Friday, January 9, 2015

Blog Tour: How to Plan a Wedding for a Royal Spy by Vanessa Kelly

Today I am hosting a stop on Vanessa Kelly's How to Plan a Wedding for a Royal Spy book blog tour! This is the third book in the Renegade Royals series - I reviewed the second book, Secrets for Seducing a Royal Bodyguard, in January 2014, and quite liked it. I had high hopes for this one! Released on January 6th by Zebra, How to Plan a Wedding for a Royal Spy features an all-new hero, with a few familiar supporting characters. Check out more information about the book, an excerpt, my review, an author bio and a giveaway below!

For the rest of the stops on the tour (including additional excerpts!), check out Tasty Book Tours.

The Book

Whether as spies or lovers, the 
Renegade Royals—illegitimate sons of England’s Royal Princes—are bold, skillful, and a force to be reckoned with…

A war hero returned from Waterloo should be able to indulge in a bit of bad behavior. Instead, Captain William Endicott is summoned by his father, the Duke of York, to investigate an assassination plot. The unlikely suspect: William’s former sweetheart. Will can’t believe that innocent Evie Whitney could be mixed up in anything so nefarious. Then again, almost everything about Evie has changed—except for his body’s instinctive response to hers…

Just as Evie’s life is finally coming together, Will saunters back into it. Should she slap him—or seduce him? Even as she tries to decide, scandal pushes her toward marriage with a man she can neither trust nor resist—and into the heart of a deadly conspiracy…

How to Plan a Wedding for a Royal Spy is available now!

Amazon | Barnes & Nobles | iTunes | Kobo | Goodreads

The Excerpt

Will and Alec Gilbride are visiting Evie’s family in the country. The various parties have met up for a rather strained breakfast:

“Now, Miss Evelyn, why would ye be wantin’ to spend the morning with your head in a fusty old book?” Captain Gilbride said from across the table. “Surely we can do better, especially on a day as fine as this.”

Evie peered at him, mystified by the captain’s inconsistent brogue. Most times, his accent mirrored that of an English aristocrat who’d spent his formative years at Eton and Oxford. But once or twice last night he’d slipped into a Scottish accent heavy enough to make her think he might leap to his feet and commence dancing a reel. She was beginning to suspect that Gilbride affected the accent as more of a joke than anything else, although she couldn’t imagine why. Her suspicions were confirmed by the incredulous lift to Will’s eyebrows as he eyed his friend.

“No doubt you’re longing for an excursion in the great outdoors,” Will commented sardonically to Alec. “What do you have in mind?”

“I’ve heard about some bonny ruins no more than a half hour’s ride away. An old abbey, I believe.”

“That would be the Abbey of St. Osmund,” Eden said in a bored voice.

Most visitors to Maywood Manor made the trip to the picturesque ruins, and Evie and her sister had been there at least a dozen times. As pretty as the ruins were, she had no desire to see them again.

“Yes, that’s it,” Gilbride said with a smile so charming that any woman but Eden would have dissolved into a puddle at his feet.

But Evie’s twin simply shrugged, making her disdain for the suggestion abundantly clear. “It’s an old Cistercian abbey that fell into ruins after the monasteries were shut down. It’s pretty, but nothing unusual.”

“Aye, but it sounds like the perfect way to spend the morning with a pair of lovely lasses such as you and Miss Evelyn,” Gilbride said. “There’ll be ample opportunity to wander among the ruins, I imagine, and no telling what a lad and a lassie might get up to.”

The captain punctuated his outrageous comment with a broad wink at Eden. When he winced, Evie was certain Will had just kicked him under the table.

My Review

How to Plan a Wedding for a Royal Spy is every bit as entertaining as I had hoped it would be. Will and Evie make a charming couple plagued by trust issues because of Will's bad behaviour years earlier.

I loved that Evie isn't the bold and brassy character that we might have expected. Will remembers her as being rather shy, though not with him, and content to be in the background while her minutes-older twin sister Eden shines in the spotlight. How to Plan lets us witness Evie developing some backbone when it comes to the people in her life who push her around (such as her mom). She starts to speak her mind, assert herself, and at the same time, retain that sweetness that Will remembers. She still doesn't want to be the focus of the room, and most significantly, she always wants to apologize for any perceived rudeness. That last bit was something that I really liked - that as much as everyone deserved any dressing down Evie dished out, she always acknowledged propriety and wanted to apologize. Such a small detail but one that really spoke to the core of Evie as a character. I liked it. Really bold heroines are so popular, it was nice to have one who was a bit more... demure.

I liked Will, but I did find his friend, Alec, to be more colourful and interesting. Will's reactions to Evie and being forced to spy on her made up for his less entertaining persona. The back and forth regarding his attraction to Evie was solid, but I would have loved to see him pushed a little bit more to the edge.

As much as I disliked Evie's mother, I loved the role she filled in the book. She was frustrating and devious and absolutely awful and added some needed conflict to the story.

I found the plot of How to Plan to be fairly original. I haven't read many historical romances that touch on the Irish-Catholic-English issues so that was cool. There were some bits that were a bit predictable but overall, I thought the story was pretty darn good!

The Bottom Line:

Historical romance fans will love How to Plan a Wedding for a Royal Spy, I think. There's enough material here that's different to delight readers. I especially liked Evie, and the historical context given to the story.

4 stars
For fans of historical romance, dashing spies, twins, childhood sweethearts reunited.

About the Author

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.

Find her on the web:

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


This is a great opportunity to pick up those books you didn't get for Christmas! The Grand Prize is a $20 Amazon or Barnes Gift Card and 4 Runners Up will receive print copies of SECRETS FOR SEDUCING A ROYAL BODYGUARD and MY FAVORITE COUNTESS.


  1. Thank you for hosting me today - I really appreciate it!

  2. Thank you for hosting today! Happy Friday!

  3. I liked this review. To the point and newsy. :-) I'm not surprised at the reviewer's opinion of the hero (Will) and heroine (Evie). I adore Regency romances and usually the lord is a bit huffy and stuffy and has to be brought 'round or taken down a peg or two by his lady love...and Will seems to fit somewhere in there. And not most, but lots of heroines are least on the outside. I'm glad to hear that she gets some "backbone" and stands up her mother...which I can relate to as I, myself, was a late bloomer in that regard. Domineering, conniving mothers are the pits! :-) Thanks so much for the post.

  4. Loved the review! I am looking forward to reading this one!