Excerpt & Giveaway for Tall, Dark & Royal by Vanessa Kelly


Tall, Dark & Royal
The Renegade Royals # 2.5
By: Vanessa Kelly
Releasing November 25th, 2015
Zebra / Kensington
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…
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Dominic has been called to Chloe’s house in the country after she’s been attacked by the former fiancĂ© of a young woman living with her. Chloe and Dominic discuss the situation with Griffin and Justine, Chloe’s son and his wife.

“How did this man find you?” Dominic asked. “Did the girl you’re sheltering tell him where she was staying?”

Chloe shook her head, then winced and carefully patted her bandage before answering. “No, Jane’s terrified of Roger. It’s one of the reasons she came to me. She broke off her engagement last month when he started to beat her. Fortunately, a family friend—my dressmaker, by a happy coincidence—was able to put Jane’s parents in touch with me. She’s been in my care for three weeks and has had no contact with the young man.”

“You’re sure of that?” Dominic asked. “Despite the abuse, young women sometimes manage to convince themselves the situation will improve. Might not Jane have sent him a message and be reluctant to tell you?”

Chloe’s eyebrows went up on a delicate slant, as if she couldn’t believe Dominic would question her conclusion. If he hadn’t been so damn worried, he would have been tempted to laugh at her imperious glare.

“Some of them have little choice in the matter,” Chloe retorted. “Most girls in Jane’s condition have few options for survival.”

“I know,” Dominic said quietly. “Given that such is the case—”

“Such is not the case with Jane. Her family loves her and would keep her at home if they could. But we agreed it was safer for Jane to stay with me.”

Griffin stirred. “How he found the place is a mystery, but let’s put that aside for now. The point is, the swine not only found out where Jane was staying, he managed to get himself through the front door.”

Chloe looked troubled. “Yes, that was unexpected. It’s never happened before.”

Dominic, Griffin, and Justine exchanged incredulous glances. Almost the exact same thing had happened only a few months earlier, when a group of thugs invaded Chloe’s household to kidnap little Stephen, a baby under her care. That terrifying incident had forced Chloe out of hiding in order to ask for Griffin’s and Dominic’s help.

“Really, Mother?” Griffin asked with disbelief.

Chloe flapped her hand at him. “That situation was completely different.”

“It sounds alarmingly similar,” Dominic said. “I thought you’d improved your security since that particular breach.”

“I have,” Chloe said impatiently. “I hired the groom you recommended, and Hill’s nephew has also started working for me. But Roger came alone, so I didn’t perceive there to be a threat. We refused to let him see Jane, of course, despite his protestations. I tried to explain the situation to him, but he was immune to rational discourse.”

“Did you confront him alone?” Dominic asked.

Again, he saw the slight hitch in her shoulders. “Why wouldn’t I?”

“Because he was dangerous?” he replied with heavy sarcasm. At the moment, sarcasm was his only refuge against the frustration pulling at him. His observations over the last few months suggested that Chloe sometimes lacked a sufficient sense of self-preservation in her determination to protect her charges.

“I suppose I did miscalculate that,” she admitted. “But as I said, he didn’t initially seem threatening. Hill was right outside the door and my staff were within shouting distance.” She shook her head, clearly exasperated with herself. “How could I anticipate that Roger would be so foolish as to pull a pistol on me in my own house?”

Dominic carefully placed the delicate Spode teacup and saucer on the table beside him. “He pulled a pistol on you?”

Author Info:

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.

Author Links: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

The author is giving away a $30.00 Amazon or B&N Gift card and FOUR sets of the first two books in the series (Secrets for Seducing a Royal Bodyguard, Confessions of a Royal Bridegroom)

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