How to Plan a Wedding for a Royal Spy (Renegade Royal Book #3) by Vanessa Kelly
Overview by Amazon:
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…
This was such a great book to read. Vanessa Kelly creates amazing characters and detailed plots that have complexity and yet still remain fun. The characters are what make this book so well done. Evie and Will are former sweethearts and their reunion is anything by smooth.
Will is the bastard son of the Duke of York, a royal Prince. He has spent the past years fighting in France and has come home to an uncertain future. He is very quickly recruited to a very important spy mission on British soil and lo and behold, it involves his former sweetheart Evie. There is strong evidence that Irish rebels are plotting an assignation attempt in London and Evie’s beau Michael Beaumont is suspected of being involved with the plot due to the Irish charity he runs and his sympathies with displaced Irish.
Will and his cousin, Alec (Captain Gilbride) are immediately sent to Evie’s home as guests to get to the bottom of the suspicions. Evie has changed in the long years Will has been away. She is still quiet and a wallflower who is constantly berated by her overbearing mother. However, Will has never seen Evie with a suitor. He immediately dislikes Evie and Michael’s relationship. He wants Evie safe and proven innocent at all costs.
There is a slow build up to Evie and Will reuniting, regardless of the secondary characters machinations, as Michael and his charity prove a drain on Evie’s time and Will’s mission. Evie and Will spend time together and get to know one another again, this time as adults. Will tries very hard to keep it strictly business, but slowly he starts to admire Evie’s hair, then her bosom, then her figure, then he starts to imagine kissing her neck. Will’s desires grow along with his conviction that Evie is innocent, but he can’t prove anything yet.
He is getting pressured by his father and superiors to find the evidence and fast. He is also told by his father that Evie is not a match he can consider. It’s a complex relationship between Will and his father. He was raised by his uncle and has led a respectable life, but like any child he wants the attention and approval of his parent. The only thing he can’t agree to abide by is staying away from Evie. Time may have passed, but the relationship between the two feels the same as when they were younger, but now as adults, they have options open to them that they didn’t before.
Evie is convinced that a marriage with Michael is what she wants. They have similar interests and want to live a quiet life. Evie’s twin sister, Eden, calls her an old woman when she is with Michael and sees that Will (whose nickname is Wolf) makes her come alive. She thinks Will is a much better match for Evie and conspires with her mother at times to throw them together.
The secondary characters were amazing!!! I loved Eden, Evie’s twin sister. She was outlandish and exciting. What was really compelling was the relationship between her and Alec, Captain Gilbride. I liked Alec right away. He’s a highlander and also a bastard Prince’s son as well. He’s the heir to a sizeable Scottish title and has served in the military with Will for years. He’s cheeky, glib and fun. I want to read a story about him as he just seems like so much fun. What was so enjoyable, was reading about the sparks blazing between him and Eden. I truly hope she is the woman for him. Their story would be amazing to read. With Eden throwing barbs at him, you just know that if that meanness was turned to passion, it would burn up the pages.
The passion between Evie and Will was really hot. I found myself shocked at times and blushing as I read some of the naughty talk that Will speaks. It was a very memorable first love scene and if reading a historical romance novel with some blazing passion is a requirement, then this book more than satisfies. The author uses their passion for each other as a foundation for a real relationship. And let me say, that I would not mind if my husband took some lessons from Will. He is quite the lover!
The plot about the Irish rebels moves slowly for most of the book as the relationship between Evie and Will grows, but then it takes off. Working together, which just about kills Will, leads them to uncover what is happening and of course there is danger and tense moments.
I really thought this book was a great adventure. I haven’t read the other books in the series, but I will be reading them now. I am SO EXCITED for Alec to get his story and I REALLY, REALLY hope Eden is his adversary in love.