spin on My Fair Lady while at the same time delivering the usual elegant writing, tempered with a deliciously dry wit and artfully nuanced characters readers have come to expect from her.”~Booklist
“Vanessa Kelly proves she’s a true star of the Regency genre with My Fair Princess, a book which shines brilliantly with her trademark witty repartee and lively plot. The romance between her straight-laced Charles and pistol-packing, unconventional Gillian is perfectly delightful, and it’s a joy to watch them grow and change with each other. With just the right amount of suspense and passion, Kelly’s My Fair Lady reimagining is one you’ll savor long after you finish reading.” ~Erica Monroe, USA Today Bestselling Historical Author
“Another highly entertaining read from one of my favorite authors! I don’t think there was a single boring moment from beginning to end as Gillian and Charles find their way to happily ever after. While Charles is called Perfect Penley for his proper behavior, Gillian is his complete opposite. As he tries to teach her the proper way to behave in society, it is he who begins to lose control. If you read any of the Renegade Royals books, you will definitely like this one, and you even catch a glimpse of Griffin and Justine from that series. This is a must read for historical romance fans!” ~5 stars, Jen’s Reading Obsession
“Kickass alpha heroine inside! This was such a fun read. From page one I was hooked and Gillian was my hero…ine!” ~4 stars, Lampshade Reader
“The writing style, action, and historical facts were all delightful. I definitely recommend this for fans of historical romance.” ~Reviews by Ruckie
“Gillian was definitely improper. Thoroughly improper, and I loved her for it. Gillian’s ‘I can do anything and kick butt while I’m at it’ was perfect.” ~4 stars, What’s Beyond Forks?
“What a fun and somewhat different historical romance! Different, you ask? Typically the heroine in books set in this time period are shy wallflowers and the hero is usually a rake or rogue who changes when he meets and falls in love with the wallflower. Our heroine, Gillian, is anything but a wallflower!” ~4 stars, Two Girls With Books
“I enjoyed this story so much and read it overnight, as it was too interesting to put down. Gillian is a character I absolutely adore, a young woman who is strong for the sake of loved ones, who is courageous and endearing to the point that you can’t really fault her for not being a perfect society lady, because she has greater priorities in mind…this is a book I highly recommend.” ~5 stars, Buried Under Romance
“I love versions of My Fair Lady, especially when the Henry Higgins character comes to realize that he likes his “Eliza” without all the unnecessary “improvements”…this was my first book from Ms. Kelly, but it won’t be my last!” ~4.5 stars, Becky on Books…and Quilts
“I absolutely loved My Fair Princess, with its stubborn and feisty heroine and stern and aloof hero. They were a bang up match and the writing was literally a dream.” ~5 hearts, Read More Sleep Less
“MY FAIR PRINCESS is always engaging and truly unforgettable. Whether this couple was involved in bantering back and forth, or displaying emotions because of how they felt, every moment is absolutely realistic. The passionate side of their relationship is certainly steamy when their feelings gain control, and Charles demonstrates he is not as straitlaced as most people think.” ~5 stars alwaysreviewing.com
“Ms. Kelly…is not just a standby historical romance author either. She’s my go-to when I need a historical romance fix. Her writing is beautiful and clear, precise and engaging…this is a great starter to Ms. Kelly’s new series.” ~5 hearts, Written Love Reviews
“Ms. Kelly has written an engaging story of a strong hero AND a strong heroine. From the first chapter to the end I was hooked on Gillian’s strength and resolve to do what she felt was right despite what anyone else thought or what the consequences might be. On several occasions I found myself saying “you go girl”. Add in a vulnerability that Gillian didn’t know she possessed and you have a character that leaps from the pages.” ~4 stars, Romantic Historical Reviews
“Vanessa Kelly creates characters that are bold and electrifying.” ~5 stars, I Love Romance
“It isn’t often a reader finds a historical romance with all the ingredients to make it an awesome read. This witty romance with the right amount of humour, sentiment and action is one such book.” ~5 stars, The Travelogue of a Book Addict
“With witty dialogue and tastefully crafted scenes of romance, this book is a treat for historical romance fans.” ~4 stars, Book and Ink Reviews
“Readers of My Fair Princess will find it hard not to smile along with Charles and Gillian as they navigate the trappings of the ton and their path towards love. A true gem of a book!” ~4.5 stars, Polished Bookworm
“I love sassy heroines that don’t fit in the cookie cutter norm of most books. Give me a flawed character, such as a woman hellbent on revenge and dresses like a man during a time when trousers were definitely NOT for women, and I’m one happy reader…I fell in love with Gillian, flaws and all.” ~4 stars, Once Upon A Book
“This book hooks you right from the beginning and does not want to let you go…the characters practically come to life before you and it’s almost as if you are watching them from the pages. Ms. Kelly’s way with words is sure to delight you and make you wait with bated breathe for the next Improper Princess to come around.” ~4.5 stars, Harlequin Junkie Recommended Read
“The path to the eventual ending is wonderfully paved with intrigue, moments of tension, honesty and plenty of heart. A wonderful read that has jumped into my favorites, with Gillian and Charles moving to the top of my faves from Vanessa Kelly.” ~5 stars, I am, Indeed
“Narrator Beverley A. Crick seamlessly shifts between the many characters in the first book in the Improper Princesses series…listeners will relish the clever banter between this smart protagonist and her ever-so-proper guardian.” AudioFile