Guest Post: Vanessa Kelly on The Renegade Royals
Secrets for Seducing a Royal Bodyguard
by Vanessa Kelly
Kensington/$7.99 print/$6.99 digital
Accomplished spy Aden St. George prefers to stay away from the frivolous ton, especially after the way his mother was used by the Prince Regent. But his latest mission compels him to guard unconventional, vibrant Lady Vivien Shaw. Rescuing her from kidnappers was easy. Resisting her beauty is not. Duty demands he keep an eye on her—and naturally, his lips soon follow. For someone who views entanglements as a weakness, this is pure, delicious folly…
Though grateful for Aden’s help, Vivien has secrets she must keep hidden. Yet with her abductors still at large, she needs Aden’s protection almost as much as she craves his touch…
I’m excited to start a new Regency historical romance series called The Renegade Royals. That’s not to say that I wasn’t intimidated at the idea of coming up with something new. I loved writing in the world of my last series—it still felt fun and entertaining, and as comfortable as wearing a pair of flannel PJs.
Too comfortable. So my editor and I agreed it was time to push ahead to something different. Go big, my editor said, surprise me.
A bit daunted, I did what most historical authors do when starting a new series: hit the research books. That’s one of the great things about writing historical romance—there’s so much cool history to delve into when looking for story ideas. I also had a small case of royal fever—no doubt inspired by Will and Kate’s wedding that year—which sent me in the direction of the British royals during the Regency period.
Specifically, it led me to a book about the daughters of King George III, which contained a diary entry by Princess Charlotte, the oldest royal daughter. Charlotte briefly noted the existence of a charity boy who lived at court. The queen, apparently, thought it would be a good idea to have a poor child on hand to be raised with the royal princes. It appears to have been a misguided impulse since the Prince of Wales, for one, resented the unfortunate charity case. There were only a few mentions of this child, but I found that historical snippet intriguing. What would life be like for a boy of humble origins raised with royalty and yet never truly a part of their world? What kind of adult would he grow into?
That was the first piece of the puzzle in coming up with a new series concept. The second was learning that the royal princes were veritable hound dogs when it came to women. The seven brothers had multiple mistresses and propagated the landscape with up to twenty-two illegitimate children, according to some historians. Some of those offspring were never definitively identified, which perfectly suited my purposes.
By combining these royal mysteries, The Renegade Royals were born. The charity boy became Dominic Hunter, who grew up to become a spymaster and trusted liaison to the Court of St. James. Dominic never forgot the ill-usage he suffered in his youth, and the bad behavior of the royal princes continues to irk him—including their habit of producing so many illegitimate children, some lacking a proper name or place in the world. Dominic decides to track down these offspring, royal in everything but name, and help them in any way he can.
Book one in the series, Secrets for Seducing a Royal Bodyguard, features Aden St. James, a royal spy and the illegitimate son of the Prince Regent. Aden, a tough guy if there ever was one, thinks he doesn’t need Dominic’s help but soon learns otherwise when he’s pitched into a dangerous adventure with the whip-smart and vivacious Lady Vivien Shaw. What Aden fails to realize is that Vivien poses a greater danger to his battle-hardened heart than any dastardly villain.
And as any romance reader knows, that’s when the adventure truly begins!
About Vanessa Kelly
Vanessa Kelly is an award-winning author of Regency-set historical romance. Her books 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 new series, The Renegade Royals, hit the shelves on Nov. 26 with the introductory novella, Lost in a Royal Kiss. Book one in the series, Secrets for Seducing a Royal Bodyguard, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. Visit Vanessa’s website and Vanessa’s blog